USC Cancels Graduation Ceremony After Facing Security Concerns Over Pro-Palestinian Protests

The University of Southern California has announced it will cancel its main graduation ceremony over security concerns.

In recent weeks, pro-Palestine protests have erupted all over USC’s campus, causing significant security risks on campus.

Many of the protests have been organized by USC Divest from Death Coalition, an organization that is demanding USC to cut financial ties with Israel.

After canceling the graduation ceremony, USC wrote to students, “We understand that this is disappointing; however, we are adding many new activities and celebrations to make this commencement academically meaningful, memorable, and uniquely USC.”

The protests on USC’s campus grew larger last week after USC decided to inform valedictorian Asna Tabassum that she would not be allowed to deliver a speech at graduation, citing potential campus security risks.

Tabassum believes she was nixed from delivering the speech due to her vocal support of Palestinians in Gaza.

Per The Asscoiated Press:

The University of Southern California canceled its main stage graduation ceremony Thursday as college officials across the U.S. worried that ongoing campus protests against the Israel-Hamas war could disrupt May commencement ceremonies.

Some universities called in police to break up the demonstrations, resulting in ugly scuffles and dozens of arrests, while others appeared content to wait out student protests as the final days of the semester ticked down.

USC announced the cancellation of the May 10 ceremony a day after more than 90 protesters were arrested on campus. The university says it will still host dozens of commencement events, including all the traditional individual school commencement ceremonies where students cross a stage and receive their diplomas.

Tensions were already high after the university canceled a planned commencement speech by the school’s pro-Palestinian valedictorian, citing safety concerns.

Over 90 protesters were arrested just one day before USC announced the cancellation of the graduation ceremony.



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