WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It was a packed house inside the Schwartz Center Friday for CFCC's graduation. Apparently a little too packed.
In an email, to WWAY Marsha Remsynder shares her story.
"How horrible for families who have spent money, time, sweat, and tears to get their graduate through school, only to be denied the only tangible reward they will ever receive," she wrote.
Remsynder wanted to bring light to the issue because she says there were apparently dozens locked out from the ceremony.
"What should have been one of the pinnacle achievements of a lifetime became tarnished with the huge disappointment of missing it. It was all handled very badly," she wrote
CFCC spokesman David Hardin responded in an e-mail.
"College officials will be looking into this matter immediately and will make adjustments to prevent this situation from occurring in the future," he said.
CFCC says they broadcast the graduation in the lobby, but Remsynder says the area was so full only those in the front could see the TV.
"My family was excited to attend graduation ceremonies at CFCC yesterday. We got there early and got our seats. My husband takes medication and we sent our son out to see if he could buy a bottle of water. We waited... and waited... he never came back. I went to find him and was told by a lady at the door that, if I left, I would not be allowed back in. I told her I was just going to find my son, who went for water, and that he already had a seat waiting for him. She didn't budge. When I asked why he was not allowed back in she said, " If I let him in I'd have to let everyone in." Turns out there were dozens of families who had come to the ceremony who were turned away at the door. Locked out. My son, who was there early, missed our daughter's graduation, as did my husband, who went out to be with him. By the way, he was not informed that he would not be allowed to return.
How horrible for families who have spent money, time, sweat, and tears to get their graduate through school, only to be denied the only tangible reward they will ever receive.
It was all handled badly. Hundreds of CFCC teachers took up over half the floor of the Swartz Center, leaving no room for family seating.
There was nothing televised outside the "locked" doors, they didn't even have audio for the families. They could only wait for the graduates to exit.
To top it off, they had kick-your-butt, control-freak, Rambo wannabes at the doors to prevent anyone from re-entering the auditorium.
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not talking of them preventing gate crashing maniacs from entering or re-entering. Is your child making noise and you, as a responsible parent, are removing him in consideration of the others in attendance? Well, you can't. Why? You won't be able to return to your family.
Diapers need changing? Better do it right there!
Am I exaggerating? Absolutely NOT! Take a poll. Get other people's input. There were enough irate parents locked out to back me up.
What should have been one of the pinnacle achievements of a lifetime became tarnished with the huge disappointment of missing it. It was all handled very badly. Overhearing two of the leaders in charge congratulating each other on having, "another one done", prompted me to bring this massive problem to light.. Can they really be that obtuse?
Possible fixes: Have students vote for 1-2 teachers to represent each area represented so there's more room for families. Give out tickets so stubs can be used for return-to-seats. Have it in a larger auditorium! Finally, this isn't the first and won't be the last, how about putting a little more thought into it so this doesn't happen in the future?