Identity Group Graduations
John Leo reports that,
Commencement weekend is hard to plan at the University of California, Los Angeles. The university now has so many separate identity-group graduations that scheduling them not to conflict with one another is a challenge. The women’s studies graduation and the Chicana/Chicano studies graduation are both set for 10 AM Saturday. The broader Hispanic graduation, “Raza,” is in near-conflict with the black graduation, which starts just an hour later.
Oddly, I was under the impression that the purpose of graduation ceremonies was to celebrate a common achievement.
Via UCLA lawprof Steve Bainbridge, who offers no commentary.
A quick Google search reveals that several California state universities have ethnic-based graduation ceremonies and that UCLA has been doing it for several years now.
UPDATE: A commenter has challenged the accuracy of this report, noting that UCLA has department based graduations and that these ethnic celebrations are mere parties. It turns out more complicated than that, although I agree that Leo’s report is misleading.
These events are nothing new and seem to be, in effect, separate graduation exercises that can be intended in addition to or instead of the department events.
Celebrate Good Times – Many campus groups hold identity-based ceremonies to unify graduates’ personal experiences, UCLA DAILY BRUIN, Monday, June 11, 2001
This weekend, UCLA’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community will unite pink with black — colors of triangles used to identify gays and lesbians in Nazi Germany — in the Lavender Celebration to convey the significance of their graduation as visible LGBT individuals.
The celebration, along with the Iranian Student Group and the Asian Pacific Islander Celebrations, are examples of the identity-based graduation ceremonies, which are available in addition to the traditional, degree-conferring commencement events.
Raza students at UCLA have had the privilege of their own graduation ceremony every year because of the work that students themselves put into the planning of this wonderful event. Our ceremony is unique because unlike other campus graduations, we tailor ours to our own community. If you will be graduating or would like to help out so you know what to do when you graduate, then join us at our meetings staring winter quarter. These meetings will give us the time and space to plan everything out in order to make this graduation ceremony the best it can be.