Postpone Class of 2020's Graduation

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To the Georgetown administration,

As universities across the Washington, D.C. area and the country continue to grapple with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, graduating students are left wondering the fate of the spring commencement ceremonies. While the university considers the best course of action, we ask and recommend that Georgetown University choose to postpone its 2020 commencement ceremonies - even if indefinitely - rather than opting to cancel the events or hold them virtually.

We know that peer institutions are in the midst of making this difficult decision: We urge Georgetown to take a different path, for the sake of its graduates: We believe graduating students deserve the opportunity not only to celebrate their accomplishments, but to do so with their family, friends and loved ones.

Commencement, undoubtedly, provides an opportunity for graduates to celebrate their academic achievements and relish the results of their years of hard work. And, in this moment of upheaval, an in-person commencement ceremony would allow graduates an opportunity for closure and reflection.

Just as importantly, however, graduation allows us as students to recognize the people who got us here. Education is an investment - quite literally, given Georgetown's tuition - and no student is able to get to graduation alone. For so many, graduation is a moment in which we can recognize, thank and celebrate our families, friends and loved ones: Our support networks are vital to our Georgetown experiences, and graduates deserve this chance to honor them.

Already in handling the fallout of the coronavirus crisis, Georgetown has proven its willingness to accommodate students' needs: The decision, for example, to allow students to take classes pass/fail, along with other measures intended to support students' transitions, signifies that the administration is open to student input. We ask the administration to take it one step further by postponing, rather than canceling or shifting online, the 2020 commencement exercises.

For the past four years, Georgetown has been our home, and our community. Now, we ask you to honor that sense of community by allowing us the chance to come together one final time in celebration of our achievements and of the people who have supported us throughout this journey. Whether the class of 2020 holds its commencement ceremonies in summer 2020, fall 2020 or spring 2021, we believe the wait is worthwhile.

We thank you for your consideration and we look forward to moving this discussion forward.