Apr 152012
Authors: Kate Winkle

For seniors, the last four weeks of the semester lead to a culmination of four years of work. CSU graduation occurs May 11 and 12 in Moby Arena and the Lory Student Center, depending on the college.

“It’s slightly terrifying, but exciting at the same time,” said Jennifer Quist, a senior biomedical sciences major. “I’m trying to survive the last weeks of the semester and pass classes. Other than that, I’m trying to enjoy the last bit of Fort Collins I have.”

Before students can dive into graduation parties, they have to ensure that paperwork is in order. After declaring their anticipated graduation date in “Registration Ready” on RAMweb, the next step for students is to meet with major and minor advisers to review the Degree Audit Report (DARS) and sign a contract for completion of the major or minor, according to the Registrar’s website. This ensures that students will meet all graduation requirements.

“If you have all green checks on the degree audit then you’re good — it’s a good sign you’re right on track,” said Kelley Brundage, CSU’s associate registrar. “The contract is a different format from the degree audit and more formal for you and your advisor.”

“Not having a signature on the graduation contract doesn’t mean you’re not graduating,” said Brundage, who explained that students studying abroad or who have internships out of state won’t have the opportunity to sign the physical contract, but that those who are present at CSU should do so to ensure everything is in order for graduation.

Quist was able to graduate this semester because of the keen eye of her adviser, who pointed out that a class she had taken previously counted for two requirements within her major.

“Aside from doing my four-year plan before registration I wasn’t really prepared, but I ended up getting lucky meeting with my counselor who kept a good eye on my DARS report…and was able to catch the credit before I did,” Quist said. “It was a pleasant surprise to say the least.”

Students have a variety of other tasks to complete leading up to commencement, including making sure that the addresses on RAMweb accurately reflect where diplomas will be sent. Depending on the size of the graduating class, diplomas will be conferred and mailed to graduated seniors approximately six to eight weeks after grades are submitted, according to Brundage.

Students had the opportunity to purchase graduation supplies back in February during the CSU Bookstore-sponsored Grad Fair, but the Bookstore remains stocked with graduation gear for those who didn’t take the time to order specifically.

Amy Hughes, the assistant director for merchandise and supplies, said she started ordering for this graduation season around February, and noted that the demand for blank graduation announcements increases a few weeks before graduation.

At other schools, the bookstore is normally the venue for renting caps and gowns as well, but at CSU the task falls to the Alumni Association.

“There’s some disconnect. We hope students come (to the bookstore); they come to the LSC to get their cap and gown and we try to drive them to the store to see what else we have available,” Hughes said.

This year, rentals must be paid for in cash and can be picked up May 8 through May 10 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Lory Student Center room 228 or one hour before commencement at the ceremony site, according to the CSU Commencement website. Students return their regalia immediately following the ceremony.

“The history of going through the ceremony and graduating is kind of cool,” Brundage said. “There’s nothing like hearing your name and crossing the stage knowing you’ve accomplished that.”

Collegian writer Kate Winkle can be reached at news@collegian.com.

For more information about locations and times for each college’s commencement: http://commencement.colostate.edu.
For more information about graduation requirements: http://registrar.colostate.edu/steps-to-graduate

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