Many University of Connecticut seniors are upset about having to buy a cap and gown before they get their graduation tickets. This process is in place because it helps to get an informal RSVP count to each ceremony, Lauren Schaller from University Events and Conference Services said.
The majority of schools within UConn do not require formal RSVP for graduation, so this is the best way to get an estimate, Schaller said.
“By purchasing a cap and gown before obtaining tickets, the candidates express their best interest in attending their ceremony,” Schaller said. “We use the number of candidates who have picked up guest tickets as our informal RSVP count. Our venues have strict capacity limits, and this process allows us to adhere to the rules of capacity without question.”
Schaller said this has always been the process for UConn graduations.
“We use this process as a way to track planned student participation at our ceremonies so that we can plan for seating in our three venues,” she said.
UConn seniors will also need the specific blue UConn cap and gown, therefore they cannot wear onefrom a former UConn alum or from high school graduations, Schaller said.
“We switched over to the UConn blue caps and gowns two years ago so the likelihood of a family having a blue cap and gown on-hand is very small,” she said.
While the prices for caps and gowns vary for each level of degree, guest tickets have no face value, Schaller said. Students cannot buy more caps and gowns to get more tickets.
“Candidates can purchase as many caps and gowns as they would like but they are only eligible for their allotted number of Guest Tickets,” Schaller said. “We use the University’s One Card system to track how many Guest Tickets each candidate has already picked up.”
Brianna Rende, an eight-semester human development and family studies major, said that seniors should not have to pay for their cap and gown in order to RSVP.
“[Caps and gowns] should be given to us as a reward for successfully completing college,” Rende said. “We pay so much money to the school the least they can do is reward us with a free cap and gown.”
Although she bought the cap and gown, Rende is not attending her graduation. She wants to be able to sell her tickets to other seniors from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who need extra.
“I’m selling tickets because, if I’m not using the six I am given, I want people to be able to get them to allow additional family members to come see them graduate,” she said.
Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.