There’s a brighter side to 2020 after all. Fall 2020 graduates have been granted a celebration to honor their hard work.
LSU announced that Fall 2020Commencement will take place in Tiger Stadium Dec. 18. Spring, Summer and Fall 2020 graduates will have the opportunity to participate in the ceremony.
Students were initially upset by the original announcement stating that Fall Commencement would not take place.
Motivated by student responses, Student Body President Stone Cox met with administration to discuss holding an in-person graduation.
“You know, I was getting messages from students and they were reaching out and they were talking to me and they were showing how frustrated they were," Cox said.
"And I just knew, you know, I’m not graduating but I knew that meant a lot to them and they really didn’t understand the disconnect between how we could do football but we couldn’t do an in-person graduation,” he followed.
Cox presented COVID-19 regulations and student perspectives to the University Board of Supervisors and gained the support of President Galligan and other board members to develop a plan.
“Initially we thought we couldn't do it safely, uhm, we couldn’t do it without incredible expense, but then we started thinking,” Interim President Galligan said. “I was at a football game and looked and I said, look we don’t have to be on the field, we can use the stands and it’s not going to be the same, but at least we’re going to be together and we’re going to get people’s names up on the jumbotron, we’re going to announce their names and they’re going to have the chance to just yell and say I did it.”
Graduates must complete the graduation questionnaire by Nov. 20 in order to participate in the graduation ceremony.
Students shared their feelings about both of the graduation emails from the Division of Strategic Communications.
Four seniors graduating in December expressed their opinions below:
Kierrany Coleman-LSU Senior
“First, I thought they did not care about their academic portion, the academic promises, the academic part of school. Uhm, it felt like we were put on the back burner while football is on the front burner because they made sure to put regulations, I mean guidelines for that, but they couldn’t have taken the time to make guidelines for graduation. I don’t understand how those who have no connection because they’re both highly contagious."
Caroline Rhodes-LSU Senior
“So I saw the email while I was on a walk and I started crying. Uhm, I was very excited. I didn’t read the whole thing all the way through at first, but I was just excited that we were able to do something and that we’d be recognized for our accomplishments."
Cullen Lyle-LSU Senior
“I was really glad and I knew a lot of people that complained and LSU understood that it was a slap in the face to not have that celebration."
Cory Koch-LSU Senior
“I was a little disappointed that it was kind of like a uh, okay we’ll listen to you, but this is all you’re going to get is a one size fits all, everyone needs to make it on this day, we’re going to do it rain or shine. I felt like it was a little dramatic and they could have been more flexible with it and given us a few more dates, but I’m happy that they made the right decision to give us a graduation in the first place, or you know, afterwards."
These four seniors plan to attend the December ceremony.
The class of 2020 will be the first to have graduation in Tiger Stadium since the 90s.