Commencement Happening but Tickets Limited

Commencement for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 is happening, but tickets for the event are limited for students.

By Faith Galloway |

As this is semester is wrapping up and headed into exam week, we have exciting news as commencement ceremonies for both classes of 2020 and 2021 will be taking place in person here at Radford University. 

The news is exciting for many because initially, due to COVID-19, there was to be no in-person ceremony. However, due to Radford University diligently following COVID-19 protocols, commencement is happening.

Now, what really makes graduation even more special is having those around you who helped you get to this point. 

Whether that be a friend, family member, or even a fellow classmate that helped you when they could, having those that you love in attendance makes graduation that more special.

In a world pre-COVID-19, unlimited guests would be allowed in attendance to graduation ceremonies here at Radford, but unfortunately, due to today’s circumstances with the ongoing virus, tickets for guests are limited this year. And, when I say limited, I mean very limited.

Graduates are limited to only four guests this year which is a bummer. 

Though this may not be a significant difficulty for some students like myself, because I didn’t plan to invite more than four guests anyways, it is disappointing for others.

I was able to get some thoughts from fellow Highlander Seniors on how they felt about that limited guest list. 

Devonte Cooper said, “­It is upsetting to know that I won’t be able to have all of my family members attend my graduation. This is a big moment for me. I would like to share it with those that I love. I do understand that with COVID-19, this is why there are restrictions, but I just think it really sucks”.

Karah Foster said, “When I first received the email about RSVPing for graduation on March 17, I was very excited because with this news it meant graduation is really happening, but then when I saw we could only have four guests, I did become angry because I want all of my family members from my grandma to younger cousins to be there for me. But then I had to pause for a moment and remember that we were are in a pandemic”.

It is new for us all and not something people would want to become the new norm, but it’s better to be safe than sorry with the times we live in.

What is most shocking is that Radford University will be counting newborn babies as a headcount on the guest list. It’s interesting to think about because I do not believe that a baby that can’t hold its own head up on its own should be counted as a whole ticket. Samantha Lett said, “I don’t think they should count as a seat at all. In other situations, I feel like it’s a bit more of a grey area which is frustrating for all involved”.

Alexis Sears said she understood both sides regarding the limited guests as well as headcount for babies. 

Sears said, “We’re in a pandemic, and they are living breathing human beings who could definitely get sick. But, on the other hand, they’re probably going to be swaddled to mom or dad so they can’t really say a newborn is interfering with social distancing”.

All in all, limited graduation ticketing has its pros and cons. 

It helps limit large gatherings as Radford continues to ensure they are following CDC guidelines though it does make things harder when you have to pick and choose who all can be part of this special event.

Spring Commencement ceremonies usually take place on Moffett Lawn, but this year they will be held at the Cupp Stadium from Friday, April 30, 2021, through May 2, 2021.