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Cal Poly cancels Fall Commencement starting 2023-24 school year

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.– Cal Poly SLO has announced it will no longer hold a Fall Commencement ceremony beginning the 2023-2024 school year for those who have completed the academic year before the spring quarter.

Starting next year Cal Poly will celebrate all of its graduates in the Spring Commencement at Spanos Stadium.  
But some Cal Poly students didn't agree with the school decision on having to wait longer to graduate.

“I feel like that's kind of unfair to like people that are like getting ready to graduate already and they just want to get a diploma and get out of here just to be done and not have to worry about looking back so now they have to wait until the spring," said Cal Poly Student Tim Ibrahim.

“It just seems like Cal Poly is not really like considering the students,” said Cal Poly Student Chase Larsen.

School officials said the decision to cancel Fall ceremonies is to allow for all graduates to experience Spring Commencement alongside cultural commencement ceremonies and department events only offered in the spring.

The university released the following statement.

"Beginning in the 2023-24 academic year, Cal Poly will no longer host Fall Commencement and will instead celebrate all graduates at Spring Commencement in Spanos Stadium. The elimination of Fall Commencement allows all graduates to enjoy an equitable graduation experience, including participation in Cultural Commencement ceremonies and college and department celebrations, all of which only take place in spring quarter. It also allows the university to enhance the overall ceremony experience in Spanos Stadium for all graduates and guests to enjoy."

Some Cal Poly students say this change will affect students with certain majors.  

“I know a lot of engineering students that especially now that I'm in my third year, they're thinking about extending their education like another quarter just to get in a few more classes or try to spread out their workload a bit more. I know it would definitely affect them. They might want either not want to extend like their education or maybe stay a whole another year, which would mean they don't get to work, you know, as quickly as they would probably want to," said Cal Poly Student Anthony Mendoza.

With more students expected to graduate in the Spring they expect a longer delay to receive their diplomas.

“The fact that there's just going to be even more people, I mean, it's just going to be even longer, more traffic, you know,” said Mendoza.

“I feel like that's going to be kind of a disaster. You got a bunch of people that's definitely more crowded," said Cal Poly student Connor Strutin.

Some Cal Poly students are debating if its worth to wait until spring to graduate.

“I can't honestly even really think of a reason. It's just going to prolong people. And I know people are going to be looking for jobs like I know if I was graduating, I'd be looking for a job right after. And you know, it's just kind of like a hindrance in the schedule," said Cal Poly Student Chase Larsen.

“I'm not from California, I'm from Colorado. So like if I graduate in the fall and I don't stay in Cal Poly, I don't know if I would make it in six months later and drive back just to walk. But I don't want to not be able to walk. I mean, I think that's a big part of graduation, you know, the celebration and the walk," said Cal Poly Student Luke Wierl.

Article Topic Follows: San Luis Obispo County
Cal Poly
fall commencement cancelled
san luis obispo county
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Drew Ascione

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