Graduating students await commencement details as the semester draws to a close


Kelsey Tice Nicholson, Editor-in-Chief

In an email sent on April 16, University Provost Vanya Quiñones provided a list of updates concerning the University community. Included in those updates was news about the spring 2020 graduation ceremony. The email read that students who have completed their degrees will be receiving them at the end of the semester. However, there are no concrete plans for a ceremony as of yet.

The 2020 graduates will not be getting an in-person ceremony this spring—they will have the option to participate in a virtual ceremony later in May. The details are still being worked out, according to the email. Should students wish to walk in-person, they will have to join underclassmen in the spring 2021commencement ceremony, or participate in a still unplanned December ceremony.

Much of the draw for attending the University’s commencement ceremony relies on its location: Radio City. However, it is highly unlikely that the class of 2020 will be able to walk at Radio City in their own personal December ceremony, as the venue is in the middle of its Christmas Spectacular performances and will not be available. In the past, students who graduated early in December received their diplomas in the mail and were expected to walk in the spring.

University students who planned to walk this spring are frustrated with the communication given by the administration. “It just stinks that after everything we are going through they can’t be transparent about this,” said Natalie Bevilacqua, a graduating senior.

Graduating senior Leah Cozart is similarly upset with the University’s communication regarding commencement. “I’m annoyed we paid so much for education and I understand we don’t and can’t have commencement, but I wish they communicated more,” Cozart said. “I feel like I have been missing vital information I should get.”

“They’ve been so uncommunicative; I feel completely in the dark,” commented graduating senior Tyler Zeoli.

“They’re doing the best they can and I’m glad they didn’t cancel it, but I’m sort of annoyed that we’re probably going to get lumped in with another graduating class,” said Elise Graham, another graduating senior. “They’re sending a lot of emails but not really saying much in them.”

As the semester draws to a close and the month of May is fast approaching, graduating students have still not been given any concrete details for a virtual ceremony, despite claims from administration that they are “developing plans for school-by-school virtual events in May.” Hopefully, the administration provides the class of 2020 with more specific information before their college careers officially come to an end.

UPDATE — 4/28/20

The Provost sent out an email regarding further ceremony details. A virtual celebration will be held on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 1 p.m. EST. The events will be school/college specific. There are still no details concerning an in-person celebration as of yet, though the administration is working on it.

For more information on how to attend, please visit the University’s commencement page.