SU announces Class of 2021 graduates will be allowed two guests at Commencement

SU announces 2021 graduates are allowed two guests at Commencement

In a campus-wide email sent Friday afternoon, SU gave students, staff and faculty more information about the 2021 Commencement ceremony including details on a two-guest policy, mask requirement and more.
Published: April 15, 2021 | Updated: April 17th, 2021 at 2:57 pm
Students embrace each other before walking to their seats.

The 2020-2021 school year has come with its share of canceled activities, virtual events, and quarantines, but in a campus-wide email sent Friday afternoon, Steven Bennett, Senior Vice President for International Programs and Academic Operations and Chief of Staff, Academic Affairs, announced that each graduate will be allowed to invite two guests to attend the 2021 Commencement ceremony, per New York State published guidelines announced earlier this week.

Students who wish to attend the ceremony in person must register in advance, by filling out the Commencement participation form on or by April 23. As stated in the email, “Students must be registered to receive a link to their free individual admission ticket and the option to select two guest tickets.” All tickets will be digital so students and attendees can download the tickets to their mobile devices for easy access. Following ticket selection, students will receive a confirmation email, their ticket with their selected seating assignment and seating assignments for their guests.

In the same email, Bennett also specified some more details about the upcoming Commencement ceremony. Namely, that there will be three ceremonies instead of one. While this is still subject to how many guests end up attending, Bennett stated, “We are planning for up to three identical Commencement ceremonies to be held over two days—Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23.” Each ceremony will be allowed 5,000 attendees (including staff, faculty, and students), per New York State guidelines. All three events will be held in the new (still nameless) stadium. 

Though Commencement will be in person, the email reminded students, staff, and faculty that all school and college convocations will be hosted virtually and live-streamed for family and friends to view at home. 

However, in order to attend the in-person ceremony, New York State has required all attendees to show proof of full vaccination, proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test (administered within 72 hours of the event), or proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test (administered within six hours of the event starting). But don’t plan on popping over to the stadium for a quick test; the email specified that “There will be no on-site testing services available at the stadium during Commencement weekend.” 

In terms of health precautions on the actual Commencement day and other Commencement-related activities, all attendees will be required to get their temperature checked at the event entrances, wear masks during the entire event, comply with socially distanced seating and arrive and exit the stadium at specified times to minimize contact. 

More information will be sent out to all students, staff, and faculty as the Office of Special Events continues to finalize details on the event. SU students will surely be celebrating this win and hopeful return to normalcy soon.