STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) -Georgia Southern’s campus is quiet this week in between the spring and summer semesters, but commencement ceremonies over the weekend have plenty of people talking and administrators say they’re listening.
Some families had to watch their graduate on closed circuit TV from another building and others had to choose between graduates marching in two different cities. Meanwhile university leaders say this new format isn’t set in stone.
Georgia Southern held nine commencement programs in Savannah and Statesboro on Friday and Saturday. This marked the first time ceremonies were divided among the university’s different colleges and diplomas given there.
In addition, some ceremonies were shifted from Statesboro to Savannah or vice versa. University leaders say they’ve heard from dissatisfied graduates and parents and some concerned about their graduation in the near future. School leaders say they’re taking the input from graduates and guests and looking for ways to make this better.
“We had cards with a survey code on it so participants could fill out a survey that’s also on our website," said Georgia Southern spokesperson Jennifer Wise. "We really are looking for the feedback so we can make informed decisions on how we handle commencement moving forward.”
Leading up to the weekend, we spoke to students who’re disappointed they would not receive their diploma on their home campus or in a large ceremony at Paulson Stadium. Some voiced their frustration on social media that Hanner Field House did not have enough seating to accommodate all the ceremonies and some loved ones were turned away.
These changes were made before Dr. Kyle Marrero arrived as president. Before this past weekend, he had already formed a committee to look at how the ceremonies went and take the feedback afterward. Fall commencement will happen in December.