USC cancels commencement ceremony amid Gaza war protests on campus

The University of Southern California has canceled its main stage graduation ceremony under new safety measures being taken as the campus is roiled by protests stemming from the Israel-Hamas war.

The university announced the move Thursday, the day after more than 90 protesters were arrested on campus. The ceremony was scheduled for May 10.

The university says it will still host dozens of commencement events, including all the traditional individual school commencement ceremonies where students cross a stage and receive their diplomas.

The university already canceled a planned commencement speech by the school’s pro-Palestinian valedictorian, citing safety concerns.

“We understand that this is disappointing; however, we are adding many new activities and celebrations to make this commencement academically meaningful, memorable, and uniquely USC, including places to gather with family, friends, faculty, and staff, the celebratory releasing of the doves, and performances by the Trojan Marching Band,” the university said in a statement Thursday.

The Los Angeles Police Department said more than 90 people were arrested Wednesday night during a protest on the campus for alleged trespassing. One person was arrested for alleged assault with a deadly weapon.

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