Let HU20 and HU21 walk!
Let HU20 and HU21 walk!
Why this petition matters
As many of you know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Howard University’s graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 were deprived of what should have been among the greatest moments of our lives, the opportunity to walk the stage at our graduation ceremony.
Howard University did exert effort to recognize us last year, in May of 2021, by hosting an in-person commencement and virtual graduations for the individual schools (College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business, etc.). However, this did not replace what was lost, nor did it measure up in comparison to the programming that other colleges and universities were able to coordinate for their graduates. Several schools in the Washington metropolitan area with larger student bodies, including, but not limited to, the University of Maryland, George Washington University, and George Mason University were able to host safe, in-person graduation ceremonies in May of 2021 or have make up ceremonies later on to celebrate the classes of 2020 and 2021 where graduates had the opportunity to walk the stage. Simultaneously, Howard University graduates only got individual recognition in our living rooms, and were told there would be nothing further done for us. We were more than resilient and resourceful in trying to compensate for such a misfortune. We bought our own honor cords when the university did not provide us with them despite meeting the academic requirements for graduating with Latin honors, contracted our classmates to take our cap and gown photos, and underwent countless other endeavors to celebrate ourselves and each other when our alma mater did not.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, we are in a much different space compared to where we were a year ago in the spring of 2021, and a world away from the sheer terror that was the spring of 2020. Safe, in person graduation ceremonies are now completely feasible as evidenced by Howard University’s execution of graduation ceremonies for the class of 2022. In order to give the classes of 2020 and 2021 the same experience that every other graduating class in the university’s history has gotten, I propose two potential solutions; 1.) In-person individual school graduations solely for the classes of 2020 and 2021 to be held in the fall/winter of 2022 to allocate adequate time for planning. 2.) Granting the classes of 2020 and 2021 the option of participating and walking in the in-person individual school graduations that will be planned for the spring of 2023.
After shedding 4 years worth of blood, sweat and tears at our beloved alma mater, all we want is what every other class has gotten, to walk the stage like we dreamed of doing from the first day of our classes freshman year.
- Anthony WutohProvost & Chief Academic Officer
- Wayne FrederickPresident