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MRU grads still waiting to walk the stage as COVID-19 postpones graduation

Mount Royal University grads are still waiting for their big day in the limelight.

MRU students that hoped the graduate in the spring and summer of 2020 are still waiting for their degree parchments and convocation. The fall semester and convocation season is just a little over a month away.

Milanna Grossi, 23, went to Mount Royal for five years. She finished with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in English in the winter term of 2019.

She was set to walk the stage in the spring of 2020 but because of COVID-19, MRU was forced to postpone all graduation celebrations.

Grossi is still waiting for her time to walk the stage. She’s frustrated by the lack of communications coming from the university.

“All I know is that if you went to the graduation convocation for winter or spring, then it would be moved to the fall,” she said.

“But other than that, I don’t know if it’s still a go. I haven’t heard anything. It’s just been really, really bad communication from Mount Royal.”

Mount Royal didn’t have any details for students

In emails obtained from Grossi on June 8, MRU said that there would be no details for students. That left prospective grads in limbo.

Milanna Grossi is frustrated with the
lack of communication from MRU on
when she can graduate.

“At this time, we don’t have any details on when the ceremony will take place, or what it will look like,” the MRU email reads.

“We don’t have any details on regalia (caps and gowns) either, however, the caps are not returned and will belong to you.”

Grossi said she still hadn’t received her degree. MRU said was expected to be delivered in late June or early July.

“I’m really frustrated because they said it should come and I’ve been checking the mail ever since,” she said.

“And it’s almost the end of July and I haven’t gotten it yet and I haven’t heard anything since.”

Now Grossi wants to see an effort by the university to give students the recognition they deserve.

She said she has a lot of time and money invested in MRU. To have this lack of communication and attention leaves a bitter taste over her university experience.

“I would really hope that they put on convocation, even if it’s, you know, outside and have to social distance,” she said.

“Even if you have to leave right away or something like I feel live even a drive-through ceremony. Something would be better than nothing because it’s the effort for me that really counts.”

MRU’s response

MRU’s Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Phil Warsaba said in a written statement that the MRU is still assessing what the best approach is to carry out a graduation ceremony.

“MRU’s convocation committee is currently finalizing a plan to honour our most recent spring and fall graduates in November 2020 in a unique and appropriately socially-distanced fashion,” Warsaba said.

He also urged recent MRU alumni to congratulate these missed graduates via social media.

“We made the difficult decision to postpone the on-campus gatherings originally scheduled in June,” he said.

“In the interim, we asked students, faculty, and alumni to offer congratulations to our graduates via social media in early June.”