How Coronavirus-Canceled Commencements Are Being Replaced

Among the fears of the coronavirus, the University of Michigan canceled its commencement which was planned for May 2 at Michigan Stadium. This reconsideration comes in the face of the pandemic and in efforts to minimize the potential spread of the disease.
More than 9,000 students would have been eligible to participate in the ceremony, which normally draws in tens of thousands when including the students’ guests. Public health officials have warned that such large gatherings facilitate the spread of the virus due to the proximity of the people attending.
The university’s announcement applies to “large campuswide ceremonies and individual school, college, and group recognition ceremonies.” The school also announced that it was shifting to remote instruction for the rest of the semester starting March 23. After that announcement though, students organized an impromptu “Coronamencement.” The students wanted to make sure their graduation wasn’t lost.
The Florida Institute of Technology is also reconsidering their methods for their commencement ceremonies in May, limiting the event to just the students. The graduate-only ceremonies will be closed to guests, including friends and family of the students.
Students whose families would like to attend the graduation are invited to walk during fall commencement in December instead of spring commencement. Florida Tech boasts students from more than 100 countries, so they were more inclined to make their announcement as soon as possible so the students’ families had enough time to adjust their travel plans.
Seniors at Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts got creative and organized a “fauxmencement” ceremony. They replaced the official graduation attire with garbage bag gowns, paper graduation caps, and yarn-made tassels.
In about 24 hours, people from all over the school came together to make the event happen, from facilities workers and dining services employees to the orchestra, staff and the students.
Although times are a little chaotic, people are finding ways to be innovative against the restrictions being made in the efforts of staying safe.