News Brief: Virtual Convocation to be Held in October

KPU will host an online ceremony for graduates who were scheduled to convocate this year

(Kristen Frier)

In lieu of the spring convocation ceremony which was scheduled to take place from June 1 to 5, KPU will be facilitating a “virtual ceremony” starting at 11 a.m. on Oct. 6.

“Due to the ongoing restrictions on large gatherings as part of British Columbia’s COVID-19 response, KPU is arranging a virtual Convocation ceremony for all students who applied to attend the Spring 2020 or Fall 2020 Convocation ceremonies and who will have graduated by September 2020,” reads a statement on KPU’s convocation website.

“By coming together in this way we are able to celebrate this momentous occasion together with your fellow grads and faculty, family and friends, and the broader KPU community at large.”

Students who applied to attend the convocation in June were sent an email from the KPU Office of the Registrar on July 24, informing them of the change in plans. Students were also given an opportunity to collect packages of convocation mementos and items from KPU earlier in July.

A video tribute to the spring class of 2020 was posted on June 2 with congratulatory messages from University Registrar and Master of Convocation Zena Mitchell, KPU President Alan Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark, and B.C. Premier John Horgan.

Honorary degrees were given to KPU Foundation board member Bill Wright and SFU President Andrew Petter.

The virtual convocation ceremony adheres to KPU’s Academic and Operational Continuity Plan, which outlines the need for online and asynchronous delivery of classes and does not allow “in-person meetings or events of any size on campus.” On July 14, KPU announced that it was moving to stage 2 of the plan in coordination with B.C.’s Restart Plan.

“This stage will allow a gradual and tightly managed return to campus for a very limited number of students and employees. However, for the foreseeable future, most employees will continue to work from home, and the majority of students will continue to learn remotely,” reads the announcement.

Stage 2 allows for “very limited in-person instruction in labs, studios and workshops,” and visits to campus kept under two hours for office access. Faculty can also request access to campus if they need to for work, but they must provide a detailed safety plan subject to the approval of the Manager of Occupational Health and Safety.

“I recognize that these are unusual processes and protocols for a campus-based university like ours,” wrote Davis in the stage 2 announcement.

“But your health and safety is our priority, and these are extraordinary times. At this time of economic restart, it can be difficult to remember that we are still operating in the context of a public health emergency. In the meantime, I thank you for your cooperation and your collective commitment to the safety and wellness of the KPU community.”

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