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  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

Graduations to return to Old Aberdeen in 2024

Senate vote down senior management's proposal to keep ceremonies at P&J Live

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Graduation ceremonies were held at TECA from 2021-2023. Photo Credit: UoA

In a shock vote Wednesday afternoon, the University Senate revolted against plans to keep graduations at P&J Live this summer.

By a vote of 77-22 (with 12 abstentions), UoA's ruling body voted for ceremonies to return to King's College Campus.

Just this morning, a crunch poll of UoA students found that 11.5% wanted graduations to be held at P&J Live (aka TECA). By contrast, 86.4% of students preferred ceremonies at the Old Aberdeen campus.

The results could not have been more clear.

Nearly 200 students provided their opinions (in less than four hours), with the vast majority commenting that graduation needed to be held on campus.

One student said: "I can't imagine graduating elsewhere. It makes no sense to me. The university has been where my journey took place and the campus is so beautiful."

Another added: "I understand the practicality of a huge venue but it is soulless and disconnected from the University. I might not bother to graduate in person if it is at the P&J arena."

Orginally decamping to TECA in November 2021 as a means to enforce social distancing rules, senior management failed to seek the necessary approval from Senate, an oversight they say was accidental.

While the venue had generally good reviews from graduates and their families, some students raised concerns about the distance of TECA from campus after the University announced they would not be providing transport.

Prior to the meeting, University chiefs informed senators that "negotiations to hold Summer and Winter 2024 graduations at P&J Live" had already happened, and contracts were "ready to sign."

Despite warnings about backing out of the deal at such a late stage, staff and students alike made emotional appeals during the meeting- asking the chamber to vote against management's motion and bring graduations back to campus.

Their prayers were answered, as senators voted overwhelmingly to reject the plan to keep graduations at TECA.

In a statement, a University spokesperson said:

"Members of the University Senate voted for a return to hosting graduation ceremonies on campus in 2024.

"Further planning will now be required to work out the delivery of the ceremonies. Options include the use of Elphinstone Hall with ceremonies running over additional days and the use of a marquee to increase the available capacity."

Graduations were last held on campus in 2019, in a marquee on King's Lawn. Prior to this, ceremonies had been held in Elphinstone Hall for over a decade.

Despite being estimated to be less expensive than the ceremonies at P&J Live, the University is likely to maintain its controversial ticketing policy which made headlines last month.


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