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USF Grads Warned: No Selfies!

Apr 23, 2014

Ad posted in the USF student newspaper, The Oracle, requesting that students taking part in next week's graduation ceremonies don't take selfie photos - among other "inappropriate behaviors" - when they receive their diplomas.

If you're a University of South Florida student graduating next month and your plan is to take a selfie photo on stage, the University has one word for you: don't!

In a story that's receiving national attention, the USF Division of Student Affairs sent out a notice to all graduating seniors and placed an ad in the school newspaper, The Oracle, requesting that they don't take pictures of themselves when they receive their diplomas from President Judy Genshaft.

Also on the list of what's labeled as 'inappropriate behaviors' are stepping, strolling and marching. Just a simple handshake, pose for the official photo with the President and move on, please.

Violators may face disciplinary action, including the withholding of their degree.

Selfies apparently first popped up as an issue during last May's ceremonies, but The Oracle reports Dean for Students Michael Freeman said the issue came to a head during Fall 2013 commencement exercises.

During the last set of ceremonies, he said, he noticed they could cause multiple problems during the ceremony as students hid phones in their robes and pulled them out as they approached the president to shake her hand and pause for the official graduation photo, taken by the USF contracted vendor, GradImages. 

USF will hold five separate commencement ceremonies at its Tampa campus May 2 and 3, with around 5,000 students scheduled to receive degrees. USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee have separate ceremonies set for May 4 and 5 respectively, but no selfie ban has been announced at either campus.

According to The Tampa Tribune, the University of Florida is also taking similar action, even having a marshal ready to swoop in on selfie-takers. USA Today says Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., has also announced a similar ban of the photos.