AUSTIN (KXAN) - The University of Texas is hosting its 130th spring commencement through Saturday. But this one is different, and security will be tight.
Some 8,300 students are graduating and about half are expected at Saturday's main commencement.
In addition to no coolers, baskets, chairs or strollers, no bag may be larger than twelve inches. People with large bags will be turned away. Extra manpower from a San Antonio security company will be on hand to check all bags, including camera cases and diaper bags.
"It's in a venue, not really a secure location," Campus police Lt. Dennis Chartier said. "It's just out on the mall. Obviously events in Boston are a catalyst to say we need to do it."
Graduates seem to understand.
"I don't think it's a violation of my privacy," Vicky Wynn said on her way into the Frank Erwin Center.
Police will be increasing their canine patrol to four dogs, which will go over the grounds before and during the commencement.
"There's nothing wrong with it," Shauna Fougerousse said, "I feel more secure."
People with large bags will be turned away, small bags, camera cases and even diaper bags will be searched. Police say they're not getting any complaints, at least about security.
"It's been pretty positive," Chartier said. "I haven't heard any negative comments, the only negative I'm hearing today is about traffic."
The bells will ring at 7 p.m. and the main ceremony is at 8 p.m.
Bad news for graduates?
Despite unemployment numbers in Texas being lower than the national average, and just more than five percent being unemployed in the Austin metro area, reports say graduates may have a tough time landing a job.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers reports businesses plan to hire only 2.1 percent more college graduates this year than last, saying many aren't prepared for the workforce.
In addition, a recent survey from Fidelity finds between student loans, credit cards and other expenses,
the average college grad is hitting the real world with more than $35,000 in debt.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.
The Austin City Council is set to vote Thursday on design changes for the Auditorium Shores Dog Park.
Bryce Petty threw touchdown passes on the first two drives of the second half for No. 9 Baylor and the Bears won their first Big 12 title and a Fiesta Bowl berth with a 30-10 victory over No. 23 Texas on Saturday.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.