Petition for Proper UNBC 2020 Convocation

This petition made change with 1,448 supporters!

Dear University of Northern British Columbia President Geoff Payne, 

My name is Danika Serafin and I am writing to you on behalf of the College of Arts, Social, and Health Sciences graduating class of 2020. We received your email today regarding a virtual convocation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate your willingness to provide an alternative way to honour our graduating class however, we wish you would have consulted those who you are honouring first. If you had, you would have heard the following response: 

Your graduates of 2020 have spent countless hours managing personal, financial, professional, physical, and mental stress throughout their post-secondary education with the end goal of walking across the stage at convocation. We have anxiously awaited the day we would be surrounded by the support of our family, friends and loved ones to celebrate our academic accomplishments. We have dreamed for this day to come, for many of us, since the day we could tell our parents what we wanted to do when we grew up. 

We realize you feel that there are no other valid options to provide us with a proper convocation ceremony however, you have demonstrated the power UNBC has in a state of crisis. You demonstrated creativity, and innovation when you salvaged last semester after a three week long strike, and by transferring a whole institution online in the matter of days in the midst of a pandemic. We have seen you overcome trying and unforeseen times and we are confident that there is a way you can provide our graduating class of 2020 with a convocation that honors the tenacity, resilience, and dedication we have shown you over the course of our final academic year, and over the course of our entire post-secondary education with UNBC. 

We suggest rather than providing a virtual convocation that you strongly consider rescheduling our convocation date to 2021. We realize how much time and effort goes into assembling convocation and would be thrilled to have our ceremony the day before the graduating class of 2021. I have reached out to the differing colleges that make up the graduating class of 2020 and the consensus is that we will be patient, and travel next year, to attend a convocation ceremony that honours the hard work and strength we have endured during such stressful times. 

We beg you to reconsider your current virtual convocation option and listen to the ones you are trying to honour. We beg you to provide us with the convocation that we deserve, one that involves being together and celebrating the unforeseen “roadblocks” that our post-secondary education has revealed to us. 

If you take our plea and reschedule our convocation for 2021, you will be showing us that our money, time, and commitment to UNBC is worthy of proper celebration. 

Thank you for your consideration in this manner.

Kind regards, 

Danika Serafin 

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