University of Tennessee: Graduating Master's Students Deserve to be Hooded at Ceremony

University of Tennessee: Graduating Master's Students Deserve to be Hooded at Ceremony

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Misty McPhetridge started this petition to University of Tennessee and

Graduating from the University of Tennessee with a Master's Degree is no small feat. Earning this degree takes years of dedication, countless sacrifices, and costs tens of thousands of dollars. Some of us are first generation college graduates. Some are the first people in our family to get a Master’s Degree. Earning this degree is a huge deal. Each student has a different story and a unique journey. Walking across the stage and being hooded is beyond special--it is a hard-earned and well-deserved honor. Our hard work deserves to be celebrated to the best of the university’s ability while keeping COVID-19 safety precautions in place.

The email that graduate students received from the university states that, “The Graduate Hooding Ceremony is a University-wide ceremony, recognizing all graduating masters and doctoral students. Due to the very large number of masters students across the campus, only the DSW and PhD students are hooded on stage at this ceremony. Master’s students will be recognized, but should wear their hoods to the ceremony.”

This email was received with a combination of relief that we get to walk across the stage and angry tears in response to the sentiment that Master’s students are not worth the extra time. Graduating Master’s students, regardless of how many of us there are, deserve the recognition of being hooded. We have earned that recognition. Our accomplishments are being undermined for the sake of time. Our graduating class has succeeded in earning a graduate degree during a global pandemic and has shown resilience that we did not know we had. It should not be too much to ask that the University of Tennessee recognize and properly honor all graduate students with a hooding ceremony. We have put in the work despite ongoing obstacles and struggles. It’s simple: Master’s graduates deserve to be hooded.

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