Ceremony to be held at Student Success Center
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — The College of the Muscogee Nation graduation ceremony is coming back to campus.
After holding the ceremony at the Mvskoke Dome the past few years, the event will be held at the CMN Student Success Center in April.
Though students are excited about receiving their diplomas, they have concerns about the space and whether the Success Center can accommodate the number of expected guests.
CMN student Riley Berry said he was shocked when he found out the graduation would not be taking place at the Dome.
“We don’t have the facilities at the college yet to accommodate for such a high number of people, especially with how big Native families are,” he said.
The student center has an estimated maximum capacity of 200 people.
According to an article in the Mvskoke News Dec. 1 Edition, the Dome’s new seating provides accommodation for over 1,600 people.
In the past few months, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Tourism and Recreation has made updates to their recreational facility, including a new gym floor.
The new flooring is the main concern for MCN T&R Director Kyle Lee.
Though mats for the floor are available, Lee said the planks of the gym floor are a little bit different than most.
“They are in smaller sections or smaller chunks of wood and they’re easier to become damaged,” Lee said.
He said the major concern hosting CMN graduation is the weight of the stage on the floor and the possible damage it could cause.
“The National Council gave us money to do the work this past year and we want to make sure we don’t have to go back and ask for the money again,” Lee said.
He said work done to the Dome has given T&R opportunities to host events like the Okmulgee County tournament and the OSSAA High School Basketball playoffs.
Lee said its not just the CMN graduation. Other events are being moved as well, including the annual Living Legends ceremony, which will be moved to River Spirit this year.
“Basically we are moving all possible non-recreational events out of the Dome,” he said.
Lee mentioned the recent master plan and the expo building on the Claude Cox Omniplex could facilitate the need for space in the future with the purpose of hosting such events.
“Until that’s done unfortunately we’re without a space for those, I wish we had another solution,” Lee said.
He said the department had initial conversation about change of venue with CMN last Fall to give them time to figure out a solution.
Berry claims in an email, the Dome is a Housing and Urban Development-funded building with the purpose of community use, not just for sporting events.
Since receiving the news about the graduation change of venue, he has contacted his fellow classmates in an attempt to change the administration’s stance.
‘I have started a petition to persuade Chief Floyd to change his mind and let us use the Dome for graduation. This will affect not only student graduating this semester, but students graduating in years to come,’ Berry stated in an email.
CMN graduation is set for April 26.1 comment