Written by Jordan Barela, Editor-in-Chief
Spring commencement will be a late bloomer this year.
On Monday, the commencement schedule for the spring 2016 graduates was changed. The confirmation of the change came from VSU’s official Twitter account.
In the past, commencement ceremonies have been held on Friday and Saturday. The change has moved all the commencement ceremonies to Saturday, May 7.
The new commencement schedule begins with the graduate school convocation at 10 a.m. The College of Business, Arts and Education and Human Services convocation will be held at 1 p.m. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Arts and Sciences convocation will be at 4 p.m. There will also be a spring commencement ceremony at 8 p.m.
“Our plans include separate convocations that will allow each college to celebrate uniquely their graduates and accomplishments while also offering a university commencement program and speaker that will be a more fitting celebration and tradition for our graduates and a university of our stature,” Interim President Cecil Staton said.
According to Staton, the change in the commencement schedule came about from suggestions from both students and parents, since arriving at VSU seven months ago.
“Hearing frustrations about space, logistics, and the fact that VSU has not had the opportunity for a grand commencement celebration with a noted commencement speaker like our peer institutions, and having surveyed other institutions, we have decided to respond to both concerns and suggestions by launching a new VSU graduation tradition this spring,” Staton said.
Staton confirmed that there will be a notable speaker to address the graduates, along with a new celebration tradition.
With the announcement of the commencement change, an online petition has already surfaced on change.org. The petition, which is addressed directly to President Staton, wants to revert back to the original graduation schedule.
Since the start of the petition, the petition has garnered a total of 531 supporters.
Staton responded to the petition stating that the petition “seeks to manufacture a controversy where none actually exists.”
Staton also added that the change of the commencement schedule has already received positive feedback.
“Those involved in planning for the day, however, gladly welcome input and suggestions for making sure this is a great day for our graduates and their families,” Staton said.
He also added that there are a number of logistical changes that need be sorted before May.
“While all changes bring challenges, we are confident students and their families will enjoy what we have planned for spring commencement and that this will be the beginning of a new tradition at Valdosta State University,” Staton said.