On Monday night, the fate of the Class of 2020’s commencement was finally addressed.
Fredrick Bonato, Ph.D, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Erin McCann, Vice President of Student Life and Development sat in the Student Government Association’s senate meeting at McIntyre Lounge to address this year’s decision to move it to the Yanitelli Recreational Life Center (RLC,) the university’s gymnasium.
“The decision to change the venue for commencement was not initiated by us, it was because our usual venue, the PNC Arts Center, is under construction,” Bonato said.
Students tuned into the meeting through Saint Peter’s University SGA Instagram (@SPU_sga) livestream, and responded with comments such as:
“So they didn’t know that the place was going to be under construction?? SPU goes there every year, they would’ve known.”
“They didn’t take action in a timely manner.”
Bonato reiterated that they are hearing students' concerns and the RLC being an “undesired location.”
“We are making negotiations with multiple entities to change the place where commencement will be held,” he said.
Although, according to the Provost, the decision to hold graduation at the RLC would be like “being home.”
Throughout the 43-minute meeting, students spoke about their frustration towards being kept in the dark and not being notified until approximately a month and a half before graduation.
“We sent the notice out as quickly as possible, perhaps there wasn’t enough student representation,” said Bonato. “I don’t know what else to say.”
Students in the livestream expressed thoroughly that their questions were not being answered saying, “let him know how we feel, we are the students.”
At the end of the meeting, Bonato asked that the student body have patience between the next few days and coming week while he and the rest of Academic Affairs will work thoroughly on a new plan that will try to please the students.