Fall Convocation brings positive change for York graduands

File photo Convocation students

By Ashley Goodfellow Craig, editor, YFile

A new cohort of York University graduands will cross the stage to earn their diplomas during one of seven ceremonies, running Oct. 11 to 20 at Sobeys Stadium on the Keele Campus.

The Fall Convocation events will incorporate changes to align with the University’s values, including updates to policy on regalia, the music performed during the ceremonies, a spotlight on alumni and more.

In August 2022, a working group led by York University’s President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton was formed to explore updates to convocation. These changes aim to enhance the integration of decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion principles, show respect for Indigenous knowledge and traditions, create a student-centred celebration, as well as align with the University’s commitment to sustainability and create a student-centred celebration.

Changes implemented during Spring Convocation will continue, with students, faculty and guests who identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit welcome to wear traditional ceremonial dress of their culture. While wearing ceremonial dress has always been welcome, York has incorporated this into their communications to replace outdated messaging that states only academic regalia may be worn.

Other changes to look for include student performers, who will perform during the academic procession as well as before and after the ceremony. At the ceremony’s conclusion, graduates will recess to a song they chose by popular vote. As well, the national anthem will be played after a land acknowledgment and, where relevant, following an Honour Song.

To shine a light on previous graduates, an alumni speaker will take the stage during each ceremony to deliver a welcome message to graduands and their guests.

For a complete list of ceremonies during the Fall 2023 Convocation, visit the Ceremonies web page. For all other information, visit the Convocation website.

Look for a story in an upcoming issue of YFile announcing the honorary degree recipients.