Survey to help find grad ceremony alternative

Calvin University will not hold the graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020 on May 23, due to executive orders and governmental regulations. 

According to Le Roy, student senate appointed a group of seniors to create a survey of possible alternatives for the graduating class of 2020. Le Roy wrote to the graduating seniors, “I cannot imagine making the decisions around alternatives to a May commencement ceremony without the benefit of your class’s shared wisdom.” 

Holding an in-person graduation at a later date or having an online ceremony on the scheduled date are proposed alternatives. In an email announcing the survey, President Michael Le Roy wrote, “Even considering this possibility is painful for me.” 

Completely canceling the ceremony is not an option, according to Le Roy’s email.  

The survey is intended to help guide Le Roy and the appointed group of seniors in making an alternative decision for graduation. They have asked for responses by midnight on Thursday, April 16. 

The student team thought it would be helpful for seniors to be aware of what other higher education institutions are doing during this pandemic. According to the email, “Of 111 colleges and universities surveyed 8% have cancelled commencement ceremonies altogether (not a plan we are considering), 60% are postponing their ceremonies until a future date, 22% are currently undecided, and 10% have replaced a physical ceremony with a virtual ceremony.”

The survey was created by student senate President Emerson Silvernail, Debora Haede, Hanokh Hiwale, Andrew Huston, Lyric Floria, Mallory Meints, and Paul Steenwyk.