University of Florida students gathered to protest the new changes to the graduation ceremonies.
The university changed the format of the graduation ceremonies from being in the Stephen O’Connell Center to having a university-wide ceremony in the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and individual ceremonies held by the colleges. Anthony Rojas, a graduate student, created a petition that included 11,000 signatures and organized a rally in front of the university administration building.
President Kent Fuchs wanted to hold a university-wide ceremony like other universities do, according to UF spokesperson Steve Orlando. But some students see the change as a tactic to avoid future issues like what occurred in May of this year when students were dragged off stage.
“First we shove students and then our solution is to then silence them and not take any of their input,” Rojas said. “It just doesn’t seem to make sense. Graduation is first and foremost for students and also their families.”
Rojas and other students had a private conversation with President Fuchs about student and family input. Fuchs said he will consider adjustments for graduation in Fall 2019.