Vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain aren’t symptoms you want to deal with on your graduation day. That’s why Spring Arbor University cancelled commencement last Saturday. Reports of more than 170 students appearing to be struck with the norovirus caused the university to delay the ceremony until May 21.
“These decisions are preventative and consistent with the medical advice received,” university President Charles Webb stated in a news release. “Of utmost concern for all of us is the safety and health of our campus community and the families and friends planning on participating in the various academic year-end activities. Spring Arbor University has a responsibility of doing what is in the best interest of our students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus.”
With over 10 percent of Spring Arbor’s population feeling under the weather, officials say they had no choice but to push back graduation. Students are upset because many of their families planned for travel for last Saturday, but to forgo the postponement of the ceremony would have been dangerous, said Damon Seacott.
“Bringing that many people on campus is a danger. It could spread all over the place if some of those folks get infected, so it was just a good idea to postpone,” Seacott, associate vice president for student development, said.
The university, about 90 miles west of Detroit, also called off all non-academic events like the regional baseball tournament and alumni gatherings throughout the week. All fitness facilities, like the gym and pool, were also closed. However, no finals were cancelled during that week.