Commencement 2020: What does it look like?

With our entire way of life uprooted and turned upside down by COVID-19, there are still a lot of big questions and uncertainties.  Millions of college students have been forced to leave campus and return home to finish the term online––a change that has been extremely difficult on students, their families, and professors.  As the term continues on and May inches nearer, many seniors are wondering: What about graduation?

Commencement was originally supposed to take place this year on May 17 but given the CDC’s directive stating group gatherings of more than ten people should be cancelled, a live, in-person ceremony will not take place on campus on that date.  For many seniors, this comes as a huge disappointment as many see their graduation ceremony as validation for years of hard work and a time to celebrate their accomplishment with family and their peers.  The college recognizes this and is currently working on creating an alternative.  Current ideas are being discussed with students and include setting up a virtual commencement to occur at noon on the originally planned upon date.

Monmouth is just one of the thousands of colleges dealing with the issue of commencement and each school is handling it differently.  Many schools have cancelled their commencement ceremonies or postponed them with a tentative date set in July or August at the earliest.  Others like Monmouth have proposed holding a virtual ceremony and there are some schools that have outright cancelled commencement with no alternate plans. 

At this point, it’s hard to know what our lives will look like just a few months from now as the virus has a hold on everything.  The best thing we can all do now is to practice social distancing and maintain good personal hygiene to prevent further spreading.  If you have any ideas for alternate solutions regarding commencement, feel free to reach out to ASMC leadership or share your thoughts on social media.  It may not be the graduation we pictured, but we can still create something that is fun and memorable.

Abby Haslem – Copy Editor

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