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Changes in Graduation

By Samantha Latos; Assist. News Editor
On November 6, 2017

Changes in Graduation 

Samtha Latos

Asst. News Editor 

Reforms are in the works to make the graduation ceremony smoother and more captivating. President Birx and faculty have been putting ideas together to make this happen.

The date of undergraduate graduation has not changed; the 2018 graduation ceremony will still take place on that Saturday morning. The first difference from last years graduation, is that the graduate graduation will be held two days earlier, on that Thursday evening. “This year we said let’s break up the graduations, let the undergraduates have their own graduations, and let the graduates have their own”, Dr. Birx said, “That will allow us to allow students to have more invitees than they were able to have before, and the graduates will get to have their own program as well.” In this coming year, there will be two separate graduations, and both graduating classes will benefit from it.

The second change is a precautionary step to halt students from consuming alcohol during the ceremony. Things got out of control last graduation, and steps will be taken to avoid that. “We are asking the faculty to sit with their students, rather than all together,” Dr. Birx said, “We think the faculty will enjoy it, and hopefully the students will like it too.” The goal is that integrating faculty members into the mass of students will help keep everything in line. It also has sentimental value, so that faculty can be with their students, who they have known for years, right before they graduate.

The goal is to make graduation as engaging as possible, and that means having a shorter ceremony. Typically, graduation is about two and a half hours at PSU. Dr. Birx and faculty have some ideas on how to shorten it to two hours or less. This includes having two lines of students on the stage, rather than one. “That gives every student the same amount of time, but it does help us move faster because ones calling out a name, and the other one can be ready to called out next”, Dr. Birx said. This will help keep the audience’s attention on the people graduating, and since it is new, it will likely interest them.

He thinks that the issue with long ceremonies is that people tend to lose interest. “We want to keep it exciting, and that’s also part of the reason”, Dr. Birx said, “It’s exciting because people get to see two different groups come up, and there’s not a lot of waiting time in between.” Having two rows at graduation has not been finalized yet, but it may be a third and unique change to commencement.

Having a separate graduation, and having two lines of students would definitely speed up the process. Faculty sitting with students will hopefully end the intoxication issue. Time will only tell if these changes will be successful, and if they will be carried 

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