UT officials do not intend to ban graduation selfies

Alex Wilts

Despite other colleges taking action against graduation selfies, UT will not do the same, according to University commencement planners. 

Two colleges — Bryant University in Rhode Island and the University of South Florida — have banned students from snapping selfies as they walk across the podium to receive their diplomas. According to a statement from South Florida’s Division of Student Affairs, students were asked to refrain from taking selfies and told that a simple handshake with the president of the university was preferred. The statement said that the refusal to abide by this request could result in disciplinary action including the withholding of the student’s diploma. 

Since UT is a larger university, Rod Caspers, director of University Events, said selfies on the podium will not be a problem at the main graduation ceremony because diplomas are not given out at this event. 

“Each college and school handles their own commencement ceremony, and that’s where diplomas are handed out,” Caspers said. “I haven’t heard of any discussion [about banning selfies] when we meet with all the colleges and schools, but I think that would be handled on a school-by-school basis.”                                       

Wesley King, commencement and program coordinator for the McCombs School of Business, said in the six or seven McCombs graduations she has attended, she has never seen a student take a selfie while receiving their diploma. 

“I’ve only seen a guy have a camera on his cap,” King said. “He was filming his entire experience. That’s the most I’ve seen that’s close to that.”

King said she does not expect the University to ban selfies unless it becomes an issue in the future, such as holding up the line of students waiting to accept their diplomas. 

Rohan Shah, American studies and computer science senior, said he thinks its sensible to ban selfies if they are creating problems.

“I think I would be annoyed if people were taking selfies during their graduation ceremony because it would take up a lot of time,” Shah said. 

Anhelo Benavides, accounting graduate student, said taking selfies on the podium is disrespectful and not necessary.

“There’s going to be a professional photographer, so you can get a picture anyway,” Benavides said.