UTEP set to allow eight guests at in-person graduation

The Prospector Staff

Graduating UTEP students will be able to invite eight guests to attend their graduation ceremony this year, according to an email sent out by President Heather Wilson on April 22.

“Our 2020 and Spring 2021 graduates have worked hard to earn their degrees, and their achievements deserve to be celebrated with their loved ones,” Wilson wrote.

The ceremonies, set for May 14 and 15 at the Sun Bowl, will observe social distancing between family groups and face masks will be required.

The news comes nearly a month later since UTEP announced the event would be hosted in-person, but be limited to two guests. On March 24, the university said it would monitor public health conditions and calculate the number of graduates in attendance, hoping the number of invites could increase.

“We are in a much different place than last year at this time,” Wilson wrote in the email. “In terms of the number of cases of COVID-19, and the number of people who have been vaccinated in our community.”

According to UTEP officials, the university’s COVID-19 vaccination program has administered over 12,000 doses as of today. The City of El Paso reported 2, 518 COVID-19 active cases as of April 22, with 603, 727 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.

Hand sanitizing stations will be set up at graduation, and Sun Bowl seating capacity will not exceed 50%, even if every graduate brings eight guests, Wilson wrote. Graduates will have their names called and photo taken as they cross the stage, but there will be no physical contact between graduates and the stage party.

The ceremonies will also be live streamed at www.utep.edu.

The Prospector Staff may be reached at [email protected]