Commencement Health Protocols

Health & Safety Protocols

Class of 2020 & 2021 Graduation Events

The following institutional protocols will be in effect despite changing local regulations:

  • Potential event participants experiencing any CDC-recognized COVID-19 symptoms must not attend any graduation events in person but should participate virtually instead
    • CDC-recognized symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea
    • Livestream options will be available for the Baccalaureate Mass and both Commencement ceremonies 

Baccalaureate Mass in Cathedral of St. Helena

  • All participants -- graduates, faculty, staff, and guests -- are required to wear a mask at all times in the Cathedral during the Baccalaureate Mass
    • Cloth masks will be provided for graduates; disposable masks for guests who do not bring their own and hand sanitizer will be available at all entrances
  • All guests are required to present a ticket for entry into the Cathedral as available seating is very limited
  • Cathedral doors will be left open for maximum ventilation, so please dress accordingly
  • For the class photos being taken after the Mass, once everyone is in place graduates may pull down their masks at the direction of the photographer

Commencement Ceremonies in Nelson Stadium

  • Cloth masks will be provided for graduates, faculty, and staff, who will remain masked throughout the processional and ceremony
  • To minimize contact during the ceremony, graduates will hand their information card to the name reader and receive their diploma from the president, but no hand shaking will occur
    • Graduates may remove their mask when approaching the stage to accept their diploma so that their face shows for walking across the stage and taking their picture; graduates should put their masks back on once they return to their seats
  • Only graduates, dignitaries, faculty, staff, and volunteers will be allowed on the field; seats on the field will be spread at 3 foot distances
  • Only family members and guests will be allowed in the stadium stands; household groups will be seated at least 6 feet apart in the stands
    • Guests should utilize all four stadium gates during entry and exit so as to avoid bottlenecks and crowding; tickets are required for entry
    • Guests need to wear masks as they enter and exit the stadium and as they move about the facility such as to use the restroom; once seated, masks are strongly encouraged but not required as long as 6 feet of distance can be maintained
    • Disposable masks for guests who do not bring their own and hand sanitizer will be available for guests at all entrances
  • Water will be available in the stands for guests who do not bring their own; in the event that a guest feels faint from sun or heat, they may go under the stands temporarily for shade
  • Following the ceremony, graduates will exit the field via the Northeast (NE) side gate; guests will exit the stands through all four gates and will meet their graduate outside the stadium
    • Guests should please clear the stands and the parking lot as quickly as possible, especially following the 2020 ceremony so that the stadium and surrounding area can be prepared for the 2021 ceremony
    • Graduates and their families should designate a meet-up point for after the ceremony and are encouraged to move their vehicles to the upper part of campus for picture taking
  • Restrooms and stands will be cleaned in between ceremonies

Inclement Weather Plans

  • During line-up for Baccalaureate, in the case of dangerous weather (thunderstorm, hailstorm) graduates will assemble in the lower level of the Cathedral instead of on the lawn
  • During line-up for Commencement, in the case of dangerous weather (thunderstorm, hailstorm) graduates will assemble in the Great Hall of the Hunthausen Activity Center instead of near Guadalupe Hall; faculty and staff will assemble in the lobby of the PE Center instead of in the back parking lot; guests will be encouraged to remain in their vehicles until it is safe to enter the Stadium stands
  • During either of the Commencement ceremonies, in case of dangerous weather (thunderstorm, hailstorm) a short delay or break in the ceremony will be announced -- all guests in the stadium stands will be directed to their vehicles, or under the stadium if their vehicle is not nearby; all graduates on the field will be directed to the Great Hall of the Hunthausen Activity Center; all faculty and staff on the field will be directed to the PE Center lobby