Future of Spring Commencement Uncertain as Classes Go Online

SMU recently announced that classes will remain online for the rest of the spring semester due to growing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, students graduating in May are uncertain if they will be able to walk the stage for their friends and family to see.

“The scheduled May 16 Commencement is very important to all of us. We are carefully weighing the options and will make a decision at a later date,” President Turner said in his statement on March 20.

With this news, students are unsure how to feel about graduation potentially being canceled. On one hand, large gatherings could pose health risks, but on the other, college graduation is a milestone that for many marks the end of a transformative, coming-of-age experience.

“I know a lot of classmates are excited to walk, but we need to be mindful of the impact the gathering could have,” senior Andrew Tomsovic said. “But, I’ll miss seeing all my friends. I think that would be a tough way to end senior year.”

But students wrapping up their fourth year are not the only ones concerned about the potential changes. Students who are graduating early are also affected if commencement does not go as planned. Junior Evie Mathis expresses this frustration since she is graduating a year early, and thus has had a shorter college experience than other students typically do.

“I’m trying to have a good attitude,” Mathis said. “At this point, I understand everyone in the world is feeling misplaced and disappointed about something so it’s hard to get upset when I know everyone is feeling what I’m feeling.”