In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many schools are postponing or cancelling spring 2020 commencement ceremonies. All soon-to-be graduates seem to understand this, although it's disappointing that we don't get to walk in our intended graduation ceremony.
At all public universities in North Carolina, known as the UNC System, all ceremonies have been canceled or postponed, with the discretion up to individual universities to plan accordingly for their communities.
Most universities are simply postponing the ceremony to an undecided date. That implies still having a separate ceremony for spring 2020 graduates.
However, my school, Appalachian State University, has decided that seniors will get a virtual ceremony in lieu of our May commencement. We will also have the option to walk in the December graduation.
Yes, that's right, our ceremony will now be, somehow, online. Or, we can walk with fall semester graduates in December.
This is the only school that I've heard about choosing the put their commencement ceremonies online, not postponing. Walking in December is not postponing, either, because that is a ceremony separately planned for fall graduates.
I'm sorry, but I don't want to click "walk across the stage" in a virtual ceremony, or walk in a ceremony not made for students who finished all their classes in May.
My peers and I have spent four years, or more, studying and working in our classes. We've spent a lot of money for those classes and in the dining halls that aren't even good but are your only option when you live on campus. We paid money to live in those shoeboxes they call residence halls. Almost everyone I know has had a ticket from parking on campus without a pass or in the wrong spot.
We have spent years' worth of time and money to earn a right to walk in our ceremony. We don't want a virtual one. We don't want to walk in someone else's ceremony.
We want our own spring semester 2020 graduation ceremony. And I don't think that's asking too much of a university we have spent four years working for and paying.