Picking and choosing who gets to see her walking across the stage and receiving her college diploma this Friday is not what Faith Brown had in mind.
After four and a half years of hard work and dedication to her studies at the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus, Brown was given four tickets to hand out to her loved ones.
“I am a child of divorce, which means my invites only cover my mom, my dad, my stepmom and my stepdad. I have brothers and sisters and grandparents that would have liked to have been there, but I cannot invite any of them,” Brown said.
Emily Primm was similarly frustrated, but she made plans to accommodate family from out of town.
“We’re having a drop-in party,” Primm said.
Most of her relatives live in other states, but a few, like her aunt and uncle, would have been at the graduation had she had enough tickets.
Valerie Jones isn’t personally affected, since she had just enough tickets for her family to come.
However, she empathizes with people who are frustrated.
“I know it affects people who have bigger families,” Jones said.
Brown’s main frustration stems from the fact that her counterparts on the Dahlonega campus were given eight tickets each.
She is also upset that the Dahlonega campus is the one getting a new convocation center that is set to open in 2018. According to a UNG article about the center, the 103,000-square-foot building will seat 3,600 people and replace Memorial Hall.
UNG spokeswoman Sylvia Carson said the building is meant for both campuses to use.
“The convocation center is being built to serve the entire university, not just the Dahlonega campus. When completed, it is intended to service all large-scale events and ceremonies,” Carson said.
That will included future commencements for the Gainesville campus.
For now, the tickets given out are based on the number of graduates and the capacity of the facilities on each campus.
“It varies with each ceremony,” Carson said.
Since last year’s fall semester, the Gainesville campus saw an increase of about 50 graduates.
“While this is very positive, it means that fewer tickets are available per graduate,” Carson said.
A live stream, which can be found at www.ung.edu/commencement, will be set up for families unable to attend. There will also be an overflow viewing area on the Gainesville campus in the Martha T. Nesbitt Academic Building in the Cleveland Ballroom, Carson said.