Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


As spring 2022 commencement approaches, students express shortcomings by UW

‘I’m an out-of-state student, so I’ve paid almost $200,000 to go here, only to not be able to sit on the field,’ UW senior says
Marissa Haegele

Despite being excited to graduate, some UW seniors are frustrated with shipping delays and construction that will impact their commencement experience.

The South End Zone Renovation Project has left a portion of Camp Randall under construction and without turf, forcing UW to alter the setup, UW spokesperson John Lucas said in an email to the Badger Herald.

The stage will be at the 50-yard line, leaving only about 30 yards of usable space for graduate seating on the field, Lucas said.


This adjusted setup has forced the creation of a non-traditional seating arrangement. The adjusted arrangement puts College of Letters and Science graduates in the stands of the stadium, rather than on the field, Lucas said.

“The College of Letters & Science has the largest graduate population, with around 2,900 expected to attend the Camp Randall ceremony,” Lucas said. “If L&S graduates were to be seated on the field, they would take up a large majority of the space, leaving no room on the field for six other colleges.”

Environmental Sciences major Marah Williams said that she and her peers are upset about having to sit in the stands.

Putting in an immense amount of effort — both in terms of time and money — only to have a compromised graduation experience is disheartening, Williams said.

“I’m an out-of-state student, so I’ve paid almost $200,000 to go here, only to not be able to sit on the field,” Williams said. “Everyone else is able to have that experience, and they’re ripping us off of that.”

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The adjusted seating chart has not been the only source of frustration among graduates, though.

Food Science major Kaitlyn Younger said that she is stressed because her roommates — who are also graduating — have not yet received their cap and gown orders due to what the UW Bookstore is citing as supply chain issues.

“I ordered my gown in March and was able to receive it,” Younger said. “But my roommates who are the exact same height as me aren’t able to get theirs yet because of the backorder.”

Graduation gowns designed to fit the average height of a woman — 5’4″ — are on backorder, Younger said.

The University Book Store has worked closely with its vendor to ensure that all graduates will receive their caps and gowns before their commencement ceremonies, Lucas said.

“Supply chain issues have been a factor, but about 90 percent of the order already has been filled,” Lucas said. “We expect the remaining 10 percent to be filled in the week leading up to commencement. ”

Students who haven’t received their caps and gowns can’t take graduation photos yet with their friends who have, Younger said.

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Backordered graduation gowns are only another source of stress for students already grappling with an unusual graduation, Younger said. While Younger will be on the field for graduation as a member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, she said she understands why members of L&S are sad about being separated from their peers for commencement.

The University of Wisconsin’s spring 2022 commencement ceremony is scheduled to take place at noon on Saturday, May 14.

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