Press "Enter" to skip to content

Commencement ceremony changes catch students off guard 

This year’s May Commencement ceremonies will all be held on campus in the Renaissance Coliseum, with ceremonies for the various colleges will be held at different times, revealed an email from university communications on Tuesday.

Commencement ceremonies for the Foster College of Business, Caterpillar College of Engineering, College of Education and Health Sciences and the Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation will be at 9 a.m. on May 11. Slane College of Communication and Fine Arts and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ceremonies are set for 1 p.m. 

While the idea of having commencement on campus sounds beneficial, the timing of the announcement is less than ideal. Families of graduating seniors might have already booked hotel rooms near the Peoria Civic Center for that weekend.

The unexpected change means parents have to cancel those reservations and book somewhere else to make the commute to campus easier. 

The change to a smaller venue also presents possible issues in the ceremonies’ logistics. For example, bleachers in the coliseum may limit the space available for the event. This begs the question: will there be a limit to how many guests a student can invite? 

The most glaring issue for students in the wake of this announcement is the lack of communication from administrators. 

On Thursday, Bradley Student Senate issued a press release to its Instagram account regarding the situation. It states that the administration spoke to Student Body President Jack Batz regarding the change in location but that there was a lack of communication with the larger student body. 

The release also states that Student Senate will hold the administration accountable for its promise to “consult with student leaders to plan for future commencements.” 

Between a lack of communication to students during a bomb threat in Spring of 2023 and the academic program cuts last semester, students are growing tired of feeling left in the dark. 

Despite the challenges resulting from the changes regarding the commencement ceremony, there are some potential benefits. Splitting up the ceremonies by college means that students won’t have to sit for hours for one unbearably long ceremony. It can also reduce hassle and traffic that student’s families may be subjected to on the morning of the ceremony.  

Students may not ultimately be opposed to changes that can create efficient and comfortable commencement ceremonies. However, it is crucial for students to be included in decision-making processes on campus and it is upsetting when it appears an effort has not been made to involve them.

Copyright © 2023, The Scout, Bradley University. All rights reserved.
The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.