Compromising the ceremonial atmosphere is not an option
One year ago, not many could have predicted how difficult it would be to foresee how the pandemic situation would develop in the beginning of 2022. Nevertheless, with only a few weeks left to sign up for the event, the Conferment Committee has a clear view on how the event should be organized.
“We will continue the preparations with the intention of creating a fully live event,” says Gratisti Anna-Liisa Koskinen, the Chair of the Conferment Committee consisting of a group of volunteers.
That is to say: all the preparations for the various events are already in full swing. The Conferment Committee is discussing with the faculties’ response centres, which decide the University’s general instructions regarding the coronavirus situation, about what kind of safety precautions would help to improve the safety of the events. However, the Committee does not wish to compromise the Conferment experience.
“It’s not an option for the Committee to make the event partially or fully virtual,” Koskinen adds.
During the past two years people have grown weary of virtual events and they do not offer the same kind of collective experience as do events that are held in-person. Koskinen reminds that the Conferment Ceremony is a unique way to celebrate one’s degree together with the entire university community in a truly magnificent setting.
“All graduates are equally important. We don’t find it worthwhile for our participants, if we were to offer them an incomplete experience without all the dignified venues for the festivities or the jubilant atmosphere of the ceremony this time,” states Koskinen.
The arrangements will follow the authorities’ instructions
There have been multiple varying estimates on how the pandemic will develop in the following months. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health evaluate in their latest situation update on the coronavirus that the peak of the Omicron wave might have already passed in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa. However the past few years have taught us that the COVID-19 pandemic can take unexpected turns.
“We will comply with the authorities’ instructions as well as the decisions made by the university’s response centres when making the arrangements for the event. It is of course possible, that we have to cancel the Conferment Ceremony altogether, even though we most definitely don’t want this to happen,” says Koskinen.
Should the ceremony be cancelled, all the paid participation fees will be returned to the participants by the university. However, the members of the Conferment Committee still have a lot of will and determination.
“The whole Conferment experience is well worth all the work after all,” Koskinen concludes.
The registration for the Conferment Ceremony is open until 7th March, 23:59 PM. Read more.