Virtual ceremony for Manhattan College's graduate students draws disappointment
COVID-19 restrictions affecting graduation ceremonies are easing, but many celebrations will still look different - and parents of seniors at one Bronx college are not happy about it.
Dina McIntyre is a proud mom whose daughter is getting ready to graduate with her Master's degree at Manhattan College. But she's not excited about the way that the ceremony is happening.
While Manhattan's undergraduates will be graduating in-person, graduate students will take part in a virtual commencement ceremony. The grad students have been taking remote classes exclusively for the past year.
"I understand 2020 not having something because no one knew how to operate in the pandemic, so that I don't have a problem with, that's fine. I have a problem with 2021 undergrads can walk, 2021 graduate class cannot." says McIntyre.
And the virtual ceremony comes with a cost.
"To add insult to injury they charged me $410 for a commencement ceremony that is going virtual," says McIntyre.
Manhattan College tells News 12 that the fee is used to offset a portion of the commencement ceremony, whether it is in-person or virtual, and it covers processing, auditing and the cost of diplomas and regalia -- which it says has increased.
In a statement, the school said in part, "We have heard and responded to students' and families' disappointment with the virtual ceremony. It is frustrating that the pandemic has not yet waned, and it is continuing to affect our campus, community, and events with new cases every day. We are looking forward to celebrating the achievements of our graduate students, who have persevered through it all to earn their degree and our deep respect."
McIntyre says that overall, her daughter's time at the school has been great and that she appreciates the college for responding to her calls and emails on the matter, even if she doesn't like the answers.