With the onset of Covid-19, many in-person activities and events were cancelled or switched to virtual delivery. Now that the vaccine is becoming available to the majority of the Oklahoma population, events are beginning to return to face-to-face settings.
The Oklahoma State spring 2021 graduation ceremony is one of those events. The ceremony will be held in person May 7-8 at Boone Pickens stadium. The event will enforce a mask policy and seating will be socially distanced.
“I think it was the right decision to have the ceremony in person especially with the state transitioning to Phase 3 of the vaccine and the university making the vaccine available to students,” graduate student Katey Butler said. “They are taking the proper steps to still make it Covid-safe by enforcing masks, limiting guests and having it in Boone Pickens which is open and allows people to be spread out”
The event is open to 2020 graduates as well. Students that graduated virtually that wish to have an in person ceremony must register in advance by April 16. Many students are seeing the recent vaccine availability as a valid reason to have the commencement in person.
“I was actually supposed to graduate in 2020 , but had 2 minors to finish. I am glad it worked out that way, but was really concerned that the quarantine period would be never ending” graduate student Alexis Skurnack said.
Students may receive up to eight tickets and seating will be limited due to social distancing rules. Seating will be limited to four per group and masks must be worn in the stands.
Cap and gowns will be available starting two weeks before the event, additional information can be found on the Oklahoma State University website.
The decision was made by the commencement committee earlier this year with the knowledge that the vaccine would be available.
“Everyone that I know of on the decision making side has been excited and we've all been looking forward to when we can return to in person ceremonies, the decisions last year were last year the decision was made with the best interest in mind.” Registrar board member Rita Peaster said.
Students who are immunocompromised or do not feel comfortable attending the commencement ceremony can watch it live, or watch the recording whenever they choose.
“I plan on attending the ceremony in person because I plan on getting vaccinated and have not felt unsafe up to this point being on Oklahoma State’s campus” Butler said.
Oklahoma State University is working hard to ensure the public safety at this event for both graduates and their guests and encourages all attendees to follow the guidelines set in place.