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Letter from the editor: IDS commemorates graduation amid COVID-19



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Editor-in-chief Lydia Gerike poses for a photo May 7 next to the Ernie Pyle statue outside Franklin Hall. Courtesy Photo

The class of 2020 was always slated to have a special spot in IU’s history.

As the bicentennial class, commencement represented not just every individual accomplishment of this year’s graduates but 200 years of success and growth. We could hardly have asked for a more iconic way to end our time at IU.

Then, of course, COVID-19 happened.

To keep the IU community safe and healthy, we left campus in March and finished classes online.

Instead of walking across Memorial Stadium on May 9, we spent commencement weekend watching our peers through screens as they popped champagne and flipped their tassels in hometowns across the country.

But more than 9,000 people still graduated, and that’s something to celebrate.

As part of the school’s historical record, the Indiana Daily Student is briefly returning from its print hiatus to mail every senior a physical copy of our graduation edition.

The IDS staff hopes this paper serves as a reminder for years to come of what it was like to be graduating college during this strange time and the ways people still celebrated their achievements.

We leave here faced with uncertainties. We don’t know when life will return to normal or when those of us in the job market may find a stable position. We don’t know how this will affect us in the coming years.

But one day, the coronavirus will be a distant memory. We will be able to hug our friends on the way out of our favorite restaurants and bump into sweaty strangers while we dance at concerts. The impending sense of doom will be gone.

If you’re reading this from then, I hope this letter reminds you how much better that time is than this one.

I served as editor-in-chief of the IDS during a very turbulent semester, but it has been incredibly rewarding to help bring readers the news they need. It gave me purpose when there wasn’t much else to do.  

If you have been following our work, thank you for supporting the IDS. 

And congratulations, bicentennial grads. We deserve it.

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