Due to the rapid student population growth at Texas State University, the university is creating more commencement ceremonies for the second time in the past two years to relieve overcrowding.
There are six commencement ceremonies for Fall 2016 and the university will increase the number of ceremonies to eight starting in the Spring of 2017.
“We’ve had crowding issues in the past, and that’s why we added another ceremony. We’re going to have plenty of room,” said Kristin McDaniel, commencement coordinator.
This change will allow students to invite more friends and family to graduation. However, some are upset about the timing of the increased ceremonies.
“It’s on a Thursday at 2 p.m.,” said Philip Bridges, advertising senior. “It’s a bad time (because) who can get off at 2 p.m.?”
Another possible solution to the overcrowding at Strahan is to lower the number of guests students are allowed to bring, however, this has met resistance from both students and administrators.
“No, the ceremony should absolutely not be lowered from seven to five, or anything at all,” Bridges said. “It’s a big deal. You only graduate from college once.”
McDaniel said she just wants everyone to be comfortable so students are able to bring as many of their friends and family members as possible.
Another solution to the university’s growth and the problem of overcrowding at commencement is the expansion of Strahan Coliseum. It will become part of the University Event Center. This renovation will allow for additional seating, additional restrooms and office space.
“It’s hard to tell how the growth is going to impact us, (and) if we’re going to have more ceremonies or not,” McDaniel said. “We’re doing studies trying to project growth. $380,000 a year is the cost. Each ceremony adds an additional cost (and) particular staffing costs.”