All Articles Tagged "college graduation"
We all have those extra cheesy graduation photos don’t we? You know the ones. Posing next to the year of our graduation. Holding on to roses and laying our faces on our hands. Looking back on them now, I think we all cringe. But back in the day, they made us proud. Same goes for celebrities. Here are a few celebs looking very happy and accomplished as they graduated from middle school, high school and college.
Before he was a NBA champion and star dating Gabrielle Union and wearing capri Gucci pants, Wade was another kid from the South Side of Chicago with hoop dreams who idolized Michael Jordan. I would predict that this graduation photo was from middle school/junior high since he looks so young. He’s come so far hasn’t he? And thankfully he also grew into those ears.
Many universities are participating in separate but equal traditions. No, I’m not talking about Jim Crow, but graduation ceremonies. A recent study has shown that over 58 percent of schools have a graduation ceremony just for LGBT students, 33 percent have ceremonies for the black student population, and 22 percent have ceremonies for Latino students.
At many large universities, graduation day can be an all-day event where family and friends are dragged around to attend multiple ceremonies for the graduate. On my graduation day at Howard, many dual major JD/MBA students attended the law ceremony, the MBA ceremony, and the overall university commencement to get a glance at the big shot guest speaker. All this running around from auditorium to auditorium makes for a very tiring day.
Since Howard is an HBCU, there was no need to have a separate ceremony for other nationalities since the greater student population is black and this private university’s intent is to advance the education of African-American students. However, at universities like the University of Illinois with over 42,000 students and only 5 percent being black and 6 percent Hispanic, there appears to be much more of a need for these special observances since this public university is meant to benefit the overall community.
I had the pleasure of attending both a traditional graduation and the separate black graduation at the University of Illinois. My friend who was graduating seemed proud when she crossed both stages. However at the traditional ceremony she seemed more rigid and bored, while at the African-American student graduation later that evening she seemed more alive, high fiving her friends in her Kente patterned graduation sash. I was far more entertained at the latter ceremony, but then again, I am a biased audience.
With special attention being paid to certain minority groups at graduation, one might ask whether this is fair to the overall student population. Having separate graduations for all the schools at the university might make sense, but do we have to go as far as having separate ceremonies for different ethnicities? And note that the first school that ops to have a whites-only graduation ceremony would be called disgraceful and bashed all over the news.
In my opinion, minority students at large universities can be so outnumbered that it’s rare to have many people that look like you in your classes. Since we are usually drawn to people who look like us, most African Americans at universities are likely to have a tight knit group of black friends. I don’t think separate graduations are meant to isolate white students, but allow the small population of minority students to make a memory they will never forget by graduating shoulder-to-shoulder with some of their closest classmates.
Do you think minority groups at universities should have separate ceremonies? Let me know your thoughts.
Have you ever heard of a “vacation relationship”? The concept can apply to a few things. It can apply to when you get into a mini-relationship with someone when you are on an actual vacation (think Dirty Dancing), it can happen when you are in a long distance relationship with someone and whenever you visit one another, neither of you works but you just put aside time to have fun with each other and it can be applied to a college relationship. What do all of these scenarios have in common? They don’t take place in the real world, where any real pressures are taking a toll on the relationship. It can be quite a reality shock when “the vacation” (college) ends and you try to take your relationship into the real world. Here’s how:
Graduating from college is a special occasion that is commemorated by various parties and ceremonies. Regardless of how one chooses to mark the occasion, it all goes back to celebrating an important milestone in a young adult’s life. So should black students be looked down upon if they opt to celebrate their achievements at a ceremony hosted by their university’s black student organization or multicultural center?
Unfortunately, some people are criticizing students for participating in such ceremonies, denouncing them as “separatist” or “discriminatory,” contrary to a number of students and professors who praise these celebrations for promoting diversity and inclusion on traditional college campuses.
According to The Grio, several schools across the country give their students the option of attending these separate ceremonies, including Ohio University, Columbia University, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University.
One reason for these ceremonies is to address the commonality that black students feel unconnected with campus life. Such ceremonies have been existence at some schools for almost four decades.
Although the ceremonies do not exclude anyone from attending, a number of white students from universities that offer them still feel unwelcomed and believe that the ceremonies are unnecessary.
Karlene Burrell-Mcrae, director of the Makuu Black Cultural Center at UPenn, told the Grio that black ceremonies serve as way to honor and thank students for their work and contributions.
“More schools need to do this, don’t shy away from finding wonderful ways to acknowledge students of color,” she said. “There is still a challenge of being black at a predominantly white institution, and struggling to feel connected. Our students have significantly contributed to bettering our community, and we have to celebrate them.”