Graduate gridlock unfair to families

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Graduation — some students dread it and others can’t wait.

However, there are some who are even more excited about it than the soon-to-be graduates: their friends and family.

Unfortunately, fewer friends and family members will be able to attend this spring’s commencement.

During previous graduations the Nettleton Stadium held 10,000 attendees but only 8,000 will be allowed in this year, to match the number of seats available.

The changes are a result of concerns that first responders would not be able to react quickly enough in case of an emergency or other need to evacuate the stadium.

Because of these safety concerns, each graduate is restricted to five tickets for commencement.

How can students be expected to pick just five guests for one of the most important days of their lives?

For those unable to attend the live ceremony, screens will broadcast the proceedings at  various indoor and outdoor locations on campus, but this is a hollow consolation for some who may have traveled hundreds of miles to see their loved ones graduate.

Students and parents are angry, especially those with large families who feel unfairly punished by this change.

For such an important event, it is concerning that these changes were made without student input. The administration promises to be transparent about decisions like this, but now students are left with a difficult decision they never asked for.

Then again, it doesn’t appear that the changes were made with families in mind, but addressed as a logistical issue.

If that’s true, perhaps Chico State could take a cue from other universities and break the commencement into even smaller ceremonies, possibly over two weekends.

It’s a shame graduation celebrations have to be spoiled by safety concerns but such is life.

Graduation comes with many choices for seniors and now Chico State students have one more to face.



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