Spring 2021 graduation guide


Graphic by Hugo Hinojosa.

Victoria Almaguer, Contributor

With the Spring semester coming to an end, preparations for the 2021 Graduation Commencement are on their way. After over a year of online celebrations, students have questions as to what is going to happen the day of graduation. The Prospector spoke to UTEP officials to compile a list of questions and answers to help guide graduates on their special day. 

 Where do graduates report to and at what time? 

Doors to the Sun Bowl Stadium open at 5 p.m. for both graduates and guests to enter. Graduates should report to the Dawson 1 (DA1) parking lot at the south end of the Sun Bowl Stadium to check-in. Graduates will only enter and exit through the tunnel of the Sun Bowl Stadium. 

 Where can graduates and guests park? 

Reserved parking for graduates will be in the Sun Bowl Garage with overflow in the Sun Bowl 3 (SB3). Only one vehicle is allowed per graduate. UTEP is encouraging guests to carpool with the graduate for easier parkingThe easiest area to drop-off a graduate will be in Miner Alley behind the Sun Bowl Garage. More parking details, including for guests, along with a parking map will be emailed to students and updated on the commencement webpage before commencement weekend. There is limited accessible parking available on a first come, first-served basis to vehicles displaying a state-issued handicapped plate or placard.  

 What items should attendees avoid bringing? 

The following items are prohibited and cannot be taken into the venue.  These items would either need to be disposed of, or returned to the guest’s car or residence before entering the venue: 

Aerosol cans 

Animals (service dogs or service dogs in training permitted) 

Artificial noisemakers 


Bats, poles and sticks 

Car seats and baby strollers 

Coolers/ice chests 

Camera lenses larger than 4” 


Firearms and fireworks 

Flags on poles 

Glass bottles 

Illegal drugs 

Laser pointers 

Lawn chairs 

Missile-like objects 

Objects that can be used as projectiles (i.e. balls) 

Outside food and beverages including alcohol (one sealed, plastic water bottle permitted per guest/graduate) 

Scooters, strollers, bicycles, roller skates and skateboards 

Tobacco products 

Tripods, monopods and selfie sticks 

Unauthorized video cameras and drones 

Water bottles (one sealed, plastic water bottle permitted per patron) 


 What objects are allowed to bring for commencement? 

Graduates and guests, including children, will be allowed to enter with bags provided they meet one of these specifications: 

  • Bags (including clear backpacks) that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″ 
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar) 
  • Small clutch bag approximately the size of a hand (4.5” x 6.5” or smaller), with or without a handle or strap. This can be carried separately or within a plastic bag 
  • Medical bags that contain health necessary items are acceptable after proper inspection and approval from venue personnel/security 

Additionally, the new Clear Bag Policy is designed to expedite entry, increase safety and limit the physical contact associated with traditional bag searches.  The policy will also help to enforce social distancing protocols at security checkpoints. 

 Will concessions at the Sun Bowl be open? 

Concessions will be open.  

 What COVID-19 health protocols will UTEP be implementing at graduation? 

In order to follow CDC guidelines, the Sun Bowl Stadium will not exceed 50% capacity to allow for social distancing. Face coverings will be required of all graduates, guests, staff, and volunteers entering the stadium and must remain on through the duration of the ceremony. There will be no handshaking onstage. Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the concourse. Restrooms will limit capacities. Markers will be on the floor to guide guests on where to stand and indicate one-way routes. Graduates will have their own entryway and exit.   


Will graduates have time to take pictures outside before or after the ceremony? 

Due to safety restrictions, there will be no Celebration Plaza or designated area for graduates and guests to meet after the conclusion of the ceremony. Any pictures that wish to be taken should be done before graduates check into the Sun Bowl Stadium. Guests should remain in their seats and not block the aisles to take photographs of the graduates. Professional photographers will be on site to take photographs of each graduate as they cross the stage. 


Will UTEP be lighting the Mining Minds pick in honor of the graduates?  

Traditionally Mining Minds is illuminated for commencement. 

 Graduates are set to be celebrated at 7 p.m.May 14-15 at the Sun Bowl Stadium located in 2701 Sun Bowl Dr. 

 Congratulations Miners! 

 Victoria Almaguer may be reached at [email protected]; @victoriaalmagu9 on Twitter.