By Donovan Levine, Editor-In-Chief
Sabrina Betterly, News Editor
On March 3, KU president Dr. Kenneth Hawkinson announced that after careful consideration, the university will offer in-person commencement ceremonies for spring 2021 graduates as well as graduates of spring and fall 2020 semesters.
KU will host multiple ceremonies the weekend of May 7-9 in the O’Pake Fieldhouse. With less pressure from Pa. Governor Wolf’s occupancy limits for COVID-19, each graduate will be offered up to two guest tickets.
Following this, on March 8, KU announced it will return to a primarily face-to-face, traditional environment for the fall 2021 semester, with some health and wellness protocols still in place, via a press release from communications director Bryan Salvadore.
“Thank you to our campus community for its continued support of the university’s spring reopening plan,” Hawkinson said. “We hold great pride in the dedication of members of our campus community to prioritize their health and wellness, comply with the university’s protocols and ultimately have a successful academic semester.”
Hawkinson expressed his gratitude for the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, including “fewer statewide cases and increased availability of vaccines.”
The reopening plan for the fall includes primarily in-person classes, open dining halls, lifted restrictions on residence hall occupancy, increased events and extracurriculars with attending fans, a return to on-site work for employees and an in-person commencement ceremony.
Students are cautious about these announcements. “I think it’s too early to tell. We don’t know about vaccines yet, and they should say a little more about potential safety precautions.” said Julianna VanValin, a KU sophomore.
Students also have concerns about the general lack of information presented in the announcement and hope Hawkinson will clarify his statement in the future for issues such as mask wearing in the fall.
A few factors to these announcements have still yet to be determined as far as what sorts of health protocols will remain in place, such as mask wearing, but as it stands, KU has taken its biggest steps back to normalcy for the first time since March 2020.