Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Daily Email Edition

Get MN Daily NEWS delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday!


Students react to commencement updates

The updated plan includes a conferral ceremony and separate stage crossing ceremony opportunities as a way for students to be individually recognized, according to University of Minnesota administrators.
Image by Graphic by Mary Ellen Ritter

Earlier this month, the University of Minnesota announced it will offer the opportunity for graduating seniors to walk across a stage in addition to a conferral ceremony at Huntington Bank Stadium in response to prior criticism from students and families.

In the fall, the University announced most college-specific graduation ceremonies would be combined into a joint ceremony in May due to renovations at 3M Arena at Mariucci, where ceremonies are typically held. The University said in its announcement that departments would be able to plan their own ceremonies in which students could be individually recognized.

The new opportunities to walk across a stage was added because students and parents were concerned about what the department ceremonies would include, according to University Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson.

“While some departments and colleges across the Twin Cities are still planning commencement celebrations, adding this activity ensures that all students will have the opportunity to cross a stage, have their name read, and capture photos and/or videos of this important moment, with their guests present in the front row,” Croson said in an email to the Minnesota Daily.

Students can sign up for an individual time slot to walk across the stage on a first come, first serve basis during stage crossing hours, which will take place in the University Recreation and Wellness Center Field House.

According to Croson, the stage crossings will not be specific to any college or departments, but students are encouraged to coordinate with friends and classmates if they would like to celebrate together. Students and their guests are asked to arrive within a 15-minute window to maintain a continuous flow of students.

The University released a schedule showing when representatives of various colleges will be available to congratulate students at the stage crossings.

While the University added the stage crossing opportunities to provide individual recognition, some students are unsure if they will actually sign up for a stage crossing.
Rowan Halm, a fourth-year student in the College of Science and Engineering, said they were not planning to attend a stage crossing and are still deciding whether to attend the conferral ceremony.

Halm said the opportunity to walk across the stage seems “kind of pathetic” and feels like the University only added them to “placate” students.

“If you look at [the plan], it’s like ‘you and your 10 best friends can walk across the stage together,’ and I could do that anywhere,” Halm said. “I don’t need to sign up and do it in the Field House.”

Halm said they would attend a ceremony organized by their department.

Morgan Michalkiewicz, a fourth-year student in the College of Biological Sciences (CBS), also said she would attend a ceremony put on by her department but was unlikely to attend a stage crossing.

Michalkiewicz said she does not feel the stage crossings allow students to be recognized by their colleges or their peers.

Michalkiewicz said she has not heard anything from CBS about college or department specific ceremonies and is “starting to get concerned.”

“Some colleges haven’t come out with that information yet, and it’s three months away,” Michalkiewicz said. “It’s getting a little close.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Accessibility Toolbar

Comments (0)

All The Minnesota Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *