HomeLatest NewsPro-Hamas Protests Lead to USC Cancelling Its Entire Commencement Ceremony

Pro-Hamas Protests Lead to USC Cancelling Its Entire Commencement Ceremony

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After the controversy broke out over the planned (then cancelled) speech of the antisemitic Valedictorian, the University of Southern California called all guest speakers off for its 2024 Commencement Ceremony. The provost explained that “[t]he intense feelings” and mounting criticism by people “outside of USC,” along with “the ongoing Middle East conflict,” made it untenable to hold the speeches. They were concerned about “security” and “disruption”.

But that wasn’t all. In the aftermath of the Oct. 7, 2023 attack on Israel, we have seen pro-Hamas protests, encampments, and demonstrations on university campuses in the U.S. USC was also caught up in the conflagration–which forced the administration to take extreme steps to ensure everyone’s safety.

AP:

The University of Southern California cancelled its main-stage graduation ceremony on Thursday, as college officials in the U.S. were concerned that campus protests against Israel-Hamas could disrupt commencement ceremonies in May.

Some universities sent in the police to disperse the protests. This led to ugly scuffles with dozens of arrests. Others appeared to be content to watch the student demonstrations continue as the semester came to a close.

USC cancelled the ceremony on May 10, a day following the arrest of more than 90 protesters. The university will host dozens more commencement events including the traditional individual school ceremonies, where students receive their diplomas and cross a stage.

In a press release released by the university on Thursday:

We understand this is disappointing, but we have added many new activities and festivities to make this graduation academically meaningful, unforgettable, and uniquely USC. These include places to gather with friends, family, faculty and staff, as well as the celebratory release of doves and performances by the Trojan Marching Band.

On Wednesday, several arrests were made, including for alleged trespassing. One protester was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

However, the protests and lawlessness in the surrounding area are not limited to USC’s Campus. Authorities report that a barricade situation at California State Polytechnic University Humboldt in Arcata has continued for the third day. AP reported the administration had to close campus due to safety concerns.

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