North Texas Daily

There’s no point in doing online commencement

There’s no point in doing online commencement

There’s no point in doing online commencement
July 30
13:20 2020

With COVID-19 ravaging through Texas right now, UNT made the correct call in postponing commencement for students graduating at the end of the spring semester. In lieu of an actual commencement, however, UNT instead announced that there will be an online commencement, but honestly, what’s the point?

A four-hour virtual commencement ceremony is honestly a slap in the face to the thousands of students who studied and worked through countless hours of school to finally receive their degree. If the ceremony was going to be online, why couldn’t this have been done in May?

The College of Music already did a virtual ceremony for its graduates. Why is UNT just now deciding to copy what its individual divisions have already done? Even more frustrating is that UNT held a poll for graduating students concerning commencement, and virtual commencement was, by far, the least popular option.

It just goes to show that UNT doesn’t care about the success of their students, just the money associated with them.

If UNT truly cared, it would instead just postpone the ceremony until December or even until sometime in 2021. There’s no rush, COVID-19 has put a pause on living a normal life for the foreseeable future, and the least the school can do is give their students the hope that they’ll be able to actually receive a real graduation. A lot of students at UNT didn’t work as hard as they did and pay as much they have to just watch their graduation on their laptop.

The whole point of commencement is to walk across the stage and get photos after. Why even bother listening to what’s being said? They’re just going to say the same, awe-inspiring motivational speeches about this being “our time,” except it’ll ring more hollow because this isn’t our time. Our time was stolen from us, and now we’re going to struggle to find jobs that will take us during a pandemic.

But it shouldn’t all be negativity though. There is so much uncertainty for the future with this pandemic, and UNT is already struggling to figure out how they’re going to make the entire fall semester online for a university of this size, which is already no small feat. Plus there are so many courses, like labs, that just can not be done online. We’d give anything for a normal spring graduation, but there’s also an understanding that it just can’t be the priority right now. It just can’t.

If UNT offers to bring back the spring graduates in 2021 for the real deal, maybe it sweetens the blow, but for now, everything else rings hollow. And it’s hard to look forward to your final hurrah as an undergrad, when all it is in reality, is pressing “F” to walk the stage.

Featured Illustration: Ali Jones

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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