USC, a top-ranked university known for academic excellence and free speech, faces criticism for canceling its graduation ceremony’s main speech. Valedictorian Asna Tabassum, a pro-Palestine student, was barred from speaking due to “safety concerns” linked to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

This decision sparked outrage among students, some of whom were arrested during protests. Many felt silenced, especially considering the hefty tuition fees. USC claims the ceremony should focus on celebrating graduates, but critics argue it undermines that very purpose.

The irony is undeniable. A university renowned for journalism programs stifles a student’s voice. While safety is important, silencing a valedictorian sets a troubling precedent. USC should have found a way to ensure safety while allowing Tabassum and the graduating class their well-deserved moment.

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