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CSU Channel Islands postpones 2020 Commencement

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CAMARILLO, Calif. - Cal State University Channel Islands is postponing its scheduled May 23 commencement ceremony until a later date.

University President Erika D. Beck did not announce which date in a press release on Wednesday.

“I am sorely disappointed that we must postpone our 2020 Commencement ceremony, but this is an unprecedented period in the history of this University, the nation, and across the globe,” said President Beck. “It is critical that we follow the guidelines of the California Department of Public Health and the CSU Chancellor’s Office, so we can keep all of our students, employees, friends and family safe during this pandemic.”

CSU Channel Islands joins all 22 CSU campuses in postponing graduation ceremonies until the Coronavirus threat passes. The CSU Chancellor's Office said the pandemic situation is fluid and leadership will let the graduates know when a date is determined in the future.

University officials said they understand the need to celebrate the graduates and their families who have sacrificed so much to get to this point.

“Commencement is a joyous time for friends and family to celebrate the achievements of our students as they each cross the stage to receive their diplomas,” Beck added. “We want our graduating students to have the celebration that they deserve and we believe postponing is the best way to accomplish this. Stay well, Dolphins. Together, we will get through this and together, we will celebrate the Class of 2020.”

Some universities have decided to cancel, not postpone, their commencement ceremonies and students are responding with petitions in some cases.

UPDATED: Cal Lutheran University announced that its 2020 commencement ceremony will be a virtual graduation. That's not sitting well with some graduates who've started a Change.org petition to force the university to postpone the ceremony to a later date when it's safe to celebrate in person. 1,670 people had signed that petition when this story was posted.

Cal Lutheran University officials tell NewsChannel 3 they've updated the university website to clarify that its 2020 commencement ceremony is not cancelled, just postposed. They hope to reschedule the ceremony at a later date. There's been confusion among students and their families who believed the graduation would be a virtual event and not in-person. Nearly 2,000 had signed a change.org petition as of Thursday morning.

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C.J. Ward

C.J. Ward is the evening anchor for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and the station’s lead investigative reporter.