SUSU President Ben Dolbear has issued a statement regarding the progress being made toward putting together a ‘Supergraduation’ event in July for students graduating from the university in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The university previously announced that a ‘Supergraduation’ event would be taking place across 20th-22nd July 2022 at St. Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. Students will be invited to a specific date during this period later in the year.
In a blog post on the Students’ Union website, Ben Dolbear explained that this event ‘promises to be larger in scale than any graduation our University has ever seen.’ He explains that there has been a specific focus this year on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, with SUSU having ‘secured diverse representation on the core Graduation Project Committee’:
We are using our voices to spearhead two student-focused campaigns. The first focuses on accessibility: we want to ensure that all students have equal access to the venue during their ceremony and that nobody experiences barriers, perceived or tangible, to their attendance. This means that we will use our voices in all relevant forums to ensure that students and guests with disabilities are considered at each step of planning, and that the experiences of neurodiverse attendees – with particular regard to the sensory and spatial experience – is optimal.
The second centres on easing the financial burden placed on graduands. We know that the cost of graduation – including the rental of gowns and purchasing of photographs – can be intimidating for students, particularly for those from low-income backgrounds. We are therefore asking that the University covers these costs for graduands from disadvantaged backgrounds, in a bid to widen participation and ensure equitable access for all.
This news comes as students eligible for the graduation were emailed an ‘expression of interest’ form earlier this month, asking them to indicate their graduation preferences. Choices include whether they would be interested in attending an in-person event this academic year, whether they would like to defer their graduation to another year, whether they would like to attend the event online only, or not at all. The deadline for completing this form has passed.
Wessex Scene will continue to keep students up to date on all new information regarding the ‘Supergraduation’.