Columbia U. to Host 6 Separate Graduation Ceremonies Based on Income Level, Race, Sexual Orientation

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 03: A graduating student's cap declares their future intentions during commencement exercises at City College where First lady Michelle Obama delivered the commencement speech after being presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters at City College on June 3, 2016 in New York City. …
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Columbia University is planning to host six separate graduation ceremonies, which will be based on income level, race, and sexual orientation. Despite segregating the ceremonies based on facts like race, the university insists that “all students are invited to participate in these celebrations.”

There will be six segregated graduation ceremonies offered at Columbia, which will be: “Native graduation,” “Lavender graduation (LGBTQIA+ community),” “Asian graduation,” “FLI graduation (first-generation and/or low income community),” “Latinx Graduation,” and “black graduation,” according to the school’s website.

“In honor of Columbia’s diverse student community and complementing the school- and University-wide graduation ceremonies, we are proud to also offer Multicultural Graduation Celebrations, which provide a more intimate setting for students who self-identify in a variety of ways,” reads the registration page.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the graduation ceremonies will all be virtual. The university’s website also states that “all students are invited to participate in these celebrations.”

Hosting segregated graduation ceremonies has been an idea in the works on college campuses for some time.

In 2019, Virginia Tech offered ten separate graduation ceremonies for different student groups based on identity.

That same year, a study by the National Association of Scholars revealed that at least 75 American colleges have black-only graduation ceremonies — a phenomenon referred to as “neo-segregation,” which is the voluntary racial segregation of students, aided by academic insinuations, into racially exclusive ceremonies, housing, and spaces on campus.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.


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