Home>Articles>UC Davis In-Person Graduation: Face Masks, COVID-19 Vaccination Card, or Negative COVID Test Result Within 72 Hours

UC Davis graduates demonstrating the use of face coverings. (Photo: UCDavis.edu)

UC Davis In-Person Graduation: Face Masks, COVID-19 Vaccination Card, or Negative COVID Test Result Within 72 Hours

There will be no program or speakers to address the class

By Katy Grimes, April 21, 2021 3:15 pm

The University of California at Davis has announced it will hold in-person graduations in June 2021. While this appears to be a “getting back to normal” event, UC Davis has rained on that parade. The university is requiring guests of the graduating students to show a “COVID-19 vaccination card,” and the student graduates must either show proof of a negative COVID-19 test completed within 72-hours, or also show a “COVID-19 vaccination card.”

The wearing of face masks is mandatory, and Graduates and their guests must be spaced at least six feet from other graduates and their guests at all times.

There will be no program or speakers to address the class.

Doesn’t this sound like fun?

If you don’t have one or don’t want to show your vaccine passport, get COVID-19 tested or wear a mask at an outdoor graduation, well then you can just watch the “virtual commencement celebration event online.”

“Coronavirus precautions and regulations on gatherings mean there will be no program or speakers to address the class, and groups will be asked not to linger in the area so that it can be prepared for the next group of graduates,” UC Davis Chancellor Gary May wrote in the email announcing the graduation.

Doesn’t this sound like fun?

“A photo-op tent will be filled with fun opportunities for selfies and family photos. Then, each group will proceed to the main stage, where the graduate will receive a ceremonial scroll (without shaking hands) and have their name read aloud in front of a group of campus leaders. A professional photographer will be on hand to document this special moment. All attendees must wear face coverings during the entire event, but may remove them temporarily for a photo while on stage.”

And, sorry Class of 2020: The graduation events are limited to 300 students and “unfortunately these size restrictions mean we are unable to welcome the Class of 2020 back to participate in this ceremony.”

Congratulations Graduates! Doesn’t this sound like fun?

Read the Chancellor’s announcement below and online at UCDavis.edu HERE.

I’m pleased to announce that spring 2021 graduates — undergraduate and academic graduate students — will have the opportunity to participate in a limited-scale, in-person commencement processional. In addition, they will also have the opportunity to participate in a virtual graduation ceremony. Our professional schools are also developing plans to appropriately recognize and celebrate their school’s graduates.

While the current state of COVID-19 infections and spread in our area has improved dramatically, the pandemic is not over and we must still be cautious. Our commencement celebrations will be limited to comply with regulations and to keep our graduates, their families, our faculty and staff, and the broader community safe. Our plans are subject to change based on evolving direction from state and local public health officials, and are predicated on Yolo County moving into the yellow tier. They may need to be revised should the county not be in that tier by June.

Graduates who choose to participate in the in-person processional may each bring two guests. Those guests must bring a completed COVID-19 vaccination card to the event, while students will have the option of showing proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result for COVID-19 from the previous 72 hours. Any student traveling from outside California must show proof of vaccination. The entire in-person event will also be livestreamed online, so anyone who is unable to attend in person can still witness this important milestone.

Families and participants will be asked to arrive in the Pavilion Parking Structure, and the festivities will begin as soon as everyone is checked in. Graduates and their guests — spaced at least six feet from other graduates and their guests at all times — will make their way through a series of tents with differing themes. First up, a photo-op tent will be filled with fun opportunities for selfies and family photos. Then, each group will proceed to the main stage, where the graduate will receive a ceremonial scroll (without shaking hands) and have their name read aloud in front of a group of campus leaders. A professional photographer will be on hand to document this special moment. All attendees must wear face coverings during the entire event, but may remove them temporarily for a photo while on stage.

With ceremonial scroll in hand, attendees can briefly celebrate their new alumni status in a tent organized by the Cal Aggie Alumni Association — complete with details on how they can receive a free gift at a later time — before heading back to the parking structure. Coronavirus precautions and regulations on gatherings mean there will be no program or speakers to address the class, and groups will be asked not to linger in the area so that it can be prepared for the next group of graduates.

Because we must still limit the size of gatherings, several such ceremonies will be held from June 10-13. Each event will be limited to 300 students, and unfortunately these size restrictions mean we are unable to welcome the Class of 2020 back to participate in this ceremony. These difficult decisions have been made in consultation with public health experts, and rest assured a more traditional celebration for 2020 graduates will take place as soon as it is safe to do so.

More details on the logistics of these events and information on how to opt-in to either the in-person or virtual events will be emailed to eligible students early next week, so keep an eye on your inboxes for more information.
                              
In the meantime, I must stress again how proud I am to be part of this amazing university community that has done so much to protect all of its members from this tragic pandemic. So much has happened over the past 13 months, and you all have truly shown a new definition of Aggie Pride in the way you have responded. We must continue to be vigilant and cautious, but I hope these commencement events will provide a small relief and prove that the light at the end of the tunnel is indeed getting brighter. Fiat Lux!

Sincerely,

Gary S. May
Chancellor


UC Davis

 

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7 thoughts on “UC Davis In-Person Graduation: Face Masks, COVID-19 Vaccination Card, or Negative COVID Test Result Within 72 Hours

  1. For heaven’s sake. This sounds awful. Why even bother?
    Gee, I guess California 2020 Zoom-educated college graduates will have to be content — for who knows how long, maybe forever — to watch old movies and old TV shows that feature normal graduations, normal social lives, normal romance, normal school life, normal career paths, normal marriage and family life, normal travel, and normal fun. You know, way back, long ago, when we were FREE? But never fear, the government will support you. “Doesn’t that sound like fun?”

  2. Pathetic….

    Why bother….

    This isn’t normal, its an extension of the draconian insanity that’s characterized the last year…

    But Davis is in NorCal and those people LOVE THEIR MASKS, so have at it!!!

  3. Hmmm…how they going to get around Federal law that states it’s illegal to require test or vaccination under EUA?

  4. Graduation ceremonies are such a waste, from start to finish…unless you ask the sellers of caps and gowns and rings, that is. The ONE-AND-ONLY thing that matters whatsoever is your official transcript. Everything else is a meaningless, troublesome, expensive show for nothing. One would spend their time better getting a 6-pack and drinking it in the park. Add to the useless waste that graduation ceremonies have always been, the fact that crowds these days grow ever-less civilized, turning what should be a solemn recognition of a major lifetime achievement into a raucous, rude, no-filter mass of shouting, horn-tooting ghetto rats. So much for the ceremony. You can if you want, but I have opted out of five of my six (a single, regrettable exception). Go to your your graduation if you want; and, if you’re a POS-POC, be sure to do everything in your power to ruin it for everyone else. Nomesayin’ homie?

    1. This is so true, and so sad…

      I’m getting older, and remember the “old days” when people conducted themselves with some degree of restraint and dare I say “class” in public situations… Graduation USED to be fun, because there was some mutual respect in deference to others’ ability to see & hear…

      Now, in the social media era, I’ve been to younger relative’s graduations and was horrified at the lack of decorum and public respect for others’ experiences (much like going to the movies was, pre-Covid)… There’s always some jackwagon who thinks they’re funnier than they are & try to out-funny the movie, or kick your seat during tense drama scenes, depending…

      You nailed the current, “some come to SEE the show, some come to BE the show” ethos perfectly, and sadly….

  5. Thank you Chancellor May for properly indoctrinating the children in your charge.
    Teaching them to THINK critically and objectively is obviously no longer a part of the curriculum.
    I am sure your “educated” colleagues and bureaucratic lemmings will reassure you that you have done the correct thing. Please stay in your information silo because if you had to live in the real world you would not be able to manage your life.

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