The following was prepared by Danielle Young, executive director of the Oberlin Alumni Association and chair of the Commencement/Reunion Committee, and Joe Vitale, chief human resources officer. The information has been edited for this publication.
It is spring in Oberlin, which means many faculty, staff, students, and community members are busily planning another incredible Commencement/Reunion Weekend (CRW) for our graduates, families, and alumni.
In 2012, academic calendar changes that stated future Commencement/Reunion weekends would be held the fourth Monday each May took effect. Rationale behind the academic calendar changes—which have been well received by faculty and students—include lengthening reading period, closing the gap between end of new student orientation and the beginning of classes, reducing time between the end of winter term and the beginning of the second semester, and ending the second semester earlier.
The CRW celebrations held in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 all coincided with Memorial Day weekend. This year is the first since the academic calendar changes took effect that CRW does not coincide with Memorial Day weekend.
How does this affect the campus community? Firstly, with Commencement taking place on a regular workday as opposed to a holiday, offices that were closed for previous Commencement ceremonies will now be open. Secondly, there will be parking and traffic flow implications with more vehicles on campus. And thirdly, staff members with work duties related to the Commencement ceremony will be expected to work, whereas staff who do not have work duties related to the Commencement ceremony may request time off.
The following information addresses these points in more detail. Additional information will be forthcoming.
Work and Office Hours
Campus offices and departments are expected to hold normal office hours on Friday, May 20, and on Monday, May 23. Administrative and Professional Staff (A&PS) and OCOPE staff members who are regularly scheduled to work on Mondays should report to work as usual on May 23. Staff members who are essential to Commencement-related support services will receive information about their duties that day from their supervisors. Staff members who do not have duties specific to the support of the Commencement activities and who have available earned vacation time to use may request time off from their supervisors if they wish to attend the ceremony or take the day off for personal reasons.
If office or department supervisors or chairs believe they can operate effectively and efficiently with a reduced staff, they can direct staff members in the manner they deem to be best. For OCOPE staff in these situations, we advise leave time be used.
Managers and staff who have specific questions about the policy for Monday, May 23, should contact Human Resources by calling x58430.
No parking lots will be closed to staff use on Friday, May 20, since most of our parent and alumni guests arrive after faculty and staff have already parked for the workday. In order to accommodate and welcome the family members of our graduates and alumni on Monday, May 23, designated campus parking lots in proximity of Tappan Square will be reserved for guest parking. Staff members who normally park in those lots will be assigned an off-campus parking lot for the day. Shuttle service will be provided between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to and from the off-campus lots for affected staff members. Security personnel will monitor the off-campus lots in order to protect our staff members and their property. We encourage local faculty and staff members to bike, walk, or carpool. Any faculty or staff members who are working the day of Commencement and have handicap parking credentials will be allowed to park on campus, as opposed to being shuttled to off-campus parking.
More information about parking arrangements, including the shuttle schedule to and from campus and the pickup and drop-off locations, will be shared in the coming weeks. If you have concerns, please speak with your supervisor and submit your request for special accommodations to Safety & Security before Monday, May 9, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we plan beyond this May, note that Commencement 2017 will also fall on a Monday that is not a holiday; however, in 2018, 2019, and 2020, CRW will again coincide with Memorial Day weekend.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we adjust to these changes. CRW is one of the Oberlin College community’s most important annual activities, and we hope this year’s event will be an exciting, energizing, fun, and celebratory time for everyone on campus! We are glad that more of you—important members of the community—will be here to see the joy on the faces of our graduates, families, and alumni and the excitement that day brings to Oberlin, Ohio.
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