Student opinions: In-person graduation

By Jessica Stamp

With Youngstown State University’s spring 2021 in-person commencement ceremonies at Stambaugh Stadium, students around campus are excited for those graduating. 

Marshall Calvin, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said the in-person ceremony will bring joy to some graduating students. 

“A lot of people really like having that kind of personalized ceremony where their family and people can come and celebrate the occasion with them,” Calvin said. 

Addrine Johnson, a junior social work major, said graduates deserve to be able to walk in the commencement and celebrate their achievements. 

“It’s really amazing because [YSU graduates] kind of got cheated out of not being able to [have an in-person ceremony] because of COVID. So, because they get to participate, they get to celebrate it and be able to feel like their hard work is being seen by being able to walk,” Johnson said. 

Kameya Parks, a junior theater studies major, said it will be great to see 2020 graduates come back and walk since they didn’t get a chance to last year. 

Kameya Parks, a junior theater studies major.

“It’s good for them because they did get to miss out, and I know that a lot of high school students also missed out on their graduation. I think that it’s good that college students get to come back and walk — because high school, it’s a good milestone, but college is even a bigger milestone,” Parks said. “It’s a great opportunity for them, and anyone that wants to come back and walk should do it.” 

Multiple COVID-19 safety rules and precautions are in place to protect the graduates and their families. Mya Atwood, a freshman nursing major, thinks even with all the COVID-19 safety precautions, it is rewarding to see the graduates walk in the ceremony. 

Mya Atwood, a freshman nursing major.

“Everyone has to wear their mask and everything and take safety precautions, but I think it still would be good that they would be able to get their degree in-person and to get to experience all that after their hard years of work,” Atwood said. 

Sarah Rambo, a junior math, physics and astronomy major, has a friend who is participating in commencement this spring and said this makes her look forward toward her own graduation. 

“One of my friends is graduating,” Rambo said. “I’m looking forward to graduating [myself], that’s for sure. Hopefully, all this COVID stuff has calmed down.” 

Alyssa Fillion, a sophomore criminal justice major, said it will be great to see the graduating students experience a ceremony while wearing the caps and gowns they purchased for the event. 

“I hope it’s just as normal for them as possible, just so that they can get that experience that they deserve,” Fillion said.