Towson University has established ceremony guidelines to maintain the decorum of Commencement
ceremonies, as well as safety measures to ensure the protection of graduates, guests,
faculty and staff who attend. Learn more about these protocols and what to expect
the day of the ceremony.
To maintain safety at major events SECU Arena, the following procedures went into effect
on Sept. 10, 2016. The procedures were established based on a review of TU’s security
measures and an assessment of best practices at similar institutions and event destinations
across the country.
Bag size limit and bag checks
Bags will be checked prior to event entrance, and bags larger than 14 x 11 x 4 inches
will not be permitted in the arena. Guests with bags or other prohibited items will
not be able to stow their items, and will be asked to discard these items or return
them to their vehicle. Boxes that are 14 x 11 x 4 inches will be available at the
entrance to the arena for size reference. Prohibited items include:
- alcohol, food or beverages
- animals (with the exception of service animals)
- audio or video recording equipment
- bags/purses larger than 14 x 11 x 4"
- Bota bags, wineskins or flasks
- balloons, confetti, streamers, glitter, fireworks, etc.
- balls, bikes, hoverboards, roller blades, scooters, etc.
- cameras with lenses greater than 8"(including monopods and tripods)
- cigarettes, vapes, etc.
- containers, coolers, flasks, baskets, etc.
- drones or airborne devices
- illegal drugs
- knives over 3” in length
- laser pointers, markers, dry erase boards, paint, etc.
- noisemaking devices
- open umbrellas
- sticks or poles, including selfie-sticks
- weapons (common examples include, but are not limited to: aerosol cans, mace, pepper
spray, firearms, including CCW permit holders, pocket knives, knives, spiked bracelets,
brass knuckles, martial arts weapons, stun guns, and chains)
Handheld metal detectors operated by Safe Management (security staff contracted by
the university) employees will be used to check guests prior to event entrance. When
attending an event, please give yourself adequate time for going through the safety
Get more information on event procedures at Unitas Stadium and campus safety prevention.
Policies for Graduates
Commencement is a formal occasion and should be viewed as such in dress and demeanor.
While a spirit of joy and enthusiasm is encouraged, commencement is a dignified ceremony that
recognizes the academic achievements of Towson University graduates and honorees.
- For academic ceremonies such as commencement, Towson University is guided by the American
Council on Education's Academic Costume Code.
- Graduation candidates at commencement must wear regalia including: black (undecorated)
caps with black tassels, black gowns and lined black hoods.
- Graduates may wear a maximum of three stoles representing Towson University academic honors or university-recognized
student activities and organizations.
- A list of approved cords graduates may wear to represent academic honors from a nationally
recognized honor society will be available in September 2017. This list has been developed
in consultation with college deans and the Office of the Provost.
- Graduating students must leave jackets, purses, boxes, backpacks, and/or bags at home
or with guests. If desired a small, thin cross body bag into the ceremony. If student
chooses to use a cross body bag, it must be worn under the gown.
- Graduates found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be permitted
to participate in the ceremony and will be referred to the TU Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education.
- Graduates may take a mobile phone into the ceremony, but it must be turned off for
the duration of the ceremony. Graduates are not permitted to carry mobile phones or
electronic devices such as GoPro cameras across the stage.
- All graduates will be required to show their TU student ID (OneCard) or another form
of official identification in order to receive the name card needed to participate
in the processional.
- Graduates who do not present their OneCard (or other official form of identification)
will be directed to the Participant Verification station where a staff member will
verify the student's identity and authorization to participate in the ceremony.
- Fraudulent activity or misrepresentation of information or eligibility to participate
in commencement may result in disciplinary action through the TU Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education.
Policies for Guests
- Doors open for guests 90 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony (8:30 a.m. for
the morning ceremonies and 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon ceremonies). All seating is
first-come first -served, general seating. There is no assigned seating in any sections
of the arena.
- Guests should remain in their seats for the duration of the ceremony (approximately
- Guests are not permitted to stand on the concourse level to watch the ceremony and
will be directed to a seat.
- Guests may not block the aisles or passageways by attempting to greet or take photos
- To allow for the names of all graduates to be heard by their family members and guests,
we ask all audience members to be considerate of other graduates’ guests by providing
no more than 2 to 3 seconds of celebration or applause for their graduate.
- Guests who bring or use signs, fireworks, beach balls, balloons, air horns, bells
or noisemakers will be asked to leave the arena.
In the event of an emergency, please contact University Police (410) 704-4444 and/or
911. The following coordinates can be used when giving the location of SECU arena
39.38980 -76.61565 or 7500 Osler Blvd. Towson University will provide a first aid station inside the arena in case of emergency.
Should inclement weather occur, please check the local radio and TV stations for announcements
regarding delays. You may also call TU at 410-704-2000 or 410-704-NEWS (6397), or
check weather announcements via TU’s homepage. Please note that once a ceremony has
started, it will not be canceled.