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Wright State apologizes after graduation ticket limit sparks online outrage

Wright State University apologized on Monday a day after the school announced it would need to limit the number of guests students could bring to graduation later this month.

Students began voicing outrage online Sunday after the university announced that it would limit the number of tickets to five per student for the April 28 commencement ceremony. Wright State responded to students’ concerns via email Monday afternoon.

“We are sorry that Wright State University must again require tickets to attend our commencement ceremony this April. We also apologize for not communicating this decision earlier in the semester,” the email stated.

RELATED: Another enrollment drop expected at Wright State this fall

Concerns surfaced on Sunday when Wright State announced on its official Facebook page that this spring’s graduation would be a ticketed event “due to the large number of graduating students who registered to participate in commencement and the Nutter Center seating capacity.” Graduates will each be given one ticket for their own entry and five for guests, according to the university’s website.

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More than 150 people commented on the Facebook post and close to 300 had reacted to it as of Monday afternoon.

One student commented saying: “Really? You’re going to wait until three weeks prior to graduation to announce this? We have had hotel reservations since October!”

Commencement is scheduled for April 28 at the Nutter Center, according to the university. While several students described the late notice as “unacceptable” others suggested the university host two ceremonies so it would not have to limit the number of guests allowed.

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Wright State has considered hosting more than one ceremony but a 2015 campus survey showed that the majority of students did not want to have two ceremonies, according to the WSU email.

In an attempt to eliminate the ticket limit, students started an online petition on the website Care2. As of Monday afternoon, the petition had more than 1,000 signatures, according to the website.

The university is planning on sending out an email to students explaining this year’s ticket policy, a WSU spokesman said. This news organization has reached out to Wright State for comment on this story.

Students must present a photo ID in order to pick up their tickets at the Nutter Center box office from April 19 through April 21 and from April 23 through April 25. The ceremony will also be streamed live on Wright State’s website.

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