Give CSU Long Beach Students the Graduation They Deserve

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As a result of COVID, our life’s have encountered unpredictable times. At moments like this, we drift toward the smaller things we have control over, or we try to find happiness in the little things. As seniors in the graduating class of 2020/2021, we have had the best days of our college experiences taken away from us. The pandemic has affected the graduating class of 2020/2021 in ways that have greatly altered their college experience, from canceled internships, missing social activities on campus, and cancelled game days to a year of online learning. We have lost so many little moments, memories and friendships that we would have built on campus. The last thing we have to look forward to is our commencement ceremony.

Due to this pandemic, our would has been forced into a state of unfortunate discouragement and torment. We understand that this pandemic is a worldwide problem that is larger than any of us. We have all endured a great deal during this pandemic as we all have lost something or someone. However, we still look forward to the important moments that we should be able to share together such as our commencement ceremony. We ask that you help the Class of 2020/2021 at California State University, Long Beach receive the graduation ceremony they deserve after working diligently and passionately. The class of 2020/2021 has shown nothing but endurance, courage, and dedication. They have demonstrated real versatility in the face of a global pandemic and deserve to be recognized in person as the product of their years of perseverance and hard work.When it comes to holding an in-person ceremony, we recognize that safety is a huge concern. Consider our neighboring college, CSU Dominguez Hills, which has announced that an in-person ceremony will be held. CSU Long Beach has already arranged and grouped commencement dates by college. With the dates already set, CSULB would need to determine the number of students that can attend each day, as well as establish guidelines that students will be more than capable of following.

Class of 2020/2021:

College of the Arts | May 21
College of Business | May 20
College of Education | May 21
College of Engineering | May 20
College of Health & Human Services | May 18 & 19
College of Liberal Arts | May 18 & 19
College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics | May 21 

We write this in hope that CSULB, President Conoley and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Brian Jersky reconsider the possibility of holding an in person ceremony or postponing commencement until we can have an in person commencement. We recognize that additional travel poses a greater danger to the environment, which is why we feel there is a way to fulfill our request while prioritizing safety. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that students have worked extremely hard for. A virtual graduation ceremony does not compare to an in-person ceremony. We feel that this decision was taken too soon. The class of 2020/2021 students reflect a wide variety of backgrounds, students from all walks of life; we each have our own story about how we arrived at CSULB, but the one thing we all have in common is the drive to reach the finish line. Our ceremony means a great deal to each and every one of us. We have all achieved success in completing online learning and being more than adaptable to the pandemic. We never gave up on CSULB and we hope that CSULB doesn’t give up on us.

With this, we urge the CSU administration to reevaluate their decision on graduation and to provide the class of 2020/2021 with the in person acknowledgement that is deserved.

*We are not asking for money. We are asking for voice to be heard.*

Kindly,

The CSU Long Beach Class of 2020/2021