Boise State’s 100th commencement was held for the first time on the blue turf last Spring of 2017, so as to accommodate the growing amount of guests attending the ceremony. This spring, the commencement will return to its old tradition of being held in Taco Bell Arena.
Many students reacted strongly to this change, particularly due to the new limit in guest tickets to five per graduate, as well as the lack of communication to the graduates and their families. According to senior marketing major Hannah Hunter, graduating seniors didn’t receive an email notifying them about the new location.
“I heard from a friend in class yesterday—Monday night,” Hunter said. “She showed me the countdown page and it said Taco Bell Arena. I checked maybe a week ago and it still said Albertsons Stadium. So I had no idea. No one was notified.”
Hunter is originally from Seattle, Washington and said she has about 11 family members coming to see her graduate from all over.
“It’s pretty disappointing and seems irresponsible of the university to me to not notify anyone. They don’t seem like they care,” Hunter said.
According to Hunter, she and many other graduating seniors have emailed the provost regarding their concerns, and many received a similar response from the co-chair of the Commencement Committee, Marcy Harmer.
Harmer’s response cited the prospect of bad weather as the reason for the change back to Taco Bell Arena, explaining the possibility that it could negatively impact the experience, postpone the event or even cancel it. According to a Boise State news update, the Student Union Building (SUB) will be open for family and friends who are unable to obtain a guest ticket because of the new five ticket allotment for each graduate.
Senior English major Tiera Meadows planned to have around 12 family members from Mountain Home and southwest Oregon attend her graduation.
“It’s really frustrating,” Meadows said. “I’m the first person in my family that’s going to be graduating college, so it’s a really big deal to my family members, and watching it from the SUB on a screen isn’t going to be the same thing.”
Another graduating senior, senior biology major Cassandra Fragoso, has about 12 family members who have made travel arrangements to come watch her graduate.
“I am very frustrated and upset about this change,” Fragoso wrote in an email. “I have already put five years of hard work into earning my degree and have spent so much money. I, along with my fellow students, deserve to have our graduation ceremony done right, regardless of weather.”
Fragoso and other students hope the University will consider switching the location. A petition was also started to return the location back to the blue turf. According to Boise State, more information regarding commencement will be released when the event gets closer.