According to a recent announcement, students graduating from Kwantlen Polytechnic University may be able to celebrate in-person next year.
The university has said it will move forward with the events planned for June 20 to 24, so long as provincial health restrictions allow them to take place.
Students who are graduating between October and May, and wish to participate in their convocation ceremony in June 2022 are asked to contact the KPU graduation unit and apply before Feb. 28.
Students will be able to rent caps and gowns from Gaspard, an academic regalia distributor. For those who opt-out of the in-person ceremony, KPU will send graduation mementos in the mail which should be delivered by the end of May. Credentials will be sent separately.
For those who cannot attend but still wish to watch, the convocation ceremonies will be publicly streamed and a link will be shared beforehand, with no ticket or sign-up requirements. Students who apply for graduation will not be able to defer their convocation date.
This will be the first in-person convocation ceremony held since 2019, after the updates to British Columbia’s public health regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic last spring. As a result, KPU and other universities were forced to cancel their convocation events in June 2020 and 2021, and many held virtual convocation events for students in October instead.
Provincial and regional health restrictions, which were last updated on Dec. 1, require proof of vaccination for organized indoor gatherings of 50 people or more. All spectators must be seated at certain events like lectures and presentations if 50 or more people are attending. Outdoor organized seated gatherings can have a capacity of 5,000 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is greater.
For spring 2022, KPU is planning to have more in-person classes and check for vaccination status for “a small number of non-essential activities,” like fitness classes or the gym, according to KPU’s plan for January 2022. Opportunities for students to travel internationally are expected to begin opening up in early 2022, starting with in-person student exchanges.