A few weeks ago, beloved Vice-Chancellor Dawn Freshwater announced that there would be no graduation ceremony this semester due to lockdown restrictions. Instead, students would have the amazing, once-in-lifetime opportunity to graduate virtually! What did a virtual graduation ceremony actually entail? We never found out – student backlash forced Freshwater to change her mind and graduation is now back in person! But, on the off chance that we go back to lockdown before grad can take place, we’ve prepared some alternatives for the uni in case they need it:
Club Penguin Graduation
Students get to create their own penguin and then gather around the Ski Village for the graduation ceremony. A penguin called Dawn Freshwater stands at the front of the crowd with a bunch of pink puffles (stand-ins for the certificates). When she types the name of a student in the chat, they walk over, do a little dance, and then take a puffle off-stage with them. Cue all the students tossing celebratory snowballs into the air. The best part? You can hit up the nightclub if you’re feeling a little funky afterwards.
Facebook Group Chat
Chuck all the graduates into one big group chat. All the proceedings can go ahead in long essay messages: the type that you’d normally skip past. The university song is sung via voice memo. Eventually people start spamming the group chat. People leave and come back. Who would’ve thought 300 people in one group chat would be a bad idea?
The Graduation Podcast
Graduations are so old-school. You know what’s down with the kids? Podcasts! Why not turn this year’s graduation into a podcast by having Dawn Freshwater record herself doing the whole ceremony on her own? Divide the audio into 30-45 minute chunks, chuck a couple ads for Harry’s razors in there, and slap that baby on Spotify. Easy.
Socially Distanced Graduation
Okay everyone take two steps back and keep that 2m bubble around you: if anyone gets too close: two week mandatory isolation. Claps are fine, but make sure you sanitise beforehand. When you walk across the stage, the Chancellor still pretends to put the hat on you because apparently that tradition has always involved social distance.
You know what’s better than a Fortnite concert? A Fortnite graduation! Just picture it: 300 students desperately sprinting around Twisted Towers whilst Dawn Freshwater’s voice booms down on them from above. “We are pleased to announce that profits are up 200%,” she rumbles, “Also, it’s nice to see you all graduating I suppose.” Only the last student standing gets to graduate; the rest have to re-enroll for next year. Let the games begin.
Everyone’s favourite app, House Party, is back for virtual graduation. It works great when it’s just you and Dawn, but as more people join, the party gets a bit full. Laggy internet gets in the way and the maximum of 8 makes it very difficult. Your mate tries to start a game of Chips and Guac but their drawing is shit and the whole thing is fucking lame. You all give up. Why didn’t we just use Zoom to start with.
Fast-food restaurants are allowed to operate drive-throughs under level 3 of the lockdown. Here’s the plan: Freshwater chucks a big yellow M on the top of the clocktower. She buys a McDonald’s uniform off AliExpress or something. Then, she tells all students to drive over to the university. Students drive by the Vice-Chancellor’s open window, and as they do, Freshwater leans out and tosses them a Big Mac and a certificate. Graduation solved! Plus everyone gets a Big Mac, which is nice.
The Empty Stadium Special
COVID-19 has meant that sports teams can’t have crowds in their stadiums anymore. But that hasn’t stopped them – instead, they’ve started charging fans to have their faces printed on cardboard, cut out, and glued to chairs in the stadium. That way, it’s like the crowds never left. Freshwater could follow suit by giving students the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pay to attend a graduation they won’t ever actually get to attend. What could be more UoA?
The 1pm Press Conference
Do you want to graduate with the soothing dulcet tones of Daddy Bloomfield reading out your name: Today we have 300 new cases of students getting qualified to report. All have severe student debt and due to the current economic climate, a low chance of becoming employed.
Do it at Dawn’s
It’s a $5 million house, it’s absolutely big enough to hold the ceremony. The university did purchase it for ‘official university functions’, and we can think of nothing more official than a graduation ceremony. Just think of it like a great big housewarming – we did pay for the house after all. BYO for a good time.