(Article by Benjamin Zeisloft republished from CampusReform.org)
In order to “provide a more intimate setting for students who self-identify in a variety of ways," the Ivy League school said these programs are a way to “complement” the main ceremonies.
The additional virtual ceremonies include the “Native Graduation Celebration,” “Lavender Graduation Celebration" for LGBTQ students, “Asian Graduation Celebration,” “First-generation and Low-Income student Graduation Celebration,” “Latinx Graduation Celebration,” and “Black Graduation Celebration.”
The university faced swift backlash for promoting segregated graduation programming.
“Congratulations are in order for liberals and @Columbia University for successfully bringing segregation back by packaging it as ‘diversity inclusion,’” wrote conservative commentator Candace Owens. “Just one question: which ceremony do bi-racial children attend?”
“The endpoint of critical race theory: segregation,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) reacted.
As previously reported by Campus Reform, Cotton sent a letter to then-Attorney General Bill Barr in 2020 asking that the Department of Justice investigate the rising trend of segregation on the nation's college campuses.
Columbia issued a statement in response to the backlash.
“Reports today and previous tweets misrepresent our multicultural graduation celebrations, which exist in addition to, not instead of, University-wide commencement and individual school Class Days,” wrote the school on Twitter.
“These events are important, intimate and welcoming spaces for students aligned with these groups to come together to celebrate their achievements if they wish,” said the university. “They are organized in tandem with students and student groups. In most instances, these celebrations evolved from ceremonies originally created by students and alumni.”
“They are open to every student. They are voluntary. And they have become a highly anticipated and valuable part of the Columbia graduation experience,” added the university.
Campus Reform reached out to Columbia University on Tuesday for additional comment. A university spokesperson provided the same statement as was issued on Twitter.