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University of South Florida bans graduates from taking selfies during commencement

USF says tells graduates that violating the request could result in the "withholding of your degree."
By Evan Bleier   |   April 24, 2014 at 12:20 PM   |   Comments

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TAMPA, Fla., April 24 (UPI) -- New graduates of the University of South Florida may have aspirations of becoming president or vice president someday, but they probably shouldn’t follow in the footsteps in Barack Obama or Joe Biden -- at least when it comes to selfies.

USF’s Division of Student Affairs warned graduates that taking selfies onstage with President Judy Genshaft or other dignitaries during commencement was prohibited and that it could result in the "withholding of your degree."

"We want students to think about the dignity of the ceremony," USF assistant vice president Michael Freeman told The Tampa Tribune. "It's supposed to be exciting, but it's a serious academic ceremony."

"We respectfully request that you refrain from inappropriate behaviors when you are on stage approaching President Judy Genshaft and other dignitaries, including: stepping, marching, strolling and selfies," according to a statement from student affairs. "A simple handshake is preferred.”

When commencement ceremonies begin on May 2, the university will award 6,431 degrees.

"I feel bad for the person behind the person taking the selfies because now they have to wait for their moment," said USF student body president Will Warmke. "I would love to have a selfie with president Genshaft, but there's a time and place for taking photos with the president that wouldn't hinder the graduation process with other students."

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