Tag Archives: bad weather

(UPDATED) Commencement Moved Inside to Nelson Arena–People Are Pissed

We are guessing they are trying to avoid something like this.

We are guessing they are trying to avoid something like this.

UPDATE: It was announced at the Senior Class Photo earlier this afternoon that commencement would be limited seating because of capacity constraints. We now know from President Liebowitz’s all-school email (click below for the full email) that it will be in Nelson (not Kenyon as we previously reported) and limited to three ticked per person. It will also be simulcasted in Mead Chapel, McCullough Social Space, Dana Auditorium, and McCardell Bicentennial Hall. He cites safety as the main reason:

“…the weather forecast for Sunday morning is calling for 42-45 degrees, winds from the northwest at 20 mph, a wind chill of 39 degrees, and an 80% chance of rain.  In addition, the quad will be saturated following three days of significant rain and therefore dangerous for the 5,000 anticipated participants and guests. The size and scope of this event required us to make this decision this morning with the best information available.  Our primary concern is the safety of all our guests.”

People are pissed. Facebook Newsfeeds have blown up with variations of “WTF, MIDDLEBURY” and “this is UNJUST!!! #gradoutdoors” and pleas for everyone to send emails to Ron and Dean Collado begging them to keep graduation outside. A “We the Middkids” petition already has almost 300 votes, prompting Charlie to make this impassioned video:

It’s not surprising that people are angry and emotional about this, but we doubt any of the backlash from the graduates will amount to much. The institution can’t really budge when it comes to safety, and with 5,000 expected guests in attendance, the lawn would become a dangerous mud pit real quick. College kids can dance in the rain, but not the same can be said for grandmas in wheelchairs and uncles with walkers. Safety is the admin’s primary concern, but money is certainly of concern as well — it would cost thousands of dollars to replace the lawn after a muddy grad stampede. That said…we will let you if we hear more updates. Continue reading