Campanile in Winter (copy)

Graduate student voices address their concerns for future semesters and urge administration and President Wendy Wintersteen to act on these concerns. 

In a email on Monday, Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen announced its intention on holding modified in-person celebrations for the Bachelor's, Master's, Ph.D. and DVM graduating classes.

Wintersteen wrote, "These decisions have been informed by our monitoring of COVID-19 on campus and in the community, as well as our experience with safely allowing limited attendance at athletic events where guests wear face coverings and practice physical distancing. While it is our intent to offer modified in-person commencement activities, we will change course if necessary and as conditions warrant to maintain the safety of our graduates and guests."

The Bachelor's commencement will take place on May 8 during the "Cyclone Graduation Celebration" at Jack Trice Stadium.

Wintersteen said the university don't currently have plans for limiting attendance due to the large capacity of the stadium and it being outdoors, but that face coverings are required to be worn by all graduates and guests.

According to the email, the ceremony will include a "shorter-than-usual program to officially confer the degrees," formal graduation photographs and the formal reading of names of graduates as they walk across the stage in academic attire.

Wintersteen wrote, "Start times for each of the college events will be announced in the coming weeks."

The Master's event is going to be run similarly to the Bachelor's event. The Master's Event is currently scheduled for 11 a.m. on May 7 at Jack Trice Stadium.

The DVM event is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum on May 7, while the Ph.D event is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Wintersteen wrote in regards to the DVM and Ph.D events, "These programs will also be modified, and guest attendance will be limited to ensure physical distancing. As for the Bachelor’s and Master’s events, all graduates and guests will be required to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing."

More details for each event, including inclement weather alternatives for Bachelor's and Master's events, will be released at a later time.

"The Registrar’s Office will communicate directly with candidates for graduation. Updates will be posted on www.graduation.iastate.edu as they become available," Wintersteen wrote. "The official commencement program will be made available to degree candidates regardless of attendance."

According to the email, these events are limited to students who are graduating in Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 "in order to safely accommodate graduates and guests."

The email says the university still wants to bring back graduates from Fall 2020, Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 for a in-person commencement in the future "when conditions allow," and further information on that will come out later.

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