More should be done for graduates

Hunter Mori, Guest Columnist

Imagine that you’re in your second year at Los Medanos College and on track to graduate soon. You’re excited for the future, planning to transfer to a four-year university in the fall and thrilled to start a new adventure, but then one day everything changes.

Schools shut down, non-essential businesses close and life as you know it is slowly being swept from under your feet. Civilians are ordered to shelter in their homes and you’re struggling with classes being online. You have no money from unemployment yet and you’re just trying not to go crazy living the same exact day over and over again. 

Graduation has been canceled and there has been little to no news on when colleges will open back up again. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge disruption in society, but has also brought many hardships to students. 

According to LMC’s most recent student profile (2018) most students are enrolled in 12 units or more and have an average GPA of a 2.75; this shows that we work hard here and take college seriously.

Graduation is a time to honor and praise all the good accomplishments that have been done at LMC. Nobody understands how hard we have worked to get to this point; graduation is supposed to be a time to finally say we did that. 

The LMC graduating class of 2020, myself included, do not get to celebrate our time here at LMC with our friends and family, nor do we get to have final send off from our wonderful professors. 

The decision to cancel graduation had to be made in account of the stay-at-home order, but I feel as though administration could do something better to celebrate us than posting a video with a few quotes on the website. 

The LMC web page has little information about the process of this virtual graduation. The only information graduates received is that virtual graduation is taking place at 3 p.m. on May 22 on the LMC website. Graduates don’t have any details to tell friends and family, especially senior citizens who might not be very tech savvy, on how to view this “ceremony.” How does online graduation take place?

 We want to wear caps and gowns, we want to celebrate with our peers. It’s understood that the current situation doesn’t allow for a traditional graduation, but I believe we can do better than what’s being done. 

Different schools across the United States are making tremendous efforts to make sure their students feel appreciated on graduation day. 

ABC News reported a story about a creative way graduation is happening at a school in Tallahassee, Florida, specifically in Leon County. The schools will be doing a drive-by graduation for students. 

The schools rented out the drive-in movie theaters and will be handing out caps and gowns. The names of the graduates will be read aloud and their name will be posted on a big jumbotron screen for all vehicles to see. The graduation song will play as vehicles drive-in and the ceremony will be streamed on the radio, YouTube, and Facebook for friends and family to listen in. 

Graduates are encouraged to decorate their vehicle to the max. This drive-by graduation ceremony has been approved by the department of health and local hospitals. The drive-by graduation has gotten lots of positive feedback from the community and it is one thing every graduate will be looking forward to in order to celebrate their major accomplishments. 

Again, it is understood that the impact of the COVID-19 has been tremendous, but it doesn’t make it impossible to celebrate a couple years worth of dedication and hard work. 

Schools across the nation are putting effort into recognizing graduates for all their accomplishments and LMC should too.