By Samreen Maqsood and Madi Wong
Ryerson is postponing all spring convocation ceremonies until fall 2020, according to a statement from president Mohamed Lachemi.
Lachemi stated the university understands that convocation is a “rite of passage” for graduates and means a lot to families and friends but are prioritizing the health and safety of the Ryerson community.
“This was not a decision that we made lightly, but now is not the time for large public gatherings, nor is it the time to ignore social distancing protocols,” he stated.
Though the university cannot hold any events in the spring, Lachemi added that Ryerson is seeking “virtual or alternative celebration” options for Junes.
“Once plans for the fall convocation ceremonies are finalized in the coming months, the university will reach out to invite spring graduates to participate in fall ceremonies.”
In addition to graduation being impacted, COVID-19 has also taken a toll on student internships and job placements—the next step for those graduating in June.
“I started looking for a job to leave my current part time job. Now I can’t do that because many employers are laying off staff and downsizing,” said Danish Khizar, a fourth-year global management studies student at Ryerson.
He said he will just have to “wait it out,” as until this passes, since we are now “entering a major recession.”
With Ryerson announcing their shift to online classes, students said it has also made it harder for them to grasp materials—affecting their overall GPA.
“With classes being online, it looks like it’s going to drop my CGPA (cumulative GPA) and affect my chances at a good graduate school,” said Jasdip Shokar, a fourth-year global management studies student.
Shokar went on to say that a lower CGPA could be a factor affecting his ability to find a job after graduation as well.
Some students said with the possibility of convocation being postponed or cancelled, they would be missing out on the graduation experience and it not being the same.
“It will cause a weird discomfort of knowing I graduated but didn’t receive my degree in person,” said Andrew Stasiw, a fourth-year business management student at Ryerson.
Stasiw also added he was not too worried about finding a job after graduation, as he had one that was “planned at the start of the new year,” which will not be affected by the virus except having to work from home.
Along with worrying about being able to find a job, students are upset about their plans for celebrations and freedom being postponed or entirely cancelled.
“It really hurt my travelling plans. I had to cancel my Costa Rica trip right after my final exam even though I was offered a credit. Now I have to consider my Europe trip in June where I’ll be going to Italy,” said Khizar.
Khizar said classes being cancelled and assignments being shifted had him more stressed than the potential postponing convocation, as it “will [still] be thousands gone down the drain if I don’t go.”