Allow Class of 2021 students to voice their questions and ideas regarding Commencement

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On Monday November 2nd, Loyola students received an email entitled, "Update on 2021 Commencement". This emailed detailed the rise of COVID-19 cases across the country and in the state of Illinois, ultimately concluding that Commencement Week for the Class of 2021 will be held virtually, "Thus, to allow students and families adequate time for planning, we are announcing a Virtual Commencement Week for the Class of 2021" 

While we understand the decision in regards to the continuing pandemic, senior class members were not given any chance to provide input, ideas, or opinions on holding commencement virtually. Also, this decision has been made 7 months in advance as commencement will begin on May 10th 2021. Other universities across the country have not released their plans for in-person vs virtual commencement for this academic school year, this decision feels premature. As of now, every Jesuit university has not made a final decision regarding the status of graduation - be that virtual or in person, as they are waiting to make the decision closer to the scheduled dates for commencement. 

Thus, students graduating and participating in Loyola's Commencement for 2021 should be given the chance to discuss their opinions, concerns, and ideas on this decision with President Jo Ann Rooney, Provost and Chief Academic Office Norberto M. Grzywacs, and other university officials involved in the planning of Commencement 2021. The year 2020 has been difficult enough, with struggles via online classes, the impending election, and basically having all of their senior year and senior traditions taken away, the least Loyola can give their current seniors is a chance to voice their opinions and have a say in this issue. Hopefully, they will be guided to delay their final decision on the format of commencement until after we have a chance to speak.