CM – Anger over the University of Suffolk’s 30-minute graduation when ceremonies were canceled


Celebrations at an earlier University of Suffolk graduation. This year’s event will be very different
– Photo credit: Gregg Brown / Archant

Hundreds of alumni have signed a petition complaining after the University of Suffolk canceled their graduation ceremony.

The celebrations for more than 1,700 graduates in 2020 were due in May in Trinity Park after the traditional Ipswich Waterfront ceremonies were postponed from last October.

Graduated from the University of Suffolk School of Psychology and Education in 2018
– Photo credit: Gregg Brown / Archant

But now, amid ongoing Covid19 restrictions, plans have been scaled down even further, and instead a « graduation event » is to be held in the university’s waterfront building.

Any new graduate may be between June 18th and 28th. May book a half-hour appointment where he can have his photos taken in his clothes in the company of up to three guests.

However, many students expressed their annoyance about the decision. 290 signed a petition on the website entitled « Appeal against the 30-Minute Graduation. » The petition states, « The alumni have worked hard with the increasing pressures of the pandemic, and the staff of the Health and social services provided immediate support to people during a global pandemic.

« Family and friends must take a full day off to attend a 30-minute ceremony. We won’t be able to celebrate with our cohorts. « 

Lauren Bruen is a 2020 University of Suffolk graduate who is upset about the graduation arrangements
– Photo credit: Lauren Bruen

Lauren Bruen, 23, from Ipswich, said: « We are all very disappointed. I think we were all very happy when we heard it was going to be in Trinity Park and thought it was going to be really good . « 

 » We all fully understand that Trinity Park is used for Covid blasts, but we wanted it to be postponed until we got a proper closure. « 

Ms. Bruen, the last one Year she completed her BA in Event Management, is currently studying at UoS for a Masters in Criminology.

She added, « It’s a great university, great faculty, but I just don’t think we really care about our hard work celebrated. « 

Danielle Diamond, also from Ipswich, who graduated with early childhood and elementary education, said, » I am so disappointed. This is a one-off ceremony – I would like to wait and have a ceremony with the cohort from 2021.

« I’m a mother of three Years and very proud to graduate at 30, but now I can’t really celebrate. « 

She added: » One of my fellow students is Spanish and is currently in Spain. Now she can’t graduate at all because it’s only for UK students. It’s so sad. « 

Another graduate, Megan Railton, said, » I am absolutely disappointed with this decision after all of our hard work. We’d all much rather wait for a proper deal. « 

The University of Suffolk waterfront building where the scaled-down graduation ceremonies take place.
– Credit: Archant

The University of Suffolk said in a statement: « The University of Suffolk and the Student Union are committed to providing our 2020 class with an opportunity to mark their achievements before too much time has passed.

 » After carefully reviewing the latest government guidelines, we are confident that we can offer our UK-based graduates such an opportunity from May 18-28 at the University’s Waterfront Building.

« We understand this is not a full graduation ceremony is usually attended by hundreds of guests and has the opportunity to celebrate with other graduates, but there is no specific time when this is likely to be possible.

« Graduates can wear their dress and will be in the presence of their invited guests with the traditional possibilities of photography are officially congratulated on their achievement by the university.

« Participation is k free of charge and the university pays the cost of renting clothes for the duration of the event. Graduates can extend their rental if they want to have their own celebration in the presence of family and friends at home.

« Recognizing that the majority of our graduates are now working, we have tried to be as flexible as possible by offering bookable sessions in the mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends.

« Bookings opened in early April and over 400 graduates have registered in the last two weeks.

 » We very much hope that more will use this opportunity to mark their achievement in the coming weeks. « 

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