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USC Cancels Commencement Speakers Following Protests Over Banned Valedictorian

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Following days of protest over their decision to cancel Muslim valedictorian Asna Tabassum’s commencement speech, USC canceled more speakers.
Following days of protest over the University of Southern California’s decision to ban Muslim valedictorian Asna Tabassum from the school’s May 10 commencement, the school took the additional step Friday of canceling outside graduation speakers.
A memo shared on by USC noted, “to keep the focus on our graduates, we are redesigning the commencement program. Given the highly publicized circumstances surrounding our main-stage commencement program, university leadership has decided it is best to release our outside speakers and honorees from attending this year’s ceremony.”
On Monday, USC provost Andrew Guzman said in an online letter that “the discussion relating to the selection of our valedictorian has taken on an alarming tenor,” including speculation from those opposed to Tabassum, who is also pro-Palestine, that her speech would be “antisemitic.

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