In the name of dignity, the University of South Florida has issued a notice to graduates asking them to refrain from selfies and other teen-like behavior, including strolling, while picking up their diplomas.
A simple handshake is preferred, says USF Student Affairs. Selfies are punishable by disciplinary action including “the withholding of your degree.”
Perhaps the school doesn’t want to slow down the ceremony by allowing each student to whip a smartphone out of his or her gown and snap a photo with the school president. Maybe President Genshaft doesn’t enjoy having her photo taken. Or maybe the university would prefer students follow the age-old tradition of paying an arm and a leg for graduation photos to the company it’s contracted with.
It’s probably one or more of those things.
USF joins Bryant University in Rhode Island, which recently grabbed regional headlines with a graduation selfie crackdown of its own, at the forefront of a collegiate trend.
But are schools acting too hastily to preempt a problem that might not exist? Will kids really holding up the diploma line to pose for the perfect Instagram duckface shot?
It’s the first round of commencement ceremonies since America reached peak selfie, so we’re about to find out.