Senior students may go without traditional spring graduation ceremonies

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Schools across the country are facing the difficult decision of how to move forward with classwork during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Students right here in Oklahoma now worry about the losses they will face during their senior year.

“It makes me very sad. I’ve been working my past four years to walk across that stage,” said Sergio Hernandez, Classen School of Advanced Studies senior.

Both college and high school seniors in the Oklahoma City metro are now finding their new normal.

Just Wednesday night, Oklahoma State University, the University Of Oklahoma, and the University of Central Oklahoma all announced the remainder of spring courses will continue online.

Jay Mayes is a professional media student at UCO. Now he’s unable to continue working on the student newscast, at least from the school’s broadcast studio. It was practice he and other graduating seniors were hoping to get before applying for jobs.

“It was just like, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do if I don’t have this because we don’t have access to that equipment anymore.’ We’re going remotely, which is what a lot of reporters right now are doing,” Mayes said.

High school students are also concerned. With many schools closed past spring break, seniors like Sergio Hernandez wonder what could happen to prom or even graduation.

“There’s sort of this joke around where you’ll be walking through virtually. I don’t really find that funny. I really want to walk across a physical stage,” Hernandez said.

Regardless of the possible disappointments coming, the seniors say they’ll push forward to the next chapter.

“Thankfully, I’m ready to move on to college too,” Hernandez said.

“I think it’s going to help me because it’s going to show employers that like, ‘He’s able to adapt.’ And I think as a journalist, you’ve got to be able to do that,” Mayes said.

Both UCO and OSU are working on alternatives to a traditional commencement ceremony. OU has already announced that graduation is postponed.

As of right now, public schools across the state will remain closed until at least April 6th.

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