University of Florida president W. Kent Fuchs issued an apology after the videos went viral.
The students were reportedly being rushed off stage for taking too long, but the university is facing backlash, accused of targeting only black students at the ceremony. He also pledged to personally apologize to all of the students involved. The graduates say they had planned their celebrations beforehand, and the dances had symbolic meanings in their fraternities and sororities.
Footage of the incident shows the faculty member, who is white, was particularly aggressive towards black graduates.
"It was definitely contingent on your race... other white students who were dancing were not perceived as a threat", Attah said.
He said he chose not to follow the tradition because he saw other students being shoved.
However, he may have been getting impatient near the end as he aggressively grabs and shoves several of male and female students when they stop to do a victory dance.
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"I hope those of you who are graduating take with you the vision that created Florida Polytechnic University and now contribute to creating the workforce of the future". "They both were pushed and one of them got an entire bear hug".
Oliver Telusma was one of the graduates who has since opened up about his experience being mistreated.
The backlash prompted an apology from the school president following the Saturday event.
The ceremony, held at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, also featured an address by State University System Chancellor Marshall Criser and student Chris Dowdy, who graduated Friday with a degree in mechanical engineering.
"I had just started ... and he picked me up and turned me around, which I thought was kind of embarrassing and degrading to be handled in that manner", Telusma told the Gainesville Sun.