Students are adamant that the local administrators at the UWI Open Campus in Kingstown have shown much disrespect to graduands, families and friends as they prepare to host a hurriedly put together graduation ceremony.
Irate students have reached out to Breadfruit News arguing that while life continues as near normal as possible in St. Vincent and the Grenadines including the just completed general elections, the organising body of this year’s graduation ceremony has opted to host a virtual ceremony rather than the traditional face to face ceremony.
“Can you imagine church, fetes, political rallies, restaurants, boat rides and even wet fetes occur without incident and without the fear of Covid-19 but UWI open campus has dictated that we must celebrate behind a computer screen?,” questioned one student who reached out to us earlier in the week.
Another student is heartbroken noting:
“On no level this can be right, this is not fair to us who would have spent tireless nights over the years to beat books and now have to settle to sit before our computers to watch piece of our heads on the screen.”
“To make it worse, up to this present moment as I am typing this, no one has emailed or called anyone to give us any information whatsoever as to what is required of us or what is happening. We do not even know when we are supposed to have this headshot taken.”
The University finally sent out a hasty email giving graduates almost one (1) working day to deposit funds to pay for tomorrow’s photoshoot making allowances for a second opportunity.
“After receiving much pressure from graduands, the SVG campus finally sent out emails at the last minute on Friday afternoon to inform the graduands of the photoshoot date and how payment should be made.”
“The photoshoot was confirmed with the photographer on Thursday. The photoshoot is due on Monday from 9am to 12pm.”
“How many persons are able to get to the bank on Friday afternoon to stand in the line for hours just to pay US$50 in order to get to the photoshoot on Monday morning with the receipt? This is just ridiculous.”
However, the students are seeking further clarity as to what their EC$135.00 is paying for. In an email communication seen by BreadFruit News, Head of the UWI Open Campus, St. Vincent Deborah Dalrymple advised students:
“The fee covers the portrait which will be used in the Virtual ceremony. A virtual photograph will be sent to you by the photographer and you would be responsible for uploading with your Form”
The language used in the email did not specify whether the EC$135.00 for the photoshoot covers a physical copy of the picture as only a digital copy has been mentioned.
But it is the virtual ceremony that is causing much grief to students:
“Now this is the hurtful and most vexatious part of it all. Barbados which is in a worse state compared to SVG where COVID-19 is concerned will be having a face to face traditional graduation ceremony. We do not have a COVID-19 issue in SVG. It’s business as usual.”
The graduation ceremony which was initially postponed to January 13, 2021 will now take place on November 30th, 2020.