A University of Florida official has come under fire this week for his aggressive handling of students celebrating during the convocation ceremony.
During a graduation ceremony at the University of Florida, a university official aggressively pushed students across the stage. Although it is unclear exactly why the official reacted with such aggression, some have speculated that it was due to the prolonged celebrations some students engaged in on stage.
However, these types of celebrations aren’t unusual. One student, Oliver Telusma, said that he was shocked when the official engaged him in a full-body embrace. “I was shocked,” said Telusma. “He literally wrapped his arms around me. I didn’t understand what was going on.”
“It felt like he was trying to push me — just trying to assert that dominance and control over me,” he added. “I felt it to be extremely excessive.”
— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) May 7, 2018
University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs apologized this week on Twitter for the official’s behavior. He was quickly condemned, however, because photos revealed that Fuchs was perfectly positioned during the ceremony to intervene.
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. (1/2)
— W. Kent Fuchs (@PresidentFuchs) May 6, 2018
You saw what was going on and said nothing pic.twitter.com/yroAGNAUZa
— Wallace (@iWaleMazon) May 6, 2018
According to the New York Post, the official, a lecturer in the university’s chemistry department, has been placed on paid administrative leave.