POSTPONE (don't cancel) Trent University Convocation 2020

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On Thursday April 2, 2020, Trent University made the difficult decision to cancel all scheduled Convocation Ceremonies for June 2020 in light of COVID-19. In the email, the university indicated they are examining "alternative arrangements," however have not indicated in any form that this means rescheduling these ceremonies. This language is unclear, and due to this, the petition is circulating. I personally do not believe the university meant any ill-intentions by their email, however, we the students are here to work to provide our support for ensuring our convocation is postponed and not cancelled. Students are not aware of the decision to be made by the university, so we hope this petition fosters some strong influence within this.  

The graduating class of 2020 is disheartened by the decision to cancel convocation, although understand this is for the safety and health of all. However, not indicating what an alternative will be has led to not only confusion, but other mixed emotions and experiences. Although we know arrangements are being discussed, the lack of transparency provided to students has been voiced by many to be a concern. We acknowledge, as students who fully understand the current global health climate, that cancelling June ceremonies was needed, however, we hope to eventually have a traditional convocation as all other students who have graduated from this university have. Not only is this pinnacle for students, but for their peers and families who have also had stake in their academic journeys. The students of 2020 strongly encourage the university to rethink their decision, and will challenge the current decision until a postponement is achieved. 

Possible alternatives to cancelling include but are not limited to: offering a Fall 2020 ceremony (we know this does not currently exist, however, it can be developed and we do not agree that this is not possible), offering a Winter 2021 ceremony (indoors at the Trent Athletic Centre, or one of the many arenas in Peterborough or Selwyn areas), or offering a June 2021 Convocation ceremony for the class of 2020 (as an additional week could simply be allocated for this to take place). 

We believe the institution should accommodate students (who have given years of time, money, and involvement to this institution) in order to have a convocation ceremony. 

Students will wait for this to happen, it is not about when the ceremonies take place, it is about it taking place eventually. Trent University students dream of the day they get to walk across that stage on Bata Podium, and we have every intention of continually working to ensure this happens. We hope that the university will consider this petition as a student voice united, and please consider all of our voices when making your decision.