Howard University Moved the Nursing Graduating Class Ceremony to May 11th Due to Chaos During the Previous Ceremony

Howard University rescheduled the graduation ceremony for the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences graduating class on Saturday, May 11th, at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, giving the students a much-deserved ceremony and accommodating venue space.

The university’s graduating nursing class was devastated to learn last Thursday that outside commotion from guests who couldn’t enter the ceremony forced the cancellation of their commencement an hour into the ceremony.

According to the Hilltop, the university’s publication, lines began to form two hours before the 6:00 p.m. ceremony for the non-ticketed event. The hall can accommodate 1,500 seats, allowing each of the 280 graduates to invite three to four guests.

Howard University sign; Courtesy of Newsweek

Angrily irate relatives who couldn’t attend the graduation chanted, “Let us in.” One participant even banged on the door, resulting in a shattered glass door. 

“Because of the size of the room, and because our relatives sometimes do not know how to act, the fire department is now here to shut us down,” CNAHS Dean Gina Spivey-Brown explained during the ceremony. 

Fire officials later stated that the ceremony’s cancellation was not their doing. DC officials reported that the commotion injured at least one person. According to various reports, the injured person was a student receiving treatment for a cut.

Chaotic scene from Thursday’s graduation ceremony at Howard University; Photo Credit: Dream_Girl_MG/Twitter/X and accelorwverider/Tik Tok

Some students expressed their disappointment and criticized the institution for holding the ceremony in a building that didn’t fit the capacity for graduates and guests. 

Halle Ragoonanan, for instance, was disheartened by the cancellation of Thursday’s event, especially after she shared that she could not ascend the stage with her high school graduating class due to the global pandemic (COVID-19).

“I didn’t even get to walk,” she told NBC 4 Washington.

Chaos erupt at Howard University’s Nursing Program Graduation; NBC 4 Washington

“I graduated magnum cum laude, and I didn’t even get to walk. I’m class of 2020, I didn’t get to walk for my high school graduation,” Ragoonanan added.

“All the money we spent, my father and grandmother came down from North Carolina,” another Howard University . student from the graduating class added. 

TikTok videos show footage captured from the exterior of Cramton Auditorium, depicting some students weeping through the glass as they realized their loved ones could not observe them. 

“As a student here, I am in a better position to organize a graduation ceremony than your unprofessional faculty,” Destiny Marilyn wrote on the TikTok poster. 

“You have an entire field available for use; why would you attempt to cram everyone into one auditorium?” Marilyn added.

The school heard the concerns and responded speedily, making it up to the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences graduating class.

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