UC Irvine Graduation Change Irks Parents and Students - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

UC Irvine Graduation Change Irks Parents and Students

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The University of California at Irvine has been blatantly courting President   Obama to speak at their commencement ceremony for about a year now, and while he  hasn't yet agreed to speak at  the ceremony, the university is already making changes to it's graduation to accommodate the possibility.

But the latest measure taken by the university has drawn fire from hundreds of parents and students.

U. C. Irvine is now planning a mass consolidated commencement ceremony at Angel Stadium, much to the surprise of students and their relatives who were expecting the usual smaller commencement ceremonies for the various schools.

And hundreds of them are signing a change.org petition to complain about the school's actions.

The planned consolidated ceremony will be held on June 14 at the stadium in Anaheim at a cost of about $2 million whether the president speaks or not. Cathy Lawhon, a UCI spokeswoman, said the single commencement ceremony will kick off UCI's 50th anniversary celebration.

Just  days ago, the school's  website was updated to show that all graduation ceremonies originally slated for June 15 and June 16 are being canceled in favor of the combined June 14 ceremony at Angel Stadium.

This has messed up plans for students who have already sent out invitations for the original dates, and out-of-town family members who have booked flights.

The petition does not demand the cancellation of the stadium ceremony, but requests the reinstatement of the smaller ceremonies in addition to the mass graduation.

University officials saying they are working to try to mediate the issue.  They say students will get additional tickets for guests and those who have had invitations printed can get refunds.

Stadium official Sam Maida confirmed that a contract has been drafted but said they have not yet received a deposit from UCI.

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