Security tightened at graduation events for 8,300 UT grads inclu - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Security tightened at graduation events for 8,300 UT grads including Vince Young

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He led the Texas Longhorns to a National Championship in football seven and a half years ago. Friday retired NFL Quarterback Vince Young earned his college degree.

Young received a degree in youth and community studies. 

He told CBS Sports that receiving his degree is more important than winning a National Championship. He and about 8,300 other Longhorns are also graduating and recent national events this year are creating heightened security concerns on campus.

Convocation ceremonies have been going on all day, but it's the university-wide commencement ceremony on Saturday, which is held outdoors is causing some security challenges.

After four years, Rathika Mallepally is graduating from UT with honors and a degree in business and finance.

Rathika said, "I'm actually going to start med school at Baylor in Houston in July. So, I'm not really done with school even though I graduated today."

University police are stepping up security procedures this year because of several national tragedies.

"We got an email about the security being put up a level," said Rathika.

"Certainly, the Boston marathon was sort of the point that said, we need to do it this year," said Lt. Dennis Chartier, with the campus police department.

Chartier says the university-wide commencement ceremony presents some challenges because it's outside, in the open.

"This time we'll keep four dogs through out the event so if something happens we can respond quickly and take care of it," Chartier said.

They're also adding more officers, but the biggest difference you may notice?

Chartier said, "This year we're adding bag checks."

"It's a shame that we have to do this because I remember not doing this, obviously, when I was younger," said Matt Russell.

Nina Russell said, "My daughter-in-law was at the Boston marathon and I was so relieved when she got back and anything can happen anywhere, so I think it's great that we have security."

Tote bags, purses, anything that is larger than 12 inches in dimension will not be allowed in Saturday.

Chartier said, "Obviously, if you have medical needs, a diaper bag or something and you have a child with you, we'll take that into consideration."

"My mom was like, so I can't bring this purse? and I was like, yea, don't. Whatever's in there, don't bring it," laughed Rathika.

Don't bring it because chances are, you're going to have to park far away.

Matt added, "You cannot park anywhere near here anymore."

Pedi-cabs are out in full force to help.

"We're taking one, we're taking one. We're all taking one afterwards," said the Russells.

Chartier said, "We want people to come and see their children graduate...and not have to worry about security. That's my job."

"It even being a consideration, is uh, I guess it makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable," said another graduate.

"It's weird," Rathika said. "It would be pretty horrible if something were to happen, so it's nice that they're letting everyone know, just because of the recent happenings."

Graduation is one of the biggest events of the year...and it should be memorable for all the right reasons.

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