Multicultural Student Affairs to continue virtual graduation ceremonies

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Illustration by Carly Schulman

This year is a continuation of last year’s programming, when the multicultural study had to move from in-person year-end celebrations to virtual ceremonies.

Multicultural Student Affairs is gearing up for its second year of affinity-based virtual ceremonies for senior graduates within LGBTQ + communities and communities of color.

This year builds on last year’s lineup, when MSA had to switch from in-person year-end celebrations to virtual ceremonies after campus was closed to students due to the COVID pandemic. 19.

The virtual ceremonies will begin with the dispatch of JubilAsian seniors on May 28, followed by a celebration of the Native American and Indigenous community on June 3, which will also host a virtual vigil evening. On June 8, MSA will host the Lavender Graduation Ceremony, followed by The JOY: NU’s Black Congratulatory on June 9. Then the two week graduation celebration will end with the Latinx congratulations on June 10.

Linda Luk, an MSA administrative assistant who helped plan all the events, said MSA hired a production company to create the videos for each ceremony.

The production company helped put together pre-recorded videos, create a smooth ceremony, and provide a positive viewing experience for students and their families, Luk said.

“With the support of a production company, we were able to realize the vision that we want to celebrate and recognize our students,” said Luk.

MSA has also worked to modify the traditional parts of its celebrations for a virtual format. While staff or relatives usually hand out stoles to graduates this year, students have received them in the mail.

Matt Abtahi, a Deputy Director of MSA, helped coordinate the flight ceremony during the Lavender Graduation Ceremony, the celebration of LGBTQ + students.

“We are delighted to be able to spend so much time celebrating the many accomplishments of the community that is so dear to us,” said Abtahi. “So whatever way people want to engage with us virtually, we hope they can.”

When the MSA looked at vaccination and the number of cases, it found that the communities it served were disproportionately affected by the pandemic and under-vaccinated, Abtahi said. He said that, unfortunately, a physical ceremony did not seem accessible to their communities.

MSA Deputy Director Alyscia Raines said she will miss the face-to-face contact with the students and their families.

“What I miss the most are the hugs, the smiles, the families, the photos, putting a physical stole on a person,” Raines said. “We’ve tried to recreate that connection by always having some sort of a way, virtually, of always putting stoles on people or having a way of always recognizing the glow of our graduating students. ”

For senior black graduates, an opportunity to celebrate in person is tour the recently renovated Black House for the first time since it closed in 2019.

Although the ceremonies have changed in format, MSA staff remain excited about the year-end ceremonies, Raines said. Her hope is that students will remember that she and MSA will continue to be a family and a resource for graduates.

“It’s just important that we honor and recognize our students, no matter what context and circumstances we find ourselves in, because they deserve it,” Raines said. “They deserve to be celebrated, and we’re excited to find creative ways to do so.”

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @ EllaWeav2023

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