University Relations and Development looked to Associated Students Inc. senators for their input on a virtual celebration before the planned in-person commencement in fall at Wednesday’s Senate meeting
Vice President of University Relations and Development Michele Cesca said that the targeted time frame for a virtual celebration would be June or early summer.
The virtual celebration would be separate from the in-person commencement in the fall.
Associate Vice President for URD Christopher Reese said that the virtual celebration would include speeches from the president, provost, ASI and alumni.
“I know I’ve spoken to a lot of graduating seniors and if it was only a virtual option, I know that not a lot of them would be happy,” Sen. Daniella Hernandez said.
There would be a virtual calling of names which includes a slide for each individual graduate displaying their name, major and other relevant information.
Reese also talked about the potential for graduates to customize their own slides with a personal quote and photo.
The virtual celebration would be live-streamed and packaged to share with families and friends of graduating students.
Sen. Raquelle Hafen said that she thought it was a good idea for graduates that aren’t local.
“Maybe they’re out of state or something like that, so that’s a good way for them to be able to celebrate if they wouldn’t be able to come all the way out here after maybe having moved back somewhere else to graduate,” Hafen said.
Sen. Sumaiyah Hossain asked if there would be any fee reimbursements if the in-person commencement ceremony was delayed or online.
Cesca said that there are as of yet no plans for reimbursement fees because they are still planning the commencement ceremony.
“As you all know, the biggest thing is making sure that everyone is safe and really working with our public health offices,” Cesca said.
Sen. Isabel Douvan asked if students could opt out of the commencement ceremony because they’re paying for changes to a commencement ceremony that they didn’t consent to.
Cesca said they haven’t had those discussions yet, but is willing to bring the issue back to the executive team in charge of decision making.
Incoming ASI Vice President Maythe Alderete Gonzalez suggested emailing a survey to the graduating students for their input.
Cesca agreed with the idea.
The plans have not yet been finalized and Associated Students Inc. did not vote on any resolution in support of the virtual celebration.
Vice President Leen Almahdi said that this initiative gives hope and closure to those students graduating, so they could have something to look back on, in the meantime of waiting to physically walk and graduate.
“All of our seniors will still graduate and so we just want to make sure that we celebrate in the most appropriate way,” Cesca said.
The next ASI meeting will be held via Zoom conference on April 29 at 3:30 pm.