UC Berkeley commencement celebrations include 'Pasifika Graduation,' 'Pilipinx Graduation'

UC Berkeley's graduation ceremonies include a 'Lavender Graduation' for LGBTQ students, 'Black Graduation,' 'Pasifika Graduation' for Pacific Islander students, and 'Pilipinx Graduation.'

Utkarsh Jain, a spokesperson for the Berkeley College Republicans, compares these ceremonies to identity-specific housing practices that he saw in 2021.

The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is hosting identity-specific graduation ceremonies in addition to its general commencement on May 13. 

The celebrations include a “Lavender Graduation“ for LGBTQ students, “Black Graduation,” “Chicanx Latinx Graduation,” “Pasifika Graduation” for Pacific Islander students, and “Pilipinx Graduation.” 

Across college campuses, these celebrations tend to include speakers, food, and culturally specific activities. 

In UC Berkeley’s Black Graduation, according to the Black Graduation Fund, the ceremony “gathers Black/African/African American identifying students to celebrate completion of their degrees and to be inspired and uplifted by the community of Black scholars.”

[RELATED: Berkeley ‘Black Graduation’ under fire for bringing back ‘Democrats’ segregationist history’]

The event “has been a ‘holy grail’ for Black/African/African American students during their Berkeley careers,” the description continues. 

The Gender Equity Resource Center is hosting the Lavender Graduation on May 5, and the announcement invites students to apply to speak alongside the keynote speaker. 

Previous Lavender Graduation keynotes include drag performer “Honey Mahogany” and Christopher Daley of the Transgender Law Center, according to the Center’s website. 

Utkarsh Jain, a spokesperson for the Berkeley College Republicans, compares these ceremonies to campus housing practices that he saw in 2021. 

“There were segregated housing units based off of race and identity, which kind of seemed very odd to me,” Jain told Campus Reform

“I was taken aback because I wasn’t expecting this to be something that a university, in general, is electing to do,” he continues, describing the housing and graduation ceremonies.

[RELATED: White people banned from common spaces at UC Berkeley’s off-campus housing]

With all these different practices, it doesn’t seem like, you know, [the university is] really following the law,” Jain says.

The College Republicans, he continues, “say that … everyone’s equal in the face of the law,” regardless of “origin, or identity, or race.” 

Jain estimates that 80 percent of the UC Berkeley campus does not agree with leftist ideas but “stays quiet.” For this reason, he continues, it is difficult to combat the dominant ideology on campus. 

“I think that we have a kind of epidemic of cowardice in this country that needs to be fixed.”

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment and will update this article accordingly.