Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
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Location, parking and guest information
Where will convocation be held this year?
All convocation ceremonies will be held at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC) located at 33800 King Road in Abbotsford (corner of King Road and University Way) adjacent to the Abbotsford campus. See map at Contact Us.
Where can I park?
Free parking is available for graduates and their guests at UFV parking lots on the Abbotsford campus.
Do my guests need tickets?
Tickets are no longer required for guests. You are welcome to invite all your family and friends to convocation. The centre has over 2,500 seats available for each ceremony.
Please note it is 'festival seating" for guests; this means, seats are available on a first come, first serve basis.
About your credential
How do I get my degree/diploma/certificate?
You will pick-up your credential or parchment prior to your ceremony on the concourse at the AESC. Watch for signs and team convocation members directing you to documents.
What if I cannot attend the ceremony? How can I get my parchment?
If the parchment (e.g. degree/diploma/certificate) isn't picked up by the graduate at convocation, it is mailed out within two (business) days.
What if I have already received my parchment in the mail?
You do not need to bring your parchment with you. A diploma cover will be given to you so that you look like all the other graduates when you cross the stage.
What if I'm receiving more than one credential (e.g. a Bachelor's degree and a diploma or certificate)?
If the programs are graduating at the same ceremony, you will be handed all your 'parchments' at the same time. If you are graduating from programs that are scheduled for different ceremonies, you are entitled to attend both/all ceremonies but you do not have to. In fact, that would be unusual to do so. Normally, graduates attend the ceremony where they are receiving their most senior credential (e.g. a degree over a diploma; diploma over a certificate.)
How long is the ceremony?
The time for each ceremony varies but you should plan on at least three to four hours for your graduation ceremony. This includes time to arrive early for regalia, marshalling, the procession, ceremony, and informal reception. You will want to leave time for photographs with family and friends before returning your regalia.
When should I arrive?
Doors open for graduates one hour and 30 minutes before the ceremony start time. You must be on site one hour before your ceremony start time. Before your ceremony you must pick up your grad card, your regalia including cap and tassel, your Alumni card and parchment before heading to the marshalling area behind the main stage.
When should my guests arrive?
Guests are welcome to arrive up to one hour before the ceremony start time. During this time a concession will be open on the concourse of the AESC to purchase refreshments. The Alumni Association will be offering flowers and alumni apparel for sale. The UFV bookstore will have merchandise available.
What should I wear?
Graduates are required to wear regalia (a black gown and hood or vee-stole) as they cross the stage. Most graduates wear business or dress attire under their gown. Your gown will cover most of your clothing except legs and feet. You will be walking up and down concrete stairs and standing during the marshalling process and procession.
What happens after the ceremony?
After the ceremony, there is an informal reception on the concourse. Pick a place to meet your guests after the ceremony.
Leave time to take photographs with family and friends before returning your regalia. Artona, UFV's official graduation photographer, has a photo studio on the concourse. The Alumni Association offers commemorative wine for tasting and ordering. Alumni wear and other merchandise is avaliable for purchase.
I have a guest who is elderly or can't walk very far. What should I do?
Accessible seating is available at the AESC including space for wheelchairs and walkers. The facility is equipped with elevators as well as special seating areas. Drop off is available directly in front of the main entrance of the AESC. Disabled parking will be available in Lot2A directly behind the AESC.
I have a disability. Is assistance available for my ceremony?
If you are a graduate with a disability, please either advise us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Disability Resource Centre to ensure we have assistance available for you in the marshalling process and the procession.
I require a sign language interpreter. What should I do?
If you are a student or have a guest who requires the services of a sign language interpreter for a ceremony please contact us by email email@example.com as soon as possible.
I have a young child. Can they attend?
We don’t recommend bringing young children under six or seven years of age to the ceremony — it’s a long event for youngsters to sit through. If a child is restless or noisy, this may be a distraction to other guests. Thanks in advance for your co-operation. There is no child-minding service at the AESC.
What should I bring with me?
Please only bring personal items that you are comfortable carrying throughout the ceremony. Although there is a coat check available to graduates, the coat check is not a secure storage place. It is recommended that you leave personal items such as purses and coats at home or with your families / guests during the ceremony.
Don't forget to bring a your camera!
Regalia (gown, hood, cap and tassel)
What is regalia?
Regalia is part of the tradition of graduating from a university. Regalia at UFV includes a black gown, an UFV hood or vee-stole (depending on degree, diploma or certificate) and a cap and tassel with a year charm.
How do I order my regalia? When?
You will be required to pre-order your gown on line at Gaspards http://buildagrad.ca/ufraservalley. The site is available for ordering at any time 24 hours a day/7 days a week until midnight Friday, May 31.
After the deadline, plan to order regalia at the AESC on the day of your ceremony.
What does it cost?
The cost to pre-order regalia online is $40 taxes included. Gaspards accepts visa and mastercard for online payment.
The cost to order regalia onsite at the ceremony is $60.
What does this include?
The fee includes rental of a black gown and UFV hood and the purchase of a cap, tassel and year charm. Proceeds from the purchase of your cap and tassel will go to the UFV Alumni Association and will support the leadership awards funded by the association.
What if I cannot pay for my regalia?
If you do not have a credit card and need to make alternate arrangements to order regalia please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Aid and Awards provides assistance with a UFV Student Emergency Fund form for students who may be unable to pay for the rental of graduation regalia. The form is available at any Financial Aid and Awards office.
Can I cancel my gown order?
Orders can be canceled prior to the midnight May 31 deadline. You can cancel your rental by going back to the rental website and logging in using the email and password you set up when you rented online. There are no refunds or cancelations after the rental deadline as after this date gowns are picked, cleaned, packed, and shipped and there is no way for us to stop this process.
I didn't pre-order my regalia but would still like to attend my ceremony. What do I do?
Don't worry! Regalia can be ordered on the day of the ceremony for $60. Please bring visa, cheque or cash to pay for regalia onsite at the AESC.
When do I pick-up my regalia?
Doors will open to pick-up your regalia one hour and 30 minutes prior to your ceremony. You must be on site at least 30 minutes before your ceremony.
Team convocation members will be on hand to assist you with your regalia and direct you to the marshalling area. Regalia must be returned following the ceremony.
What if I don't want to wear a cap and tassel?
Wearing a cap and tassel is optional at UFV. However your regalia package price includes the purchase of a cap, tassel and year charm as a keepsake of your graduation ceremony.
Admissions and Records
You must apply to graduate. The deadline is Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
I missed the April 2 deadline to apply to graduate. What should I do?
You should contact Admissions and Records as soon as possible to submit a Graduation Request (pdf) form.
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