Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Top News
Top News

USC Valedictorian Denied Speech Over Security Concerns

USC denied valedictorian speech due to security concerns.

The University of Southern California's decision to deny valedictorian Asna Tabassum the opportunity to deliver a commencement speech has sparked controversy and disappointment. The university cited escalating security concerns and potential disruptions as the primary reasons for this decision.

Provost Andrew Guzman expressed concern over the intense discussions surrounding the selection of the valedictorian, which had been amplified by social media and ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. The decision was made in light of the risks posed by the heightened tensions and the need to ensure a safe environment for the graduation ceremony.

Tabassum, who identifies as Muslim, expressed shock and disappointment at the university's choice to cancel her speech. She condemned the campaign of hate aimed at silencing her voice and criticized USC for what she perceived as abandoning her.

Amidst the backdrop of escalating tensions in the Middle East, particularly the conflict in Gaza, supporters of various factions have been vocal online and in public spaces. The decision to cancel Tabassum's speech has been met with criticism from advocacy groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles.

Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of the organization, called the decision cowardly and argued that it empowered voices of hate and censorship. He emphasized the importance of protecting students and ensuring a supportive environment for all individuals, regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs.

Provost Guzman clarified that the decision was not a matter of restricting freedom of speech but rather a necessary step to prioritize campus security and safety. While acknowledging the disappointment surrounding the cancellation of the speech, he underscored the university's commitment to ensuring a secure environment for all attendees.

As the controversy continues to unfold, the focus remains on balancing tradition with safety to uphold the integrity of the graduation ceremony while addressing legitimate security concerns.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.