Hope is emerging amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as Saint Peter’s University plans to have small social-distancing commencement ceremonies for the classes of 2020 and 2021 in June, but both classes have very mixed feelings.
The dates for these commencement ceremonies are listed on the Saint Peter’s University website and are split based on the school. They are tentatively scheduled to take place between June 7-11 and June 14-17 in the Duncan Family Sky Room on the 6th floor of the Mac Mahon Student Center.
A registration link for both commencements will be announced soon. Every graduate must register for a specific time slot to participate.Each time slot will run for approximately one hour and thirty minutes, and there will be a set number of time slots per day.
As the commencement date approaches, the registered graduate will be notified of their arrival and check-in time.
Saint Peter’s University will also be hosting a virtual ceremony for each class that will include speeches and readings of the graduates’ names. The Class of 2020’s virtual commencement will take place on Friday, May 21; and the Class of 2021’s virtual commencement will take place on Thursday, June 3.
Some current seniors have shared their ambivalent feelings about graduation.
Zaheerah Ahmad, a senior double-majoring in accounting and psychology, is disappointed that her in-person commencement ceremony will be hosted in June.
“It’s happening way too late. A whole month after graduation won’t feel the same,” said Ahmad.
Other seniors have voiced their wishes that the commencement would follow the same tradition as Saint Peter’s University did prior to the pandemic.
“I wish it was at PNC Banks [Art Center] like where it used to be,” said Kagan Shaw, another senior accounting major.
However, they understand that social distancing guidelines need to be followed.
“[I] would have loved to have it in a nice stadium, but I [would] rather be safe,” said Karen Canales, a senior biology major.
Although the Class of 2020 is experiencing their in-person commencement a little too late, some will still be attending.
“[They] should have done it virtually last May. But I’m going to get it over with!” said alumna Alexandra Antonucci.
Alumna Elissa Rojas also shared her mixed feelings.
“I’m sad it took this long to get some kind of recognition. But I’m going in June for my parents,” said Rojas.