Early August commencement considered; Pandemic shakes up students’ post-graduation plans


Source: utica.edu

Emily Beck, Staff Writer

The 2020 graduation ceremony was approaching quickly, a moment many seniors had been looking forward to since they began their college experience. Due to recent interruptions the 2020 graduation was postponed, targeting the first half of August, according to a campus-wide statement by President Laura Casamento.

Holding a virtual graduation was considered although the administration is “determined that this year’s Commencement will be held in person,” the memo stated.

This news wasn’t what most seniors, who missed out on the rest of their last year and getting to walk across the stage with their friends, wanted to hear. 

Many students look forward to graduation but after this hiccup, it might change a lot of moods.

  “It definitely made me upset finding out that I might not be able to walk across the stage in May,” senior Josh Fenical said. “And I was really disappointed.” 

Fenical said after graduation he planned to take over his family business.

    Senior Emily Loeschner said she was not happy that the graduation ceremony was not going to happen in May.

“If graduation is cancelled I will be upset. Virtual graduation wouldn’t even feel like a real graduation,” she said. “I was excited to see everyone walk across the stage and get pictures with everyone, especially to take pictures with those friends who I may never see again.”

Loeschner said the saddest part was not being able to say goodbye to her friends.

 “We didn’t know everything we were doing was going to be the last time so we didn’t make sure we did everything we wanted.”

After graduation, Loeschner had plans to go to grad school in Long Island. She said she hopes nothing with this will change because of the virus. She decided to go to grad school because she needs it in order to do what she does, without it she says she will be or could be “set back” and said she doesn’t want that to happen. 

Sarah Garramone, assistant director of career development, said “it is natural” for students to be sad that this “milestone” might not be happening this year.

“Finding ways to engage virtually is essential to feeling connected to the college and classmates,” she said.

Garramone also said it could be helpful to brainstorm certain things to look forward to in order to keep the school spirit going.

With the new virus spreading and everyone being quarantined to practice social distancing, figuring out future plans can become stressful for students.

“It is likely that this current pandemic will cause some hiccups in organizational hiring. The best advice is to be patient,” Garramone said. “This does not mean that you will not find an internship or a job, it just means that it may take longer than usual while companies (and the world) adjust to the new normal.”