Highlanders graduating this year will be able to celebrate the campus’ 68th commencement ceremonies in person. UCR’s official announcement came after many Highlanders awaited the news as to whether this year’s commencement will be consistent with the untraditional ceremonies that have occurred in the past two years due to the pandemic. 

UCR’s 2020 and 2021 classes saw both online and hybrid ceremonies. In contrast, the ceremonies this year will take place throughout the campus on Pierce Lawn or the Student Recreation Center. 

Graduating seniors are excited to have their accomplishments recognized in-person. “After being quarantined for so long, it makes me happy to be in person for at least the end,” says fourth-year film major Jimmy Lee Truong. 

Other ceremonies, like the African Student Program’s Black Graduation, Chicano Student Programs Raza Graduation and University Honors’ Cording Ceremony, will also be in person.

“I’m really excited to be able to have an in-person graduation. With everything that has happened this quarter, an in-person graduation was the one thing I didn’t want to lose. I’m really excited and really looking forward to walking the stage with family present,” says fourth-year political science major Kevin Contreras. 

Ceremonies will take place during the month of June, beginning with the School of Medicine commencement on June 3. A full schedule of all ceremonies can be found on the UCR website.

Graduation applications for those graduating this spring are due on March 1, 2022. COVID-19 guidelines for the in-person graduation ceremonies have not yet been announced. 

Campus COVID-19 updates 

Following California and Riverside County’s lift of the mask mandate on Feb. 15, UCR will continue to mandate that those on campus wear a mask while indoors. During a public forum that occurred at one of the ASUCR meetings, UCR’s Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Brian Haynes announced that the campus will not lift their mask mandate. Students should continue to fill out the Daily Wellness Survey, and those who live on campus are expected to get tested every two weeks. Test results can be submitted through the Daily Wellness Survey. 

While Riverside County has consistently seen high cases of infection throughout the pandemic, UCR has not had any large outbreaks. Riverside County and UCR COVID-19 dashboards show that cases are decreasing from the omicron spike that occurred between December 2021 to January 2022. Students and employees should monitor the campus COVID-19 dashboard to see where infected persons were on campus and if they were potentially exposed to the virus. Emails regarding confirmed cases in classrooms and residence halls are no longer going to be sent out.