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WSU Begins to Plan Graduation, Is In-Person a Possibility?

Wright State Cap and Gown | Photo by Diana Jaber | The Wright State Guardian

Wright State Cap and Gown | Photo by Diana Jaber | The Wright State Guardian

Wright State University (WSU) students, especially seniors, are anxious about the upcoming 2021 graduation and whether or not it will be in-person. 

Graduation in the talks

Student Government Association (SGA) President and senior Adrian Williams is currently in talks with WSU President Susan Edwards, Director of Commencements Frankie Lee, the Chief Business Officer, SGA members and Faculty Senate President Laura Leuhermann about whether or not graduation can be held in person on May 1, 2021. 

While nothing is finalized yet, in the next few weeks there will be more meetings to hash out possibilities for graduation.

“There’s a lot of state and federal government regulations on what we can and can’t do. So we’re trying to figure out how we can still abide by those rules and get creative enough to potentially have some sort of in-person graduation, even if it’s only for students,” Williams said. 

Student opinions

WSU senior Hanna Davis is unsure of how graduation will go but knows that she will still celebrate her various accomplishments no matter what. 

“I heard a rumor that they were going to try and make a virtual ceremony instead. I heard that they don’t want to push it back like they did with other [graduating] classes. They want to make sure it’s on May 1, but I’ve heard it’s going to be virtual. It would be nice to have photos in person though. I’m still ordering my cap and gown like it will be in person,” Davis said. 

Senior English major Hannah Pavalko has ideas on how graduation could be held safely.

“We could have six feet minimum socially distanced seating, masks, vaccines (hopefully), low contact and an organized entrance and exit for the whole auditorium to avoid crowds,” Pavalko said.

According to Pavalko, she and her family want to do whatever is safest. If it is in person, she wants to attend the ceremony, make a special meal and be with her family. If it is virtual, Pavalko will throw a home ceremony instead.

“We’re in unprecedented times and I don’t think anyone could have predicted this, but it’s on us to be mature and realize that everybody’s trying their best,” Williams said. “Regardless of whether or not we have graduation in person, we still have accomplished something great. You graduate with a degree from a great university. That’s cause for celebration.”

Roxanne Roessner

Wright Life and Laker Life Editor