Cultural organizations celebrate graduation

by Elisse Miller

Every year, different cultural organizations host celebrations for graduating seniors to recognize achievements with peers, alumni, family, faculty and staff. These events are not meant to replace the traditional graduation ceremony, but rather embrace unique cultural identities. It is a way to celebrate diversity at San Diego State. These are several of the many graduation ceremonies hosted on campus.

Lavender Graduation

The 3rd annual Lavender Graduation is a ceremony that celebrates graduating students who are a part of the LGBTQIA community, whether they identify as such or are considered an ally. It is open to undergraduate and graduate students of any major or minor. The purpose of this ceremony is to acknowledge the difficulties of attending school while facing discrimination for one’s sexual orientation.

According to Lavender Graduation Graduate Coordinator, Alicia Chavez-Arteaga, “This year marks an exciting moment in SDSU’s commitment to diversity and serving the needs of LGBT students and the community at large, the LGBT studies major officially went into effect this January. In continuing with SDSU’s commitment, the LGBT studies major / minor will be hosting its third annual Lavender Graduation.”

Students who participated in the ceremony receive a rainbow cord, a certificate and an invitation to the LGBTQIA Alumni Chapter. Awards were handed out to teachers and faculty who displayed support and encouragement of those in the LGBTQIA community as well.


American Indian Graduation Celebration

This cultural graduation ceremony is open to all American Indian Studies majors and minors, as well as all American Indian students, regardless of their major. At the ceremony, students will be recognized for their achievements and accomplishments during their time at SDSU. Each individual student will be honored and able to honor their friends, families and faculty as well. This year’s ceremony will take place from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m .on May 17, at Sycuan Resort.


33rd Africana Studies Annual Black Baccalaureate Ceremony

The 33rd Africana Studies Annual Black Baccalaureate Ceremony is an event created to honor graduating African- American seniors at all levels. As described by the Chair of the Black Baccalaureate Ceremony, Dr. Shirley N. Weber, it is a “spiritual service representative of the best of our community.”

“The history of the baccalaureate is rooted in the tradition of our people: dignity and respect. We honor our graduates and their achievement of excellence. We honor our parents and forefathers who struggled to make this opportunity possible,” Weber said. Students will be given a kente cloth and certificate. Entertainment such as drumming and dancing will be presented. This ceremony will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on May 17, at Lincoln High School.


AB Samahan’s Filipino Graduation Celebration

The Filipino Graduation is for graduating seniors to have the opportunity to thank their families, friends and supporters.

“Graduating seniors have an opportunity to speak and thank their family and friends as opposed to just walking across the stage,” Associated Students Representative Kevin Yabes said.

Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Aaron Bruce said he supports the graduation celebrations as they transparently reveal the diversity on campus.

“The affinity group graduation celebrations provide graduating students with an important opportunity to revel in their accomplishments with their friends, family, faculty and staff,” Bruce said.

The celebration will take place at Tula Hall at 6 p.m. on May 17 and it is open to everyone.