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IUPUI senior wants graduate names read during commencement ceremony

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Madisyn Stevens will graduate in May from IUPUI with a degree in elementary education. After several years of hard work, she says she and her classmates wants just one thing from their school.

“We’re asking for the opportunity to walk across the stage [and] hear our names read,” Stevens said.

But, according to Stevens, she and her classmates are not being afforded that opportunity.

Stevens says the university’s special events coordinator told her in an email that the School of Education won’t hold a ceremony this spring where undergraduate names are read. Instead, an outdoor social event with refreshments is scheduled.

According to Stevens, the school says a specific name-reading for School of Education students can’t take place due to a lack of time available between university graduate and undergraduate events. She says the school also cited COVID-related safety restrictions.

“[They’re saying] pretty much that it’s not safe with COVID, which really doesn’t make sense because mask mandates are being lifted on campus,” Stevens said. “We have the option to have a social gathering outside, but we can’t have a graduation outside.”

Stevens says other departments on campus are planning on having recognition events where names are called.

“When you are going through college all 4 years, you are looking forward to that end goal of walking across the stage. You’re looking forward to your family and your friends seeing you walk across that stage and graduate,” Stevens said.

In a statement on the matter addressed to New 8, IUPUI said:

“Diploma covers are distributed to students at the commencement ceremonies, but individual names are never called due to the sheer number of graduates, which is similar to IU Bloomington.”

IUPUI also said that details for in-person graduation events are up to the individual colleges, and the School of Education’s event has not yet been finalized.