Graduating seniors of the University of the Bahamas have been frustrated as plans to recognize the Class of 2020 were delayed. Though the world is standing still in the midst of a pandemic, students decried poor planning as little to no effective communication took place between administrators and students about graduation.
Prior to COVID-19, plans to celebrate the class of 2020 were set for May 28.
Following a second survey distributed by UB last month, the majority of students voted to have an actual graduation in Fall 2020 followed by a virtual ceremony as the second option. This resulted in the decision to host a virtual commencement on June 29.
As the excitement and hope to celebrate graduation are fading away, students prepare for a Virtual Commencement Ceremony under the theme “Realize the Dream: Dawn of a New World.”
Many students cried out in disappointment and demanded a refund from the university, stating that this makes no sense because the country is reopening July 1st, and they could have graduation anytime after that.
One student, who chose to remain anonymous, said: “UB administration is trash. Their disorganization, indifference, indecisiveness and inaction is a reflection of the wider Bahamian culture.”
As a Spring 2020 graduate, it was suggested that the university should have acted on the survey results within an adequate timeframe. The student continued, “Communicate the intention rather than giving no details on what they intend to do. Its like time slows down in the Bahamas.”
A Secondary Education: Biology/ General Science graduate of UB North said: “I was excited for graduation this year, especially being at UB for 5 long years. Yes, 5 years felt more like 10. However, COVID-19 came and messed up my plans. My hair, nails and photo dates were canceled. I’m looking forward to rebooking. I’m so grateful to be done with my bachelor’s degree. I wished the communication between students and UB officials would be better. I am still excited for a physical graduation. We’re having a virtual and physical graduation and I look forward to both ceremonies. I am waiting patiently to take my graduation pictures and having the opportunity to walk across the stage.”
On June 29, both the University of the Bahamas Oakes Field and UB Northern campus in Freeport will celebrate the class of 2020. On this day, UB will recognize special award recipients and confer upon each student their respective degrees.
Although the decision made was to have a virtual ceremony, some students are grateful to be a part of this historic graduating class, while other students still have unanswered questions pertaining to the graduation photo packages, and refunds for regalia amongst other things from the university.
The Novel Coronavirus has changed the world for many persons. The global class of 2020 was forced to find creative ways to celebrate this milestone. Indeed, graduates of the University of the Bahamas are entering the dawn of a new era.