Amber Reed/ The Broadside
Commencement is a ceremony that many Central Oregon Community College students look forward to throughout their college experience.
For many, it marks the end of a chapter and means that there are exciting new opportunities to come. For others, it means that they will be able to reach the next level of education and are one step closer to getting the degree of their choice.
This year, things are more complicated. With the COVID-19 virus and COCC making sure that students and staff remain healthy, the ceremony has changed form. As of spring term it has been decided that due to the order to not gather in large groups, the ceremony will not take place in person this June.
As Ron Paradis stated in a letter to graduating students, “ As much as we would love to be able to hold our traditional ceremony in June, we know that isn’t an option given the current situation”.
With the community working to decrease the number of cases in Central Oregon , there will not be a face-to-face ceremony as was announced in the COCC news e-newsletter.
“Unfortunately, due to ongoing concerns about large gatherings, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our traditional Commencement ceremony this June,” stated the e-newsletter.
All students will still be receiving their certificates for completing their course of study, but this time it will be coming via mail. There was also a survey conducted of graduating COCC students to see what they would like the next steps to be.
Many students purposed that there be a ceremony this Sept. ,and while it is difficult to say if that will be a viable option, it is being considered as a possibility.
COVID-19 has impacted the COCC and Central Oregon communities in many ways. To keep the communities healthy, sacrifices must be made. However, that does not mean that the importance of this event will go unnoticed. Hopefully come June there will be more information about what will be allowed as far as meetings in large groups, or if a remote version of the ceremony will be available.