SARASOTA - Amid the controversial conservative transformation of New College, Florida's only public liberal arts honors college, some students are planning an alternative commencement for graduates.

The student-led "Commencement On Our Terms" event this Thursday will serve as a supplemental commencement experience for this year's graduates. The graduates will celebrate in a private gathering at an undisclosed location in downtown Sarasota ahead of the school's traditional graduation, which is slated for the following evening on May 19.

According to the Herald Tribune, students sought assistance from alumni supporters of the Novo Collegian Alliance and raised more than $60,000 in less than a week using a Go Fund Me campaign to hold a graduation on their own terms.