How Do Seniors Feel About In-Person Graduation?
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is exploring the possibility of having in-person graduation for 2021 spring graduates. The school will be making decisions based on COVID-19 guidelines to ensure this commencement ceremony is safe for all graduates, faculty and families.
This graduation is directly impacting the graduates, so seniors like Cydney Taylor, DJ Krausz and Annie Liu are very concerned about the outcome of graduation.
“It is valid for Penn State to think about in-person graduation since they did not have one last year,” Taylor (Spanish, global and international studies) said. “I am worried about COVID and hope to get vaccinated soon. If they cannot do it outside, then they should not do it.”
For a highly populated university like Penn State, it must ensure that everyone is safe at a massive event like a graduation.
For Taylor, graduation is exceptional after finishing college in just three years. She said that she would’ve never thought that a virus would ruin her chances of graduating in person. However, she is more concerned for her safety and her family, as she is not even sure if it is legal for over 40,000 people to gather in one area.
Krausz (psychology) expressed similar feelings regarding his concerns about COVID interfering in their in-person graduation.
“I would be concerned about COVID because the numbers in Pennsylvania haven’t been getting any better,” Krausz said.
Krausz would like to see his fellow seniors get tested and quarantine before graduation if it is in person. If that doesn’t happen, he doesn’t feel that it will be safe.
Krausz is just like any senior; he wanted in-person graduation to show that his hard work paid off over the last couple of years. He wanted his parents to see his accomplishments, but he is worried about their safety if in-person graduation takes place. He wants his parents to be safe, even if that means he would graduate virtually.
Liu (music performance, general science) believes in-person graduation would be fun, but no one would be happy with Penn State’s decision regarding this ceremony.
“I honestly do not know how they will do it because, no matter how they do it, not everyone will be happy,” Liu said. “Families can’t come, and only some colleges can do it due to limitations of space. It is something students want, and it means the university and students are looking forward to it.”
Along with the other seniors, Liu believes outside graduation would be fun since the school for music holds its ceremonies outside. This would be the safer option, as it can be held in the tailgate lots, Krausz suggested.
“I think especially for having graduates put up with remote as we went through tough times,” Liu said. “We are ready to graduate.”
Kayla Marrero is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.