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Strict Security Rules in Place for Commencement

BU graduates, faculty to carry robes, dress inside venues


Big no-nos at this year’s Commencement? Backpacks and donning graduation robes before getting to Nickerson Field.

These are just two of several security rules put in place by the University for the safety of the 20,000 graduates and visitors expected to attend Boston University’s 141st Commencement exercises from May 16 to May 18.

“The measures are there to make sure the graduation is safe and secure, and that the festivities are enjoyed by all,” says Boston University Police Chief Thomas Robbins. He adds that the BU Police Department will increase security personnel at entries to the ceremonies to speed up the screening process, hoping for “little to no delays at all.”

The security procedures are as follows:

  • All students, faculty, staff, volunteers, guests, and vendors will be subject to screening when entering any Commencement weekend venue, possibly with a metal-detecting wand.
  • Guests who are not carrying a bag may use an express entrance lane.
  • Only small and average-size handbags, purses, and camera bags will be allowed (no large totes, oversize purses, backpacks, large diaper bags, or messenger bags). Bag size is limited to 12” x 12” x 6”. All bags will be physically inspected prior to entry.
  • No other bags, gift bags, wrapped gifts, packages, briefcases, backpacks, or luggage will be allowed in a Commencement or convocation venue, including Nickerson Field.
  • If guests have packages or bags that are not permitted, they may leave them at a “self-check” area adjacent to the venue. While this area will be monitored by security, the University will not provide a claim check process and will not be responsible for packages left in the self-check area.
  • Graduates and faculty must carry their robes into event venues and then dress in designated lineup areas.
  • Anyone who sees anything suspicious should immediately contact the BUPD at 617-353-2121.

BU Police will monitor all entry points.

Venues will be staffed by professional safety personnel from RSIG, the contract security services firm that oversees all Agganis Arena concerts. Bomb-sniffing dogs from the Boston Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police will check specific venues and open areas, including bag storage and checkpoint areas. As in previous years, the main stage at Nickerson Field will be cleared prior to the start of the Commencement exercises by canine and explosive ordnance disposal specialists.

More information about Commencement can be found on the Commencement website.

Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

3 Comments on Strict Security Rules in Place for Commencement

  • WHB on 05.16.2014 at 9:51 am

    Just in case of rain this weekend, will umbrellas be allowed on the field?

    • BU Today writer Amy Laskowski on 05.16.2014 at 10:04 am

      Just checked–guests are allowed umbrellas, but grads are not. They’ll be given ponchos if it rains.

  • tyler on 05.16.2014 at 11:13 am

    Ponchos? Really?

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