A diploma can have multiple meanings for students outside of just a piece of paper, but administration says mistakes happen when it comes to printing them.
Assistant Registrar Cari Heizer said as of two years ago, Dixie State University made a significant change, which allowed graduates to receive their diplomas shortly after graduation. Originally, students would wait months for their diplomas to arrive.
The change came when DSU administrators felt it was time to start using its own resources instead of using another company that wasn’t meeting their expectations.
Heizer, along with a few others, headed up the responsibility of passing students off for graduation and made sure they received their diplomas. Though it caused for long days and extra work after the change was made, it was worth doing it for the students, Heizer said.
Whenever humans are a part of a process like prepping and mailing diplomas, mistakes happen, Heizer said. Sometimes these mistakes are out of human control and others are easily fixable.
For example, she said last spring, a total of four diplomas were misprinted for the art department. The emphasis section on each diploma was incorrect in relation to the student it represented.
“The misprints this spring were human error and were fixed as soon as we were made aware of the problem,” Heizer said.
She said this was the biggest misprint she has seen during her tenure at DSU and mistakes such as this happen once in a blue moon. The staff is constantly striving to do its best to ensure the students are happy and taken care of, Heizer said.
DSU alumna Nicole Winona said she was quite upset when she received her diploma last spring. She was one of the four students whose degrees were misprinted. She said her diploma was a representation of the four years she spent in college earning her degree. This was just another hurdle she was having to deal with due to the mistakes made by the school, Winona said.
Sierra Hughes, a senior communication major from Norwalk, Iowa, said: “It is a sense of pride, and if you work four years to get a diploma that doesn’t encompass what you spent four years doing, that is kind of a bummer. Even though it can be fixed, [it still sucks].”
Hughes said she will be the first person in her family to graduate from college with a degree. To her, the diploma means so much more than just having another checkbox ticked off. It gives her a sense of pride knowing what is on that paper will reflect her as a student and the skills she brings to the table, she said.
Yes, mistakes happen, and not everything goes according to plan. Yet, Heizer said she takes her service to the students very seriously and will do the best job she can with every diploma.