Coronavirus: University of Saskatchewan moves 2020 spring convocation online

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WATCH: Due to bans on mass gatherings, the 2020 University of Saskatchewan spring graduation has moved to an online format – May 29, 2020

All mass gatherings are currently banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the latest casualty of event postponement is the 2020 University of Saskatchewan (USask) spring convocation, which has now moved to an online format.

The university is collecting messages by using the hashtag #USaskClassof2020 and will compile those posts with special video messages in a graduation celebration website which will be relaunched on June 1.

READ MORE: High school graduates in Saskatchewan await a decision on convocation

“I’m so happy and excited because they’re taking time to acknowledge our achievements,” graduate Angela Gjurichanin said.

Holding a virtual celebration isn’t the ideal way that students wished to commemorate their convocation. However, it does allow these graduates a chance to close a chapter of their lives as students.

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READ MORE: Class of 2020 at Royal Military College in Kingston celebrates graduation — virtually

“It gives you a nice ending,” Gjurichanin said.

“For me personally, if they just left it with nothing, that would be more unsettling. You would have this feeling of ‘oh, I guess I graduated.'”

While celebrating their spring grads online, the university is working to allow all of their graduates, who miss out on a convocation due to the pandemic, the opportunity to cross the stage once it’s safe to do so.

“There are lots of things that we’re doing in a remote fashion, but, we’re really looking forward to the day when we can bring the graduating students back to do it all in person,” USask president Peter Stoicheff said.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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