TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Graduation is just around the corner for seniors at Indiana State University.
As the number of those graduating continues to grow the university is making some major changes when it comes to the commencement ceremony. Students will now have to pick and choose who will see them receive their diploma this May.
“Last year at graduation it was really, really crowded and pretty obvious that we needed to do something or we would run the risk of having more people show up then we can accommodate,” said Nancy Rogers, associate vice president of Academic Affairs.
In years past the university has allowed students to invite an unlimited amount of guests. With 1,200 expected to receive their diploma at the Hulman Center this spring to rein in the crowd each student is being allotted only five tickets.
“We can accommodate just a little fewer than 6,500 family members and guests, because of course we don’t have any floor seating because the graduates are on the floor,” Rogers said.
Some students were disappointed to hear about the new policy, even creating an online petition asking for at least 15 tickets per student.
“I definitely don’t think you should limit the amount of people who can watch you walk across the stage at graduation, especially now and days with so many big families, it’s just not fair,” said an ISU student.
The petition already has 583 signatures.
“If we even gave people six for example we would have people sitting behind the stage where they couldn’t see graduation at all,” said Rogers.
Rogers said the university understands many students have large families and promises extra tickets will be available.
“There is a period in April where students can request their 5 tickets. Once that period is over we will know how many tickets we have that weren’t claimed by students. There will be at least 500 of those and probably more,” she said.
With 2,661 incoming freshmen last semester this policy could continue for years to come.
“Who would you decide could come to your graduation? I feel like that would be the hardest part,” said a freshman at ISU.
While this could be a permanent change there will be a formal evaluation following this years spring commencement.
“I have a lot of people who would want to see me on that day so I would probably cry,” said another freshman at ISU.
Students can begin requesting their five tickets on April 14th.