USC Cancels Main Stage Graduation Ceremonies Amid Protests and Controversies

The University of Southern California announced on Thursday that it was canceling its main stage graduation ceremonies.

“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, including places to gather with family, friends, faculty, and staff, the celebratory releasing of the doves, and performances by the Trojan Marching Band,” USC said in a statement.

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“Academically meaningful” but crushingly boring and ordinary. 

We all know why the ceremonies are being canceled. “Security concerns,” says the school administration. “Fear and terror,” says everyone else. The lack of courage to stand up to the pro-Palestinian mob echoes the lack of courage on the part of big-city mayors who allowed their cities to burn rather than crack down on rioters.

The USC drama began two weeks ago when the administration canceled the address by valedictorian Asna Tabassum. It was discovered that Ms. Tabassum had linked to a nauseating antisemitic website on her Instagram account that advocated for genocide.

“Zionism is a racist settler-colonialist ideology,” and “One Palestinian state would mean Palestinian liberation and the complete abolishment of the state of Israel” so that “both Arabs and Jews can live together.”

Tabussum denied that she supports antisemitic views and claims that people hate her because she wears a hijab.

Yes, really.

After that fiasco, the school canceled the commencement address by “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon Chu and other addresses by honorary degree recipients. The thinner the graduation program got, the sillier the administration made the entire commencement.

Finally, the school gave in to reality and canceled the whole thing. But once again, it lied about the real reason they were getting rid of commencement.

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“With the new safety measures in place this year, the time needed to process the large number of guests coming to campus will increase substantially. As a result, we will not be able to host the main stage ceremony that traditionally brings 65,000 students, families, and friends to our campus all at the same time and during a short window from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.,” USC stated on its website.

Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin points out what these graduates have already endured.

What are these administrators so terrified of? Hold the graduation and arrest anyone who interrupts it. 

“USC has gone from banning the student commencement speaker to canceling its entire graduation ceremony in a couple of weeks,” hedge fund manager Tom Hearden wrote. “Thanks for the $340k – we’ll mail u the diploma (maybe) I’d be pissed if I was a parent/grad.”

USC tuition is $64,700 per year.

The administration is terrified of bad press. We know this because of the reason it canceled the awarding of honorary degrees.

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Los Angeles Times:

In an interview prior to Thursday’s announcement of the main stage cancellation, Joel Curran, USC’s senior vice president of communications, said the decision about Chu and honorary degree recipients was done in order to avoid putting them “in an awkward situation” to address the valedictorian controversy or the Israel-Hamas war.

“We are putting them in an awkward situation, difficult situation. There have been a lot of conversations around commencement. We do not want to put them in that position,” Curran said.

In other words, the school didn’t want to face criticism from celebrities for its cowardly decisions.

USC is one of the first schools to cancel graduation. It won’t be the last.

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