How convocation will look at MRU after being postponed due to COVID-19
By Christian Kindrachuk, Web Editor
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, Mount Royal University’s (MRU) spring convocation was postponed to a later date in the fall semester. Now that the fall semester is here, the plan has changed to look more like a drive-in experience, giving graduates an opportunity to convocate in a safe manner.
Vice Provost and Associate Vice President, Students, Phil Warsaba, is on the convocation committee for MRU. He says that convocation is expected to take place during the first week of November, with specific dates still being looked at.
“We’ve explored everything from in-person ceremonies that are very similar to what we’ve run in the past, but taking into consideration health and safety requirements and what that might look like, all the way to the other end of the spectrum — fully online convocation ceremonies,” said Warsaba.
MRU has decided on a drive-in experience for the upcoming fall convocation. There will be a stage in one of the reserved parking lots on campus, and cars will file in and tune into a radio station to hear the live event.
“We know it’s important for a lot of people to be able to celebrate the moment in-person, and we’re doing whatever we can as an institution to try and maintain students’ connections to the campus community,” said Warsaba.
Due to parking lot capacity restrictions, there will be limits on the number of vehicles that families can come in.
For graduates who do not have access to a vehicle, MRU is looking into outdoor accommodations that will provide limited seating in accordance with public health guidelines, and will also take weather conditions into consideration.
Corvyn Hartwick, a recent graduate from MRU, is still looking forward to convocating. He says he would have some hesitation about attending the ceremony if no COVID-19 precautions were taken.
“COVID’s still out there and I don’t want to get sick just to walk the stage.”
With 1,710 students who graduated this past academic year, down from the expected 2,000 back in March, predicting who will attend convocation will be up in the air until the date gets closer, said Warsaba.
“We will ensure that it is something that we hope will be memorable for students, that appropriately recognizes the importance of the date and the significance of the accomplishments of students,” he said.
If any students have questions about convocation, they are encouraged to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.