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University Of Florida Apologizes After Black Students Were Violently Pulled Off Stage During Graduation

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University Of Florida Apologizes After Black Students Were Violently Pulled Off Stage During Graduation





The University of Florida’s president apologized after a white faculty member physically pulled several black students offstage as they started doing celebratory dances during the graduation ceremony.

The students involved in the incident said they were celebrating their achievements by “strolling” — a cultural tradition among black fraternities and sororities — when the usher in question forcibly grabbed and shoved them off the stage.

University President W. Kent Fuchs acknowledged the staffer’s “inappropriately aggressive” conduct after videos of the incident went viral sparking outrage and allegations of racism.

“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,” Fuchs tweeted. “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.”



Oliver Telusma, a part of the university’s spring 2018 graduating class, told the Gainesville Sun that he was one of the students who was pulled by the staffer and was forced to shove the usher in order to break free of his grip.

“I had just started … and he picked me up and turned me around, which I thought was kind of embarrassing and degrading to be handled in that manner,” Telusma, a member of the Beta Sigma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, said. “It was just really uncalled for, especially for anyone not martially trained to do that.”




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