The spring 2016 commencement is right around the corner for the graduate and undergraduate students, but demand for tickets has created some problems for students who want more.
Each graduating senior was able to request a maximum of four tickets for the commencement ceremony. Commencement will take place in Morrow Field House on Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m. for graduate students of SRU. Undergraduate student commencement will begin on Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. for the Colleges of Health, Environment, Science and Liberal Arts, followed by the Colleges of Business and Education at 2 p.m.
The ticket limit was set at four per student due to the occupancy limitations, the size of Morrow Field House and the anticipated size expected to attend commencement. Executive Director of Communication and Public Affairs for Slippery Rock University Rita Abent, addressed some of the student concerns with tickets.
“We have to do a little anticipation based upon students who are eligible to graduate, and actually file for commencement,” Abent said. “Based upon historical trends, how many will actually pick up tickets and walk at commencement has to be in our thoughts. If we didn’t do it that way, we wouldn’t even be able to give four tickets away. If we anticipated everyone who is eligible to show up, we would’ve had to drop that number down significantly.
We have a third commencement and that’s the first time in the history of commencement here at the university we are doing this. If we would’ve had the graduate commencement on Saturday as well, we would’ve had to take out 800 guest tickets.”
Many students requested extra tickets for commencement, but the university hasn’t had complaints from a large number of students this year. The ticket process, as well as applying for graduation, starts very early, which helps the university get things situated in a fast and simple manner.
“After that set date, you’re not guaranteed tickets for graduation,” Abent said. “We tell students who inquire about more tickets that at the rehearsal on Friday, we give them out at that time. We never end with having a stash of tickets, it’s a first come, first serve where we usually will give out two extra to everyone if they need them. We do have three overflow sites, and sometimes those are easier for people to attend. We have the Alumni House where we live stream it, the Smith Center theater so they can see their friends before they graduate in the ballroom and the ATS Auditorium.”
Many students have been trying to re-sell their tickets as well, whether it be through social media, word of mouth or in classes. This issue isn’t of concern to the university since they don’t sell tickets to begin with. Abent discussed how it is unfair to students who need the tickets, and are just trying to make profit off of them.
“We don’t authorize or condone students selling their tickets to others,” Abent said. “It’s a shame when people sell their tickets when people really want those, just so you can turn around and sell it. I just feel terrible for people who need additional tickets. Just like a concert or any major event, you don’t really know if you’re getting a real ticket or not. I just tell people if you see them selling their tickets, you know, shame on you, you’re my classmate. We don’t see it as much as we used to ever since we got the three overflow sites for commencement.”