Twenty years after its move to Millett Hall, convocation for first-year students will move back to Central quad this year and will begin at 10 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.
Andrew Beckett, chair of the convocation committee for the past 4 years and associate dean of students, said convocation has continually undergone changes to meet students’ needs and reflect feedback from previous years.
“We’re still making changes to make it more fun,” Beckett said. “We don’t want it to be boring.”
In the past, convocation took place the day before classes started. It was moved to the morning after students arrived, said Beckett.
“We thought it was good to have a symbolic ceremony right when students got here, Beckett said.
Beckett said the early start could affect students’ relationships with each other if they’re not able to stay up late and meet neighbors in their residence halls with the 8 a.m. start looming over them.
One downside of holding convocation at Millett was the distance students had to travel.
Because the first-year class meets at the Hub in the center of campus before walking as a group to convocation, Beckett said it made more sense to hold the event in central quad, also making it a shorter walk for students to get to classrooms afterward to discuss the summer reading.
“The idea is that it will be easier for students to access the discussion groups and get to the rooms in less time,” John Tassoni, a member of the committee and director of liberal education at Miami, said.
Another conflict with the Millett location was graduate student commencement, which takes place the Thursday before the start of the fall semester, Beckett said. The staff in Millett had to turn the space around in a very short time.
Beckett also said this was reason for the early morning start, as the space was occupied in the afternoon.
In addition, faculty and staff attend the graduate commencement ceremony, and Beckett said the committee wanted to make sure convocation did not conflict with that so they were able to attend both events.
This article has been updated since its original publication.