USC cancels Pro-Palestinian Valedictorian commencement speech

The Israel-Hamas conflict has taken center stage at USC.

Asna Tabassum, the valedictorian of the University of Southern California (USC), will not be delivering her graduation speech due to “substantial” security risks.

Driving the news: USC’s Provost Andrew Guzman announced the decision in a statement on Monday.


  • The decision was made to prioritize campus security and safety, as the intense feelings surrounding the ongoing conflict in the Middle East could lead to disruptions and potential violence.
  • USC will be hosting a graduation ceremony for over 19,000 graduates, with approximately 65,000 people in attendance.

What they’re saying: “The intensity of feelings, fueled by both social media and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, has grown to include many voices outside of USC and has escalated to the point of creating substantial risks relating to security and disruption at commencement,” Guzman said.

  • Tabassum fired back in a statement made through the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, saying USC has abandoned her.
  • “Anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian voices have subjected me to a campaign of racist hatred because of my uncompromising belief in human rights for all,” Tabassum said.
Related Posts