Historically, graduating from Weber State University is different for students during the fall and spring semesters. Spring’s commencement allows each student to graduate in their individual colleges, but fall graduates are called up regardless of their college.

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Paula Ninatayape, a communication student expecting to graduate this fall, thinks the different experiences for the fall and spring semester seems unfair. For her, these differences don’t acknowledge the achievements of fall and spring graduates equally.

“I have worked just as hard as those who will graduate in the spring… If change needs to happen, then it should be equal for everyone,” Ninatayape said.

In response to student’s concerns, the university will make changes to the fall 2017 commencement ceremony. There will still be one ceremony for all graduates, but students will graduate in their individual colleges.

According to Vice President of University Advancement Brad Mortensen, the university asked students what the most important elements of graduation were. In the survey, students discussed what they considered the most important feature of graduating was, including family and friends and interacting with facility.

Mortensen feels that the previous fall commencement exercise steered away from those elements and that this new change will bring them back.

“Although we’ve done everything we can to streamline that ceremony, as the number of graduates increases almost every year, it has become necessary to try something different,” Mortensen said. “The program lasted too long and most graduates would leave after their name was called.”

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The new program changes are getting mixed reviews from students.

Another student, Ariel Pitts, said, “Personally, I like the fact that graduations will be held in individual colleges. It is more intimate and personal that way.” Pitts is also expected to graduate in the fall with a degree in communication.

Also missing from the fall commencement with be the luncheon that is typically held for those graduating in the spring.

Each student who attends their college convocation ceremony will receive a pewter die-cast medallion, just like in years past.

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Colleges’ convocations will begin at 8 a.m. on Dec. 15 and wrap up at 5 p.m. Information regarding the individual college convocations can be found at www.weber.edu/commencement.

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