By Evi Arthur
[This story has been updated for clarification purposes.]
Each semester, graduation ceremonies are important events for many students and their families. In past years, graduating students received tickets for family members on a first-come, first-served basis. This year, each student received an email notifying them that they would each receiving four tickets for family and friends to come and watch them graduate.
“The ticket count is based on the number of students who have submitted an RSVP and the seats we have available for guests in the theatre,” said Sarah Willis, assistant registrar for graduation services. “The College of Pharmacy is joining the 10 a.m. ceremony so we needed to adjust to accommodate our pharmacy graduates and their guests.”
Some students said they are not bothered by the number of tickets they are receiving for family members.
“It turns out my graduation list has decreased since I last spoke to someone about this, so I think it should be okay,” psychology major Giovanna Spata said.
Unfortunately, this information has come as a shock to many other graduating students. The limited tickets are forcing them to make harsh decisions on which family members get to come to the ceremony and which family members do not.
“I am quite disappointed in the ticket limit as I would love to invite more than four family members,” criminal justice major Dan Simon said.
Students who need additional tickets are able to request more tickets from Graduation Services, but it is not guaranteed that they will receive extras. Students are able to give up their tickets to Graduation Services if they do not need all four tickets. Willis said seating is general admission, meaning they are not assigned. The four tickets can be picked up or more can be requested at the Salute to Graduation Services event on April 5.
“I think it’s very important for family to be able to attend a student’s graduation as it is a major achievement in life and should be celebrated,” Simon said.
Spata additionally said that it is significant for students to have a strong support system at graduation.
“I think it’s important to have your support system at graduation. Whether it’s three people or 13 people, as long as these are people who supported you along this journey, it’s definitely important,” Spata said.
Once the Auditorium Theatre reaches capacity, guests will be directed to overflow rooms in the Wabash Building to view the ceremony from there.
“We will do everything we can to accommodate our graduates and their guests,” Willis said.
In spite of the graduation office’s accommodations, many students are still unhappy with the way this semester’s commencement is being handled.
“I wish Roosevelt would not have limited tickets, and allowed guests to come on a first come, first served basis, just like in years past,” Simon said.
One other thing that has changed from years past is that tickets will be separated by general and accessible seating. Those with accessible admission will be seated in the wheelchair accessible sections of the Auditorium Theatre.
“Participating graduates in need of accommodations can contact Graduation Services for more information, as there is a bit more coordination involved with stage access,” Willis said.