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USC Graduation Takes Place with Tight Security and Standing Ovation for Cancelled Valedictorian

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Last Updated on May 11, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

Muslim valedictorian Asna Tabassum received a standing ovation from her classmates at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering graduation ceremony after her speech was canceled due to controversy surrounding her pro-Palestinian views. The canceled speech was a result of threats received by the university related to a pro-Palestinian link on Tabassum’s Instagram account.

USC President Carol Folt made the decision to cancel the main-stage commencement ceremony, leading to tensions and disappointment on campus. Despite this, individual school ceremonies proceeded smoothly without disruptions, according to a university spokesperson. Tabassum’s graduation sash was adorned with academic achievements and the phrase “praise be to God” in Arabic.

The USC campus was heavily guarded with tight security measures for guests attending the graduation ceremonies. Earlier in the week, Folt and Provost Andrew Guzman faced censure by the Academic Senate amid widespread dissatisfaction and concern among faculty about administrative actions.

An alternative graduation party, named “Trojan Family Graduate Celebration,” took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, featuring a drone show and fireworks. Despite the adjustments to the ceremonies, students and families made the best of the situation and celebrated their accomplishments.

Overall, despite the controversy and cancellations, the USC graduation ceremonies were carried out successfully, with students being able to mark their achievements and transition into the next chapter of their lives.

Stephen is an experienced writer and journalist with a focus on MBA news and MBA jobs news. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for business and education, he has established himself as a leading voice in the MBA community. Stephen's writing on MBA news and MBA jobs news can be found in a variety of publications, including online news sources and job boards. His work covers a wide range of topics, from industry trends and emerging technologies to job market statistics and career development strategies. He is known for his insightful commentary and his ability to distill complex information into clear and concise language.

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