NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — While many schools will be holding in-person graduation ceremonies with limited guests amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Yale University is taking it one step further by not allowing family or friends to attend the 2021 in-person commencement ceremony.
The University president at Yale confirmed that there will be an in-person celebration in May, but with the pandemic still a very real threat, university officials are saying better safe than sorry.
Tuesday we spoke with students on their thoughts about the announcement.
Serengeti Cox-Rodriguez, a Yale University student said, “I definitely feel bad for some of my friends who wanted more people to be attending who they knew – like friends and family. It’s kind of unfortunate but I think it’s necessary considering that not everyone is vaccinated yet.”
Now this decision differs from other area schools. Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart, and Fairfield universities will all be hosting in-person commencement with limited tickets available per graduating student.
Some Yale students we spoke with understand the decision, but it’s made harder knowing area schools are allowing loved ones to attend their ceremonies.
In New Haven, Yale Dean Marvin Chun tells students it’s best to reduce any risk of COVID-19 infection. He adds, family and loved ones of 2021 Yale grad will be able to participate virtually
“It makes sense from a public health measure,” Dean Chun told News 8. “We wanna keep everyone as safe as possible, and if we’re asking a lot of parents to come into a space with a lot of college students, I can see how we don’t wanna put people through that risk.”
Some students here on campus say they are disappointed. Many had hoped that with the availability of vaccines and the relaxation of COVID regulations that there would be some chance for visitors to join them as they cross the stage.
“A lot of families wait many years to see their children come through and graduate from a place like Yale,” Dean Chun added. “And I know for a lot of friends, it’s a very special moment…Hopefully next year things are a little better and back to normal perhaps.”
To graduates, the dean added, “Find a way to celebrate and really realize the accomplishments you’ve done in the last four years and look forward to the years beyond.”
Commencement exercises at Yale University is set for May 24, 2021.