Dear Campus Community,
As many of you have seen, this past weekend, at one of our commencement ceremonies, students were physically and inappropriately ushered off stage. For many, this ruined what should have been a day of celebration and joy for students and their families. I deeply regret that this occurred, as well as my lack of action at the time.
All of our students, through their hard work and dedication, have earned their moment to be celebrated. We are immensely proud of all our graduates. This incident is an opportunity to reaffirm our institutional commitment to improving campus climate, while recognizing that we have work to do.
I am also calling for the reconceptualization of our commencement ceremonies. We need to find a balance between efficiency and celebration and make sure our ceremonies are truly for all of our students and their families and friends.
I have asked Vice President for Student Affairs Dave Parrott and Student Body President Ian Green to serve as co-chairs of a commencement task force. The task force will solicit ideas and suggestions.
I am also sharing a personal video on social media: https://youtu.be/p3rMzF-k7AE. Additionally, we have posted a news article: http://news.ufl.edu/articles/2018/05/rethinking-commencement.php
W. Kent Fuchs
University of Florida