The Ode to Newfoundland will not be played at Memorial University’s convocation ceremonies while consultations continue, the university announced Wednesday.
Memorial discontinued the singing of the “Ode to Newfoundland” at convocation ceremonies in the fall of 2022, saying the Ode does not reflect the many communities within Memorial. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to continue pausing use of the Ode while consultation is ongoing. This decision follows the recommendation of the Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees and Ceremonial.
An ad hoc committee of Senate will be engaging with Indigenous students, Labradorians, international students and other key groups about how to ensure convocation ceremonies are inclusive, and appropriately reflect and celebrate student achievements.
“The decision to remove the “Ode to Newfoundland” from convocation was intended to create safer and more welcoming spaces for all students,” university president Neil Bose said in a statement. “We have heard the different reactions from many in the community, and we apologize for the approach taken in making the initial decision. We are committed to working together with representatives from the different communities and groups, internal and external to the university, to consider the continued evolution of our convocation ceremonies.
“Now, with a mechanism for further discussion established through this ad hoc committee of Senate, we look forward to celebrating at spring convocation ceremonies. It is a week where the community comes together to rightly focus on the collective success of our graduating class — some 2,500 students.”