Editorials

Cal Poly has a plan to curb rowdy graduations — by having 6 ceremonies instead of 2

Following last June’s drunk-and-disorderly graduation ceremony at Cal Poly, the university promised major changes.

It’s delivered: As reported by Mustang News, next June there will be six commencements — one for each college.

The ceremonies will be held June 13 and 14 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium; start times are 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Last year there were only two ceremonies — down from the usual three — and that made for unusually large crowds.

The Saturday graduation went smoothly, but Sunday was a different story.

Attendees reported seeing one student carried out on a stretcher and several others with contraband flasks.

That’s not to say that all graduates were falling down drunk — but it was enough of an issue for Cal Poly administration to take note:

“Reports from Sunday’s ceremony included belligerent and confrontational behavior and intoxication among some participants and attendees. This behavior was not befitting the significance of Commencement and did not reflect the university’s expectations of its graduates or any members of the Cal Poly community,” university spokesman Matt Lazier said then.

Some blamed the rowdy atmosphere on the late start time: The ceremonies started at 5 p.m., giving grads way too much time to pre-party.

We don’t buy it.

By the time they graduate, students should know their limits and plan accordingly — especially for a milestone event their families have been looking forward to for years — so don’t go blaming the university.

Other problems, though, were directly related to poor logistics on Cal Poly’s part.

Students were limited to seven tickets each, and there were reports of ticket “scalping” prior to the event. Even worse, some unticketed attendees managed to barge their way in, taking seats that had been reserved for ticketed guests.

Not good.

Holding more ceremonies is smart. There should be room to accommodate more guests; smaller crowds should make it easier on security trying to enforce rules; and traffic and parking should be more manageable.

Oh, and those long diploma lines?

They should be much, much shorter — leaving plenty of time to celebrate after the event.

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