Georgia State University students were supposed to walk across the stage Thursday and accept their diplomas, marking four years of hard work. But their graduation ceremony was cut short.
The school says it was because of the threat of severe weather, but students say the administration got it wrong.
There was a lot of emotion inside Georgia State Stadium Thursday night. Many are demanding a do-over, and an online petition had more than 1,200 signatures as of Friday night.
Rashad Johnson and Monet Thompson are two of the 1,600 College of Arts and Sciences grads who didn't get to walk.
"We paid graduation fees, we paid for our cap and gown," they said. "GSU seems to not care about the money and time and energy that we took to get to this point."
Johnson is the first man in his family to graduate college.
"My family came and they wanted that thank you for being an example for younger family members, and we didn't get that," said Johnson.
Thompson's mom flew in all the way from Wisconsin.
"Unfortunately, my dad, he passed away two years ago so this was my day to show my family that this was really special to me," said Thompson.
About 10 minutes before the ceremony was set to begin, all the students were ushered inside the stadium buildings due to the threat of severe weather. About 20 minutes later, they were told the ceremony would continue.
But the ceremony was cut short.
GSU says they understand grads are frustrated, but safety has to come first.
"We apologize for how this happened. We are really, really sorry," said a spokesperson. "We did the best we could, given the conditions."
Although students are demanding a redo, we directly asked the school about that and they said there are no plans to reschedule.