UTEP graduates have gotten a crappy deal this year because of the coronavirus outbreak. First, they didn't know how long spring break was going to last, then they had to deal with online classes instead of going back to traditional classes, then many of them had to flee their dorm rooms because of the fear of creating a hot spot, and to top it all off, they found out that that a traditional graduation commencement ceremony was probably wasn't going to happen. Social distancing, face masks, general fear of a large gathering of people kept UTEP, as well as all the local school districts, from agreeing to a traditional graduation ceremony for graduates.

Officials with UTEP have been saying that they know that not having a traditional graduation ceremony was a tough thing for graduates to deal with, but Monday afternoon they released a statement that should give graduates a bit of a boost.

There will be a UTEP spring graduation this year, but it will be via remote activities. On May 16-17, more than 2,300 graduates and candidates who are eligible to receive degrees will be able to celebrate their achievement.

More than 630 students who have earned graduate degrees, including 98 doctoral candidates can use social media and the hashtag #utepgrad to post photos in their graduation regalia. UTEP officials say they want graduates to post photos of their at-home celebrations with the decorations their families have put up for them.

UTEP officials say they hope that community members will wear orange and walk around their neighborhoods on May 16 and 17 to honor graduates who would have been spending that weekend walking the Don Haskins Center stage for commencement weekend.

The UTEP campus will celebrating as well with the “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at the Sun Bowl-University roundabout being lit up in blue and orange lights from May 13 through May 17, to commemorate UTEP’s Class of 2020.

Is it ideal? No. But it is the best that can happen now, so get dressed up, celebrate your graduate and hopefully something more traditional can be done in the future.

We at KISS FM would like to extend our congratulations to all the spring 2020 UTEP graduates!

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