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After COVID-19 cancelled grad, a Campbell Collegiate senior is fighting to get it back

After COVID-19 cancelled grad, a Campbell Collegiate senior is fighting to get it back
WATCH: A Regina high-schooler is listing solutions and signatures on a growing petition she hopes can help bring back graduation ceremonies after they were cancelled by COVID-19.

A Regina high-schooler is hoping solutions and signatures can help bring back graduation ceremonies after they were cancelled by COVID-19.

“I was supposed to go to B.C. to the mountains on a school trip. I was supposed to be part of a theatre production,” said Campbell Collegiate senior Karsyn Rutledge. “It all got cancelled so I feel like if they strip away our graduation then we kind of have nothing.”

The Campbell Collegiate senior started a petition this week to have grad events reinstated in some form after receiving word from officials that festivities were officially cancelled. Thus far, it’s garnered over 500 signatures.

“We got an email a few days ago, basically saying that our graduation had been cancelled. It wasn’t postponed or anything, just cancelled. That’s about it. I was very upset,” she said.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Students in Sooke, B.C., to get in-person grad ceremony, but parents not allowed

After a bit of brainstorming, research, and conversation with her peers Rutledge came up with three ways she thinks graduation can still take place.

She thinks that like many activities have done thus far, celebrations could transition to somehow take place virtually.

She also floated the idea of a drive-in or drive-thru graduation, as has happened elsewhere.

Another option Rutledge pitched was to have students spread out across the field at Mosaic Stadium, an idea she thinks would create an especially memorable experience even if it means waiting until larger gatherings are again allowed.

“We have more than enough room for students to be two metres away. We can have all the families in the stands. It would give students a chance to walk across the field in front of a crowd.”

Right now, increases in the size of allowable gatherings beyond 30 people are listed as a consideration in Phase Five of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan. There is no set date for Phases Four or five of the plan though, and both come with the recommendation that physical distancing measures still be followed.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Calgary class of 2020 celebrates physically distanced graduation in backyard

Karsyn Rutledge says she hopes her grad dress, which she got on a trip to New York City, can find a way out of its garment bag.
Karsyn Rutledge says she hopes her grad dress, which she got on a trip to New York City, can find a way out of its garment bag. Courtesy: Karsyn Rutledge
Karsyn Rutledge says she hopes her grad dress, which she got on a trip to New York City, can find a way out of its garment bag.
Karsyn Rutledge says she hopes her grad dress, which she got on a trip to New York City, can find a way out of its garment bag. Courtesy: Karsyn Rutledge

Karsyn says she’s been looking forward to walking across the graduation stage for a long time now. She even found the perfect grad dress earlier this year in New York while on a school trip.

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“It’s doing no use sitting in the garment bag at home,” she said. “I pictured all my friends together. We all have our dresses. We’re having a good time. It’s all I’ve wanted since Grade 9 and now to have that stripped away – it’s kind of sad.”

If grad does come back, Rutledge knows it will likely look far from normal. She says she’ll just be happy to be able to create a few more high-school memories to share with her friends.

“We don’t have to shake hands with anyone, but it will give students a chance to be acknowledged for all the hard work put in.”

Global News reached out to Regina Public Schools, whom the petition is addressed to, but did not hear back in time for publication.