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The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

Cultural graduations: Free admission this year

Illustration by Will Baker
Tickets for four out of the five cultural graduations are sold out.

All five cultural graduations have free admission this spring, 2024. Every year, the Cross-Cultural Center (CCC) hosts APIDA Grad, Black Grad, Pride Grad, Native Grad and Nuestra Grad.

In previous cultural graduation celebrations, the admission was $50. 

Interim President of Student Life Patrick Day said in a statement to the University Times that the funds were coming from the Division of Student Life.

“We believe that all students should be able to participate in cultural graduation celebrations despite whatever resources they might have. Given the history of these celebrations, it’s important that all students and their families who choose to be able to participate,” Day said in his statement.

Day added that while the celebrations will be free, the quality will not be affected.

“We also wanted to make the graduation bigger, so with these new graduations, we can see up to about 400 students for Nuestra Grad, 100 for Black Grad, and so on,” Rosemary Ché, the student program coordinator for the Pan-African Student Resource Center (PASRC), said. 

The registration period has passed for the celebrations, and the planning committees for each ceremony are in full swing.

There will be themes for the different celebrations. Not all of the themes have been announced yet, but Ché, who is part of the Black Grad committee, said that Black Grad will be Afro-futurism and Y2K themed.

“Most of our graduates, when they graduated high school, most of them had to do Zoom university,” she said. “We grew up in the 2000s, so we wanted to honor that by having a fun theme and also respecting what will our lives be like in the future.” 

Although Ché is going to Black Grad, she also plans to attend the regular commencement as well.

“I think walking regular commencement is important for me, because my dad graduated college like years ago, but they haven’t seen that really in my family,” she said. “That hasn’t really been done, so I think it’s important for my family to just see me graduate officially.”

Kenneth Nguyen, the student program coordinator for the Asian Pacific Island Student Resource Center (APISRC) and the committee chair for APIDA grad, said that they will announce the theme within the upcoming weeks. 

“I am really excited about cultural graduations because it is more like an intimate experience that’s culturally relevant for a lot of people,” Nguyen said.

AJ Chavez, the student program coordinator for the Gender Sexuality Student Resource Center (GSRC), said that there are plans to bring a drag queen to Pride Grad. 

“This drag queen, in particular, has not been our previous one, Mi Amor, who was also a Cal State LA alumn, but rather it is Jasmine Masters, who will be doing a performance themself, as well as another drag queen that she is bringing,” Chavez said. “It is a surprise to us.”

Chavez said the theme for Pride Grad is a kind of homage to early 2000s Lisa Frank.

Pride Grad will be on May 16 from 5 p.m. to  7 p.m. at the State Playhouse. 

Native Grad will be on May 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University-Student Union, Los Angeles Rooms. 

APIDA Grad will be happening on May 18 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the State Playhouse. 

Nuestra Grad will be on May 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University Gym. Black Grad will be on May 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the University Gym. 

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About the Contributor
Anne To
Anne To, Editor-In-Chief
Anne To is the Editor in Chief of the UT and also the co-Station manager of the Golden Eagle Radio. She loves working on audio production with radio, podcasting, and more! You may have seen some of her comics with the Life of Biffy series. During her free time she is either taking a nap, or playing video games.  

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