University News

Spring Commencement 2024 update: Clear bag policy, One Cards, prohibited items

The University will employ some additional measures this year to support safety for everyone.

Graduates on field at Kenan Stadium
Spring Commencement will be under the lights at Kenan Stadium for the first time in 2024. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Carolina’s Spring Commencement ceremony is just around the corner and the Class of 2024 will be celebrated.  

The University will employ some additional safety measures this year to support safety for everyone.

New this year, graduates will need to present their UNC One Card to enter the seating area in Kenan Stadium.

Event officials will also enforce a clear bag policy for all Commencement ceremonies in all venues. The clear bag policy will apply to the main ceremony in Kenan Stadium, the Doctoral Hooding ceremony and all school, departmental and other smaller group ceremonies.

Please also note the list below of prohibited items

Main University Commencement Ceremony in Kenan Stadium

7 p.m. Saturday, May 11 

  • Graduates should arrive in the Loudermilk parking lot at 5:30 p.m.
  • Graduates will enter the stadium through the tunnels and go straight to the seating area. Staff will be on hand to direct.
  • Graduates will need to present their UNC One Card to enter the seating area. 

Clear Bag Policy

Guests are encouraged to leave all bags at home, but the following items will be allowed into all Commencement venues: 

  • Any clear plastic or vinyl bag no larger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″, including gallon freezer bags.
  • Small clutch purses no larger than 4.5″ x 6.5″.
  • Necessary medical items following inspection at entry gates.
  • Up to two unopened 20 ounce or smaller bottles of water per person and empty drink containers that can be filled up at drinking fountains.
  • For more information, see the Kenan Stadium Policy, which will apply at all ceremony venues.

Prohibited Items

Alcoholic beverages, artificial noise makers, baby seats, large bags, balloons, banners, flags and signs (larger than 8 ½” x 11”), signs on sticks or other devices, beach balls, coolers or containers, explosives, fireworks, folding chairs, food and beverages (except sealed plastic water bottles), illegal drugs, laser pointers, pets (except service animals), strollers (noncollapsible), umbrellas, weapons of any kind and any other item that in the judgment of management staff poses a safety hazard or detracts from the ability of others to enjoy the event. 

All permissible bags and containers are subject to search upon entry. 

Free Speech Laws and Policies

The North Carolina Restore and Preserve Free Speech Act and the UNC System Board of Governors Policy on Free Speech and Free Expression provides a range of possible disciplinary actions for those who substantially interfere with another person’s protected free speech rights. This includes protests that limit the ability of others to hear a speaker.

The University respects the rights of peaceful protesters. While anyone — including students, faculty and staff — may gather and exercise their rights to free speech, state law and the Board of Governors policy prohibit significant disruption of University operations. The University’s Policy on Demonstrative Events provides a list of prohibited items and actions for demonstrations. We expect all campus community members to comply, and those who do not will be subject to arrest.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation with these safety measures. 

For additional information about Spring Commencement, please visit the Commencement website