UHD Students Protest Late Change in Commencement Date

A last minute switch of date and time for the University of Houston Downtown commencement has upset a number of graduating seniors and their families -- so much so that there will be a meeting today with the UHD administration.

Students complain that the late change of when commencement will take place inconveniences students who work as well as relatives who planned to travel to Houston for the ceremony. In some cases relatives have already booked their flights.

And then there's the whole question of deposits already paid for reception halls.

In announcing the change from 10 a.m., Saturday May 23 to 3 p.m. Friday, May 22, UHD said it was doing this to allow people to better enjoy their Memorial Day weekend.

Judging by comments posted on Facebook, students didn't think much of this explanation.

One person wrote: "This is a completely inconvenient time. Not only are you asking graduates to take personal time from work but also their guests?? Additionally many people (graduates and guests) will need to figure out childcare that can pick up from school as most elementary aged children get out of school at 3p. I cannot even believe this."

Another: "With all due respect to Memorial Day and what it stands for, I think most graduates are more concerned about celebrating our graduation with our families, not Memorial Day. UHD has now made that impossible for many of us."

And: " I think it is ridiculous that they changed it to a Friday. I don't see how it would have been a inconvenience for Memorial Day celebrations... It would have been a part of the celebrations. Now for people that have children they will have to take them out of school early to be at the graduation. I know my son will be at the graduation to see me walk across that stage."

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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing