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ISU Senior discouraged by cancellation of Commencement

Written by on March 20, 2020

Photo courtesy to ISU 

NORMAL, Ill.- The disruption of the spring semester by the global COVID-19 pandemic has also affected one of Illinois State University’s traditions: Spring commencement.

ISU does not want the achievements of its students to go unrecognized. Therefore, the University will honor and recognize these accomplishments with two opportunities to celebrate.

ISU will conduct a virtual ceremony that will include remarks by President Larry Dietz and other Illinois State officials. There will also be an opportunity for students to submit photos for the virtual ceremony recognition.

However, there is nothing like hearing your name called as you walk across the stage. Therefore, spring and summer 2020 graduates are invited back to campus to participate in person in the winter commencement ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, December 12.

One ISU senior studying fashion merchandising and design, and the co-director of the ISU fashion show expresses her frustration.

“I am feeling very discouraged and demeaned by the situation. Although I know that this is the best option to keep everyone healthy and safe,” said Senior Bailee Arseneau.

Arseneau believes a virtual ceremony does nothing to make seniors feel as if they have reached a huge milestone in their lives.

“Walking across the stage is something I have dreamed of since elementary school. At this point, I feel as if I’m not even graduating college. I personally think they should have moved the ceremony to the summer,” said Arseneau.

She expressed concerns that by December, many spring graduates will have moved and begun their new lives.

She does understand that this virus may not be under control in the summer. She believes ISU should have rescheduled it to summer anyway and then re-evaluated at a later date if need be.

Illinois State recognizes that the disruption caused by the pandemic has touched every aspect of life and that this is not the commencement that graduates, their families, and their friends were looking forward to.