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University of Florida moves forward with graduation changes

UF students protest Kent Fuchs' plan, ask for reconsideration

A UF employee rushed students off stage during a commencement in May after they stopped to chant and stroll
A UF employee rushed students off stage during a commencement in May after they stopped to chant and stroll (WCJB, Twitter/@yeliah_ via CNN)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Following changes to their upcoming graduation ceremony, students at the University of Florida met Thursday with the school's president.

Under the president's plan, students will have a university-wide commencement without individual recognition. They will be recognized during their college ceremonies.

A small group of students gathered Thursday outside Tigert Hall to protest the commencement changes, according to the Gainesville Sun. Afterward, Anthony Rojas, a UF political science graduate, met with University President Kent Fuchs to discuss the changes. 

Fuchs told Rojas he's open to making changes at some point, the Gainesville Sun reported. However, Rojas said students of the upcoming graduating class will be the "guinea pigs for future commencements."

More than 11,000 people have signed a change.org petition against the changes.

They come after a group of students stopped to chant and stroll during a ceremony in May. A college employee was seen hurrying the students across the stage, which Fuchs later apologized for on behalf of his administration.

Rojas said students and parents will be able to complete surveys following the commencements in December 2018 and May 2019. Those are expected to set the stage for future ceremonies.


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