Depending on the size of your ceremony you may want to consider building a security plan for graduation. No one likes to think about emergencies on graduation day. But preparedness is essential. While a security policy should respect your school’s specific needs, also consider the basics.
When preparing for a graduation ceremony, coordinators must envision all possible scenarios and emergency first aid is chief among them. Accidents happen, even during a very organized graduation ceremony. The first step should be designating someone who will handle any emergency that would require first aid.
Every school has a nurse’s office with first aid kits. You should ask the school doctor or nurse if you can borrow supplies to have nearby for the ceremony.
Weather may also be a factor for different age groups. This applies in particular if the graduation takes place outside on a hot day. The young, elderly, and chronically ill are especially vulnerable to heat stroke and dehydration. Consider having water available or shaded areas for folks who need it.
Keep first aid kits nearby and stock up on water for outdoor summer graduations.
No matter the location, traffic is an issue for larger class sizes. You may be able to appoint volunteers to handle traffic and parking logistics depending upon how large your school is and the venue. Depending on the location and size, you may need the assistance of the local police.
Traffic control is a necessary part of the team to avoid excessive crowding. For instance: when the lot is full, your parking team can close off the lot to prevent unnecessary browsing.
It’s helpful for parents and guests to have people guiding them into the proper parking lot and then onward to the venue. Big crowds alone can become a security problem and should be managed proactively to prevent issues.
Estimate the number of graduates, guests, and faculty that will attend to extrapolate the number of vehicles. This will help you determine if you need a parking team and how large it should be. If you have more cars than you have spots, you’ll need a plan.
There’s something about a large crowd of people that makes things go missing. Whether it’s a cell phone or a diploma, a designated lost and found area can mitigate these situations. This is especially critical for larger ceremonies. For smaller celebrations, attendees may turn items into the school office.
Appoint someone who will oversee a booth or box for lost and found items. The table for items can be placed near the entrance of the venue so that it’s visible and known to all attendees. After the ceremony, if an object is still not claimed, the event coordinator can make an announcement. Consider listing items on the appropriate social media page if no one claims them.
Even a simple plan for lost and found items can prevent lots of frustration on graduation day.
The graduation coordinator must be informed and updated about any issues or problems that are going on before, during, and after the ceremony. You should be the point of contact for incidents to determine who else to involve depending on the severity of concern.
Give the security team detailed instructions and remind them of their specific responsibilities. The coordinator should always take into consideration things that may go wrong during the ceremony and how they can be prevented.
Have your security team contact you first with any security concerns.
Always have a backup plan in case the original doesn’t work. Be proactive and have a Plan B for each step of the event. While you may not use them, it will be helpful to have a contingency plan. An example of this is having a redundant speaker system. If there are problems with the sound system, the backups should be ready to go.
Work with your graduation committee team to create backup plans as their input will be constructive.
Scour your plans to discover circumstances when the event may be vulnerable. Parking is especially volatile, and it is critical that you have a Plan B. Perhaps even a Plan C would be prudent for crucial aspects.
Keep a lookout for additional articles if you want to learn more! There will be many articles about graduation planning on our blog in the weeks to come.
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