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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Graduation ceremony changes

Graduation+ceremony+changes

By Jamil Oakford/ editor-in-chief

Last year’s ceremony saw 1,655 graduates in attendance. This year, 2,316 students plan to attend.Collegian file photo
Last year’s ceremony saw 1,655 graduates in attendance. This year, 2,316 students plan to attend.
Collegian file photo

This year, TCC will have two commencement ceremonies instead of the one ceremony it’s had for years, and graduates better know which one to attend.

More students are graduating from TCC, which means one ceremony can’t hold them all.

“Our number of completers have grown,” communication and public relations marketing executive director Suzanne Cottraux said. “And last year, it was such a large ceremony, we were at fire code.”

In the 2015 commencement ceremony, 1,655 graduates participated. For this year’s ceremony, 2,316 graduates have responded to the RSVP and plan to attend.

Cottraux and admissions and records district director Nichole Mancone decided it was best to split the event into two separate ceremonies.

For the first time, TCC will have two graduation ceremonies, but graduates have to show up to the right one.Collegian file photo
For the first time, TCC will have two graduation ceremonies, but graduates have to show up to the right one.
Collegian file photo

Graduates whose last names end in A-K will attend a 1 p.m. ceremony while those whose last names end in L-Z will attend the ceremony at 6 p.m.

“We will adopt a zero-tolerance policy for students that attend the wrong ceremony,” Cottraux said.

For example, if a student has responded to the RSVP and should attend the 1 p.m. ceremony but shows up for the 6 p.m. one, that graduate cannot participate.

“We’ve been very accommodating in the past, more so than other institutions,” Mancone said.

In the past, TCC has allowed students to invite as many people as they want to attend the ceremony.

But for the two ceremonies to run smoothly, Mancone said it’s important graduates show up to the right ceremony.

In the past, graduates who didn’t RSVP but showed up at the ceremony were still allowed to participate. This year, that won’t be allowed either.

“They’ll be given instructions on how to get their degree in the mail, but they can’t walk or receive their diploma covers that day,” Cottraux said.

While this change is in place to keep the ceremony as organized as possible, SE student Arianna Gomez sees this as potentially uncomfortable.

“If my family came down to see me in the commencement and I was turned away, I’d be really upset,” she said.

Cottraux said she knows this can create a potentially awkward and embarrassing situation for graduates, but attending the right ceremony and responding to the RSVP are important.

“We don’t want to be the ones to turn people away, but we know we’ll have to,” she said.

To help avoid any problems with the RSVP, Marcone and Cottraux have extended the deadline to turn in the form for graduation participation.

“We knew this change wouldn’t be easy, so we’ve extended the date because we want to see as many people participate as possible,” Mancone said.

Many students favor having an extra ceremony.

“I’m glad they did this. It gives people the flexibility with their busy lives to be able to celebrate such a tremendous accomplishment,” NW student Brendan Walsh said.

NW student Matt Tate feels this change could help alleviate some of the chaos at graduation.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “It will make graduation less crazy and hectic.”

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