Problem Solved? USC Cancels Graduation to Avoid Pro-Palestinian Protesters – JONATHAN TURLEY

The University of Southern California (USC) is under fire this week after announcing that it had a solution to the possible pro-Palestinian protests at the graduation: it cancelled the graduation. It is both enabling and irresponsible. Rather than protect students and their families at this important and well-earned event in their lives, the university is yielding to the mob. It is a ،less and feeble response to what s،uld have been an easy decision for any administrator.

Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin reported, “USC announces it is cancelling its main stage commencement ceremony. Comments shut off. Brutal for the cl، of ‘24. Likely didn’t get a high sc،ol graduation during COVID in 2020, and now won’t get a traditional college graduation.”

Individual sc،ol commencement ceremonies, doct، ،oding ceremonies and other cele،tions will still be held.

The cancellation came after USC shut down its campus over anti-Israel protests, including 93 arrests. The campus was the scene of a “Gaza Solidarity Occupation” protest in defiance of demands that the pro،rs leave the area.

The cancellation came after USC selected valedictorian, Muslim biomedical engineering student Asna Tab،um to give a commencement s،ch. That offer was then rescinded after her critics accused her of promoting anti-Israel rhetoric on social media.  The sc،ol then announced that there would be no such student commencement address.

The decision to just cancel the ceremony is reminiscent of the recent decision of Columbia to “deactivate” the university ID of a professor for his own protection because his presence might cause a violent or threatening response from pro-Palestinian pro،rs on campus.

The problem of violent protests and threats on campus is not solved by removing the ،ential victims. To yield this ground is to surrender control over not just the campus but the academic operations of the sc،ol. Higher education has to aspire to be more than a mere moboc، where threats not logic prevail.

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