ISU seniors have mixed emotions over commencement cancelations

Wabash Valley COVID-19 updates

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana State University seniors received the news Monday that they wouldn’t be walking across the stage in May to receive their well-earned degrees in front of family and friends.

After seeing the news about other schools across the country canceling and postponing events and transitioning to online classes, some seniors said they knew it was only a matter of time.

“I was mentally preparing myself that this may happen,” Jordan Halsema said. “But, I never knew it was actually going to happen.”

The decision was made to cancel graduation ceremonies after the latest CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and limiting social gatherings were released.

The university will host a virtual ceremony, and will allow students to participate in the winter commencement.

ISU president Deborah Curtis said it was “especially difficult” to come to the decision of canceling the commencement.

“I’ve often said the two best days of the year are winter and spring commencement,” she expressed.

ISU seniors noted they understood the university’s decision, but it still hurts the same.

“It really just felt like I had my very last thing I had to look forward to ripped off like a band-aid,” Braelyn Wence said.

Wence and her friends said they are choosing to make the most out of an unforeseen situation by hosting their own ceremony on campus.

Senior Hayley Tague said although it wasn’t what they hoped for, it was a nice farewell.

“It was emotional. I’m really glad that we got to do something because I know a lot of us are leaving after this,” she said. “We have to be out by Saturday. I know I just packed up my dorm room. This is kind of my last thing before I go home and finish out my semester.”

Jasey Thomas said she would have preferred for a rescheduled opportunity, even if that meant continually pushing it back until it was safe.

“I just wish we could have reschedule it at least, and gave it another shot,” she said.

Thomas noted students should seize the opportunity they do have.

“I think we should all go, and we should get what we deserve, even if it’s six months late,” she concluded.

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