There are few things the world can agree on, but I think the one thing that has a general consensus is 2020 is really one of the worst years. The current global pandemic is affecting everyone's lives in one way or another. Loved ones cannot be with each other, people are sick, they haven't been able to control the spread of this virus, events are getting canceled, the list goes on and on. To top it all off, the Florida Board of Governors required all Florida universities to develop alternative plans for graduation ceremonies. While I'd like to be optimistic and hope UCF will figure something out, I'm quickly losing hope regarding in-person graduation. Frankly, shame on you UCF, your students deserve better.
Let me preface this, I believe this pandemic is a big deal and we all need to take it seriously. Wear your mask! It isn't infringing upon your rights. On the other hand, if Florida can enter Phase 3 and allow bars and restaurants to open at 100% capacity and sporting events such as football can take place, students deserve to have a graduation. We spend years working and studying, our graduation ceremony is the time parents and professors can recognize our hard work. But higher education universities are robbing both students and their parents of the one event we all look forward to.
UCF, your students deserve more. For an institution that prides itself on innovation, show us how you plan to create a graduation experience for your students and sorry a virtual commencement isn't cutting it. Your students didn't pay years of tuition fees to walk across their kitchen or dining room. If you are hosting football games in our stadium, why not allow your students to use it for their graduation. Blaming the Florida heat is an easy out, one no one is buying. If you truly want to be a leader for other universities, show them you care about your students- which I'm starting to doubt you do.
I understand the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this article is in no way diminishing the social distancing guidelines we all need to practice. This is the article of a soon-to-be college graduate who, like many across the world, had their hopes crushed when the state didn't think of the people their decision would impact.
Shame on you Florida Board of Governors.