Etiquette and Protocols


Commencement is both a joyful and formal event. We ask that graduates and their guests adhere to the following guidelines to maximize enjoyment by all.

  • Only Graduates are allowed to proceed across the stage to receive their degrees (exceptions may be made for graduates with a disability).
  • Alcohol is not permitted. Security officers will be present to seize any alcohol and to prohibit any graduate who may have already consumed alcohol from participating in the ceremony.
  • Cell phones should be turned off or operate in silent mode during the ceremony.
  • Any distracting noisemakers, such as air horns, or flying objects are prohibited and will be confiscated.
  • Please do not take flash photographs during the ceremony. Professional photographs will be taken of each graduate as they receive their diploma from the president and another as they exit the stage.
  • Balloons are not permitted under the tent. If you plan to purchase them, please wait until after the ceremony.
  • Please remain for the entire ceremony.


Although Bridgewater State University does not anticipate any security problems during Commencement, public venues throughout the country are increasing security in light of recent events, and the university must take appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of all students, faculty, staff, and guests.

Please observe the following restrictions for all Commencement activities on the BSU campus:

  • No backpacks, bags, oversized handbags or packages larger than a cubic foot – 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches – will be allowed under the Commencement tent or in any Commencement viewing area except in cases of medical need.
  • Inspections of bags might be required as you enter into Commencement venues.
  • Do not leave personal belongings unattended at any time.
  • No strollers, noisemakers, fireworks, air horns, megaphones, or laser pointers may be possessed or used.  There will be a local salesman selling balloons prior to each ceremony.  If you purchase balloons at that time, you will be required to return them to your car.  Personal property will not be held for guests.