It's inevitable that the University's graduation size will continue to increase as the student population continues to grow. You would think the University would have caught on by now, as it is getting tougher to squeeze graduating students and their, in some cases, large Catholic families into the Chiles Center, which can fit only 4,852 people.
This year, instead of addressing the fact that the student body has grown, the University is allowing each senior only five tickets for the commencement ceremony, which for some students is simply not enough.
Graduation is a time for families to celebrate the achievements of graduating students. Many of us would not even walk across the stage if our families were not asking us to do so. Our families have supported and financed our education and now they are getting the short end of the stick as the University forces seniors to prioritize their family members.
The University should have made a decision about graduation tickets before the school year started. Many of our families have been planning this trip for months and now we have to tell them we couldn't get enough tickets.
If there is not enough room in the Chiles Center for everyone who wants to attend, the University needs to look into other options.
It might be time to look into renting a bigger venue. The Rose Garden can hold up to 20,000 people. If this is too large, then the Veterans Memorial Coliseum is another option, seating up to 12,000 people.
Since both of these venues would be more than enough to fit everyone's family, but are out the way and over-budget, a more reasonable option is to have each school hold its graduation separately. Each could have its own valedictorian and students would then be able to bring their families, extended and all. Students might also be more inclined to want to attend the ceremony if they don't have to watch 600 other students they don't know graduate.
Seniors are busy, stressed and worried about what is to come in the future. The graduation limitations are only adding to this and it is time the University came up with a solution.