UMN CDES In-Person Commencement Ceremony

UMN CDES In-Person Commencement Ceremony

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CDES Students started this petition to Joseph Favour and

I am coming to you as a defeated final-year Masters of Architecture student, hoping you can lend a hand. The class of 2021 has spent almost 300 days attending online class since the global lockdown last March and we have been patient as we know this pandemic has been a challenge for all of us.

On March 25th, CDES announced that they plan to hold a “hybrid” ceremony for the graduating class of 2021. Although to our frustration, the architecture graduate students were not made aware of this change and have had all of our information via word of mouth. With the College of Design being one of the smallest schools in the University and the school that specializes in creative design solutions, we are surprised to see that we can't find a solution to make a commencement happen, especially after Governor Walz's most recent address allows for commencements. We are an entire school revolving around the education for space planning and design, and yet, other colleges within our University were able to figure out a way to make an in-person event happen. For example, the Carlson School of Management is still having its commencement ceremony on May 17th at Mariucci Arena. In addition to Carlson, the schools of Nursing, Dentistry, Law, and Medicine are also hosting in-person ceremonies. The schools of Biological Sciences and Science and Engineering are hosting hybrid ceremonies in which the individual departments are in-person with the entire college online to start. To hear of other colleges accomplishing a safe plan to have ceremonies is heartwarming while disheartening to think of seeing our peers have the ability to walk across the stage while we have a virtual ceremony. 

Many of us ask ourselves: “has CDES even attempted to come up with a safe plan to host an in-person graduation ceremony?” The Covid-19 restrictions as of April 1st, 2021 states that a ceremony at Northrup Auditorium could happen as long as it does not exceed 580 people (https://mn.gov/covid19/stay-safe/stay-safe-plan/index.jsp After doing research, the average graduating class for the past three years in CDES was 404 people. This would mean that we, as a class, wouldn’t be able to invite guests, but we would much rather this option than what is proposed. We think that the Dean’s office has put little effort or creativity into celebrating its graduating seniors.

The College of Design is distinctive and deserves recognition for the hard work achieved by the students each year. What I am asking of you is to stand behind the 2021 graduating class and raise your voice in favor of honoring the graduating seniors by offering an in-person commencement in May. It is completely feasible for CDES to host our Commencement in person, just as it is for the other colleges on this campus. We request the Dean’s office to gather data on how many UMN CDES students would be willing to opt into an in-person commencement and create a plan to issue an in-person option for students so inclined to attend. As students, we are willing to help out in this process. The in-person commencement can be streamed so families can witness their graduates walking across the stage without the risk of attending the ceremony in person. We are asking that you reassess the possibility of hosting our commencement at Northrup for just us students or look at outdoor options such as TCF Bank Stadium or the Campus Mall to house a small audience in compliance with the Minnesota Covid Restrictions. Regardless, we have been in school for 4 or 6+ years as graduates and this is a vital piece of our academic career and something we have looked forward to for years. Will you make a board resolution in support of our request for an in-person commencement this May for graduates from the College of Design? By signing this petition, you agree with the idea of having an in-person commencement ceremony.

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!