By: Mira Costello and Ashley Rose
Editor-in-Chief and Photographer/Staff-Writer
On Feb. 6, the Daily Titan informed the IU South Bend community that the 2023 commencement ceremony, which was previously scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9, had been moved to 6 p.m.
Following an article by previous Editor-in-Chief Alyssa Foster announcing the original commencement time, there was widespread concern about having such an early start on a weekday. (Read her article by scanning the QR code.)
Students expressed great dissatisfaction about this time as it would create conflicts with personal schedules, potentially leading students to need to take time off work, find child care or pay for expensive travel fees.
Unfortunately, despite disapproval and mixed opinions from students, families and faculty, which were expressed through a survey by the Student Government Association, the time remained the same until the university announced that due to limited daytime parking and construction at the Joyce Center, the ceremony will be moved – but only for 2023.
Following the news of the changed commencement time, it was noted that all future IU South Bend commencements will still be held at 10 a.m. on a weekday, as well as those for all other regional IU campus locations in 2023. In contrast, IU Bloomington and IUPUI will hold their 2023 undergraduate commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. on a Saturday.
In response to the original commencement time, the Student Government Association presented a resolution on commencement to its senate, which was passed unanimously by all members present at the meeting.
The resolution strongly encouraged IU President Pamela Whitten and the IU Board of Trustees to re-evaluate the early start time for the campus commencement. Furthermore, if President Whitten and her cabinet choose to not accommodate the time for students, the SGA requested that she and the trustees should take student feedback into consideration for future commencements.
The IU South Bend Faculty Senate and the Staff Council also passed their own commencement resolutions, which were submitted to leadership jointly with the SGA’s resolution.
The Preface also conducted a survey on Instagram to see whether students in the class of 2024 and beyond were for or against the early start time or would face unnecessary hardships to make it to commencement.
Respondents could choose from the following options:
- It wouldn’t impact me, 10 a.m. is fine
- Would need work or school arrangements for myself or my family
- Excessive travel time or costs for myself or my family
- Multiple reasons, likely couldn’t attend
The highest percentage was documented under the option of needing to make school or work changes to permit attendance, being at 48% of the votes.
Option two was most highly selected, with 48 percent of respondents. In second place, 21 percent of students reported option 4: likely being unable to attend their own commencement due to the early start time. Only 7 percent of students responded with option 3, while 21 percent voted they would not be impacted. This data compares similarly with data provided previously through Foster’s article, where 90% of responses were against the early start time.
At the time of publication, campus organizations had not received feedback about the commencement resolutions.