File Photo/The Lion’s Roar
For many graduating seniors, their final semester as a student at the university has been unusual.
On March 26, students were notified via a student notice email that the Spring Commencement ceremony would be moved from May 16 to a date in late summer that has yet to be determined.
There was a split reaction to the change among students, with some upset and others unbothered.
Raeleigh Joshlin, senior communication major, shared her feelings about the change.
“I am honestly pretty upset,” said Joshlin. “I was really looking forward to graduating more than anything else this year. However, I completely understood why they did it. They’re just trying to keep everyone safe and that does come first.”
However, not everyone was as impacted by the change as Joshlin.
Desmond Taylor, senior communication major, mentioned that the ceremony is not really for him, so he is not as disappointed.
“I personally feel this is convenient,” commented Taylor. “I’m not into the graduation ceremony thing. I have a lot of work ahead of me, and it’s no time to celebrate.”
The presentation of capstone projects has also been canceled, which many students have put in time and effort to complete.
Grace Butzman, senior communication major, shared that she regrets not having the opportunity to present her capstone project.
“The biggest thing has been the challenge with my senior capstone project,” shared Butzman. “Although I was still able to do the project, I’m not able to give the presentation at our Senior Colloquium. It’s like the big end goal that the communication majors work towards.”
Butzman also expressed her disappointment for not being able to share her project with her supporters.
“It’s disappointing because we put a lot of effort into our projects, and I was looking forward to showing my professor, peers and family what I’ve accomplished, but unfortunately, it can’t happen in that way anymore.”
The delays have affected more than just the ceremonies. Another concern is the planned events such as graduation parties and trips.
Marissa Jenkins, senior biological sciences major, shared her experience in trying to plan a graduation celebration around the new changes.
“As of now, it’s extremely difficult to plan a celebration, but before, my family was having a graduation party for me and my cousin,” said Jenkins. “Now, I just want to physically see my degree.”
Another senior, Meghan Sumrall, communication major, shared how she plans to adapt to the new situation.
“I had a lot of trips planned such as Miami for spring break and a couple of beach and camping trips over the summer,” shared Sumrall. “The Miami trip got canceled, so I have a feeling everything else will be too. I’ll probably just set up a blow-up pool in my backyard and hang out with my quarantine group.”
Many students are still excited to graduate despite the unique nature of their situation. Butzman included what she is still able to look forward to.
“I am excited to celebrate my accomplishment and kick off my career,” commented Butzman. “My graduation plans have stayed the same, but they’ll have to be pushed back. I’m not sure when we’ll have the celebrations but hopefully in the summer sometime.”
For updates regarding Spring Commencement, the Office of Records and Registration encourages graduates to monitor the commencement webpage at http://www.southeastern.edu/admin/rec_reg/commencement/