Spring Commencement encourages unity amidst pandemic

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Sophia Gonzalez

After Florida Southern College announced that it will be hosting an in-person Commencement ceremony on May 15, the school has implemented changes to graduation in order to uphold student safety. 

Due to the changes in the ceremony, there’s been a mixture of excitement and confusion over the upcoming graduation details. 

“The overall goal was to have a live ceremony option for students, and while we tried to divide areas up according to disciplinary identity, that may not have been possible in every instance,” Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Brad Hollingshead said. “Nevertheless, graduates in Schools that have multiple locations will receive a communication about their specific location.” 

Since graduates are being separated per School, it is unclear where seniors with multiple majors in different Schools will be located for graduation. 

“Students will graduate in the School that houses the primary major recorded on their official transcript,” Hollingshead said. 

Despite the current learning environment with remote and in-person students, an email sent out to graduating students states that students must fill out an in absentia form if they cannot attend graduation due to “extenuating circumstances.” 

Hollingshead confirmed that a student’s remote learning status will be enough to exempt them from attending graduation in person. 

“… for Schools that are using multiple buildings, such as the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, a communication will be sent closer to graduation that assigns students to the appropriate building,” Hollingshead said. 

FSC held a virtual ceremony in the spring of 2020, due to the uncertainty regarding the spread of COVID-19.

“I’ve been looking forward to walking across the stage since I was a freshman, and I’m genuinely so glad that FSC was able to put on an in-person event,” senior double major Tabatha Lehmann said. “There are quite a few precautionary and security measures in place to keep students and attendees as safe as possible…”

After holding a virtual graduation for the graduating class of spring 2020, FSC will also  be hosting an in-person ceremony for its 2020 graduates at 8:45 a.m. on May 15 in the Jenkins Field House.

All graduates are allowed to bring a maximum of two guests. 

“We have managed to handle the difficulties that COVID-19 ha[s] hurled at us,” remote senior AndrewPaul McIntosh said. “For some, who have not been on campus since March 2020, arriving at this day is all the more special.”

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