While black students at Harvard University have recently decided to host their own separate graduation ceremony, Latino students at Princeton University have had their own graduation ceremony for more than 20 years.
Princeton’s Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding, which is dedicated to acknowledging and questioning “race, class, privilege, and culture at Princeton and beyond,” is hosting a “Latinx graduation ceremony” for graduates on June 4.
“Latinx” is a gender-neutral version of the words “Latino” and “Latina.” By being neither feminine nor masculine, it also includes Latinos who do not identify as male or female.
According to the event description on the Carl A. Fields Center website, the Latinx graduation ceremony will feature “an address and a buffet dinner.” It is open solely for students who are involved in the “Latinx community” at Princeton and their family members.
Tennille Haynes, who serves as the director of the Carl. A. Fields Center, told MRCTV the graduation ceremony was started by students “more than 20 years ago.”
Haynes told MRCTV the students who first started the Latinx graduation ceremony “desired the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and recognize the important role that Latinx students have played in shaping the landscape of Princeton.”
Haynes explained the graduation ceremony “provides an intimate setting for family, friends, alumni, faculty, staff and students to recognize the accomplishments of the graduates while embracing their new important roles as Princeton alumni.”
Haynes noted the event is considered a “special Graduation ceremony,” as many of the Latino students in attendance consider it to be “their graduation ceremony.” She said students also walk across a stage and are awarded stoles:
It is a special Graduation Ceremony in which we do serve dinner for family and other guests. A lot of the students consider it to be their graduation ceremony since they are able to walk across the stage and receive stoles.
Other schools across the country also have special graduation events for Latino students. Harvard will be holding a “LatinX graduation ceremony,” while the University of Maryland will be having a “Latinx graduation celebration” for “Latina/o/x” graduates.
The Carl A. Fields Center will also be hosting a “Pan-African Graduation Ceremony;” however, the event is open to all members of the university community.
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