With students nearing the end of their college experience, many of them have been left wondering how their graduation will happen with the nation in quarantine. Even though everyone is in quarantine, students still eventually deserve a meaningful and memorable graduation. With every school resorting to online learning, a ceremony where the entire graduating class gathers together with each individual student walking across the stage to accept their diploma is impossible. This has left many schools searching for answers to this problem and wondering if and how they can recreate this memorable experience for their students.
Butler University and other schools have already announced cancellation of their commencement ceremonies while others, such as Northeastern University, have committed to having the ceremony online. Many schools have postponed their ceremonies with the hope of having them at a later time. This is what I suggest we do at HCC.
I believe it is important for students to have the experience of graduating college and be able to interact during this experience if they choose to do so. The diploma should be sent out at the same time as it regularly would be at the end of the semester. If students still want the graduation experience, one should be held for them in the summer or on a weekend during the fall semester of next year.
I understand that administrators may want to hold the ceremony online in order to get the semester over with and to get ready for the next wave of students. However, this would deprive current students of the graduation experience. I hope HCC will reconsider canceling their commencement ceremony for Spring 2020 and instead, have it at a later date.