ALLENDALE, MICHIGAN – A university in Michigan, Grand Valley State, has announced that it will be holding five individual graduation ceremonies this year. These ceremonies won’t be separated by college or major, but rather by race and sexual identity.
In an email to its graduating students, Grand Valley State wrote,
“Grand Valley hosts five unique celebrations annually designed to honor our diverse graduates. These programs complement the university commencement ceremonies and are an opportunity to come together and acknowledge Laker accomplishments in the spirit and traditions of our diverse identities and cultures”
The different groups that the special ceremonies are being held for are Asian students, Black students, Latino students, LGBTQIA+ students, and Native students.
The letter then continues:
“For many students, a college diploma represents a journey marked by hard work and success– not just for the individual students, but also for their family, friends, and supporters. These events provide more intimate settings for students to share their personal milestones with their communities and uplift the next generation of graduates.”
A separate ceremony will be held to further recognize and celebrate all graduates, excluding White students and straight students. This decision further adds to the sense of division that is being perpetrated throughout the United States between groups of different racial/sexual identities.
Does Grand Valley think that Latino or Black students deserve more celebration than White students? Why would these racial groups need more opportunities to share and celebrate their milestones than White students?
What about members of the LGBTQIA+ community? Does the University view this group as needing more “congratulating” than the straight students?
Grand Valley advertises itself as a “national model for equity and inclusion in higher education.” However, when it perpetuates the division of racial groups, it directly violates its commitment to inclusion and racial equity.
It’s very difficult to understand why everyone’s accomplishments should receive additional celebration and acknowledgment, except those of straight, White graduates. It seems like a slap in the face for the straight, White students who have faced their share of struggles throughout their college careers.
The University is participating in the maintenance of harmful stereotypes that suggest only the non-White, LGBTQIA+ students have struggled to succeed throughout college. Or, perhaps, the University cannot include a “White” or “straight” celebration because that would undoubtedly be deemed “racist” by the hypocritical Left.
Many White/straight students have undoubtedly had to persevere despite tragedies, setbacks, and roadblocks. To suggest that White and/or straight communities don’t need the same amount of support or celebration as other racial/identity groups is in direct opposition to the university’s so-called commitment to inclusion and equality.
Differences can be recognized and should be celebrated. After all, what makes this country so great is its diverse mix of identities and worldviews. However, it is when groups start segregating themselves from others that we find ourselves on the precipice of very real, very strong divisions.