Graduation is supposed to be a day filled with celebration and joy, not one that’s remembered for reported racism and discrimination. And unfortunately for the University of Florida graduates, they’ll always remember the latter instead of their undergrad accomplishment.
On Saturday, several black students were hastily pushed off the commencement ceremony stage by the graduation marshall following their quick celebration.
Video captured by attendees show the students either waving or dancing for a few seconds before being grabbed and forced out of the jumbotron camera’s view.
UF Twitter Somebody please find out this employee’s name!! Every time a Black student took more than TWO seconds, he aggressively pushed them. Watch it for yourself. #ItsGreatUF https://t.co/zMee1nMbUZ
@ChicoFreedom Almost fell when he pushed me https://t.co/98meStYalY
@UF And from another angle… https://t.co/iR2ZirCR2Y
@ChicoFreedom Another one…. https://t.co/imB8mwbICI
The videos instantly sparked an uproar on social media due to the accused man’s actions towards black students specifically.
@HeinzmanSeth @k_khayilla @ChicoFreedom Yea I’d like to see how he behaved when a white person did the same thing. It’s his job so he probably/should have done it with everyone
@ChicoFreedom But Kevin the Caucasian got a whole 45 seconds of camera time…somebody should of fell out
@UF Sickening. That white man was clearly discriminating and rough housing only the Black graduates. As an alumni and am completely disgraced at the treatment of this students who earned their spot on that stage.
University President W. Kent Fuchs, who was also in attendance, released an apology statement on Sunday calling the behavior “inappropriately aggressive.”
I personally apologize, and am reaching out to the students involved, he said in a Twitter post. The practice has been halted for all future ceremonies, and we will work to make sure all graduating students know we are proud of their achievements and celebrate with them their graduation.
The president of the University of Florida has apologized on behalf of his administration after an usher rushed students off stage because they were dancing during a graduation ceremony https://t.co/lV3EnukMMn https://t.co/IChX6YwrSU
The university also released a statement saying that the University is “proud of the achievements of every single one of our graduates and regrets that any celebration of the day may have been diminished by those monitoring a graduation ceremony.”