A UK student is fighting back against his university’s decision to cancel graduation for the second year in a row.
James Everrett, 24, who studies at Royal Holloway University in London, has created a petition on change.org to stress that students do not think that the decision is fair.
The petition has so far reached more than 450 signatures, and James is determined to get it noticed by the University. He asks that it is at least considered to move graduation to August, as he believes vaccines should be available to all adults by then.
“I obviously don’t know if anything will come of it. It’s as much about making sure student voices are heard and how upset we are with this than it is about getting something done. Obviously I do want them to reinstate graduation.”
This is not just an issue for students at Royal Holloway. Graduations at universities across the UK have been cancelled again this summer, whilst many others have moved their graduation ceremonies online.
In an announcement from Royal Holloway, they assure students that, “We are committing instead to providing graduation ceremonies in 2022 for every student eligible to graduate in summer 2021 and every student who graduated in 2020, assuming conditions allow.”
However, some students feel that, as more time passes, the value of graduations significantly decreases. Anya Walker, another third year student at Royal Holloway University, said:
“I feel that, by the time I graduate, I will already be in a full-time job and will no longer be excited about the achievement of finishing my course. It’s just such a shame when we have worked so hard this year.”
Students say they. have had a difficult year, with online learning, online exams and even online socials. Some of the things that attract people to university; the busy nightlife, fun societies, hard working sports clubs and bustling lectures have all been taken away. Students like James and Anya believe that the least they could get is a socially distanced graduation.
“The reasoning they gave [for cancelling], which is that this is what we wanted, seemed really out of place considering they didn’t consult us. There were no panels, there were no polls, there were no opportunities to ask questions.”
Whilst it is appears unlikely that any changes will be made to the decision, James hopes that the petition will still show the university that the students do have a voice in situations like this.