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Volume 68, Issue 72, Monday, December 9, 2002


CLASS officials fear grad crowd

By Nikie Johnson
The Daily Cougar

Despite the creation of a Fall commencement ceremony for College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences majors, some studentsi families may not get to see them graduate.

At least, that is the fear of the CLASS administration, who have been fielding calls from many students who want to bring more than their allotted six guests.

"If itis too crowded, people would get turned away at the door ­ families would get turned away at the door," said Sarah Fishman, the associate dean for undergraduate studies in CLASS, who has been coordinating the event, "and that would just break our hearts."

Because the idea for the ceremony only arose earlier this semester when a group of students petitioned CLASS for a fall commencement, the administration didnit have enough time or resources to print tickets for students, Fishman said.

CLASS administrators and the students who organized the petition planned that about 400 of the 500 CLASS majors graduating would attend, and that about 200 would attend each of the two ceremonies Dec. 19.

Commencement is being held in the Cullen Performance Hall, the largest venue CLASS could secure. It can hold 1,500 people.

Once graduates and ceremony officials are factored in, there is room for each student to invite six guests. But since no method could be arranged in time to enforce that limit, each student is on the honor system to invite no more than six.

Fishman said students have been calling her office to ask why they canit bring more people, and she is afraid too many will not stick to the six-guest limit.

"Weire asking people to be honorable," Fishman said.

Seating will go to those who come first, so if students bring their extended families or lots of friends, they could ruin it for the students whose guests come later and might not be able to attend.

The plans were made with the input of the students who organized the petition this semester, and arrangements were agreed on by those students.

"We agreed to comply with (the arrangements)," said senior communication major Felipe Cortes, who is graduating this semester.

He said he thinks students got the best arrangements possible, considering the time span they had to get the ceremony planned, but that itis not ideal.

"Itis really frustrating because that venue we have is really small for as many people as are graduating," he said.

"Me, I have 11 brothers and sisters, plus my mother and my wife," he said. "I want them all to be there, but they canit all come."

He encouraged people to be happy that they even have a commencement ceremony this semester, and not to complain about the guest limit.

"Everyone at the December ceremony, thatis what we have to do," he said.

"Please stick to six people. Letis try to make the best of the graduation ceremony that weive got."

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