Convocation Ushers

Have you considered helping out at this important event in the lives of our students, their families and friends, as they celebrate the conclusion of their journey through university?

The Registrar’s Office strives to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all in attendance at the Convocation Ceremonies; assistance is required to make the ceremonies successful for our graduates.

What does an usher do?

The responsibility of Convocation Ushers is to help provide a variety of services to the graduates and their guests.

Who can be an usher?

Staff and faculty are invited to help out by working as ushers at Convocation. To express interest, or for more information, please contact Gloria Saindon (gloria.saindon@umanitoba.ca).

More detailed information will be distributed to those interested in helping, as the ceremony dates approach.

What is the time commitment?

The time commitment for ushers ranges from 4-5 hours, each ceremony.  In the Spring, there are 6 ceremonies, and there are 2 ceremonies in the Fall – specific ceremony dates can be found at umanitoba.ca/convocation.

Additionally, a 30-minute Fire Marshall meeting will be held the day prior to the first ceremony.  It is important that all Convocation Ushers are familiar with the emergency procedures and policies at a large event venue; this meeting is mandatory for any person who has never attended one.
 

What You Need to Know

As ushers of the Annual Convocation Ceremonies, our major responsibility is to provide a variety of courteous services to the graduates and their guests. Our goal is to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all in attendance.

Please Note: The security in the Investor’s Group Athletic Centre and the Max Bell Centre is very limited. Please do not bring valuables with you to Convocation. If you must bring your purse, you can leave it at the equipment desk at Max Bell.

Dress Code: Blue usher gowns will be provided to you on the day of convocation. They are to be picked up and returned to a designated change room in IGAC. Please dress appropriately (i.e. dress pants or a skirt; do not wear jeans or shorts).

Time Commitment: You will need to be available for 4 -5 hours for each ceremony. You will have scheduled breaks.

Help: If you find yourself in a situation that you are not feeling comfortable with, never fear! We will have experienced supervisors available to you on both levels of the IGAC.
 

Key Responsibilities

Pre-Ceremony

  1. Attendance at the Fire Marshall Meeting is recommended for any person who has never attended one.  This meeting outlines procedures to follow in case of emergency, i.e. how and where to move the people in case of a fire, making sure all arm rests are in the correct position, all chairs are in working order for the safety of our guests and keeping the stairs clear of people during the ceremony and so on. You will be advised of the date and time of this meeting.
     
  2. Ushers should familiarize themselves with the Investor Group Athletic Centre, specifically in regard to exit and washroom locations, prior to the arrival of guests.
     
  3. Greeting guests as they arrive at Convocation.
     
  4. During the greeting process, directions can be given to those who require directions or who have special needs (i.e. where wheel chair or handicap entrances are located).
     
  5. Distribution of Convocation Programs.
     
  6. Assisting those who need help up and down the stairs to their seats.
     
  7. Ushers for the morning session must be at the IGAC by 8:15 am
     
  8. Ushers for the afternoon session must be at the IGAC by 1:00 pm.

During the Ceremony

  1. Make sure guests are not leaving their seats to take photographs. They are not allowed to go down to the main floor to take pictures, nor are they allowed to sit on the stairs to take pictures.
  1. For ushers on the main floor, in addition to the aforementioned responsibilities, your job is to help direct the graduates back to their seats in order to avoid confusion after they have received their parchments.
  1. Ensure that small children are not left unattended, as they may become restless and disruptive. Colouring books are available from your supervisor to give to children who are restless. Strollers are to be left along the back wall on the 3rd floor seating area.
  1. During scheduled breaks, refreshments will be available in the ushers’ room.

Post Ceremony

Once all the graduates have received their parchments and the speeches have been completed, the role of the usher is to hold the guests back until the platform party and the graduates have exited IGAC. Once these groups have exited, it is crucial that we direct the guests out the appropriate exits.