The UR Commencement ceremony has long been an opportunity for students and parents to reflect on and recognize the accomplishments of the year’s graduating class. Even with President Mangelsdorf’s consideration of a “virtual University-wide event,” this will not change any time soon.
Numerous seniors have reported to the Campus Times that they still plan to get belligerently drunk the night before graduation, and to then watch the commencement ceremony at the kitchen table with their parents, painfully hungover.
They claim that in doing so, nothing would be noticeably different from an in-person ceremony.
“My plan? It’s pretty radical,” non-Take 5 fifth-year William Vernon told the CT. “Basically, I’m gonna lock myself in my parent’s unfinished basement with a water cooler I stole from my local YMCA Youth Athletics equipment shed. Then I’m gonna fill the cooler with Skol, Sprite, that weird Hawaiian Punch that comes out of Coke soda fountains, and a single Genny Cream. Then I’m gonna just go until I blackout, which will probably be right around the time I start fooling around with my dad’s expensive Japanese sword collection. The whole time I’ll be by myself, for social distancing and stuff. So, yeah, basically the same thing as a DU grad party.”
Other students stressed that drinking the night before virtual commencement would help them establish a sense of normalcy.
“We live in pretty wild times, I think,” said senior Violet Mame, who is graduating with a B.A. in biology. “It’s important to have a schedule, take things one at a time, all that. Like, for example, I know that if I don’t turn off my higher brain functioning and central nervous system right before major life events, I will feel painfully aware that I have never created anything of value in my life, and that I just kind of consume to live. Do I want this to be like fifth grade graduation again? I don’t, I really don’t.”
“It’s an interesting phenomenon, this drive among students to be completely ruined the morning of their graduation,” Professor Bittmore of the UR Psychology Department told the CT. “It’s like, how do you claim ownership over a moment? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? By reveling in your freedom to do whatever you want the day before a fairly mundane ceremony that’s mostly for the benefit of your parents and extended family. Maybe, perhaps, some students feel the dissonance between this moment that’s supposed to be about them and the knowledge that their whole college experience was paid for by their parents, who are the ones who are really excited about commencement? And this dissonance and suffering, it drives them to drink?”
Bittmore then produced a hip flask of unknown contents and knocked back a long sip before saying, “Anyway, no one’s life is harder than that of a fully tenured college professor. Time for Elevenses!”
UR seniors are also reportedly intrigued by the University’s new “virtual D-Day” performer, which is reported to be this YouTube video of Tom Waits.