Internal - Faculty & Staff

Commencement FAQs

March 24, 2022

Why does Simmons have 3 Commencement ceremonies?

We have more students graduating than ever before.  We have a 3 ceremonies – 1 Undergraduate and 2 Graduate to be able to accommodate all of our graduates and all of their guests.

Why are staff assigned to work Commencement rather than their work on campus?

We need all hands on deck for the most important day of the year to adequately deliver 3 Commencement ceremonies (Undergraduate; Graduate Ifill, COCIS, CSSPP; and Graduate CNBHS). Only essential staff, as defined by their managers, will remain on campus. All others will work Commencement to ensure three flawless ceremonies. We need 100 people for the first shift (covering the UG ceremony and the start of the Graduate Ifill, COCIS, CSSPP) and 100 staff for handing out the first grad diplomas and launching the Graduate CNBHS ceremony. We need 50 staff on shift 3 (the shortest shift) to hand out the last set of diplomas and to assist with the close out of the day.

How do I know if I am to stay on campus Commencement day as essential staff?

Most departments will close that day.  The managers of those that must be open will identify the staff members staying to staff the office.  Everyone else will work at Commencement.

What do I do if I am sick that day?

Call into your manager as usual and call into the Commencement Staff Coordinator (number will be provided with training materials)

What kinds of jobs will staff perform at Commencement?

Student check in (giving the student their name card and directions to their line; handing out diplomas after the ceremony); Student line up (herding; counting; helping students with hoods, caps, etc.); Greet and hand programs to guests; Check in staff before each shift; End of day wrap up; and more!

Will there be training?

We will have 2 Commencement Staff Info sessions in the weeks before Commencement. Please watch for an invitation via email.  A “Captain” will lead each work assignment each shift.  We will send job descriptions via email and have a briefing at the start of each shift.

What happens if it rains?

Commencement will happen rain or shine. Student lineup and the ceremonies are under tents.

Is there a dress code?

Business casual, but comfortable (especially footwear and outer layers) Sneakers are ok, but no jeans please.  The venue is on Boston harbor and it can be cool. Please watch the weather forecast and dress appropriately and in layers.

Do I have to stay at the venue for my entire shift?

Yes, we need staff to stay at the venue to prepare for the next ceremony.

Are there any jobs that I can do while sitting?

Yes, we have several jobs that are done while sitting. If you need a sitting job, please indicate that on your survey or contact [email protected] with the request.

How do I get to the venue?

Staff can take a shuttle to and from Simmons, request parking near the venue –no fee (or get reimbursed through Workday if you park on your own in the area with permission- no Uber or Lyft etc.). The venue is on the MBTA Silver line. At South Station (red line) take the Silver Line outbound 3 stops to “Silver Line Way”. Once you get off the bus, you’ll be able to see the Pavilion; it’s about a block away.

Will Simmons provide food?

Yes, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Please email [email protected] and put Commencement Staff in the subject line.

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