Reconsider 2022 graduation plans

Reconsider 2022 graduation plans

501 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
Petition to
University of Essex

Why this petition matters

Started by Jess Hyde-Smith

During the pandemic, students of the University of Essex, have worked incredibly hard. We have adjusted to online teaching, reduced face-to-face support, and studying in multiple lockdowns, the latter of which has altered most of our time as University of Essex students. We have supported the University throughout the pandemic, adapting to sudden change, absence of online resources, and taking end-of-year exams outside of exam halls and exam conditions. 

We should all merit an in-person graduation, not only due to the unprecedented nature of the last year and 9 months, but more importantly to celebrate all that we have achieved in this time.

The University’s Graduation office announced on the 16th of June 2021 that: “We have said from the outset that we are committed to inviting all our Graduates whose ceremonies have been postponed due to COVID-19 to celebrate at an in-person ceremony when it is safe to do so and when we are confident we can deliver the best possible event for you.”.

This same promise has not been kept, and we have only been given limited, first-come-first-serve tickets for in-person graduation. For some courses these tickets were already sold out today, on the first day of bookings.

This decision has led to many students from the classes of 2019, 2020 and 2021 missing out and we, as a student body, believe this is extremely unfair. With sufficient safety measures there should be no reason that the university cannot accommodate more tickets to ensure all students can attend.

Students long to share the graduation experience with friends and family, as many have had to go through unbearable losses throughout the year with the hope that graduation will allow families to come together to celebrate. As well as students, families are heartbroken in this announcement as they may not be able to celebrate the finishing of a significant part of their child or relative's life in an appropriate manner.

Therefore, we are asking for a review of the 'first-come first-serve basis'. Which unfairly impacted those students that had difficulties applying online due to the website crashing, or were unavailable at 10am when bookings opened. We feel that all students should be guaranteed a place at a physical graduation and their family members should be able to celebrate the achievement alongside them.

Lastly, we would like to highlight a previous petition by University of Lincoln students regarding the same issue which gained 9 thousand signatures:

In response, their graduation was altered to accommodate the student body, proving that our request is entirely reasonable.

We appreciate the hard work and effort that all our lecturers, tutors and non-academic staff (especially the Graduation office) have made to ensure we still enjoyed our time at University despite the pandemic, and we ask that the University of Essex keeps their promise to offer us all an in-person graduation.

501 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!