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Syracuse University to cancel in-person commencement ceremony due to coronavirus

Syracuse University

SYRACUSE (WBNG)- On Monday the Chancellor of Syracuse University announced he will be cancelling the university's in-person commencement ceremony due to the coronavirus.

In a statement, he said, " In response to the COVID-19 health emergency, Syracuse University made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend residential instruction for the remainder of the spring semester. Since that time, faculty and staff from across the University have worked tirelessly to support the transition to quality online instruction, and to safeguard the health and well-being of our Orange family. This work continues, and I’m grateful for those shouldering this unplanned and unprecedented burden. "

He continued on to mention that students will be refunded for room and board for the rest of the semester.

In a statement he said, "First, Syracuse University will provide a prorated reimbursement of room and board payments to students who vacate University housing. To do so is right and appropriate. We have developed a process for students and families to request room and board refunds. To the extent there is an outstanding balance due on a student’s bursar account, the refund would be applied toward the balance first, before a refund is issued. "

"Second, while many of us have held out hope that Commencement 2020 could proceed as planned, it has become increasingly apparent that those plans must change. Because of public health guidance, we cannot and will not proceed with on-campus in-person commencement events in May, including school and college convocation ceremonies. I deeply regret this outcome. "

He mentioned that there are plans to still celebrate commencement but in a different way that will allow students to answer a survey of what they can do instead.

He said, " I am committed to celebrating and recognizing the class of 2020 in a way that is most meaningful to you—our graduates. I promised you would have the celebration you deserve and we will make good on that promise. Very soon, all members of the class of 2020 will receive a survey from me, soliciting your input as to alternative approaches to celebrating and recognizing your academic achievement. We will act quickly on your feedback and share a plan for alternative commencement celebrations promptly."

These are challenging times for the Syracuse University community, and for families everywhere. I am inspired by the many ways our students, faculty, staff, and alumni have responded—with compassion, empathy, and ingenuity—to this global health emergency. We are still in the early stages of this crisis, and thus new and complex challenges lie ahead. However, I’m confident that we will navigate those challenges together, in a way consistent with the values that define what it means to be Orange.

Chancellor Kent Syverud

For more on the coronavirus, click here.


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