Cleveland State University Commencement

Protocols for Commencement Day

To ensure a safe event for graduates, guests and faculty/staff, we must all adhere to the policies set forth by the Wolstein Center. You and your guests must follow the required Commencement protocols listed below. 

Please read carefully:

Bag Policy
The Wolstein Center enforces a strict bag policy for all events – including Commencement. The following bags are permitted:

  • Clear tote bags made of vinyl, plastic or PVC
    • Does not exceed 12" x 6" x 12"
  • Plastic storage bag
    • Clear, one (1) gallon resealable
  • Small clutch purse
    • Must fit in the hand, with or without handle or strap
    • No larger than 4.5" x 6.5" with or without handle or strap
    • Can be carried separately or in an approved plastic bag
  • Manufactured diaper bags and medical device bags

Guests may bring cameras with them. However, camera equipment that includes tripods, selfie sticks, monopods, lenses larger than 100mm and camera bags are not permitted.

Graduates: arrive early to give yourself ample time to check in at your designated college registration table to pick up your name card and other materials for the ceremony. Ushers and signage will direct you to your check-in table in the sub-concourse level of the Wolstein Center.

You will check in under your new college per the CSU 2.0 realignment. Please confirm in advance which college you belong to as some majors have moved. Visit for the list of undergraduate majors by college.

Guests are not required to check-in but are encouraged to arrive early as seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Doors open at 8 a.m. for the first ceremony. You and your guests are encouraged to arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. Processional starts promptly at 9 a.m.

Doors open at 1 p.m. for the second ceremony. You and your guests are encouraged to arrive no later than 1:30 p.m. Processional starts promptly at 2 p.m.

You must arrive at Wolstein Center already dressed in your commencement regalia. Do not bring personal belongings (e.g., purses, coats) to the staging location, as they are not secured. Please leave them with a guest or secured in your car. 

Coat Check
Coat check will be available by Gate C. 

The elevator is located across from section 113, near the gym annex entrance. Please be considerate and allow access first to those who cannot use the stairs.

Emergency Procedures
In the event of an emergency which causes a delay of the ceremony or an evacuation of the arena, please listen for announcements on the PA system. Staff and security will also provide direction.

You and your guests will be entering through different gates at the Wolstein Center. All graduates must enter through Gate C. Guests may enter through Gates A, B or D. Commencement is a non-ticketed event
but security will be checking bags at the gates to ensure event safety and that venue policies and protocols are followed. Please arrive early and be prepared having followed all guidelines to ensure an efficient entrance into the arena.

There is absolutely no congregating permitted in the arena concourse or staging area. Commencement ceremonies will adhere to very strict timelines. You and your guests should immediately exit the arena after the ceremony and gather with your party outside of the gates for photos and celebration. 

Facial Coverings/Masks
Masks are optional in the Wolstein Center. Acceptable masks include the following: double-layered cloth masks, surgical masks, dust masks and N95 masks without vents.

Food and Beverage
No outside food and/or beverage may be brought into the Wolstein Center
. Limited concessions will be available.

Free commencement parking will be available to all students and guests at our West, Central, Berkman Hall, Prospect Garage and East parking garages. Handicap parking is available in South Garage with a valid placard and in Lot 21 in front of the Music and Communication Building. Parking staff and signage will guide all vehicles to open parking areas. No parking vouchers are necessary. Review our parking map or check out the Parking Services webpage for general parking information. 

West Garage parking: please let the garage attendant know you are there for commencement in order to receive free parking. There is paid event parking on the same day for Playhouse Square.

Staff and faculty volunteers, platform party members and guest speakers will receive parking vouchers to access the South Garage across from Wolstein Center.

Staff and signage will direct graduates and gue
sts to the appropriate seating areas. Guest seating is general admission on a first-come, first-served basis and all graduates will be assigned seating sections based on college.

  • ADA accessible seating is available. Wheelchair spaces are available in the evenly numbered sections (every other section). These spaces have a combination of companion seating adjacent to the wheelchair space. The top row of the Wolstein Center is also reserved for those guests with mobility impairments. Wheelchairs are available to check out at First Aid located by section 115. These ADA accommodations are offered first-come, first-served. 

Umbrellas are prohibited inside the Wolstein Center.



For questions about cap and gown orders, please email Viking Outfitters at

For questions about the online RSVP form, please email Marketing at

To request special accommodations for the ceremony, please email Stephen Meadows at

For any other questions, please contact your college representative: