Public university will sponsor gay graduation ceremony

Campus Reform Reporter
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The Louisiana State University (LSU) will use public funds to sponsor a “Lavender” LGBT graduation ceremony for the first time in school history, according to the school’s official website.

A public university will sponsor a commencement ceremony this year for the LGBT community.

The ceremony will include speakers, a reception, and feature lavender graduation stoles.

According to the student newspaper, The Daily Reveille, the ceremony is co-sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the campus LGBT advocacy group Spectrum. Although it is LGBT themed, it is open to all graduates.

Chad Freeman, a grad assistant in the Office of Multicultural Affairs who helped coordinate the ceremony, confirmed to Campus Reform public funds would be used to host the ceremony.

“Yes we’re utilizing school funding, my office is funding it out of our own pocket. It was a very small program but this year we’re trying to up our numbers and incorporate some things that haven’t been incorporated in the past utilizing stoles and a stole ceremony and keynote speakers and really large faculty and staff involvement with the support of our students,” said Freeman.

Although he did not know the exact price, Freeman estimated the ceremony cost around five hundred dollars.

According to Freeman, the ceremony is one of only two groups on campus who receive special institutional support for their graduation program.  

“We also have our roving ceremony for African Americans… as far as I know we are the only two cultural graduation ceremonies taking place,” he said.

Caleb Covington, a sophomore at LSU, told Campus Reform that due to the school’s tight fiscal position and he believes it is unfair for school funds to be used for one group’s graduation ceremony.

“It sounds fiscally unsound to fund any other grad ceremonies aside our own. It’s nice that they are making an effort to make LGBT students feel welcome but at the same time it’s somewhat unfair to many other groups who want to have their own private graduation ceremonies,” he said. “It’s also not also in the spirit of budget cutting that we should probably be having right now.”

The ceremony will take place on May 14, in the Royal Cotillion Ballroom of the LSU Student Union.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @TimPDion

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