Memo to seniors: applications due soon

Students graduating this semester find themselves with a unique set of responsibilities as the end of their USF careers draws nigh.

There are announcements to buy and mail, a cap and gown to purchase, job applications to fill out and grades to keep up.Graduation applications are due Friday. Without the form filled out, a student can’t graduate.

Regina Hinds-Hinz, a senior clerk in the Registrar’s Office, is busy processing the applications.

Hinds-Hinz said students who send in their applications late have to pay a $50 late fee and will receive their diplomas late. However, Hinds-Hinz said the office offers avenues to make turning in the application easier on busy students.

“They can fax their paperwork in, and we have dropboxes, so they can drop off their paperwork after hours,” Hinds-Hinz said.

Debbie Lum, USF’s commencement coordinator, said she has seen students graduate late so they could bring their grades up. She has also witnessed many attend commencement only to return the next semester to finish off their careers at USF.

Lum also said a few students will show up to commencement thinking they have graduated when they never submitted the graduation application provided by the Registrar’s Office.

According to Lum, there is no limit to the number of guests who can come and no tickets for the commencements held on the Tampa campus.

There is also no cost to participate. Lum said the only requirement is that students wear a cap and gown during the ceremony.

Barring borrowing a cap and gown, graduating students will end up spending around $35 for the garb at the campus bookstore. Honors medallions or honors sashes can add to the overall cost.

The cheapest package for announcements is slightly more than $60 and can be ordered from the Phyllis P. Marshall Center’s information desk.

Lum asks participants to respect the ceremony, but she doesn’t mind if they embellish their cap or gown. She said the only rules concerning spectators also involve respecting the ceremony. Items such as noisemakers, bubbles or beach balls should be left outside.

“While that might be celebration for one family, it might not be for others,” Lum said.

Lum stressed the importance of the day, which includes the opportunity for every participant to shake the hand of USF President Judy Genshaft.

“(That) doesn’t happen at every college,” Lum said. “She shakes the hands of every student, including those on different campuses.”