SAN MARCOS – The California State University at San Marcos (CSUSM) will hold an in-person commencement ceremony for its graduating students at the end of May, marking the first time all school year that this many students and families will be invited back to campus.
The university announced that they plan on holding in-person ceremonies to honor both the class of 2020 and the class of 2021 on May 22 and May 23.
Last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, CSUSM held a drive-through graduation parade for the class of 2020.
“Attendance and Participation will require advance registration and attendance will be very limited. Due to space restrictions and health and safety guidelines, only two guest invitations may be extended per graduate,” CSUSM said in a statement. “A livestream of the in-person ceremonies at Magnum Track will be made available on the CSUSM website and the CSUSM app.”
CSUSM will be requiring that all attendees adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols, including facial coverings and physical distancing, regardless of vaccination status.
Seating at the ceremony will also be physically distanced between graduates and respective families/guests.
The decision to allow an in-person commencement was announced only a month before the commencement date. The short notice coupled with a two-guest ticket limit has proven difficult for many students.
According to a report by The Cougar Chronicle, CSUSM’s student newspaper, some students have chosen to delay their graduation to either fall 2021 or spring 2022 in hopes of a more traditional commencement ceremony.
The commencement will mark the first time since March 2020 that many students and families will be back to the San Marcos campus.
California State University was the first in the nation to announce that its 23 campuses would cancel in-person learning for the 2020/2021 school year. They decided to continue with online instruction back when the initial stay-at-home order went into effect.
Since then, CSUSM, which boasts a student population of roughly 15,000, has been fully operating in a hybrid learning model, with the majority of its students learning remotely.
Other universities in the county are also holding in-person commencement ceremonies in May and June. San Diego State University, University of San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene University and UC San Diego will also be holding in-person commencement ceremonies.
UCSD is requiring that students and guests must be fully vaccinated to attend or show that they recently tested negative for COVID-19.
CSUSM is expected to resume in-person learning starting in the fall, which is expected to begin on Aug. 31.