UC Berkeley Charges Students To Attend Their Own Commencement

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

The University of California - Berkeley is charging students to attend their own graduation ceremony, Campus Reform reported.

Graduating students are expected to pay $10 for each commencement ticket. If they do not purchase tickets by Wednesday their name will not be listed on the program. However, students are welcome to walk, according to the school's official website.

"[The money is] to absorb the cost of commencement," Lila Blanco, director of external relations and the Office of Protocol at the university, said in an interview with The Daily Californian, the school's official newspaper.  "[It is] huge"

Graduating students at Berkeley can purchase up to 20 commencement tickets.

Blanco said the sale of tickets helps offset the costs of hosting the graduation ceremony at California Memorial Stadium.  Expenses for commencement include renting the stadium, building a venue for the stage and food, security and parking and transportation, The Daily Californian reported.

Students will not have their names read off at the ceremony.

If students don't want to attend the campus-wide commencement, they could just go to their departmental commencement.

"We encourage you to participate in your department graduation ceremony where graduate names are read and awards are recognized," school officials said.

However, according to The Daily Californian, many of the departmental ceremonies charge for guest admissions. The English department charges $10 per guest while the department of environmental science, policy and management charges $2 per person.

Blanco said the policy is not new. She said the University of California - Berkeley has been charging students to attend graduation ceremonies since she started working at the institution 10 years ago.

At other Northern Californian colleges and universities, such as the University of California - Davis, Stanford University and St. Mary's College, graduating students do not have to pay to attend their commencement. However, graduating students at these schools do not get to invite as many guests to the ceremony as students at University of California - Berkeley, The Daily Californian reported.

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