USA TODAY -- Come May 17th, members of Bryant University's graduating class will be all smiles for the crowd to see, but not for their iPhones to capture.
Bryant officials just announced that its students will be banned from taking selfies while they accept their degrees at the podium.
"This is a special day for students and family," said Sheila Guay, Director of Conferences and Special Events for the Smithfield, R.I. school, in a statement. "Selfies would slow down the ceremony."
University President and former R.I. Congressman Ronald Machtley supports this move, citing his own social media presence as the graduation committees chief concern.
"I tweet a lot, I have 2,200 followers on campus and I think the fear was…because I take a lot of selfies throughout the school year that it would become an epidemic," he says. "Our staff was trying to protect me and the students from making this ceremony any longer."
In addition to time, Machtley also cites the professional photographer as another reason selfies aren't allowed.
"There's a fairly short time that the photographer can snap and if they're holding up their (camera) taking a picture of us, that could be the photo that their parents get."
The photos will be available online and for purchase.
Machtley, who is currently serving his 18th year as Bryant's president, made efforts ramp up connections with the school's 3,300 students by calling for social media policy committee.
Headed by Vice President of Student Affairs John Saddlemire and Vice President of Academic Affairs José-Marie Griffiths, the committee of students and staff meets to discuss how to make social media use more responsible.
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The end goal, says Machtley, is to teach students how to "connect and understand that there are times to disconnect."
While students won't be able to snap a picture on stage, they will get the chance to tweet their experiences. Using #bryantgrad2014, all posts will automatically generate to a university-wide tag board for the event.
And for those who are feeling particularly selfie-obsessed, Machtley promises there will be time.
"We are going to find a time so that anyone who wants to take a selfie won't feel deprived. I'll be available for selfies," he says. "Graduation is the culmination of four great years. This is just a small piece of graduation."