Hundreds sign petition to push for in-person UNCW spring graduation

File image of a UNCW graduation (Photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A petition has been created to push for an in-person UNCW graduation this spring.

As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 500 people have signed it.

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“The UNCW Class of 2021 has faced many trials and tribulations throughout our time as a Seahawk at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington,” the petition states.

The petition notes that students have dealt with challenges due to Hurricane Florence in 2018, Hurricane Dorian in 2019, and the coronavirus pandemic.

“The students of the Class of 2021 are requesting the University to reconsider the decision of a virtual graduation,” the petition states. “We are urging the University to review the numerous challenges this class has endured these past four years, and remind them of the University’s ability to adapt to different unexpected emergencies. We ask the University to do that once again by providing us with a socially distant in-person graduation.”

Also on Wednesday, the state House approved House Bill 128 to increase the number of spectators allowed to attend North Carolina school sporting events and graduation ceremonies.