At graduation time, schools try to stamp out the selfie

You spend tens of thousands of dollars pursuing a college degree. You’ll be saddled with crushing debt which likely will keep you from owning a home or maybe even getting ahead. You’ll be entering a terrible job market. Is it really so bad if you want to take a “selfie” of you getting your diploma?

The University of South Florida thinks so. In an ad in the student newspaper, the Tampa university warned students to think about the dignity of the occasion, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

It asked students to refrain from inappropriate behavior, including “stepping, strolling, marching or taking selfies with USF president Judy Genshaft when crossing the stage for their diplomas.”

Students with the urge to snap a quick cellphone picture with Genshaft could face disciplinary action and the withholding of their degree.

“The last thing I want to do on someone’s graduation day — which is supposed to be one of the best days of your life — is enforce some policy with a penalty or consequences,” Freeman said.

USF student body president Will Warmke saw about 15 students take selfies with Genshaft at last fall’s graduation ceremonies.

“I feel bad for the person behind the person taking the selfies because now they have to wait for their moment,” said Warmke, 23, who graduates May 2 with three bachelor’s degrees, in political science, criminology and interdisciplinary social science.

“I would love to have a selfie with president Genshaft,” he said, “but there’s a time and place for taking photos with the president that wouldn’t hinder the graduation process with other students.”

“As long as it’s not interrupting the ceremony, I don’t see what’s the problem,” Kendyl Montgomery, who will graduate with her masters’ degrees, told the school paper. “I’m paying a lot of money, so let me take a selfie.”

The Wire is not impressed with her:

Lastly, I know there are some of you out there who will take a podium selfie anyway. You’re super-narcissistic and just can’t kick the habit—I get it. So, for everyone else’s sake, please follow what I have deemed the Four Second Rule: you should be able to take your phone out, take a picture, and put it away within four seconds. (Fun fact: this rule also applies to concertgoers.) At least make an effort to not hold everyone else up. You only get one shot at your podium selfie, so make it count. “Oh shoot, I accidentally left it in video mode and need to change the settings.” Nope, sorry, should have planned ahead. Bye bye, keep moving.