Bearcats react to news of an in-person 2022 commencement



Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

Baruch College will hold an in-person graduation commencement ceremony for the class of 2022, as The Ticker broke on Feb. 25, much to the support of Baruch students.

Commencement will take place at the Barclays Center in Flatbush, Brooklyn on May 26, just days after the end of classes and finals season.

“Baruch is pleased to announce that the College is planning to host an in-person Commencement ceremony,” Baruch Director of Public Relations Suzanne Bronski said in a statement to The Ticker. “We will announce details regarding public health protocols, guest policy and tickets, along with other logistics, as soon as they are available. Later this semester, we will also announce this year’s Commencement speaker and Honorary Degree recipient, as well as the Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2022.”

The Ticker asked Baruch Bearcats what their thoughts and reactions were to the news of an in-person ceremony through a Google Form that was shared via Facebook and Instagram.

The responses were mainly positive, with students from both the class of 2022 and other classes saying that they feel it was the right decision for the school to make.

International marketing major Hoan My Truong of the class of 2022 agrees with this sentiment. She said that she feels it will not be an unsafe ceremony, so long as there is one COVID-19 precaution.

“I would love an in-person ceremony,” the senior said. “I think as long as everyone is wearing masks, we should be good. It is time; graduates deserve a proper ceremony after all these years.”

My Truong is not alone. Accounting major sophomore Joshua Greenberg also told The Ticker that he feels it was time to bring back the in-person commencement ceremony.

“Students have lost far too much due to COVID,” he said.

One junior, Nzarama Kouadio, had this to say.

“Finally, we can get back to normal,” Kouadio, a finance major, said.

For many Baruch students, the in-person graduation signifies not only an end to their undergraduate student career but also a potential end to the pandemic that has uprooted their time at Baruch. One such student is Kyle Morales, a communications major with a concentration in digital media and culture.

“I am absolutely elated to hear that commencement will be in-person this semester,” Morales, who is graduating as part of the class of 2022, said. “I transferred to Baruch in the fall of 2019, so [the] majority of my time spent at Baruch has been at home, learning from a computer screen. To me, having an in-person commencement after years of uncertainty and Zoom classes means that there is a light at the end of the tunnel; a graduation at the Barclays Center!”

He went on to add that he feels now is the time for Baruch to be bringing back an in-person celebration, since the COVID-19 situation in New York City has gotten better.

“Mask mandates are being lifted in New York, and CUNY has required their students who are taking in-person classes to be vaccinated and boosted,” the senior said. “If Baruch is allowing students to take in-person classes, it should be allowed to have an in-person commencement.”

Overall, the consensus among Bearcats seems to be that the in-person commencement ceremony is a step in the right direction.

“Graduating from college is a monumental moment in peoples’ lives, especially considering that a large percentage of CUNY students are first-generation college students,” Morales added. “Baruch’s decision to make graduation in-person this semester will only affect my life in a positive way, and I’m sure it will for the rest of the graduating class of 2022.”