Student Leaders Urge Seniors Not To Return To Campus For Graduation Weekend
Several student leaders urged seniors not to return to Penn State for what would’ve been their graduation weekend in a letter signed by them and the Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims.
The letter encouraged students to stay home and maintain social distancing in order to help ensure the fall semester can begin as planned in spite of the coronavirus pandemic, which moved the second half of the spring semester online. Instead, they affirmed that there would be a time for the Class of 2020 to celebrate in person at a later date.
“A piece of our legacy must be protecting our Alma Mater during this time,” the letter read. “All of us wish that things could be different. We want the opportunity to see each other again, to remember the past several years together, and to recall why Penn State means so much to us. We can’t do that now, but the time will come. We WILL have our last hurrah together when it is safe to do so.”
The letter was signed by heads of organizations like THON, Interfraternity Council, and the University Park Undergraduate Association and student-athletes like volleyball player Kendall White and wrestler Nick Lee.
The university plans to employ a two-phased commencement where degrees will be conferred virtually this weekend and graduates will be recognized with an in-person ceremony at a later date.
“Your deep commitment to that fundamental human purpose is how the Penn State Class of 2020 will always be remembered. We will see each other again in the future, and at that time, we will celebrate,” the letter concluded.
You can read the full letter below:
We share, as you must, the disappointment that comes with the continuing ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. This school year and our time together have not progressed as we all hoped that they would. Friendship and activities, the Blue-White Game, the end the semester, and even the end of college for some us, have not been what we imagined or what we’d looked forward to. Unfortunately, though, we cannot escape the reality or the gravity of our current situation.
As we approach the dates originally planned for in-person Commencement ceremonies, we all feel the desire to return to State College for one last hurrah; the impulse to do so is certainly understandable. However, Penn State’s fall semester and future lie in the wake of the decisions that we make today, and a return to State College could jeopardize that future. The health of our community is paramount, and we must acknowledge that now is not the time for our reunion in State College.
To the Class of 2020: We acknowledge that your time as a student at Penn State may well be over, but we must consider the importance of doing everything in our power to preserve the Penn State futures of younger generations. A piece of our legacy must be protecting our Alma Mater during this time. All of us wish that things could be different. We want the opportunity to see each other again, to remember the past several years together, and to recall why Penn State means so much to us. We can’t do that now, but the time will come. We WILL have our last hurrah together when it is safe to do so.
Until the time to come together does return, please stay safe where you are, if you can; continue to socially distance; avoid unnecessary travel; and keep yourself and those you love safe and well. Your deep commitment to that fundamental human purpose is how the Penn State Class of 2020 will always be remembered. We will see each other again in the future, and at that time, we will celebrate.
For the future that we wait,
Interfraternity Council President
Panhellenic Council President
Executive Director, THON 2020
University Park Undergraduate Association President, 2019-20
Lion Ambassadors President, 2019-20
Black Caucus President, 2019-20
Nittany Lion Mascot, 2017-20
University Park Allocation Committee Chair, 2018-20
Executive Director, Homecoming 2020
Penn State Football
Penn State Wrestling
Penn State Men’s Soccer
Penn State Women’s Volleyball
Penn State Women’s Ice Hockey
Vice President for Student Affairs
Your ad blocker is on.
Please choose an option below.
Purchase a Subscription!
About the Author
Interviewed faculty members pointed toward low representation and systemic obstacles as the biggest hurdles the university faces as a broader “racial reckoning” spreads through higher education.
Select pieces of the former restaurant’s memorabilia will be auctioned off from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, at State College’s RE Farm Cafe.
State College residents and community members busted out all-rainbow everything Saturday to take part in the borough’s first-ever “Pride Ride” car caravan.
Send this to a friend