Uncertainty remains for Spring 2021 graduation

By: Sydney Kin

kins1@findlay.edu

Worries hound University of Findlay students while an altered graduation looms around the corner

Graduation will continue to look different for the 2021 seniors, not unlike their predecessors from the class of 2020.

“I personally think graduation will still be on in the Spring because there is a vaccine now,” Senior Allison Utterback said. She believes that they will try as hard as they can to hold graduation for the class of 2021.

Vice President of Academic Affairs at UF, Darin Fields, says that there will be an in-person ceremony this spring for seniors.

“The ceremony will be somewhat different from a ‘normal’ commencement in that only graduating students, faculty and members of the platform party will be present in Koehler Fitness Center for the ceremony. This will enable safe physical distancing for students, faculty and staff,” Fields said. There will also be no traditional commencement rehearsal, according to the Office of Academic Affairs. Instead, seniors must arrive 30 minutes early to graduation to receive instructions of how the event will proceed.

Most Oilers plan to be able to attend graduation this spring, but this might not be the case. There will be a graduation ceremony held with limited visitors allowed on May 7 and 8 for 2020 seniors and 2021 seniors, respectively. Four tickets will be allowed for each student. After registering, students will receive information on what building their family will be able to sit in during the ceremony.

A concern with University of Findlay students is if and how many family members and friends would be able to attend the ceremony. This is a big priority for faculty and staff members trying to put on this event.

“We are hopeful and planning to allow limited attendance by family,” Fields said. “Our current planning is to allow up to four family members for each student. Family members will be able to view the ceremonies online and at locations around campus. Family members entering buildings will receive a health check (temperature and symptom check). Family members will need to abide by all prescribed safety protocols to be able to attend.”

For live streaming of the assembly, UFTV manager AJ Du Fresne, said there wouldn’t have to be many changes. Many other departments have had to put countless hours into making changes to fit protocol.

“To be honest we will not be changing much,” Du Fresne said. “The production is the same, just with different (better) equipment. We may have four cameras instead of three, but that has not been determined yet.  More cameras mean more assistant student producers, as well as more cost. Since the commencement committee has not met, I am not entirely sure what has changed.”

“For one, the way we produce graphics will be totally different as we have new graphics software (that we are still learning to use). We will also be on location and not in the UFTV studio as we have been in the past.” 

Being prepared for changes in graduation for this spring will be necessary for 2021 graduates. Despite dealing with unpredictable semesters, seniors still say they’ll be devastated if commencement is cancelled.

“If graduation gets cancelled then I will be devastated, I will cry,” Utterback stated. “I have worked hard to get my degree. I think college graduation is something that you will always remember and if I am not able to experience that it will be very hard for me to accept. I have awaited this moment for four years and to have that taken from me would be terrible.”

Featured photo: University of Findlay Newsroom.

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