Bringing Back a Tradition

Bringing Back a Tradition

By Courtney McEunn

Student Life Editor

Graduating at the college level is a big accomplishment for anybody. For master’s or doctoral students, it’s an even bigger accomplishment.

Before COVID-19, students graduating with a master’s degree were able to go through a traditional Hooding Ceremony, where a member of the faculty places the hood over the head of the student graduating.

This ceremony is meant to commemorate their success in their degree. It has become a tradition that colleges perform to honor their higher-level graduating students.

When COVID-19 hit, it changed the way we held public gatherings, including graduation.

The first year, graduation was virtual.

The next two years, the graduating class was split up to avoid the gathering of large crowds.

Along with these new regulations, the Hooding Ceremony for graduate students had been abandoned to avoid close contact in the midst of the pandemic.

This year, Cameron University is finally going back to normal by having one single, in-person graduation ceremony.

However, the university has decided that the traditional Hooding Ceremony will still be abandoned for the 2023 Commencement. This decision has resulted in many questions and reactions, especially by students graduating with their master’s degrees.

If all other COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, why is the Hooding Ceremony any different?

Graduate students have presented their concerns to the faculty and President. Students offered suggestions that would fit within regulations while still giving them a special moment while receiving their diploma.

Numerous students who are part of the Master of Science in Behavioral Science department have put together a document voicing their discontent and offering suggestions for President McArthur, in hopes that they will be able to experience this significant milestone at this year’s graduation ceremony.

One of the suggestions is to have the Hooding Ceremony on stage while walking across to receive their diploma.

Normally at the graduation ceremony, students of all departments and degree types are mixed together, but this document asks for the master’s students to be set aside and have their own part in the graduation, so that they can be recognized for their hard work and be hooded as they walk.

As an undergraduate student preparing to continue my education at the graduate level, I agree with the concerns and frustrations that have come from the lack of the Hooding Ceremony.

Receiving a master’s degree is an honor that not everybody can say they achieved. It requires a lot of time, effort and mental drive.

While it is understandable for this tradition to be put on hold because of the recent pandemic, it is unfair for the university to continue to host events and celebrations that were also canceled or made virtual while still decline to have a Hooding Ceremony to honor the students who have achieved this level of education and work.

As said in the document written by and on behalf of the graduate students of Cameron University: “We have all worked hard to finish our graduate programs and earn the right to call ourselves Cameron Alumni and we believe that the best way that the university could return our gratitude would be to honor us in a manner that is reflective of the work that we put in while earning out degrees as part of our Commencement.”

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