• Macyn Flatmoe

Commencement ceremony to continue with COVID-19 protocols

Pomp and circumstance. Walking across the stage. Receiving a hard-earned degree. Finally getting to say, “I made it.” The moment that just about every college student looks forward to — graduation.

Graduation is perhaps one of the most important days of the school year. As spring rolls around, this celebration is getting closer and closer. This year, Minot State University is lucky enough to be able to celebrate the accomplishments of the class of 2021, as well as the preceding class of 2020.

The Commencement Ceremony is set to take place in the Dome on Sunday, May 14 at 10 a.m. with COVID-19 social-distancing protocols set in place for the safety of the graduates and the guests attending. Each graduate is limited to only three guests, and masks will be required.

Though graduation will be a combination of two graduating classes this year, Kevin Harmon, vice president for student affairs, mentioned that the numbers of those indicating interest for attending commencement is quite a bit smaller than previous years.

“In past years, we’ve had up to 800 graduates go through commencement. So even if a number of students sign up during the incoming weeks, we still will be below average for attendees, and so we feel like we can safely provide and celebrate commencement this year, even though we’re combining both groups,” Harmon commented.

Many different factors played into the decision to participate in graduation for graduates and soon-to-be graduates. For some, the yet-to-be-opened Canadian border makes it difficult for family members to attend, and for others, they are no longer participating in school here in Minot and have simply made the decision not to come back for the ceremony.

Celebrating accomplishments with friends and family is something that students all around the world unfortunately had to skip last year, or make accommodations for, and students at Minot State were no exception.

Having to adjust to life during the pandemic, major events being canceled or postponed left a void in many communities. However, the safety and well-being of students and faculty has been one of MSU’s main priorities since the beginning of the pandemic.

In light of this, the faculty and staff made some (hopefully) one-time decisions in order to get campus life back to normal as soon as possible. One of those decisions was consequently postponing the 2020 graduation ceremony, hence the combination of both graduating classes.

Harmon anticipates that events such as this should be back to normal by spring of 2022, but at the present moment, he wants to remind students to appreciate the opportunities they have.

“We can’t take these kinds of events for granted,” he said. “It was really unfortunate that students all over didn’t get this opportunity a year ago, but we’re really pleased to be able to offer all of our students from last year and this year the opportunity to get together one last time to acknowledge their accomplishments here at Minot State.”

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