Update: On Oct. 12, University officials announced via email that official regalia was no longer required for December graduates.
"As part of their promise to work with students and families through the transition to official commencement regalia, SFA's Enrollment Management team would like you to know that official regalia is strongly encouraged but will not be required for the December 2021 ceremonies. Official regalia will be required beginning with May 2022 commencement," the email stated.
All graduating students must wear official SFA cap and gown regalia to be able to participate in the December commencement ceremony. This change was announced to December graduates via email on Oct. 8.
Erma Nieto Brecht, executive director of enrollment management, said the rule was decided during the summer because officials want the University to provide a commencement experience that is uniquely SFA.
“A University policy (6.8) regarding commencement has existed since the mid-1980s, which provides participation protocols,” Brecht said. “Earlier this year, SFA made a commitment to enhance the SFA commencement experience by requiring a customized SFA official regalia. Partnerships with Balfour and Barnes and Noble were established to provide the official SFA regalia.”
Brecht described the differences in the official regalia from the standard black cap and gown.
“The official regalia includes a custom black bachelor gown with purple banded sleeves, an embroidered SFA logo on both sleeves, piping on the sleeves, and a purple stole with a 3D Flex Style patch on the stole,” Brecht said. “[The] tassel will be purple and include a custom, colored seal drop.”
Many have experienced frustration with this new requirement because some students have already bought a cap and gown that is not the official regalia. A post on Facebook’s “SFA Community” group on Sep. 26 brought up the confusion about the topic. Some heard this change would not be required for this December commencement while others heard it would. Some have tried to purchase their cap and gowns but have been told to wait due to this possible change.
Ellie Curran, senior psychology major from Houston, bought her cap and gown in April from Kampus Books. She did not hear about this possible change until she saw this Facebook post.
“I’m upset,” Curran said. “I feel like SFA should give students that have already paid for a cap and gown a discounted rate. You can’t change your mind a month and a half from graduation and expect the student body to go along with it. We’re college students; most of us don’t have extra money laying around for a second cap and gown.”
Students are able to purchase the official SFA regalia online and through Barnes and Noble on campus. The cost for the official bachelor’s SFA regalia is $78.98, and it includes the cap, gown, tassel and stole.
Students who have already bought their regalia from other vendors will still be required to buy official regalia.
“We encourage you to work with Barnes & Noble to return and purchase official regalia,” assistant registrar Donna Burkett said.
Students are still eligible to wear specialty stoles and honor cords through the vendor of their choice.
For any questions related to the commencement ceremony, contact the SFA Registrar Office at email@example.com. You must include your name and Campus ID number in all correspondence for identification purposes.