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LSU reconsidering plans for virtual commencement after student backlash

1 month 2 days 19 hours ago Friday, October 23 2020 Oct 23, 2020 October 23, 2020 5:34 PM October 23, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - LSU will reassess its decision to hold virtual commencement ceremonies this semester after students were vocal about their disdain for the plan Friday.

Just hours after making the announcement that fall's graduations would be all-virtual, interim President Tom Galligan said the university would further discuss the possibility of having some sort of in-person ceremonies. While Galligan would not commit to any actual changes Friday, he said he wanted students to know their concerns were heard.

Commencement ceremonies for the spring and summer were held virtually, with students able to watch live online.

Many voiced their concerns and frustrations about the not-so-traditional ceremonies, including parents of hard working students.

"Mainly I was upset for the seniors graduating this December, mainly my daughter who is here from Texas. that has been her lifelong dream to go to LSU and be an LSU Tiger," parent Cindy Hawkins said.

With football returning and fans allowed in the stadium, many outraged by the commencement revisions are even more upset.

"People are saying 25,000 people go to football games, and then all of the sudden, they hear that they can't have college graduation but yet they can bring in people to football games or other sporting events then yeah, that puts a sour taste into peoples' mouths," Hawkins said.

LSU has also moved the last day to drop a class from Monday, Nov. 9, to Friday, Dec. 4. Officials say this will give students additional time to determine if dropping a class and receiving a grade of “W” is in their best interest.

Dec. 4 is now also the last day to resign from the university.  

The Friday morning update from Galligan also included information related to the 2021 Spring Semester.

The interim President said Spring classes will be conducted very similarly to Fall classes amid the pandemic with a combination of in-person classes, online classes, and a hybrid of both.

He went on to say, "Residential Life and Dining procedures will look largely the same, but we hope to ease some restrictions on events and student gatherings to provide a more traditional student experience wherever possible."

"We understand that the pandemic and all the new procedures it brought with it have not been convenient, but our mitigation efforts helped us maintain on-campus operations this fall and helped keep our number of COVID-19 cases relatively low."

According to Galligan, as of October, less than 1% of the LSU community has had COVID-19 at any given time. 

Click here for more information on the recent changes.

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