A Graduation Cruise interest form has recently been making its way around the New College emails, surveying how many students would want to attend a newer and slightly different version of the Novo tradition.
The Sunset Graduation Cruise (or Booze Cruise for those that are of-age) was an event that started in 2000, occurring at the end of every Spring semester and celebrating the graduating class with a boat ride through Sarasota bay. The event was entirely funded by the New College Student Alliance (NCSA), with the money coming from an allotted graduation budget. Not only would the cruise invite all of the semester’s thesising students, but the cohort of that year would vote on a small selection of professors to come onboard and enjoy the night with them.
The last time the event was held was in 2019, prior to the coronavirus pandemic. But following that last cruise, it was shut down permanently due to student conduct issues, meaning it could no longer be organized and paid for by New College. That didn’t stop the 2022 cohort from trying to get people together to keep the tradition going themselves. Thesis student Jacob Brody-Ogborn has been campaigning to make it happen this year, inviting the 2021 and 2022 cohorts, as well as friends of graduating students to make the cost of the cruise cheaper for everyone. Brody-Ogborn organized a GoFundMe for the occasion, raising enough money so that each participant only needs to pay a small fee of $20 to come aboard.
Though unfortunate that students have to fund the event themselves this year, thankfully the cost is fairly inexpensive. 70 people have signed up for the cruise at the time of publication, with a cap of 120 people total. The date for the event is May 18 at 9:30 p.m., two days before commencement.