Taking Selfies at Commencement? - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Taking Selfies at Commencement?

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To take a selfie or not to take a selfie? That is the question thousands of college students in the QCA will be faced with in the coming weeks as they cross the stage to receive their diplomas.

While colleges and universities we talked to here have not taken an official stance, students and staff have mixed opinions on the selfie at commencement dilemma.

With the growth of cell phones and social media, 'selfies' have exploded in the last few years, so much so that it was declared the 2013 word of the year by Oxford University Press.

And, as at least some of the graduating seniors we talked to will tell you, they're planning to make selfies a big part of their memories on their big day this weekend.

"It's an important day, and I think you should have tons of pictures of it, just to remember it," said Eileen Keavney, a St. Ambrose senior who will graduate with degrees in Biology and Spanish on Saturday.

"I'm going to try not to trip and fall," said Emilee Renwick, another SAU senior, who will be graduating with degrees in Public Relations and Journalism this weekend.

While SAU's commencement will be filled with the usual pomp and circumstance, at least some soon-to-be-grads say there will be a different soundtrack playing in their heads as they take the stage: "#SELFIE" by the Chainsmokers.

"It's fun to do and you make sure you have a picture of yourself to celebrate the event," Adriana Isaia, a graduating nursing student.

"Oh yeah, selfies all the way," Renwick agreed. "I think that's just part of our generation,and it's a quick snapshot of the time and what you've been going through the entire day."

This kind of snapshot is not without controversy, though.

"On stage, I think it's time to get your diploma and be serious, so I don't know if...it's exactly the right situation for a selfie," said Kurt Dumbahlen, a freshman at SAU.

A couple of other universities elsewhere in the country have gone so far as to ban selfies from commencement celebrations, saying stopping to take them takes too much time and will hold up the ceremonies.

"It makes sense, but it's kind of our moment to shine and enjoy it and take it all in," Isaia said.

St. Ambrose officials we talked to say selfies are welcome at commencement, as long as the students are respectful.

"It's their special day and if it makes them happy then I'm okay with it as long as it doesn't disrupt the event for other students," said Dan Zeimet, St. Ambrose University Registrar.

"I think it's common courtesy of everybody around them," said SAU freshman Dalvin Dixon. "You want to make sure your not taking too long to do whatever you need to do, but if you're just taking a short time to take a picture, then I don't see the problem."

The school says it's not anticipating any selfie-related problems at Saturday's event.

"We do have a graduation rehearsal and we do kind of indicate proper protocol," Zeimet said.

"It doesn't hurt that mom and dad are in the crowd, too," he added, laughing.

Graduation day is always a big one for parents, students, and staff alike.

"Best part of the weekend for me, just seeing all the smiling faces," Zeimet said.

Some smiles will be captured for eternity in photos students take of themselves.

We want to know what you think. You can weigh in on our Facebook page or on twitter @kwqcnews.

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