A petition calling on officials to reschedule this year’s Commencement on the National Mall has garnered more than 4,000 signatures in two days.
Students launched the petition Monday evening on change.org minutes after officials announced that University-wide and school Commencement ceremonies will not happen in person this year in wake of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to suspend gatherings of more than 50 people. Officials said they will work on a plan to recognize this year’s graduates but have not announced an alternative to the ceremony historically held on the National Mall.
“While we most definitely need to be practicing social distancing at this time, we have worked too hard to miss out on getting to walk on the National Mall,” the petition states. “Let’s offer a reasonable alternative: we push the ceremony to late summer or fall. We deserve an in-person ceremony once it is safe to do so!”
“We are working diligently to determine how we can, appropriately and safely, celebrate our graduates within the constraints of the current circumstances,” University President Thomas LeBlanc said in the release.