Lakeland petition meeting produces no changes

After meeting with university officials to discuss creating a separate commencement ceremony for students at Lakeland, students who petitioned for a separate ceremony said no decision was reached.

Sarah Choate, a senior majoring in elementary education and creator of the petition, which had 369 signatures as of Monday evening, along with 15 members of the Lakeland Celebration Club, met with Student Government President Brian Goff and Kathleen Moore, vice president for system initiative on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the petition.

Though Choate said no official decision had been reached at Wednesdays meeting, at last weeks Student Government Senate meeting Goff said an unofficial decision had been.

The university has already kind of ruled on this, Goff said. As far as my understanding, they wont be having graduation out there, but they will be having a ceremony and reception and all that for the families of the students out there. If they want to walk, they will still have to come to the Sun Dome.

Goff said the USF Tampa Student Government does not have a role in the commencement ceremony arrangements of other campuses.

The USF administration is very pro-system and values unity and what it means to be a Bull, Goff said after the meeting. We understand their needs and desires to have their own graduation.

Choate said an option discussed at the meeting was a reception or celebration held at the Lakeland campus for its graduates, in conjunction with the main campus commencement ceremony in Tampa.

Goff said that a reception or similar ceremony after commencement could happen as early as this semester if administrators and students come together about the issue.

The goal is for the graduates of 2013 to have the best experience possible at graduation, Goff said.