University cancels fall commencement because of COVID-19 increases

Kansas State canceled fall commencement ceremonies because of COVID-19 increases in the local community. (Bailey Britton | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State canceled fall commencement ceremonies scheduled for Nov. 20-22 because of an increase of COVID-19 cases in Manhattan and the state of Kansas.

There are 551 active cases of COVID-19 in Riley County.

Additionally, according to the K-State Today press release, the Nov. 20 Morris Family Multicultural Student Center ribbon cutting event is scaled back. Group tours are canceled and the rest of the event will be held outside.

The university still plans to hold virtual recognition ceremonies in December.

“With hundreds of new cases announced in our host communities in the past few days, the trend line is absolutely going in the wrong direction,” President Richard Myers said in the press release. “Concerns have been expressed by our students, faculty and staff not only for their personal health, but with a willingness to look out for the health of fellow K-Staters.”

The university sites health care capacity as one factor they considered when making the decision. Eleven positive patients are hospitalized at Ascension Via Christi with three in intensive care.

“We understand this will be a disappointment to our students, faculty and staff members who were looking forward to this celebration,” Charles Taber, provost and executive vice president, said in the press release. “Canceling now discourages family from visiting and gathering in Manhattan and Salina this weekend and ensures that commencement ceremonies do not become superspreading events for communities that are already COVID hot spots.”

My name is Bailey Britton and I am the former editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I have been the assistant news editor and the managing editor. I have also interned for the Manhattan Mercury and the Colby Free Press. I grew up in Colby, Kansas, and I am a junior in journalism and English. Through the Collegian, I aim to provide the K-State community with quality news coverage while we learn to serve our campus.