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Florida College Students Organize Separate Commencement Ceremony, Rejecting Board’s Controversial Choice of Speaker

The graduating class of 2023 at New College of Florida has taken matters into their own hands by arranging a separate commencement ceremony, complete with a distinguished speaker.

This decision comes in response to the college board’s selection of Dr.

Scott Atlas, a Covid advisor known for his dubious recommendations during the pandemic, including advocating for herd immunity.


Atlas, though not an infectious disease expert, gained significant media attention through his appearances on Fox News in the summer of 2020.

His advice, which aligned with former President Donald Trump’s stance, centered around letting the virus spread without imposing strict measures to contain it.

Consequently, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, who also supported Atlas’s views on keeping schools and businesses open, appointed him as a special coronavirus advisor.

New College, known for its academic rigor and progressive values, has become a battleground for Governor DeSantis’s controversial policies.

In recent months, the governor has made several decisions that have defied the will of the faculty, students, and their parents.

This includes the termination of college personnel and the removal of the school’s Office of Diversity and Equity.

Furthermore, faculty members who had already received approval for tenure were denied the opportunity.

In light of these events, the class of 2023 at New College has chosen to celebrate their graduation in their own way, free from the influence of Governor DeSantis.

They have organized a separate commencement ceremony, scheduled to take place one day before the official one.

To cover the costs associated with this event, they have set up a GoFundMe page and secured a suitable venue.

Additionally, they have secured a notable celebrity speaker, whose identity has yet to be revealed.

The students’ decision to organize their own commencement ceremony reflects their desire to create an inclusive and meaningful event that aligns with their values and aspirations.

It serves as a powerful statement against the controversial speaker chosen by the college board.

By taking matters into their own hands, the class of 2023 is asserting their autonomy and reaffirming their commitment to a more inclusive and responsible future.

The official commencement ceremony, featuring Dr.

Scott Atlas as the speaker, is still scheduled to take place, but it appears that a significant portion of the graduating class will be participating in the alternative event organized by their peers.

This situation highlights the tensions and divisions that exist within educational institutions when it comes to navigating politically charged issues.

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