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Frequently Asked Questions


Note: All commencement communication will continue to be sent to your New Paltz e-mail account through May 2014.There is no rain date for the ceremony.  In the event of cancellation due to an emergency or severe weather, that information will be posted at 845-257-INFO (4636) and www.newpaltz.edu.



Where and When is the Graduate Ceremony?

Friday, May 16, 2014

 6-7:30 p.m.

Old Main Quad at SUNY New Paltz

Complete these five steps to sign up to participate in the ceremony:

1. Complete 2014 Application for Graduation Due Dates/Academic Eligibility:

 All candidates must first complete an Application for Graduation with the Office of Records and Registration by the deadline dates listed below. If you have missed this date, please go directly to Records and Registration or contact them at extension 3100.

Application Due Dates if you're planning to graduate in:

May 2014:  February 3, 2014

August 2014:  March 1, 2014 if you plan to walk in the May commencement ceremony. May 1 if you're planning to walk next year.

December 2014: Sept. 1, 2014

2. Complete the Graduate Exit Survey

August 2013 and December 2013 graduates and May 2014 and August 2014 candidates:

The Graduating Exit Survey is now open to all graduating classes. You must complete the Graduate Exit Survey to obtain your confirmation number, which is needed to pickup your master's unit, four guest tickets and student participation ticket.

To complete the Survey, please click here.

The Graduating Exit Survey will be sent to your SUNY New Paltz e-mail account beginning Tuesday, April 15, 2014 and will continue to be sent each Tuesday.   After you complete the survey, please click the link that says "Click here to get your commencement number confirmation. Note: Please be sure you have completed Step 1 above to receive Survey.

If you are having difficulty accessing the Graduate Exit Survey, please contact Lucy at 845-257-3229 or e-mail:walkerl@newpaltz.edu or oir@newpaltz.edu.

Check out a visual example of the Graduate Exit Survey.

All commencement communication will continue to be sent to your New Paltz e-mail account through May 2014.

 

3.  Obtain your master's units  

If you did not pre-order, the Campus Bookstore will be selling caps and gowns beginning Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Pre orders may also be picked up on this date.  Cap and gown units for 2014 are $79.95 (includes cap, gown and tassel). Graduation year charms will be available free of charge, which are attached to your tassel. Any other extras will need to be purchased. For questions on sizing and exchanges, please contact the Bookstore directly at 845-257-3050 or visit the store Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Do candidates rent or purchase master's units?

Master's units are purchased and must be worn by all participants. We do not rent master's units. 

4. Get your reserved tickets

Guest Tickets: Only four reserved guest tickets will be provided and it is school policy that we cannot provide additional tickets. If a candidate is expecting to have more than four guests, they may bring their own chairs and sit or stand in the lawn area outside the reserved seating area. These guests will not require a ticket. Candidates may also check with a friend to see if they have extra tickets they're not using.

Student Participation Ticket: Each candidate will receive one student participation ticket when they pick up their four guest tickets. This ticket will have your name pre-printed on the front. Simply fill out the back section with your mailing information before the ceremony. This is necessary so the photographer can send you a proof, so please write neatly. The student participation ticket is separate from the four guest tickets and you MUST have this ticket with you at the lineup location and when you cross the stage. Please do not lose your tickets as they cannot be replaced.

There are three options to obtain your four guest tickets and student participation ticket, and you will need your confirmation number (see above information on Graduate Exit Survey) and your New Paltz or photo ID for pick up. 

A. Attend a Rehearsal:

There will be two different opportunities for candidates to attend a one-hour rehearsal. Candidates should plan to attend one of these rehearsals. The rehearsal will explain how the day will unfold, answer questions, and, at the end, offer an opportunity for candidates to obtain their four guest tickets and their student participation ticket before the day of the ceremony. Your attendance is highly encouraged, but if you are unable to attend a rehearsal, please see options B&C below.

Rehearsals will be held in Lecture Center 100 as follows:
Wednesday, April, 30 2014 - 7-8 p.m. and
Thursday, May 1, 2014 7-8 p.m.

B. Welcome Center:  

Tickets will also be available for pick up at the Welcome Center in the Haggerty Administration Building lobby, from Friday, May 2 through Friday, May 16, 2014, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Note: On Friday, May 16, tickets may only be picked up until 3 p.m. You must present your New Paltz or picture ID and confirmation number generated upon completion of the Graduate Exit Survey.

C. Day of Ceremony -Will Call table:

Guest tickets can also be picked up at the will call table on the day of the ceremony on the academic concourse at the Jacobson Faculty Tower by the stone benches. You must present your New Paltz or photo ID and confirmation number generated upon completion of the Graduate Exit Survey.

Can someone else pick up my tickets for me?

Yes. If someone other than the candidate is picking up the tickets, that individual will need a photo ID and a signed note from the candidate, which includes their confirmation number generated upon completion of the Graduate Exit Survey. Please see "How Do I Participate in the Ceremony" above for details on locating the Graduate Exit Survey and obtaining your confirmation number. 

I am unable to pick up my tickets during the scheduled rehearsals; can you mail them to me?

No. We do not mail tickets. Please see "How Do I Get My Reserved Tickets" above for alternate pickup opportunities.

What happens if I lose guest tickets? Can I get replacements?

The Commencement Office will not provide replacements for guests who lose their tickets. If you or your family are concerned about losing your tickets, you have the option of picking them up at the will call table the day of the ceremony.

If a guest is bringing an infant or small child, may they sit on their lap?

Yes. However, ALL guests are required to have a ticket. No guests will be admitted into the reserved seating area without one, including infants and small children, for safety reasons. Strollers or buggies cannot be brought into the reserved seating area.

Will there be live streaming of the Graduate Ceremony?

Yes. Your guests may also view the ceremony from the comfort of their computer. The ceremony will be archived for six months.

5. Know your lineup location and arrival time

Lineup for the ceremony begins at 5 p.m. The lineup location will be in the lobby of the Lecture Center 100-104. Line up is by College/School and degree. Marshals will assist in lining up the candidates. Please don't forget your student participation ticket.

Where does my individual school sit?

Graduate

Information for Family and Friends Attending the Commencement Ceremony

Where may guests with disabilities park?

Guests with disabilities may park in the Shango Parking Lot #32,a portion of Bouton Hall Parking Lot #25, Administration Parking Lot #15 and Mohonk Parking Lot #24. There are designated handicap spaces in the lot available for people with the appropriate parking hangtags displayed and/or license plates.

You may view disability parking map here.

 

**Note: a shuttle bus will also loop the various parking lots for guests who require additional assistance.

Is there special reserved seating for guests with disabilities?

Yes. Students will be sent an e-mail about reserving a spot(s) for guests with disabilities. Groups including guests in wheel chairs should contact the Commencement Office at commencement@newpaltz.edu by Friday, May 9, 2014 to reserve seating in disability seating area. Please visit information on guests with disabilities to obtain the exact information we will need to reserve a spot for your guest.

You may view reserved disability seating and drop off  here:

 

What if the status of a guest changes and they either need to be added or removed from the disability guest list?

Please send the Commencement Office an e-mail at commencement@newpaltz.edu as soon as you know of any changes.

Driving Directions:

We highly recommend that you consider one of these ALTERNATIVE DRIVING DIRECTIONS to get to campus on graduation day.

From New York State Thruway Exit 18:
Turn left at the traffic light after toll booth. Turn left at first traffic light on to South Putt Corners Rd. Follow that road to the end. At the next traffic light, turn right onto Rt. 32. After approximately one mile, you will see several campus entrances on the left side of the road.

From New York State Thruway Exit 17:
To avoid Main Street entirely and possible congestion on the Thruway between exits 17 and 18, use the following directions from Exit 17 (Newburgh): After the toll booth, follow the signs to Route 300 North. At the light, turn left on to Route 300 North. After about 3 miles, continue straight onto Route 32 North. After about 14 miles, you will see several campus entrances on the left side of the road.

You may also view a complete list of driving directions.

What about General Parking?

 You may view a map of general parking here

**Note: a shuttle bus will loop the various parking lots for those guests who may require assistance to the commencement ceremony on Old Main Quad.**

What is the Parent Guide?

In March, we will send a Parent Guide to the parent or guardian addresses we have on file. This brochure will explain the details of commencement including date/time/location/tickets/maps and information pertaining to the commencement process. If we do not have a parent/guardian address on file, the guide will be sent directly to the student.

Miscellaneous FAQ's

What about a sign language interpreter?

A sign language interpreter will be on site to translate the entire commencement ceremony.

Can an August or December 2013 graduate and August 2014 candidate walk in May 2014?

Yes! Candidates who reserved August 2013, December 2013 and August 2014 degrees can walk in May 2014. Please check with the Office of Records and Registration  directly for questions concerning credits and your degree.

What should I wear with my master's unit?

Commencement is a formal ceremony; please dress accordingly.  The general rule is light weight, non-restrictive clothing. Men do not have to wear jackets, but should wear a shirt and tie. Please do not wear shorts, jeans, or sweatpants. Shoes should be securely fastened to your feet and women should avoid high heels due to uneven ground.

It is recommended that candidates try on their master's units before the day of the ceremony to make sure they fit correctly and are presentable. Candidates are not permitted to accessorize their gowns other than cords or sashes from recognized organizations and departments on campus.

Should I wash/iron my gown beforehand?

No. To get the wrinkles out, just take the gown out of the bag and hang it up for a few days before the ceremony. This allows time for the fabric to relax. DO NOT iron the gown. The direct heat will destroy the fabric.

Will my individual class be recognized? 

SUNY New Paltz will separately recognize your graduating class. These classes will be listed individually by school, graduation month and year in the 2013 commencement program booklet.  There will also be a point in the script where each group of graduates and candidates will be formally recognized by the President during the ceremony.  The bookstore will also be offering graduation year "charms" that can be worn on the graduate cap tassle. 

How do I get a sash if  I studied abroad?

Sashes can be pre ordered through the Herff Jones website no later than Tuesday, March 25, 2014 and can be picked up at the Bookstore beginning Tuesday, April 15, 2014.  The Bookstore will also be ordering sashes if you miss the pre order date. The Bookstore is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 

How do I order a class ring?

Class Rings can be ordered at the bookstore on the following dates:  Thursday March 6th: 12pm-3pm or Thursday April 10th: 12pm - 3pm or through the Herff Jones website.

What if I lose my tassel?

You will need to buy a replacement at the Bookstore. The Bookstore is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5pm. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Will the campus Bookstore be open the day of the graduate ceremony?

Yes, but please call for times. 

Where are graduation announcements sold?

Personalized announcements may also be ordered at Herff Jones.

How do I know what degree I am getting?

If you are unsure of the titling of your specific degree, check with Records and Registration at 845-257-3100, or contact your advisor.

Will I receive my diploma at the ceremony?

No, the official diploma is not presented at Commencement. Diplomas will be mailed to the candidate‚Äôs permanent address approximately six-to-eight weeks after Commencement from the office of Records and Registration. A diploma cannot be issued until all obligations, such as library fees, parking tickets, etc., are cleared.

What do I do if there is confusion about my degree when purchasing my tassel?

Any questions about your degree can be answered by Records & Registration.