UNO eliminates summer commencement

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By Sean Robinson and Michael Wunder

To the dismay of some students, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents voted Jan. 28 to eliminate the August graduation commencement ceremony and host the two remaining May and December ceremonies on campus.

“The guiding principle in this decision was to bring the ceremonies back to campus, hoping to initiate a stronger tradition at UNO.” said Thomas Wallace, UNO’s vice chancellor for student affairs in an earlier interview.

Following months of planning with a commencement committee of 22 students, staff, faculty and three deans, the group decided holding the ceremony on campus was the most logical decision.  The May ceremony will be the last one held at the Civic Auditorium. The December ceremony will most likely be held at the Sapp Fieldhouse.  Any student planning to graduate in August who wants to participate in commencement will choose to participate in either the May or December ceremony. There will still be three graduation periods, but only two commencement ceremonies will be held.

The committee hopes to increase ceremony attendance by changing venues. 

“Any change they think will get more people there, I support,” said sophomore Demi Kulper.  “I honestly have no idea why students wouldn’t attend.  I think it’s silly you don’t attend your own graduation. I mean you’ve gone through so much in the past four, five or more years, why not go to rejoice and be happy that you’re done?”

The committee looked at five to six different options before deciding UNO would be the new location.

While attempting to come to a decision, the committee looked at a number of campuses and most had only two ceremonies.

However, the choice to eliminate the August ceremony was based on what’s believed to be best for students and was not meant to mirror other institutions, Wallace said

“Graduates’ experiences can’t be highlighted elsewhere off campus, so it makes sense to bring it to UNO,” he said.  “As graduates, you deserve this experience.”

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