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Venue Etiquette and Security

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In order to enhance the safety and security of all on campus during commencement weekend, graduates and guests as well as employees and vendors may be subject to walk through a security screening device. Those who walk through the security screening device may also be subject to another security/bag check.

Venue gates will open one (1) hour before the ceremony start time.  The venue must be cleared after each ceremony for a security sweep before graduates or guests will be permitted to enter for each ceremony. 

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Clear Bag Policy and Bag Check

Mangrum Track & Field will enforce a clear bag policy for Commencement weekend. Guests are encouraged to limit the number of items they bring with them to the Mangrum Track & Field. Only (1) one of the following style and size bag, package, or container per person:

  • Bags that are clear plastic or clear vinyl and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12” or a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag.
  • Purses, bags, or clutches no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”.

Prohibited bags include but are not limited to large purses, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, luggage of any kind, computer bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.

Lockers are NOT available and guests with prohibited items will have the option to return their prohibited item(s) back to their vehicle or to dispose of prohibited item(s) in the waste receptacle.

This policy is not intended to interfere with guests attending with specific medical needs or guests caring for young children.

 All bags are subject to be searched by event staff and/or security prior to entering the Mangrum Track & Field.
Please arrive early and be patient as we work to ensure a safe environment.

Event Etiquette

The conferring of an academic degree is a tradition that dates back to the 12th century and is regarded as an important rite of passage for students and their families. Commencement is a time for celebration and recognition of one's academic success, and the faculty and staff of California State University San Marcos congratulate each of our graduates! We ask that you remember this long and respected tradition and approach the ceremony with the proper decorum and respect. 

This means:

  • no banners or signs bigger than 20"x20" (signs must not obstruct view of other guests and must be stored away until your graduate is called).
  • no alcohol
  • no balloons
  • no cans/glass bottles
  • no confetti
  • no coolers or wagons
  • no drones
  • no drugs, smoking, vaping
  • no fireworks, firearms, and weapons (including pocket/utility knives)
  • no Inflatable items (such as baseballs, bats, beach balls, dolls, etc.), frisbees, and other similar objects 
  • no lawn chairs, folding chairs, or similar objects
  • no noise makers of any kind
  • no non-service animals, no pets
  • No carry and concealed weapons (including off duty officers), firearms, and pocket/utility knives.

University faculty and staff and security will strictly enforce this policy. 

Guests and children are not permitted in the Softball field, graduate seating area or on stage. Those not permitted in the graduate seating area, graduate check-in area, or stage will be asked to return to the guest area and will not be allowed to remain in prohibited areas during the ceremony.

Please refrain from using cell phones during the ceremony (please silence them).

Guests and Graduates are allowed to bring an empty, reusable water bottle to fill up at the water refill station at the back of the track by the ramp leading to Gate 6 (facing Craven Road). Reusable water bottle must be empty prior to entering the Mangrum Track. Guests are allowed to bring factory sealed water or non-alcoholic drinks that are NOT in glass containers.

Graduates will not be permitted to leave the ceremony early, so please use the restroom before the program begins.

Event Photo, Video, and Social Media Disclaimer

CSUSM reserves the right to use any photograph/video/audio taken at Commencement without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video/audio clip. Photographs/videos/audio clips may be used (but not limited to) in publications, brochures, postcards, posters, newspapers, social media, television, websites, etc., for the purposes of event promotion and/or portraying CSUSM as the University of choice.

To ensure the privacy of individuals and children, images will not be identified using names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject, parent or legal guardian.

A person attending/participating in/working Commencement who does not wish to have their image captured for distribution should make their wishes known to the CSUSM Commencement Office in writing of his/her intentions and include a photograph of oneself to reference to:  The CSUSM Commencement Office will use the photo for identification purposes and will hold it in confidence.

By attending/participating in/working at Commencement or by failing to notify the CSUSM Commencement Office ( in writing, your desire to not have your photograph used, you are agreeing to release, defend, hold harmless and indemnify CSUSM from any and all claims involving the use of your picture or likeness.

Alcohol and Smoking Policy

This is a Tobacco and alcohol free event and campus. Tobacco products including electronic (e-cigs) are not allowed at commencement or on campus. Alcohol is prohibited at commencement and on campus. The University observes a strict no-alcohol policy and commencement graduates and guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages onto the premises. For more information, please review the CSUSM Alcohol use on Campus Policy and the CSUSM Smoking and Tobacco Policy.

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Venue Evacuation and Emergency Protocol

If any member of the campus community or visitor becomes aware of an emergency situation during the Commencement ceremony, they are encouraged to contact any commencement staff wearing a blue polo or visit the University Police Tent on the east side of the track by the First Aid Tent (marked with red flags). You will be asked to provide as much detailed information as possible so that the proper measures can take place.

Evacuation of part or all of the Mangrum Track and Field will be announced by University Police and undertaken as circumstances dictate. Please follow any directions/announcements given at that time.

Visitors are encouraged to make themselves aware of the physical facilities, exits, and posted evacuation plans prior to the ceremony.

CSUSM Commencement Evacuation Map

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