Since posting our article yesterday (Wednesday 20th July) that broke the news that the University of Southampton’s Super Graduation would feature no names called, no handshakes, and no diplomas handed over; the University has since u-turned on their previous decision.
Today, (Thursday 21st July), saw the first graduation ceremony that featured not ONE handshake, but TWO. These handshakes will be given by the students’ head of school and the Vice-Chancellor. While students’ names will remain uncalled, and there’s no chance to restore the graduation from those who had one yesterday; this news remains a significant improvement on the originally planned ceremony.
Yesterday saw the University receive massive amounts of backlash over its graduation ceremonies. Students, parents, carers, and friends all flocked to social media to call out the University and its “disappointing” event, which saw the University turn off commenting on the live stream of the graduates’ big day.
Although, even after this small restoration to the ceremonies today, the upset is still rife. Former editor, Emily Dennis, and current editor, Isobel McVeigh, took over the Wessex Scene Instagram for a special ‘Wessex Scene on the Scene’, with saw claims of poor organisation and an overwhelming feeling of being let down. While the attendees try to celebrate the amazing achievements of the students graduating, many can’t help but feel that it’s too little too late.
Currently, there has been no announcement from the University about the reasoning behind their change of decision, but after the backlash and collective voicing of those affected, it’s a decision that is gratefully received.