The 2014 IU Southeast commencement ceremony was canceled on Monday due to severe weather.
Only minutes after graduates and staff took their seats, IUS officials were notified by the IUS police department that lightning was approaching.
The ceremony was suspended and attendees were instructed to take shelter in Knobview Hall or Meadow Lodge. Almost an hour later it was announced that the commencement was canceled.
Students were asked to turn in their rental robes and told if they kept them for a future commencement, they would be charged $600.
Interim Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer said that the university is disappointed that the graduates were not able to participate in the ceremony, but that the safety of all in attendance forced the cancellation.
One student posted on his Facebook page – “I couldn’t be more disappointed in IU Southeast. I’ve put in my time and my work to graduate, and have the opportunity to hear my name called across the loudspeaker and walk across the stage. What happened today was chaos and a lack of leadership. The IU Southeast Administration dropped the ball and the Class of 2014 suffers the consequences.”
“There was a significant amount of lightning in the area,” Bichelmeyer said. “It is a huge risk management issue for us, so we had to make that call.” Bichelmeyer said that university officials are in the process of finding a way to hold separate commencement ceremonies for each school to make up for Monday’s cancellation.
She said students should expect to be notified by email or IUS Notify of any future plans.
“We know you (students) have been working on this for years and years,” Bichelmeyer said. “We want to find a way to do justice, and recognize, with all the pomp and circumstance you all deserve.”