The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


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Cancellation of 2024 USC Main Graduation Ceremony

Photo courtesy of Wally Skalij via Los Angeles Times

One day after the University of Southern California in Los Angeles canceled its valedictorian speech due to “safety concerns” after many people were upset with the valedictorian’s pro-Palestine posts she had on her social media, USC canceled their main graduation ceremony. Planned for May 10, the main stage ceremony usually brings all USC graduating students, as well as their friends and family, out to campus to celebrate a new chapter. However, the university will still host many commencement events where students can walk the stage and receive their diplomas in front of their loved ones.

Many were mad at the university for canceling Asna Tabassum’s, the 2024 USC valedictorian, speech. Anabel Munoz and Amy Powell, in the ABC7 article “USC cancels main graduation ceremony amid controversy over valedictorian speech, protests” wrote that USC Provost Andrew Guzman stated that “Her speech would have presented ‘substantial’ security risks for the event that draws 65,000 people to campus” which is why they are not letting her speak.

Mad at the university taking away a speech from someone who publicly supported Palestine, pro-Palestine protesters amassed in the USC Alumni Park, demanding that the school cut off all ties with Israel and Israel-supporting companies. This movement resulted in about one hundred protestors getting arrested after they refused to clear the “occupation”. On top of this, numerous accusations of police brutality were thrown after the LAPD arrived at the scene, with accounts of the police pushing or assaulting the protesters. This protest caused the school to cancel its main commencement ceremony due to safety concerns over the student protests, causing even more people to be upset.

Junior Kaitlin Prendergast, after hearing that USC canceled their graduation ceremony stated that “it is sad so many people have to miss out on a significant event in their lives”, as a big college graduation is a large milestone for many. Junior Audrey Long shared the same sentiment, feeling sorry for those who have to miss out on their graduation, but thinking “it may be for the best”.

The cancellation of the valedictorian speech was due to safety concerns after many had issues with the posts Tabassum had up on her social media. This inspired a pro-Palestine protest, trying to show support for the people of Palestine. After the LAPD showed up and arrested about 100 people, the main graduation ceremony was canceled due to new safety measures being put into place. However, this has only made some more angry with the whole situation.

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