In response to the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, Miami University has decided to implement increased security measures for the commencement ceremonies to be held Saturday, May 11.
Graduating seniors were notified of the list of prohibited items and other security measures last week, via email. According to Claire Wagner, director of university news and communication, these measures are already in place for athletic events held at Yager Stadium.
According to the updated list, items that will not be permitted at the commencement ceremonies include alcohol, animals, backpacks and large bags, computers, iPads and tablets, confetti, containers, food, illegal drugs, laser pointers, permanent markers, paint, dry erase boards, noisemaking devices, sticks or poles, umbrellas and weapons, among numerous other items.
This year, guests should expect to have bags, parcels and clothing capable of hiding prohibited items checked prior to entry. While guests may refuse inspection, management reserves the right to refuse entry to the stadium.
Wagner said she has not received any negative feedback regarding the new security procedures.
“I think people are used to it,” she said. “Now we’ll be in even better shape to have a commencement ceremony go off very well.”
Lieutenant Ben Spilman of the Miami University Police Department (MUPD) said MUPD always has a presence at events with large gatherings of people. Most members of MUPD will work commencement because it is one of the busiest days for the police force, according to Spilman.
“Traditionally, a lot of the stuff we do there is very much behind the scenes and that’s not going to change this year either,” Spilman said.
Directing traffic, working the divisional ceremonies and having a post at the stadium are a few of MUPD’s responsibilities, according to Spilman. He said the commencement ceremonies are being treated the same as any big event in an athletic facility and each divisional ceremony will receive the same level of security as the class-wide commencement ceremony.
“It’s just good common sense to have the same kind of protocols in place for all the large-scale events that we handle on campus,” Spilman said.
Graduating senior Jose Arias said the increase in security is expected, as it is possible for violent acts of crime to occur. He said his main concern is the safety of his family and friends.
“I believe the heightened security for commencement is a great idea that should have been implemented in the past,” Arias said.