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SDSU seniors react to an online commencement ceremony

Soon-to-be college grads took to local outlets and social media to express their opinions about what a virtual graduation means.
Credit: SDSU


On Saturday, May 16, thousands of students, parents and alumni are welcome to a livestream virtual graduation by San Diego State University.

Back on March 20, a campus-wide statement outlined the current plans to postpone the May graduation ceremony to December, and in its place — a virtual event would be set up.

The SDSU Commencement website lists details about the virtual graduation as well as the postponed in-person graduation, slated for December 17-20.

However, on social media, soon-to-be graduates had differing opinions on this virtual graduation.

As reported in The Daily Aztec, students had questions about the virtual ceremony, as well as refunds to the mandatory $100 graduation fee charged by SDSU.

Regarding the postponed GradFest celebration, a reception for all graduates and family, students voiced their concern over the lack of resources about the event before the school ultimately postponed it.

Senior Amanda Duran told The Daily Aztec that her experience was “frustrating.”

“Nothing was available online before. I don’t even know if people want to buy their stuff now since the ceremony is in December, but they still haven’t told us anything about GradFest," she said. 

Some took to Twitter to say they want their money back for the $100 graduation fee.

According to Mayra Olson, a soon-to-be graduate, the details of the virtual commencement are not much. 

Olson told News 8 that as a first generation college student, going through with a virtual ceremony wasn’t ideal, but acceptable for a once-in-a-lifetime event.

“We don’t even know what it’s going to look like.” Olson said, “It still doesn’t take away from the excitement we all have as a family.”

Olson said she is looking forward, ultimately, to Saturday's virtual commencement. She even posted about it to Twitter with the SDSU-promoted hashtag, #SDSUGrad

According to SDSU’s commencement website, more than 430,000 alumni are invited to attend this event.

In terms of graduating students, that full number is not known yet.

As a graduating senior myself, I will not be attending the virtual commencement. I believed it was just not right to have a ceremony go this way. To me personally, the distant aspect of the ceremony defeated the purpose.

I took to Twitter to poll my fellow grads if they plan on attending the graduation. 

This poll, of course, is not representative of the number of students that will attend the virtual commencement, but rather shows a small sample of SDSU students.

SDSU virtual graduation starts at 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. You can tune in on the SDSU homepage or SDSU’s official Facebook page.