GAINESVILLE, Fla. – After the University of Florida apologized to students who complained that an usher was aggressively pushing and grabbing them as they entered the stage during a graduation ceremony, the university said it will be rethinking how it handles commencement.
The university on Tuesday announced the formation of a task force to conduct a review of its commencement ceremonies.
The task force will seek ideas and suggestions on how to reconceptualize commencement for students.
“All of our students, through their hard work and dedication, have earned their moment to be celebrated. I am immensely proud of all our graduates,” UF President W. Kent Fuchs said. “This incident is an opportunity to reaffirm our institutional commitment to improving campus climate, while recognizing that we have work to do.”
On Sunday morning, Fuchs issued the following statement on the incident:
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. 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."