UCCS virtual commencement this Friday

Posted at 10:31 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 00:35:56-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The commencement ceremony for the UCCS Class of 2020 will take place Friday afternoon and will be conducted entirely online. Administrators began planning the event in late March after deciding to cancel an in-person celebration.

"I think it's going to be a very unique ceremony, we haven't done anything like this before," said UCCS Communications Director Jared Verner.

Close to 1,600 students are graduating this year. The ceremony will begin at 1:00 p.m. with individual videos from each of the six colleges starting at 2:00 p.m.

The college-specific videos will include a message from the dean and the names of graduates in each college will be displayed.

Historically, the campus has not placed any limits on the number of guests attending commencement at the Broadmoor World Arena. Verner said they will keep that tradition going this year, even if it means heavy web traffic during live video events.

"That's why we had to make that decision as early as we did because we knew it was going to take a lot of work to be able to pull this off and to try to pull this off right," he said.

Graduation won't be only part of campus life happening online this summer. Summer classes will again be taught virtually throughout June and July.

Verner said the administration suspended some student fees for on-campus services that are currently not available.

"Fees from areas like the student performance fee, the student recreation fee, and the bond payments on that," he said. "We are trying to alleviate some of those costs knowing that students aren't being able to access some of those resources."

Plans for the fall semester is still in discussion. Verner said the goal is to have students return for in-person classes. However, they may need to stagger schedules and spread apart desks to increase social distancing safeguards.

"They're looking at a whole bunch of different scenarios and how to accomplish given whatever guidelines we might be working on when school starts in August," said Verner.

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