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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Why UMass Boston should host a commencement ceremony for Spring 2022

1. We have worked so hard! 
I know it and the bags under your eyes know it: You’ve put in hard work to earn your degree. Walking across the stage with my cap and gown is something I have dreamt of for years, and I have waited for this moment forever. Sure, the ceremony may be long, but listening to the speeches after a celebratory night of drinks with your friends is what makes graduation quite a celebration. Commencement is a rite of passage, one that we all deserve to celebrate.
 2. The venue does not have to be inside.
Last commencement, there were so many students that they ended up booking TD Garden and having both 2020 and 2021 classes attending. While I would have loved to have been there, that’s simply too many people. Like it or not, we are still in a pandemic. It may be too crowded and not safe enough to host a commencement ceremony indoors. Past commencements have included students seated on the gorgeous waterfront campus, and an outdoor venue offers room to make changes and potentially have more people actually attend the ceremony in person. This would also minimize the risk of COVID-19 being transmitted as being outdoors allows for fresh air.
 3. Minimizing how many people attend could be effective.
A smaller version of commencement is better than no graduation ceremony at all! A potential mandate of how many guests students can allow may be helpful and slow the spread of COVID-19, as allowing those closest to the graduate to attend the ceremony. Two or three tickets per graduate could be ideal, as this would allow for the parents and potentially to include one additional guest to come along. Also, the graduation ceremony is usually live streamed, or at least recorded, so those who are unable to attend can be present and supportive by tuning in virtually.
 4. Mandating masks and requiring those who attend the ceremony.
Let’s be honest: We all know masks are required and necessary for going out, attending classes and even hanging with our friends. It sucks, but it is the world we live in, and the same goes for commencement. Guests, students and faculty obviously need to be wearing masks, but if hypothetically we had an outdoor graduation, keeping those requirements in place would be helpful, especially with everyone situated so close together. This will not only help slow the spread of COVID-19 but keep necessary safety requirements in place.
As a collective student body we have all been through so much and deserve to celebrate our accomplishments together. If taking precautions and putting necessary sanctions in place is what will get us up on that stage in our caps and gowns, then it’s what we need to do. I know I have been dreaming of graduating college for four years and I don’t want COVID-19 to get in the way of that. Too many other students have had what was supposed to be an amazing graduation experience taken from them and I don’t want that for the class of 2022. Do you think we will have an in person ceremony? Hopefully, soon we will have answers!