University of California, Riverside

UCR Newsroom

Questions About Commencement?

Parents, Graduates in Need of Answers

UC Riverside will try to provide some clarity

(June 18, 2007)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — UC Riverside is receiving many questions about this week’s commencement ceremonies, due to heightened concerns about security. We have developed a list of questions to try to provide some clarity.

Q: I don’t have a ticket for the Monday evening graduate ceremony. Can I still get in?

A: Yes, that ceremony is not a ticketed event.

Q: Did you ever reschedule the Friday night ceremony?

A: Yes, the new ceremony began at 9 a.m. Monday, June 18. The same ticket you have from the earlier ceremony will get you in.

Q: Catch me up. I never heard why the ceremony had to be cancelled.

A: A description and timeline of events on Friday, June 15.

Q: Because you rescheduled the Friday night commencement, I can no longer make it. This isn’t fair.

A: In planning for our six commencement ceremonies, there are two key requirements, safety and staffing. Because safety and staffing personnel were already committed to two other commencements on Saturday, two more on Sunday and a fifth on Monday evening, the soonest possible date to reschedule Friday's cancelled commencement for business majors was 9 a.m. Monday. We deeply regret how Friday's unfortunate events have inconvenienced some of our graduates and their families. Given that many have traveled to be here, the decision was made to reschedule the graduation ceremony while many are still in town.

Q: What if I can’t make it because I already have another commitment on Monday morning?

A: We plan to record the ceremony and will make that recording available to graduates. Also, if the issue is a work commitment, employers may recognize that this is an unusual situation and allow time off. Our decision was based on the need to hold the ceremony as quickly as possible because some graduates will leave campus for home or new jobs and planned travel. If we waited until the following weekend many of our graduates would have had to miss the ceremony.

Q: Why am I hearing that the suspect has been released on bail already?

A: Campus police have been informed that the suspect has paid the set bail amount and is awaiting his court date. He has been banned from campus. Our security procedures remain in place and we are confident that we can hold safe ceremonies.

Q: Why did he do this?

A: UCR Police detectives have interviewed the suspect and are working to build the material the legal system will need to prosecute. They will not be releasing details about motive or wording of the threat letters at this time to avoid harming the investigation. The person arrested in this case has not been convicted of anything. Members of the media are doing their own interviewing and you can see their reports all around you. See the statement issued the day of the arrest, which includes the list of the accusations.

A story in The Press-Enterprise.

Q: What other communication have you put out about this?

A: Campus bulletins about commencement.

Q: Can you tell me where to park?

A: There are clearly marked parking areas on campus, including areas for handicapped parking. More information about how to get here, the schedule for ceremonies, information about photos, and other important details.

Q: Can I bring in my own water?

A: No, the security procedures ask that you not bring in liquids or backpacks to the ceremony. But water is available inside the commencement area.

Q: I’m a credentialed member of the media. I need a space for a TV truck.

A: Follow the signs to media check-in and make your request. We have a spot for media trucks and we have a camera platform specifically for your use. If you need to speak with someone before you get here, call Kris Lovekin at (951) 827-2495. This number should only be used by members of the media.

Q: I’m a UCR student and my final was cancelled last Friday. How do I make that up?

A: See how your professor is handling it.

A: I’m still not satisfied about this situation and I need to contact someone. Who should I contact?

Q: There is a “Dear Chancellor” feature. Please write your comments there. They will be reviewed and those that need a quick response will get one. Thank you for your patience.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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