I-Team Helps Endicott College Graduates Who Almost Weren't Named At Commencement

For Nick Maselek having his name called at Endicott College’s graduation meant all his hard work paid off --but it almost didn’t happen. WBZ-TV's Cheryl Fiandaca reports.

Video Transcript

- After four years of hard work, most college students look forward to that moment when they hear their name being called at commencement.

- But a roommate's COVID diagnosis nearly ended that dream for one young man. Then his parents called the I-Team's call for action. WBZ chief investigator Cheryl Fiandaca went looking for answers.

- Nicholas Robert Maselek.

CHERYL FIANDACA: For Nick Maselek, having his name called at Endicott College's graduation meant all of his hard work paid off. But it almost didn't happen.

NICK MASELEK: It felt good to hear my name. I wish I, obviously, I wish I was there.

CHERYL FIANDACA: Nick and two of his roommates weren't there because days before commencement, one of them tested positive for COVID, forcing all of them into quarantine.

NICK MASELEK: We kind of just sat there in shock for a bit. And then one by one, we all got calls from the contact tracer, telling us we had to pack our bags and leave.

CHERYL FIANDACA: Not only did the seniors have to leave campus and would not be allowed to attend graduation, they also learned the school policy meant their names would not be called during the event.

SCOTT MASELEK: And it was frustrating. You know, it really was. It wasn't just frustrating, it was--

- Devastating.

SCOTT MASELEK: But we thought we were getting punked. But where's the common sense? Where's, like, the little bit of flexibility? Like, what about some solutions?

CHERYL FIANDACA: Despite emails and pleas to the administration, parents were told there was nothing they could do.

SCOTT MASELEK: They're like, nope, these are the rules.

- Nothing happened until you made phone calls.

CHERYL FIANDACA: When the I-Team contacted Endicott College, it said the student's names will still be read in absentia as if they were here, and the college will mail their diplomas home to them. Endicott will also offer these students a more personal ceremony. The statement went on to say "this has always been the College's plan in this event."

- Lewis M. Ellis.

NICK MASELEK: It felt good, because I was like, all right, I'm gonna appreciate it a little bit. Like, my name got called. And my friends all had videos of it.

- Nicholas Robert Maselek.

- Yes.

- Woo, Nick!

CHERYL FIANDACA: Nick's roommate who tested negative had one of the COVID shots and never had any symptoms. He and his other roommates have continued to test negative. Cheryl Fiandaca, WBZ News.