Reconsider the graduation arrangements for the classes of 2020 and 2021
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The classes of 2020 and 2021 have worked hard, studied and succeeded throughout the global pandemic that is Covid-19. We have endured turmoil by having lectures cancelled, teaching hours slashed, quarantine restrictions implemented and climaxing with a full national lockdown, abruptly ending our University experience. We have continued to support the University of Lincoln throughout the pandemic, including the reduction of face-to-face tutoring, the lack of essential learning resources, being encouraged to take on student housing and having to complete end-of-year exams from home.
We at least deserve a proper graduation that is accessible to all, especially after the turbulence of 2020 going into 2021.
After a minimal amount of students received the University's most updated plans on the 25/04/2021, the announcement suggested that all graduation ceremonies will be held in April 2022, on a 'first-come first-serve basis'.
We, as a student body, believe this is outrageous. Events such as Quack can be held and promoted by the University in accordance with Government guidelines, however our graduation ceremonies cannot.
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. However, distributing tickets on a first-come first-serve basis unfairly impacts those students that have now earned graduate roles and might be less able to apply online.
We are requesting firstly, an earlier provisional date to that of April 2022, that is still in-line with Government guidelines. This is essential for the class of 2020, where some will be graduating 21 months after officially leaving University. The University often holds its' graduation ceremonies in September and we are asking for this to be upheld for the class of 2020. This will allow as many students as possible, the graduation they deserve.
Secondly, we are asking for a review of the 'first-come first-serve basis'. We feel that all students should be guaranteed a place at a physical graduation and family members are able to purchase tickets to celebrate the achievement alongside them. This is equally as unfair as not everyone has access to the internet on a 24/7 basis, if at all. On top of this, graduates in employment may not be given the opportunity to even apply if they are in a meeting or working within the emergency services for example.
We request that the date for the class of 2021 is not pushed back further. This is to allow as many of that year group the chance to graduate as possible, as they too have been effected by Covid-19 in regards to missing out their final year of University. Ideally, this would be after the 2020 cohort’s graduation ceremonies; this would still be in-line with Government guidelines, ensuring all students graduate within a reasonable time period after they have finished their studies. All students within the 2021 cohort should also be guaranteed a place in the graduation ceremonies.
All of these requests are within the Government guideline's, where it shall 'remove all legal limits on social contact' (Gov, June 2021).
Students received an email on the 14/01/2021 from the University themselves, stating that 'at the University of Lincoln, we are committed offering all of our graduates the full graduation experience in the splendour of Lincoln cathedral and castle. We are committed to rescheduling the ceremonies as soon as Government regulations permit, and we will inform staff as soon as possible, so we can come together once again and celebrate our students' achievements'. We want this promise kept.
This news came on a Sunday and within an hour, hundreds of students have voiced their anger, disgust and disappointment in this decision. As well as students, families are heartbroken in this announcement as they might not be able to celebrate the finishing of a significant part of their child's life in an appropriate manor.
If the University of Lincoln truly cares about its' current students opinions and alumni, this petition should be taken with serious consideration.
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