Dear President Crawford: Move Miami University 2020 Commencement in its Traditional Form

Dear President Crawford: Move Miami University 2020 Commencement in its Traditional Form

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Nina Franco
Nina Franco signed this petition

Dear President Crawford,

The Miami Class of 2020 wants to thank you all for your leadership and guidance throughout this unprecedented time. We understand that the decisions made come with an enormous amount of pressure and eyes on the university. Despite our disappointment in what we are missing at every turn as the spring 2020 semester unfolds and unravels, we are ultimately grateful for the steps that Miami has taken to protect our cherished community during this time.

We are writing this petition upon receiving the email on March 20, 2020 about the cancellation of the May 16, 2020 Commencement in its traditional form. The disappointment that comes with receiving this information cannot be overstated. However, we understand the necessity of your decision. 

We understand per your message that other and “creative” alternatives are being considered. The Class of 2020 deserves a ritual that carries an equal significance to what Miami Commencement has historically held for over 200 years, since 1809. We simply implore you not to explore options such as a virtual commencement ceremony that other universities may pursue. This would only deepen the divide between what we deserve, hope and dream for in a farewell to our time at Miami and our reality. 

The members of the Class of 2020 request that you consider the following solution. We propose that the traditional Commencement weekend take place at a later date, preferably between mid-August and mid-September if the global COVID-19 pandemic has reached a state deemed safe for a gathering of this size. If not by August or September, we still ask for sometime in the fall or winter, though this is not ideal. We request the full schedule of traditional Commencement and Commencement-related activities. As you stated, the opportunity to celebrate the success of our class with our families, friends and loved ones is treasured. We simply ask that it take place in a less “creative” and more traditional sense, just at a later time. 

Having a full Commencement weekend would allow the Class of 2020 to rekindle the love and honor that has been disheartened by the global and local events of the past month. This same love and honor is that that will fuel our involvement in reunions and alumni engagement and support in the future.

The Class of 2020 and our families, friends and loved ones sincerely hope that you consider this solution. We also ask that you make your decision through engaging in direct dialogue with the Class of 2020 and our loved ones. To think in such a place, we led such a life-- a life that countless Miami graduates did, a life that will be given the special celebration that each that came before us received and that we too deserve.