Give Minnesota Graduating Seniors a Commencement Ceremony

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On Friday, May 8th, the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of High Education, and the Minnesota Department of Education set out new recommendations for graduation ceremonies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines included recommending "virtual commencement ceremonies where possible, ensuring that graduates and their families do not have to leave their homes" (Kare 11).  Indoor commencements and even OUTDOOR graduations (such as those at a football field) are not allowed under this guidance. Meanwhile, Minnesota's Largest Candy Store got the OK from the state to re-open today (May 8). Coming from a high school senior with a class of less than 50, I see this as a bigger threat than having commencement on a football field where every graduate (and their immediate family) are spaced 6+ feet apart. According to the state's new recommendations, however, this doesn't follow social distancing guidelines. Governor Walz always seems to talk about the risk of opening shops and holding events, but personally, I feel as though holding a graduation ceremony has lower potential risk than other events, but I'm no expert.

 I think it would be reasonable to allow commencement ceremonies, as long as households are spaced more than 6 feet apart. This follows the Social Distancing guidelines set previously. Once again, coming from a high school senior, we have worked really hard to ensure we graduate and a ceremony should definitely be included in that. A virtual ceremony simply does not give justice to our class, not to mention a lack of closure (which a ceremony provides) and I truly, TRULY believe that as long as social distancing guidelines are followed, it would be appropriate to hold a ceremony for the class of 2020. 

I feel bad for leaving this out at first, but our school administrators have worked tirelessly to make a safe and memorable graduation experience for us. They have always said that they wanted to make sure it was a memorable and safe experience for us and our families. 

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