Commencement during a Critical Period

By Jolie Nguyen, Staff Writer

We have gone through half of the fall term and it is almost time to celebrate the biggest event that marks the accomplishment of students in Georgia Southern University, the graduation ceremony.

During this critical period of COVID-19, there were many questions about commencement and whether it could be held in-person. Fortunately, the commencement ceremony is going to be held in-person. 

However, in order to ensure the public safety, it is necessary to hold the ceremony multiple times according to their majors to comply with the social distancing policy. There will be five different ceremonies held within three days in different locations. 

The first ceremony will be held on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. Commencement will be celebrated at the Savannah Convention Center. The limitation of guest tickets per candidate will be four. The first commencement ceremony is open for any undergraduates obtaining a degree. 

The second graduation will be conducted at Paulson Stadium on the Statesboro campus on Wednesday, Dec 16, at 10 a.m. This ceremony is for undergraduate students from the College of Arts and Humanities, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Jiann- Ping Hsu College of Public Health. The limitation of guest tickets for each candidate is eight.

The next ceremony will also be held on Dec. 16 at Paulson Stadium, however, it will be held later in the afternoon, at 3 p.m. for undergraduates from Waters College of Health Professions and Allen. E. Paulson College of Engineering and Computing. The limitation for the number of guests that each student can have is eight. 

The fourth ceremony for graduation will be held on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. The location for this ceremony is also at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro campus. This ceremony is for undergraduates from Parker College of Business, College of Education, College of Science and Mathematics. As with the second and the third graduation ceremonies, the limitation of guests that each student can bring is eight. 

The last commencement ceremony is for graduate students from Jack. N. Averitt College of Graduate students. The ceremony will be held on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 3 p.m. at Paulson Stadium and will also allow graduates to bring up to eight guests.

Students and every other guest are required to RSVP by Nov. 9. Additionally, there are several policies to follow in order to secure the public safety regarding the health crisis within this critical period.

These policies include appropriate face masks required for all in attendance, obey social distancing for attendance that is not from one household, reduced the seating capacity, and other procedure changes to accommodate the public safety. 

Although the pandemic is happening, after discussing with local and state health officials, the in-person graduation ceremony can still be celebrated. Therefore, in order to secure public safety, it is necessary to follow the protocols. Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020.