Reschedule Swarthmore Commencement

Reschedule Swarthmore Commencement

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Alliyah Lusuegro started this petition to Valerie Smith and

As of March 17, 2020, Swarthmore College has decided to cancel Commencement events and in-person ceremony in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In the email, President Valerie Smith states, "In light of the continued uncertainty of this still-expanding pandemic, we have also come to the especially difficult realization that Commencement cannot proceed as usual. I appreciate how upsetting this decision is for many of you, and in particular for our seniors and their families. All of us were looking forward to gathering together under the canopy of tulip and white oak trees in the Scott Amphitheater to celebrate your many achievements. Please know that we are committed to developing a creative virtual alternative to this year’s ceremony. I ask you now to hold the date — Sunday, May 24 — as we discuss those plans with Student Government Organization leaders and others. In addition, we look forward to finding ways to welcome back to campus and honor the Class of 2020 in the future."

We the students, the Class of 2020, wholeheartedly understand that Swarthmore College is utilizing their energy and capacities to respond to students with immediate needs and burdens during this global pandemic. We also feel that a virtual ceremony does not do justice to the Class of 2020. For almost four years of hard work, we have collectively learned, grown, and made incredible memories at this institution. For many students, the symbolic meaning of commencement spans the four-year mark - it is a lifetime's worth of commitment to education, alongside the sacrifice of families. We are asking for a written confirmation from Swarthmore College administration to reschedule an in-person Commencement ceremony to a later date. We envision an in-person ceremony that rightfully celebrates all 400+ of us and our achievements. Along with Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania who have recently committed to a later date for their Commencement ceremonies, we hope that Swarthmore College will reconsider and follow suit.

Please sign this petition so that Swarthmore College will reschedule an in-person Commencement ceremony at a later date, when it is safe and feasible to do so. We are asking for the support of the Class of 2020 and beyond, including but not limited to parents, students from other institutions, faculty, staff. We sincerely hope that Swarthmore College will act on bringing this cherished ceremony to life.

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