Sac State Faculty Senate discusses ‘CARmencement,’ proposes endorsing ABC/no credit grading option


Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen addresses the Faculty Senate at a virtual meeting Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The Faculty Senate discussed the recently announced “CARmencement” and endorsing the ABC/No credit option for the spring and summer 2021 semesters. Screenshot taken via Zoom.

Eric Jaramishian

Sacramento State’s Faculty Senate discussed plans for “CARmencement,” the replacement for in-person commencement in spring 2021, during its meeting Thursday. 

Tracy Hamilton, Faculty Senate chair, said a regular commencement would have required hundreds of people to work the event and was “too great of a risk” due to COVID-19.

“We don’t have a good idea of when the full campus will have access to the vaccine,” Hamilton said. “That’s ultimately the deciding factor that really pushed us away from doing [an in-person  commencement at] Hornet Stadium.” 

RELATED: Sac State announces drive-through commencement for 2020 and 2021 graduates

According to Gladys Glaude, director of university events, graduates will have three options for commencement: attend “CARmencement,” participate in a virtual celebration with personalized graduation slides or only receive the HornetGrad kit. 

The graduation kit, which all students will receive regardless of what option they select, includes two event programs and other Sac State commemorative items, which will be sent to the graduate’s address of choice at the time of registration.

Graduates have from March 1 to April 1 at noon to register for “CARmencement.”

Those without a vehicle who would like to participate in CARmencement should contact the commencement office so it can make accommodations for the student, said Glaude. Glaude said the university is considering the use of golf carts so those without access to a vehicle can participate.

Physical stage crossings will be replaced with “car crossings.” For the recognition areas, graduates will stay in their cars and possess a barcode that, upon scanning, will trigger the announcement of their name and the display of the graduate’s slide. This is meant to mimic what would have happened at a typical commencement ceremony, according to Glaude. 

The Faculty Senate also proposed endorsing the option of having ABC/no credit grading available for the spring and summer 2021 sessions. 

RELATED: Sac State chooses to implement a partial no credit grading policy for this semester

Sac State President Robert Nelsen said that it is still too early to determine if the option will be made available for students for the summer 2021 session and that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee has not definitively decided yet either. 

“It will be OK to say [it will happen in the] summer for now, but we may have to rescind that at that point,” Nelsen said.

Nelsen said there will not be a credit/no credit option offered in the fall 2021 semester.

The Faculty Senate will have a second reading on the ABC/NC grading endorsement and could vote on the endorsement as early as the next meeting March 4.