Cross Cultural Center’s different graduation ceremonies

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Ringo Chiu

College of Arts and Letters commencement 2022 ceremony.

Anne To, Multimedia Reporter

Along with the commencement ceremony available to all graduating students, the four identity-based centers at the Cross-Cultural Center (CCC) will each have their own optional graduation ceremonies.

The Cultural Graduate Celebrations will each provide their own custom sashes, booklets, venue, and performances.

According to the website, the price to attend each of the ceremonies costs $50, with a $1.80 processing fee.

A 2×2 photo that will be included in the booklets and a 75-word acknowledgment are required to participate. The acknowledgment does not need to be written in English.

Each of the centers will have planning committees that are open to any student or faculty that is interested in helping. 

Samantha Heredia, a graduating senior, has never heard about the Cultural Graduate Celebrations, but would be interested in participating in the Pride and Neustro Grads.

“I think that’s really cool, especially for students who maybe have not come out yet. It gives them a safe space to walk on stage,” Heredia said. “Especially if they get to wear their own colors, like what specific flag they are a part of.” 

APIDA Grad

“The APIDA Grad ceremony acknowledges and celebrates our Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American students’ academic accomplishments while honoring their cultural heritage,” according to the Asian Pacific Islander Student Resource Center (APISRC) Instagram.

Currently, only the APISRC has posted information to join their committee on Instagram. The other resource centers plan to have more information disclosed in November.

Black Grad

“It’s a celebration for Black students across campus to come in and finally have that kind of last milestone for Black excellence,” said DeAngelo Ramirez, the student program coordinator at the Pan-African Student Resource Center (PASRC). “As a Black student, we do go through a little more difficulty than most students…and what Black Grad does is, it celebrates people who are Black, who are coming in and just showing their resilience during whatever hard times come.”

Ramirez said they plan to make their sashes from a Black-owned business.

“It’s a tradition in every Black Grad for us to sing the Black national anthem,” Ramirez said. “We only sing the first stanza of the song.”

Ramirez is also graduating this year and plans to attend three of the four graduation ceremonies as he identifies with the groups.

“I have not unpacked a lot of what that ceremony means to me, only because my experiences as an Afro-Latino male have been very hard,” Ramirez said. “Education has been one of my biggest things. I’ve been in college since I was 18, and I’m now 26. For that to come to a close, it’s a lot.”

Pride Grad

“It’s a celebration that centers on queerness. We bring speakers that are of the community, we bring performers that are part of the community,” said Mario Pizarr, the coordinator for the Gender Sexuality Student Resource Center (GSRC). “It’s a space where we can honor and celebrate our graduating LGBTQ students in the most authentic ways possible.”

Pizarr said that in the previous Pride Grad, drag queens from the Haus of BeFierce came and performed in the middle and end of the ceremony. 

There are also plans to bring in musical artists from the community. Previous years also had food, but that was no longer available due to the pandemic.  

Neustra Grad

“It’s for students of Latinx Chicanax identity to have their own celebration outside of the regular university commencement when they graduate, so it’ll be culturally based,” said Kamila Campos, the student program coordinator for the ChicanX LatinX Student Resource Center (CLSRC).

Campos said they plan to have a Cumbia band or a keynote speaker that is part of the Latinx community.

Applying for graduation ceremonies will be available online in the spring semester.