Graduate ceremony restrictions upset Chico State students

Jan 29, 2014 12:48 AM

Big changes are coming to this year's graduation ceremonies at Chico State. Some guests won't be able to see their loved one's walk across the stage in person. In the past, seniors graduating could bring as many guests as they wanted to University Stadium but this year they'll only be limited to five.

"It's really frustrating," said Cassie Bryant, a senior at CSU Chico majoring in Health Care Administration. She and many other seniors graduating from Chico State this spring are upset with the university after officials announced each graduate will only be given five tickets to the commencement ceremony. Officials say it was a tough decision but it was one they had to make. "It has grown a little bit over the years with more students, more graduates, and more attendees and it has gotten large enough that we're concerned about people's safety if something should occur," explained Joe Wills, Director of Public Affairs at CSU Chico.

Many students we spoke with said their families had already made plans and the commencement changes are too short notice. "I have 8 family members that are coming. Some of them are from the bay. Some of them are coming from South Africa and my initial reaction is if the school requires us to register for graduation a year in advance, where was the student voice?" said Chantal Richards, a senior at CSU Chico majoring in Journalism, News, and Public Relations.

Graduates are now forced to find other ways to have their families watch them walk across the stage. "I've talked to other classmates to see if they're not using their tickets to see if I could buy them off of them, but going to watch a film of someone graduating is ridiculous," said Bryant.

While many were upset at the restrictions, some students saw where the university was coming from. "If there was some kind of emergency or disaster, you don't want to make the situation worse. We have codes and restrictions for a reason for the safety of those coming," said Bethany Haley, a senior at CSU Chico majoring in Interior Architecture.

School officials are making other arrangements to try and accommodate everyone coming to campus for the ceremony. “We'll have tickets on a first come first served basis to two theatres that will broadcast the commencement live and then we'll have an outdoor big screen where as many people as possible can view the event live."

Graduates can pick up their tickets on April 1st. If some people don't need all five of their tickets, university officials will try to accommodate those who need extras.


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