In a campus-wide email, UT President William Powers Jr. said heightened security concerns after "recent national events" have prompted additional saftey procedures for upcoming commencement ceremonies on campus.
"Backpacks, tote bags or any bags larger than 12 inches in any dimension will not be allowed into any of the commencement venues," Powers said.
The ban will apply to individual college, school and departmental ceremonies as well as the university-wide commencement ceremony at the Tower.
Powers said all other bags will be searched by security officers before visitors are allowed entry into the commencement ceremony. Additionally, small bags are subject to search at smaller ceremonies.
Powers said the additional procedures will facilitate smooth and memorable events. He urged visitors to refrain from bringing bags to any on-campus ceremony unless they are absolutely necessary. Those who do bring small bags should expect delays, and those with larger bags will be denied entry, Powers said.
"I hope you understand that the safety of our visitors and community is our highest concern," Powers said in the email, "and we appreciate your help with this."