Steve Ezeani, a senior kinesiology major at the University of Maryland, is expecting his father — who lives in Nigeria — and the rest of his family to attend his graduation in May.

“I’m the last-born, so it’s sort of a special occasion, a special moment,” Ezeani said.

But for a few days, Ezeani thought that moment was in jeopardy.

On Saturday, he received a text message from a classmate: Public health school graduates would be given only two tickets for the spring commencement ceremony, which was slated to happen in Ritchie Coliseum. The change was to “accommodate the large graduating class,” according to the school’s commencement page.

[Read more: UMD’s School of Public Health is getting new labs, classrooms and study areas]

Ezeani and two friends sprung into action Sunday, creating a petition on to rally their peers against the unexpected relocation. By 8 p.m., the petition had gained more than 1,000 signatures from students across the university.

The next day, public health school dean Boris Lushniak emailed graduating students to announce that the school’s commencement was moving from Ritchie Coliseum to Xfinity Center.

“YAY! no ticket limit!” Lushniak wrote.

Jordan Glenn, who worked with Ezeani to create the petition, said she was happy with the announcement.

“It feels amazing to know change can happen if we all stick together, and fight for what we know is right and what we believe in,” she said.

Glenn, a senior family science major, didn’t expect the petition to “blow up as much as it did,” she added.

“That in itself was just amazing,” she said. “People were actually upset and different people in different majors and ages were outraged.”

[Read more: A petition for refugees to be housed on UMD’s campus gains SGA’s endorsement]

The last four public health school spring commencements took place in Xfinity Center. The school’s fall ceremonies — which typically see fewer students — have used Cole Field House and the Armory.

Kelly Blake, a public health school spokesperson, said the school was “aware that students [were] upset” by the decision to move to Ritchie Coliseum.

“We recognize that that is not an ideal venue for us,” Blake said Monday afternoon. “We’re too big for [Ritchie] at this point. We’ve been exploring options and we are close.”

Initially, the public health school planned to livestream the event on television screens in its building for family and friends to watch, according to its original statement. In the past, the school didn’t have to limit graduation attendance, Blake said — something it can now continue.

“We are all very happy that this new location and time will allow us to give our students and their families the experience of celebrating the milestone of graduation in the way that we wanted and have been able to do for previous graduating classes,” Lushniak wrote in the email Monday night.

This May, the engineering school, business school and computer, mathematical and natural sciences college are scheduled to have commencement ceremonies in Xfinity Center, along with the economics department.

“I just feel like, when it came down to it and they had to choose a school, they kicked SPH out because they feel like it wasn’t as valuable as the other schools,” said Imani Braxton-Allen, a senior public health science major.

In fall 2018, there were 4,348 full- and part-time undergraduate students studying engineering, 6,582 studying computer, mathematical and natural sciences and 2,939 enrolled in the business school, according to this university’s Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment. For the same semester, 2,322 students were enrolled in the public health school.

Glenn had hoped to orchestrate a meeting with other SPH students to allow them to voice their opinions. With Braxton-Allen and Ezeani, she’d scanned through Xfinity Center’s event calendar to see if there was an opening for a SPH commencement ceremony.

Ezeani wrote in a message Monday night that he’s happy none of those measures would be necessary anymore.

“Honestly, right now I feel so very relieved,” he wrote.