Against UB Virtual Commencement Ceremonies

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The graduating students of University at Buffalo would like the decision to hold “commencement ceremonies in a virtual environment this May” re-evaluated. Instead, this petition pushes for the postponement of the ceremonies when they can be held in person at a safe later date. 

I, along with many of my peers, understand the severity of the circumstances at the moment, but this is not a fair decision for any of the students at hand.

Neither myself nor the other thousands of students graduating this year have put in hard work day after day, semester after semester, and year after year each to receive a “virtual” commencement ceremony. None of the students have spent countless hours applying to scholarships, working part time jobs, or taking out loans to receive our degrees online. Families did not have to struggle in order to put their sons and daughters through years of education in order to watch commencement through a virtual platform. This is a complete disregard for the hard work that each student and family has put into getting an education, and attending the commencement ceremony as the culminating event of each student’s education.

I am sure that I am speaking for a majority of people who are graduating this spring when I say that I would prefer to simply postpone commencement to a later date when the virus is no longer a concern. I urge you to rethink the decision, and postpone commencement to a later date which still allows it to take place in a real and concrete environment, as it would have taken place before this virus became a global pandemic.


The Students of University at Buffalo