Thousands of Ryerson students graduated last week, but just more than half attended convocation.
Just over 2,000 students were eligible to graduate last Thursday and Friday, but only 55 per cent RSVP’d to the four fall ceremonies, spanning two days.
Last year, 62 per cent said they would attend.
“It didn’t appeal to me too much,” said James Vukasinovic, a graduate from the business technology management program who did not attend his ceremony.
Eligible students had to apply to graduate in August. But for students like Vukasinovic, it’s not enough time to plan around a work schedule.
“It just wasn’t a possibility (to attend),” he said. “Work was just way too busy.”
The time period for being given the green light for graduation, receiving convocation tickets and then finally the ceremony itself is short — three weeks at the most, said Ann Mackay, manager of the convocation and awards office.
“It’s cutthroat time,” she said. “I know students are always anxious and we start getting phone calls.”
Vukasinovic said a friend actually had to remind him to apply to graduate, otherwise he would have forgotten about it.
Mackay said every year there are students who forget to apply for graduation.
“And then it is way too late,” she said.
She said convocation is Ryerson’s final moment to engage with students.
“It’s just very important for us to tell the students how proud we are of them,” she said. “As much as we’d like to think that students will come back on campus … we know that people get on with their lives, so we want to make it a special moment.”
But for those who are already part of the job force, convocation isn’t a priority.
“I’m already working … so convocation was kind of an afterthought,” said Vukasinovic.
Graduates who didn’t attend their ceremony can pick up diplomas this week or wait to receive them in the mail.