LSU Students Upset About Virtual Fall Graduation Plans
Last spring my wife and I sat at our home in Lafayette and watched our daughter graduate "virtually" from LSU in Baton Rouge. To say it was a let down for us was minor compared to the feelings expressed by my daughter and many other members of the Class of 2020. Fast forward a few months and again, because of COVID-19, LSU has announced that the December commencement ceremonies at the state's flagship university will once again be done virtually.
Maybe that announcement wouldn't sting so much if LSU wasn't allowing fans in the stands to attend college football games. It seems to me, that if you can allow thousands of fans in the stands to cheer on Tiger football you might allow at least a similar number of attendees at an in-person graduation ceremony.
Oh yeah, I forgot this is academics which never seems to carry the same weight as sports do at least as far as LSU is concerned. Yeah, I'm a little jaded, so please forgive the bias.
Interim LSU President Tom Galligan is reportedly working with student leaders to find common ground that could allow an in-person commencement ceremony for graduates who earn their degrees in the spring. It would be nice if they could do that. Because I can tell you from personal experience, the virtual ceremony left a lot to be desired as far as a feeling of accomplishment is concerned.
While an in-person ceremony would be nice for springtime, it would be nicer if those students who busted their asses to earn a degree in December and those parents who funneled thousands of dollars to the university for tuition could see the fruits of their labors fulfilled in person this December.
Maybe if we share the hypocrisy of LSU football over LSU academics Interim President Galligan and other university officials will see the lopsided mixed message they are sending to students across the state.
And if university leaders can't see the subliminal message they are sending about athletics over academics they could at least stop running the LSU advertisements during football games that tout the school as an institution of higher learning and start marketing LSU as an institution that only cares about students who can run fast, jump high, and commit crimes at off-campus bars.