Inside CRC’s 2021 graduation ceremonies

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After forgoing last year’s graduation ceremony, CRC will host a drive-up commencement this spring. The last day to register for the event is May 3.

As the spring semester rapidly approaches its conclusion, Cosumnes River College and the Los Rios Community College District are offering pandemic-safe cultural celebrations and a curbside graduation commencement.
Graduating students will be able to celebrate their accomplishments through a drive-up commencement to be held on May 19. Last year, CRC and many colleges across the country were forced to cancel their graduation ceremonies due to pandemic safety concerns.
“We want a way to highlight the accomplishments of our students, not only from 2020 but also from 2021,” said Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management Dr. Claire Oliveros. “We didn’t anticipate being this far into the academic year still in a pandemic, so we’ve made the best of it.”
Students that graduated from CRC with their associate’s degree from summer 2019, fall 2019, spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021 are eligible to attend the commencement, said Dean of Student Services and Enrollment Management Yolanda Garcia.
“We were really unsure as to how many students would register and would be interested in participating in the drive-thru-only commencement,” Garcia said. “We sent out the information yesterday, and we already have about 175 students registered.”
Garcia said that typically the on-ground commencement in past years has roughly 400 students in attendance. She said it was great to be already so close to half of that for a drive-up event.
Students attending the event can bring their family along with them, but only one car per student will be allowed to attend, according to the official FAQ. Students can wear a cap and gown but are not required to, according to the FAQ.
Despite its curbside nature, the commencement is still going to be festive, said Garcia. “We encourage everyone to decorate their cars, the school mascot will be there, and after 14 months of being remote, faculty members are very excited to celebrate with students again.”
Garcia and Oliveros also brought up that alongside the commencement, CRC and LRCCD will also be virtually hosting various cultural celebrations via Zoom. Of the five different events going on, the Lavender Celebration for LGBTQIA+ students on May 7 and the Los Rios Native American Celebration on Thursday are both still open for registration, according to the CRC website.
“April 29th marks our graduation season,” Oliveros said. “Culminating up to May 19th, we’re celebrating all student achievement and success through identity-based groups, groups that create a sense of belonging and welcoming, as well as a culmination of our consecutive years of graduates.”
Oliveros said it was important to acknowledge that we’re in the graduation season and its significance after what everyone has been through over the last year. She also encouraged students to participate in the events to celebrate their important milestones.
As of now, the curbside commencement will not stream online, but both Garcia and Oliveros are hoping to work out the logistics of an online stream by the time of the event.
The commencement will take place at CRC from 4-7 p.m. on May 19. Students who wish to attend need to register on the CRC website by May 3.