Cal State LA announces plans for in-person graduation on campus in July

School officials said each graduate can bring two guests.

Eric Resendiz Image
Saturday, May 29, 2021
Cal State LA announces plans for in-person graduation
After postponing graduation plans at the Rose Bowl because of backlash, Cal State LA announced its new plan for an in-person commencement in July.

EL SERENO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Cal State Los Angeles officials on Friday announced they would return to their original plan of having an in-person commencement for students. A series of commencement ceremonies will take place on campus over a few days in July for both the classes of 2020 and 2021.

"Our small but mighty team has turned over every stone and has pulled off what I think will be a very joyous occasion for our campus community and our students," said Octavio Villalpando, vice president of equity, diversity and inclusion at Cal State LA.

According to the school's website, each student will be able to invite two guests to attend.

"I am just thrilled to have my parents there. Like I mentioned before, my parent are immigrants. I am a first-generation student," said Jocelyn Vargas, a student of the class of 2021. "To me it just means the world for my parents to see me walk that stage."

Commencement ceremonies will start on July 21.

"I am not optimistic, honestly," said Isabella Tam, a student of the class of 2020. "Because the state will be lifting its COVID guidelines, it was kind of a mix of emotions wondering why we can't invite more than two guests."

Other students like Tam also have mixed feelings about the new plan. At one point, Cal State LA was going to have an in-person celebration at the Rose Bowl, but the ceremony would have had many restrictions. That sparked some backlash and the school postponed it.

MORE: Cal State LA announces postponement of Rose Bowl graduation ceremony after backlash

"I'm kind of excited that it's finally of happening. Only a bit disappointed on the fact that we won't be hooded by like our thesis advisors," said Vargas.

"I can tell you that we all share the disappointment in the kinds of restrictions that we have to face," said Villalpando.

Earlier this year, F.E.M.A. opened a mass vaccination site at the university to help vaccinate communities hit hardest by the pandemic. However, according to university officials, this impacted graduation plans because the site took up a lot of space on campus.

Cal State University Los Angeles will become one of two COVID-19 mass vaccination sites in the state where officials expect to administer thousands of shots each day.

"It's part of our commitment to serving our students and serving our community," said Villalpando.

According to school officials, the vaccine site's last day of operation on campus will be June 30.

Follow Eric on social media: