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Arnold GodoyOct 11, 2017, 11:06 am

Montclair State students call for ‘proper celebration’ after winter commencement nixed

Students hope to reverse school’s decision with petition that also already garnered 5,000 signatures

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Montclair State University students scheduled to graduate after this fall semester will have to wait until May to take part in a commencement ceremony after their January ceremony was cancelled earlier this month.
The school notified students in an email and even then, names won't be read. Now students are working to get what they call "a proper celebration." Students are hoping to present a petition to the university in the hopes to get their winter commencement back.

One student says she wasn't able to graduate with her class because of course changes she made and has been working hard to walk across the stage in January.

"Not only did I just get told you can't walk in May with the rest of your class, but you'll still have a January commencement. For that email to be sent out saying ‘hey, just kidding; there's no January commencement,’ it felt like a devastation and a let down from the school," said Lashana Richburg.

The cancellation not only affects the students, but families hoping to watch the ceremony. Richburg says it's important for her to have that celebration as soon as she can for her 83-year-old grandmother.

"She jokingly says to me all the time, ‘yeah, if I’m still around’ and like, it’s kind of heartbreaking to have to tell her its pushed back to May because every day with her is limited because she is elderly... it’s emotional because I don't want anything to happen to her in the six months,” Richburg says.

Now students are hoping to reverse the decision with a petition.

Many say the cancellation is unfair to the students as well as their loved ones who planned to celebrate the milestone in January.

So far, the petition has almost reached its goal of 5,000 signatures.
If the school does not reinstate the January commencement, students will graduate during a ceremony set for May 25, 2018 at the Prudential Center in Newark.

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