Graduation goes green

While the nations of the world try to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, NSU is doing its part to save the planet by making the graduating process more eco-friendly.

Devri Pratt, coordinator of commencement activities, said by helping conserve the earth’s natural resources, the Registrar’s Office is providing a great service to students and alumni who can also save money. Starting this year, the office’s goals for going green are to save students gas, money and time.

Pratt said with the assistance of the Office of Information Technology and the NSU Bookstore, students can now apply for commencement online, offering easy access to participation information and causing less strain on students and the Registrar’s Office.

Richard Kelch, manager of registrar operations, said the process is not only green but beneficial to students as well.

“In Enrollment Student Ser-vices [of which the Registrar’s Office is a part], our main motto is, ‘Student centered. Student first,’” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do by all this — not only being green but also keeping students in mind and making it as easy as we can for them.”

Kelch said the office used to use large amounts of paper to inform students about the commencement process. The first mailing to stu-dents about commencement was 20 pages long.

Now, he said, the only piece of paper students receive in the commencement application process is a postcard saying that they are invited to commencement and telling them to sign up for commencement via SharkLink.

Pratt said the online system will lead to a positive commencement experience for students, faculty, staff and guests. She said that com-mencement candidates will receive emails with their commencement invitation and information instead of through the U.S. Postal Service. Students will also be offered complete and immediate information on the NSU commencement Web site.

One of the results of the office’s plan is the reduction of its commencement postage and printing expenses by $17,914.40 each year.

“[In the past], we’d get this giant mailing out, and we would have to rely on the postal service to get it to your house. You would fill it out and send it to us, and you wouldn’t know if we received it or not. Therefore, you’re worried and [calling the office],” Kelch said. “With this system, you will get a receipt [via email] saying that we received your information.”

Pratt said the plan saves students gas by saving them a trip to campus to ask about their commencement application.

Another way the office is saving students time and gas is by co-hosting the GradFair with the NSU Bookstore, which will held at the Bookstore on April 5-7 from noon to 6 p.m. At the fair, students can take graduation photos, order graduation rings, announcements and thank you notes from vendors, buy diploma frames and pick up commencement regalia.

“Students can save money, time and gas because it will be a one-stop shop for them,” Pratt said. “This is the candidates’ one-stop opportunity to get everything needed to make their commencement an event to remember.”

For more information about commencement 2011, call (954) 262-7255, email or visit

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