UM commencement ceremony changes spark debate - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

UM commencement ceremony changes spark debate

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MISSOULA - Washington Grizzly Stadium will not be the site of this years commencement ceremony for University of Montana graduates instead,  the Adams Center will host the event for the first time since 2009.

While smaller than the football stadium, the Adams Center has the big advantage of being able to control weather conditions.  Also, the auxiliary gyms will be used to live stream the commencement which gives options for families with small children or others who need the larger space.

There will be some savings by cutting equipment rental prices for the stadium but the big question from students involves reorganizing the smaller ceremonies put together by the separate departments.

The university's new plan is for those departments to host their own smaller receptions.

“We are encouraging the individual schools and colleges to host their own smaller receptions and recognition ceremonies and events for students so," said UM spokeswoman Paula Short.

"The change is the actual awarding of the diploma will happen in the big ceremony and then the smaller ceremonies and celebration in the specific colleges for our colleges will go on on Friday or Saturday," she added.

Students are concerned because they enjoy the smaller setting and being able to spend time celebrating with the peers they spent so much time and effort with.

UM student Michael Tobben elaborated on students concern saying "

“I know pretty much everyone that's in my upper division classes at this point and you form a bit of a community and it seems a little bit disheartening to separate that and break it up into -- well it’s kind of ironic to break it up -- to put into a larger ceremony," student Michael Tobben said.

"You're with all of these people you never met and probably never going to meet and it kinda takes away from the more intimate reception that you had with the smaller commencement ceremonies," he added.

A concern for students is if their departments will be able to afford these smaller receptions which they think will limit which departments are able to have them.

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