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FACULTY AND PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS

Simmons Bank Field

Faculty and program participants should enter the stadium through gates 6.

All faculty and program participants are required to comply with a security check. If a faculty member or program participant leaves the holding area, he or she must go through security a second time.

Program participants and platform guests will assemble in the Tommy May Field House.

ORDER OF PROCESSION:

(A University marshal will precede each group.)
  • Platform Participants
  • Administration/Faculty and Staff
  • Graduates

Pine Bluff Convention Center

The Faculty/Staff Senate President, academic deans, departmental chairpersons, and faculty advisors for graduate degree candidates should check-in at the usual faculty corridor. All other faculty are encouraged to livestream the Commencement.

Shoes

The seating for graduates, faculty, and program participants is on the football field turf. The physical distancing of the graduates necessitates a much longer walk to the stage. All graduates, faculty, and program participants are asked to wear flats. Attendees must wear shoes with a flat surface (i.e. flats, wedge), but heels are not permitted on the turf. If you arrive in high heels, you will not be permitted on the field.

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Graduates 

Any graduate, faculty, staff or guest who test positive for COVID-19 within the 7-day window before commencement CANNOT ATTEND the commencement rehearsal or exercises.

Any graduate, faculty, staff or guest experiencing symptoms within 48 hours before the rehearsal or commencement or identified by ADH or a medical provider as a close contact of a COVID-19-positive person CANNOT ATTEND. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a COVID-19-positive individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more throughout a 24-hour period.

Commencement Rehearsal

Commencement rehearsal is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 7th at Simmons Bank Field.  

In the event of inclement weather, Commencement rehearsal is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 7th at the Pine Bluff Convention Center for graduates from the Schools of: Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences (SAFHS), Business and Management (SBM), Education (SOE), and University College (UC).  Commencement rehearsal is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Friday, May 7th at the Pine Bluff Convention Center for graduates from the School of Arts and Sciences.

Check-In

Simmons Bank Field

All graduates and faculty will check-in at the Registrar’s Office tent. 

Graduates, faculty, and staff who are participating in the graduation exercises should enter through Gate 6. All faculty, staff, and graduates are required to comply with a security check. A graduate or faculty member who leaves the holding area, must go through security a second time.  

Pine Bluff Convention Center

Graduates should enter through the main entrance and report to the Banquet Hall for Check-in.  

Cap and Gown Information

All candidates are required to wear appropriate academic regalia.

Regalia and ticket distribution will take place from May 5-7, 2021 at the Academic Records windows in the Administration Building of the University.  Pick-up details are below:
Last Name A-J 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Last Name K-Z 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Afterhours pick-up is scheduled for May 7th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  

Regalia and tickets will be available for graduates to pick up on the morning of the ceremony as follows:

Simmons Bank Field Gate 6 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Pine Bluff Convention Center Banquet Hall 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. 
or
Pine Bluff Convention Center Banquet Hall  1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Shoes 

The seating for graduates, faculty and program participants is on the football field turf. The football field dictates a much longer walk to the stage.  All graduates, faculty, and program participants are asked to wear comfortable shoes.  Attendees must wear shoes with a flat surface (i.e., flats, wedge); heels are not permitted on the turf.  If you arrive in high heels, you will not be permitted on the field.

Accommodations for Graduates with Accessible Services Requests

If you are a graduate and need accessible services for the graduation ceremony, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs  at (870) 575-8471 or  academicaffairs@uapb.edu by May 3, 2021 to request accommodations.

All students are expected to demonstrate appropriate behavior consistent with UAPB's Code of Conduct and dress code for official events.

The Ceremony

After remarks from the University of Arkansas System (U of A) President, the U of A System Board of Trustees Chairman, UAPB Chancellor, UAPB Provost, student speaker, and the keynote address, graduates will walk to the stage to receive their diploma jacket. 

Marshals assisting with the flow of graduates will let your row know when it is time to stand and move forward.  Please keep physical distancing by standing next to the chairs as you advance.  Move one chair or row at a time until reaching the Golden Lion spacing dots near the stage.  

Please wear your mask until you reach one of the ready spots.  You may remove your mask for photos afterwards.

ORDER OF PROCESSION: (A University marshal will precede each group.) 
  • Platform Participants
  • Administration/Faculty and Staff
  • Graduates
To reduce crowding at the end of the ceremony, students are asked to depart the stadium after crossing the stage and taking their official graduation photograph. All students -- including members of fraternities, sororities, and other student organizations --.are asked not to gather in the stadium or the parking lot.  

All students are expected to demonstrate appropriate behavior consistent with   UAPB’s Code of Conduct and dress code for official events.

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GUESTS 

SEATING:

Graduates who indicated their attendance via the Graduate RSVP website will be allotted 8 guest tickets for Commencement.  Seats will be grouped in sets of eight (8) and guests are encouraged to sit with groups for their respective graduates. 

Groups will be distanced from other groups.  With the exception of reserved seating, seats are available on a first come/first serve basis.
  
While guests may see many empty seats as a result of the physical spacing, guests should not sit in restricted areas. 

Children who can sit in the lap of an adult (under two years of age), will not be required to have a ticket, but must sit in the adult’s lap for the duration of the ceremony. 

Seating will be available on both sides of Simmons Bank Field.  

Masks

All graduation attendees are asked to wear a mask or face covering, at all times.

Parking

Free parking as available in any unrestricted parking lot on campus.  

ADA Accommodation: Seating and Parking

For our guests needing mobility accommodations (ADA), accessible services are available. ADA Parking and Seating are available on a first come, first serve basis. Early arrival is encouraged. Accessible Services section is reserved for guests needing accessible seating and one additional guest.  Contact Public Safety at 870-575-8102 if you have questions.  Guests who need to be seated in a wheelchair during the ceremony should bring a wheelchair, as wheelchairs will not be provided for use throughout the ceremony.

Where is ADA seating located? 

Simmons Bank Field- All of the ADA seating for our guests is in Row five (5) of Sections of BB, CC, DD, EE, FF, GG, HH, UU, TT, VV and WW. We are unable to accommodate any guests on the field.

Pine Bluff Convention Center- ADA seating will be available in a designated area on the arena floor. 

Smoking Policy

Smoking is not permitted on the grounds of UAPB. 

Guests who cannot attend graduation in person can watch the Commencement via livestream at  https://www.youtube.com/user/uapbtelevision 

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Safety and Security Information

Please note the following safety procedures are in place.

All carried-in items will be searched by security personnel prior to entering the venues. Prohibited items must be returned to the owner's vehicle or discarded. Items left at the entrance will be discarded. Any unlawful items are subject to confiscation, and the person in possession of such items is subject to arrest. 

Guests should allow extra time for entry. Metal detectors will be located at the main entrances to each venue. Before screening, guests will empty their pockets of cell phones, keys, and metal objects. In the event of inclement weather, the temperature of each attendee will be checked prior to entry at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.  Individuals with a temperature of 100.4 will not be permitted to enter the building.  The venue will open to guests approximately 60 minutes prior to the start of the commencement exercises.  As a reminder, the processional will begin 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.  

Medical lanes will be available for guests who require alternate screening methods.

Clear Bag Policy 

Please note that the University’s clear bag policy will be enforced at Simmons Bank Field and at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Click HERE for the full policy. 

Every bag allowed into the stadium will be checked.   

Permitted Items

Clear plastic bags (1 per person) no larger than 12" x 6" x 12"
One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (1 per person)
Non-transparent clutch purses or wallets no larger than 4.5" x 6.5" (1 per person)
Bags necessary for approved medical equipment 

*No other bags or purses, including diaper bags, are permitted and the limit on bags is one per person. Approved family care items (diapers, formula, etc.) must be in a clear plastic bag.

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Prohibited Items

Prohibited items must be returned to the owner’s car or discarded, and any unlawful items are subject to confiscation. The following items are prohibited inside the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Athletic Facilities: 
  • Alcoholic beverages (in all forms)
  • Animals (except service animals)
  • Baby seats
  • Baby strollers
  • Backpacks or any large bags*
  • Balloons
  • Banners
  • Signs
  • Balls or any object that can be used as a projectile. 
  • Cigarettes, Chewing tobacco ore-cigarettes.
  • Coolers or containers
  • Explosives
  • Folding chairs or stools
  • Food and beverages*
  • Ice chests
  • Laser pointers
  • Noisemakers of any type (i.e., bells, horns, whistles, etc.)
  • Personal heaters
  • Pets (except for service animals used by disabled guests)
  • Toilet Tissue
  • Selfie sticks, bi pods, monopods, etc.
  • Stadium seats with armrests and/or over 16-inches wide
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons (i.e., knives, guns)

One-Time Exceptions

*To help with the social distancing, the standard prohibition of outside water will be waived at Simmons Bank Field.  Guests in the stands are encouraged to bring their water in the original and sealed containers. The usual restrictions against outside food remain in place. Glass containers are prohibited. 

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COVID-19 Mitigation Protocols 

We will follow the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) guidelines.  Compliance will be required for the safety of everyone involved.
  • The Arkansas Department of Health COVID-19 Guidance states that any graduate, faculty, staff or guest who test positive for COVID-19 within the 7-day window before commencement CANNOT ATTEND the commencement rehearsal or exercises.
  • The Arkansas Department of Health COVID-19 Guidance states that any graduate, faculty, staff or guest experiencing symptoms within 48 hours before the rehearsal or commencement or identified by ADH or a medical provider as a close contact of a COVID-19-positive person CANNOT ATTEND. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a COVID-19-positive individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more throughout a 24-hour period.

Masks

Appropriate cloth or surgical-style masks that cover the nose and mouth completely will be required for all guests (age 2 and older). 
  • All graduates, faculty, staff and guests must wear a face covering when entering, exiting, or walking inside the stadium and in the parking lot.  
  • Graduates may temporarily remove their mask as their name is announced and they cross in front of the stage. Graduates may also temporarily remove their mask as they pose for their “Green Screen Photo” after crossing in front of the stage. During the graduate degree exercises hooding process, both the hooding faculty member and the graduate must wear a mask, as physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • All guests and participants are required to maintain physical distance while entering and exiting the stadium. 

Social Distancing

  • Restrooms will have limited occupancy.
  • Foot traffic will move on the right side of walkways.
  • Seats will be grouped in sets of eight (8) and guests are encouraged to sit with groups for their respective graduates.  Groups will be distanced from other groups.  With the exception of reserved seating, seats are available on a first come/first serve basis.  While guests may see many empty seats as a result of the required physical spacing, guests should not sit in restricted areas. 
  • Children who can sit in the lap of an adult (under two years of age), will not be required to have a ticket, but must sit in the adult’s lap for the duration of the ceremony. 
  • Seating will be available on both sides of Simmons Bank Field.  
  • To reduce crowding at the end of the ceremony, graduates and their respective guests are asked to depart the stadium once their graduate has crossed the stage and completed their photographs.
  • All graduates, faculty and other commencement participants will sit six feet apart. 
  • Graduates, faculty and program participants should arrive dressed in their regalia.  
  • Water will be available at no charge for graduates and faculty on the field.  Guests in the stands are encouraged to bring their water in the original and sealed containers. The usual restrictions against outside food remain in place.  

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