WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.– For the first time ever, Winston-Salem State University is only allowing each graduating senior 10 tickets for guests attending the ceremony on May 18th.
The policy change is upsetting some graduating seniors.
“The upside of it all is we are graduating more students than we ever have before. The downside is the coliseum can’t expand,” said Winston-Salem State University spokeswoman Nancy Young.
Young says last year the school did push legal attendance limits at the L.J.V.M. Coliseum and per fire marshal instructions if they reach the limit this year, they will have to turn people away. In an effort to make it equitable for all students, they decided to implement the ticketing system.
Senior Ladraine Greene says she wishes she’d found out sooner, “I’m very angry about the situation. There is bunch of people I will have to say no to.”
Greene says she thinks the university should have let students know before they spent money ordering graduation invitations. She also wishes more students could have had a say in the plans.
“I’m going to have to pick and choose which is hard cause there is a lot of people that have been here throughout my career,” said senior Njagi Mwar.
Young says the university did consult some students and an informal survey showed most did not want to have the ceremony outside.The largest indoor venue in the city is the L.J.V.M Coliseum.
Young says the school had to wait until after spring mid-terms to get a clearer picture on just how many students would be eligible for graduation.
“There are no other seated facilities in town that are large enough and to be fair to every graduate this is the best way to handle it,” says Young.
U.N.C.S.A. and Wake Forest University already restrict the number of people each graduate is allowed to bring to graduation.