First Lady's Visit Creating Finals Week and Moving Day Headaches for Some U.Md. Students

Plans for the first lady to speak at a commencement ceremony for a Maryland university are causing some frustrations for students at another Maryland university.

Michelle Obama will speak at the graduation for Bowie State University May 17, prompting that ceremony to be held at the University of Maryland in College Park, where students are being asked to move out early to help make sure the Bowie State graduation goes off without a hitch and traffic is more manageable.

The request means University of Maryland students are dealing with the stress of final exams while at the same time preparing to move out of their dorm rooms. Some have to be out before they finish exams.

“It’s good that she’s coming,” student Sana Jafarzadeh said. “I’m glad they’re making room for her and I’m glad we have the opportunity to have her come here, but at the same time, we have enough on our plate with finals.”

The university sent students emails notifying them that May 17 is both the last day of finals and move out day for students.

“They were telling us to move out on the 16th, and that's kind of ridiculous,” student Shannon Cates said. “How are we supposed to be homeless for a night?”

“I do have a final on the 17th, so moving out the day before would be a conflict,” student Nitish Malladi said.

Bowie State is part of the university system of Maryland, so it is using the Comcast Center at the University of Maryland campus to accommodate 14,000 guests for graduation.

The University of Maryland says it is proud to host the first lady on campus but notes the event will increase campus traffic on an already busy day and students with finals that day should allow extra time for traveling to and from their tests.

Those who’ve been to the Comcast Center for a basketball game know that traffic ties up the streets all around the area. Add to that the increased security because of the first lady.

Follow Chris Gordon on Twitter at @chrisgordonnews

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