The Equal Rights Advocacy Committee and Academic Affairs Committee convened for an emergency meeting on April 10 to draft a resolution titled “A Voice in Commencement.” The resolution formally requested for Portland State to provide the option of in-person commencement at a later date.
According to Ernesto Dominguez, the equal rights director, the resolution is a “formal way of showing our voice to the university.”
While it’s still in draft form, the resolution currently states: “The Associated Students of Portland State University hold PSU administrators at fault for not reaching out to a diverse group of students for guidance in this matter initially.”
There should be a “formal process for students to give input and help decide how their graduation will be celebrated, including the possibility of a graduation [ceremony] at a later date,” and students should be included in meetings regarding commencement in future, according to the resolution.
The resolution also states the PSU is accountable for fulfilling the needs of students, since without them the school would not exist. It also states the diverse student body includes members of “historically marginalized and underrepresented” backgrounds, and 37% of students are first-generation college students. The resolution states they deserve the honor of an in-person ceremony.
The ASPSU Senate will review the resolution on April 13, after which it may be referred back to the committees for edits, according to Dominguez. The Senate will vote on the resolution at its next meeting on April 27.