The University is holding an in-person commencement in December after its original plan for a fully virtual ceremony was met with controversy.

“In light of the overwhelming feedback we have received in support of an in-person December commencement ceremony, we are pleased to announce that we will offer an in-person ceremony after all, for those who choose to participate,” the Nov. 6 announcement read.

The ceremony will be held Dec. 18 in Tiger Stadium and is open to December as well as May and August graduates who did not have the opportunity to attend an in-person ceremony in the spring and summer. Graduates are required to RSVP prior to Nov. 20. Media Relations Director Ernie Ballard said the number of RSVPs will determine the number of ceremonies held.

The ceremony will be “contactless,” meaning graduates will not walk across the stage. Instead, graduates will rise from their seat as their name is called to be acknowledged.

Graduates will be seated with their group of up to three guests.

A virtual ceremony is available for December graduates who do not feel comfortable attending in person.

Political science senior Chandler Hegwood is grateful for an in-person option, even though it is not a typical graduation ceremony.

“I’ll take what I can get,” Hegwood said. “I mean, it’s not ideal but at least my family will be with me and there will be some sort of in-person ceremony.”

English education senior Mary Pham said she does not plan on attending

“I’m not going to attend, and I’m not particularly excited about it because we can’t even walk,” Pham said. “It’s the same as it would be on Zoom.”

May 2020 graduate Sarah Bourgeois agreed that COVID-19 restrictions make the celebration less rewarding.

“It’s still not normal,” Bourgeois said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity but it’s just not worth it to me.”

The University also announced students will be welcome to return to campus to walk across the stage “when things get back to normal.”

LSU reminded students details are subject to change depending on the state of the pandemic.

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