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Students rejoice after UM-Dearborn reinstates December commencement

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Dearborn — The University of Michigan-Dearborn has reversed its decision to cancel its December commencement and move to a single spring ceremony after student backlash over the weekend on social media.

Catherine A. Davy, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, made the announcement Friday that the school chose to cancel the December commencements indefinitely starting this year. The plan was to host one spring commencement ceremony at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, which has hosted spring commencement since 2016.

After reading emails and social media posts against the cancellation, the university reversed its decision and will hold a winter commencement.

"Hosting the ceremony at Crisler has ... allowed all four colleges to celebrate as one university with a seating capacity that affords students a generous number of tickets for their guests," she wrote in the post.

Davy said the move was also a money-saver that "will be redirected to increase student financial aid and support student success initiatives."

However, the decision was not well-taken by some of the university's 7,000 students.

"As a student, I'm EXTREMELY disappointed that the school made this decision WITHOUT asking students for input," Hiba Qamar, wrote back to the university. "As a December grad, I had already told family to schedule a visit for my graduation. This is an extremely unprofessional act."

Saturday, after reading emails and social media posts against the cancellation, the university apologized to students for the abrupt announcement and reversed its decision.

"This student-centered sentiment ultimately informed the decision to hold one UM-Dearborn graduation ceremony beginning with this academic year," Davy said. "In an attempt to consult widely, we admittedly tarried too long before making the announcement last week. For this we apologize."

Students rejoiced on social media thanking the university for listening to their student body.

"THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!," posted Nadine Jones. "University of Michigan Dearborn listened. Our voices were heard. We will be having our commencement ceremony in December as planned. Thank you to all the students, professors, staff, alumni and my friends who all stepped up. This is awesome!! Will be graduating even more emotional."


Twitter: @SarahRahal_