Colleges that hold graduation ceremonies in winter or December run the risk of foul weather. Then the decision to cancel the graduation ceremony becomes a major issue, since a cancellation means that thousands of students and their families do not get a chance to see the ceremony or participate in the events. When the ceremony occurs on-campus and is going to be cancelled, there are ways to reroute the ceremony so that it goes on as planned but in a much safer place.
Shift the College Graduation Venue to Hotel Conference Rooms
As a consolation, the college could shift the ceremony to a hotel conference room or rooms, depending on the number of graduates and family members in attendance. Hotel conference rooms that are not occupied on the expected day of the graduation ceremony can be secured for the event. Better still, family members that have come long distances to see the students graduate can stay in the hotel, often at a reduced rate when the conference rooms are secured for these events.
Postpone the Ceremony a Day or Two
It is easier to postpone a graduation ceremony a day or two until the bad weather blows over. When all of the students, speakers, and equipment is ready to go, the college would only have to announce a postponement date. If there is something else occurring on campus in the same venue, that is the event that should be cancelled because the graduation ceremony is more important to the students who have worked so hard for this day and moment. Since foul winter weather cannot last for more than a couple of days and meteorology reports would let the college know when the next clear day is, a postponement is the second best option.
Conduct Individual Department Ceremonies
The final option, while not great, is one that may appeal to many students and their families. The student body should be offered a choice, and the independent college departments should be allowed to take a vote. If certain departments want to go through with graduation ceremonies for their own departments, they can conduct those ceremonies either on campus within their department buildings, or off-campus in a hotel conference room if the personal safety of hundreds are at risk. This is a type of compromise and mediation for students who still expect to graduate and receive their diplomas the traditional way, and for the parents and extended family who expected to see the ceremony.Share