The Fall commencement ceremony will now require tickets to attend due to safety concerns with overcrowding.
“We start to evaluate and predict what the number of people attending will look like early in the process, and it’s better for us to plan on using the tickets,” Director of University and Community Relations Sally Gries said.
Despite no issues with overflow since the tickets were introduced to the spring commencement, graduates participating in the fall ceremony will be able to acquire up to seven tickets for family and friends. Tickets will be available to reserve beginning Sept. 1.
Ticketing for graduation ceremonies began in 2012 when commencement was moved from Roberts Stadium to the university campus. Last spring was the first time all five ceremonies were ticketed.
Gries said the tickets will be distributed Nov. 13-16.
“Our goal in distributing the tickets before Thanksgiving is when students are spending the holiday with their family, they can give the tickets to their family members at that time,” she said.
Gries said the university will be condensing the ticket request process this year
The process includes completing a formal application for graduation form and a diploma form, along with a commencement reservation form and a ticket request form. Gries said they will combine the reservation and ticket request forms to eliminate paperwork for students to fill out.
She said there could be extra tickets depending on whether a graduate requests all of their available tickets.
“The biggest thing we want to do is encourage students to visit the commencement website,” she said. “All the information is on there and if they have any questions then they can contact us.”
Gries said the construction for Phase I of the Physical Activities Center (PAC) will not affect the amount of seating available for the Fall commencement but will affect some of the staging.
The recent change did not please everyone, however.
“That was one of the things I was happy about,” senior psychology major Grant Edwards said. “I know the spring commencement is a lot bigger than the fall one so I understand that they have to ticket that, but it would have been nice not to have to worry about how many people I can bring.”
Edwards said he was disappointed the university did not inform graduates of the change earlier.
“I didn’t get an email or anything,” he said. “I wish I was made aware of it sooner.”
Edwards said he planned on having at least eight family members attend the ceremony.
“With my parents, my sister, my brother, my aunt and uncle and my grandparents, I’m already out of tickets. What am I going to do? Tell one of them they can’t come?”