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Pro-Palestinian valedictorian banned from speaking at USC commencement for safety concerns



Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

In a groundbreaking move, the University of Southern California (USC) has announced that a pro-Palestinian undergraduate student who was selected as valedictorian will not be permitted to give a speech at the upcoming commencement ceremony. This decision marks a first in USC’s history, with Provost Andrew Guzman citing safety concerns as the reason behind the ban.

The student in question, Asna Tabassum, has been accused of harboring antisemitic views by a pro-Israel group, leading to questions about her stance on the conflict in the Middle East. The Council on American-Islamic Relations-Los Angeles has demanded that USC overturn this decision, arguing that Tabassum should be allowed to speak at the ceremony.

Tabassum, through CAIR-LA, expressed her disappointment in the university’s decision, attributing it to what she described as a “campaign of hate.” Meanwhile, reactions among USC students have been mixed, with some advocating for Tabassum’s right to speak as valedictorian and others supporting the university’s prioritization of safety.

The controversy has polarized opinions on campus, with students already planning how they will respond to the decision at the commencement ceremony. The involvement of news outlets like ABC News and City News Service, Inc. has only served to heighten public interest in the unfolding situation. Stay tuned for updates on this developing story on My MBA Career.

Dina J. Miller is an accomplished writer and editor with a passion for business and education. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has established herself as a leading voice in the MBA community. Her work can be found in a variety of MBA magazines and college publications, where she provides insightful commentary on current trends and issues in the field. Dina's expertise in business and education stems from her extensive academic background. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from a top-tier business school, where she excelled in her studies and developed a deep understanding of the complexities of the business world. Her academic achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into several prestigious academic societies.

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