The Guardian

Your graduation ticketing questions answered

Angel Lane, Features Editor

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After graduating students were notified that they would receive only five tickets for graduation in a Facebook post, many students began posting backlash and creating online petitions in opposition to the ticketing.

Most of the anger stemmed from being told less than three weeks before the event was set to occur, after students say their family has already booked flights and hotels to attend graduation, and will now not have enough tickets.

Fran Keeley has been director of ceremonies at Wright State for about five years and shared that ticketing has always been a possibility and has happened in the past. “We realize and sincerely regret the lack of timely notice to our graduates that this spring semester ceremony would be ticketed,” she said.

The reasons for the ticketing decision include the high amount of students who indicated their wish to participate in the ceremony this year in comparison to past years.

“There are approximately 8,000 seats available for graduation guests. We must adhere to fire codes. We cannot violate fire codes as safety must be our first priority,” Keeley said. 

More than 2,000 students will be walking at commencement, according to the Wright State News Room. “We could only offer five guest tickets per graduate to be sure all graduates are able to have family and friends present,” Keeley explained.

For students who already have family coming into town for the big day, there are still options to make sure they will get to see you walk across the stage. Graduation will be live streamed here There will also be a remote viewing in the Student Union for those who can’t get a ticket to come watch together. A map can be found here.

There is also still a chance to get extra tickets if they become available. “We will announce on the commencement website if extra tickets are available and how many additional tickets each graduate may pick up. There will be two additional days for pick up of extra tickets; this will be on a first come, first served basis. During pick up times, the box office will distribute tickets until all are claimed,” Keeley explained.

The Student Government Association has also organized a “ticket clearinghouse” in order to distribute any extra tickets students might have to other students in need here.

While the deadline to apply for graduation was in January, students had until April 18 to decide if they wanted to walk in the commencement ceremony. “We will be reviewing all processes and deadline dates associated with participation in future graduation ceremonies so we do not run into such late notification in future years,” Keeley said.

The idea was brought up of splitting commencement into two separate ceremonies for different colleges or degrees, but it was decided that it would not be possible.

“Every option was discussed. The planning of graduation is a process that takes approximately six months and involves numerous stakeholders. At this late date, it was determined that it is logistically impossible to add a second ceremony,” according to Keeley, “We cannot express how sorry we are for the lack of timely notification. We are now focused on ensuring this graduation ceremony is the best it can be for all of our graduates.”

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Wright State University
Your graduation ticketing questions answered