The University of Florida clearly was not here for anyone dancing or celebrating onstage during their graduation ceremony!
In video clips, you can see a white faculty member grabbing graduates as their names were called to accept their degrees on Saturday. His aggressive actions were in effort to prevent grads from doing celebratory stage dances, and many people complained that the school only targeted black students.
In response to the backlash, University of Florida president Kent Fuch issued an apology on Twitter.
“During one of this weekend’s commencement ceremonies, we were inappropriately aggressive in rushing students across the stage. I personally apologize and am reaching out to the students involved,” he wrote. “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 at their graduation.”
Oliver Telusma, a 21-year-old recent graduate, told the Gainesville Sun that he was grabbed under his arm pits while dancing across the stage. “I had just started … and he picked me up and turned me around, which I thought was kind of embarrassing and degrading to be handled in that manner,” he said. “It was just really uncalled for, especially for anyone not martially trained to do that.”