Alberto Silva Fernandez
After a distressing two years filled with uncertainty, UTEP commencements return to their rightful place at the Don Haskins Center, 151 Glory Road. UTEP’s Spring 2021 commencement was held at the Sun Bowl stadium and welcomed graduates from Spring 2020, December 2020 and Spring 2021.
“Graduation is not only an important milestone for the student, but for the whole family as well. Whether it’s graduation for undergrad, masters, or doctorate it’s a great accomplishment for everyone”, said Beto Lopez who is the vice president of University Relations for UTEP.
This year’s fall commencement will be held on the weekend of Dec. 11-12. Doors open one hour before each ceremony. The College of Health Science and the School of Nursing will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by the College of Engineering and Science at 6 p.m. The college of Liberal Arts will walk at 1 p.m. Sunday and the college of Business Administration and Education at 6 p.m.
There are many changes since the last commencement. Graduates are no longer limited to eight guests due to the loosening COVID-19 restrictions. However, guests are still encouraged to wear a mask and practice social distancing, due to a current rise in reported COVID-19 cases. Guest tickets are not required to enter the Don Haskins Center. All seats are on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserving seats is prohibited. Guests are advised to arrive early due to the considerable number of people attending the ceremony. For loved ones who cannot attend the ceremony, all ceremonies will be live streamed on the UTEP website, utep.edu.
Graduates must check-in at Memorial Gym two hours before commencement starts. For the easiest access, parking in the GR-2 lot is recommended for graduates. Parking for guests includes the Glory Road parking lots 1, 2, 3, and Sun Bowl parking lots 7 and 8 for free parking. Paid parking for $10 will be at the parking lot across from the UTEP police department and facilities department on Sun Bowl Drive. The celebration plaza for graduates will be at Glory Road parking lot 5. Parking is prohibited at all Randolph parking lots, Sun Bowl parking lot 8, Glory Road 3 and 4 parking lots and Oregon 2 parking lot. ADA parking will be in the Glory Road parking garage.
Guests must abide by the following rules concerning what they are allowed to bring into the Don Haskins. The following items are prohibited and cannot be taken into the venue. These items must be disposed of, or returned to the guest’s car or residence before entering the venue:
Items that are not allowed inside the building due to the risks they pose or due to space limitations are:
Animals (service dogs or service dogs in training permitted)
Bats, poles and sticks
Car seats and baby strollers
Camera lenses larger than 4”
Flags on poles
Missile-like objects or other objects that can be used as projectiles (i.e. balls)
Outside food and beverages including alcohol
Bicycles, roller skates and skateboards
Tripods, monopods and selfie sticks
Unauthorized video cameras and drones
Any other object that may pose a risk to the guest or others.
Items that are allowed include small umbrellas, sealed bottled water (clear plastic bottles only; one per patron), fanny packs, radios with headset only, service animals, blankets, baby food (in plastic containers only).
UTEP also has a clear bag policy that guests should abide by, including bags that are transparent plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed dimension 12 inches in width by 6 inches diameter and 12 inches in height. One-gallon clear freezer bags are permitted as well as small clutch bags the size of a hand or smaller. Medical bags that contain necessary health items are accepted after proper search and approval of stadium personnel.
“We are all so proud of the graduates and we know that they’ll all go on and do amazing things and will make us proud. Go Miners!” Lopez said.
To find out more or to see any updates or changes on the fall commencement visit, https://www.utep.edu/commencement/.
Alyson Rodriguez is a contributor and can be reached at [email protected]; @alyson_rod1127 on Twitter.