St. Kate's Graduation Petition

St. Kate's Graduation Petition

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Emily S started this petition to St. Catherine University

This petition was organized by Abby Goulet, with writing contributions from Alma Silver. 

As both 2020 graduates and 2021 graduates, we are disappointed in the university’s decision to hold strictly virtual commencement ceremonies, which appears to lack sufficient input from the student body. We understand that this decision prioritizes social distancing guidelines amidst the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, and we do not intend to undermine this need. However, withholding any option to have an alternative in-person ceremony, without incorporating students’ voices into the decision-making process, is dismissive of the student experience.


For so many students, commencement represents not only the capstone of a tremendous investment over the course of 4+ years, but also a pivotal moment in the student experience. This is especially true for first-generation students, students from low-income households, and all students who have overcome attitudinal or systemic barriers during their educational journey. Our desire for a modified in-person celebration only reflects how important graduation is for so many Katies, especially those who have faced unique inequities and obstacles.


A momentary PowerPoint slide during a virtual ceremony, in which graduates would not be able to see each other, is not nearly enough to celebrate the resilience that we graduates had to show to finish a degree in the middle of such widespread loss and injustice. Additionally, any virtual commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 should have been held promptly after their graduation time to show support and solidarity for those who completed their journey at St. Kate’s, despite the disruption created by the pandemic. It is unfair to have asked the 2020 graduates to wait an entire year for a virtual ceremony, especially when neither the Student Senate nor the student body at large was invited to participate in these conversations. The lack of representation in this decision-making process will only result in a lack of understanding of what students want.


We ask you to support this petition to urge the university to centralize students’ ideas significantly more in all decisions regarding graduation, specifically by inviting Student Senate and class representatives into the conversations. We also advocate for a more collaborative solution that adheres to the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, which currently state that a maximum of 250 people can gather at an outdoor event, given that masking and social distancing requirements are implemented. We request that any final decision reflects both intentional engagement with students and a recognition of the pandemic’s evolving nature.


We hope you can support us in this matter. 

 

Petition Committee Class of 2020 and 2021

 

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!