USC Announces Plans for Graduation Party at Coliseum

USC Announces Plans for Graduation Party at Coliseum

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on December 16, 2023. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

City News Service
City News Service

5/3/2024

Updated: 5/3/2024

0

LOS ANGELES—USC, which previously canceled its main stage commencement ceremony amid pro-Palestinian protests, has announced plans for a “Trojan Family Graduate Celebration” instead next week at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The event, scheduled for Thursday at 8:30 p.m., will include “drone shows, fireworks, surprise performances, the Trojan Marching Band, and a special gift just for the Class of 2024,” according to the university, which billed the event as a chance for graduates to “celebrate your accomplishments in a big way and come together as a Trojan Family.”
USC’s commencement season plans have been in turmoil since mid-April, when the university said it would not allow pro-Palestinian valedictorian Asna Tabassum to speak during the main stage ceremony, which traditionally draws more than 60,000 people to the campus’ Alumni Park. University officials said the move was made due to security concerns following complaints about some of Ms. Tabassum’s online posts that critics deemed to be antisemitic—something she has denied.
Following a massive protest on the campus and an attempt by pro-Palestinian protesters to set up an encampment in Alumni Park, USC first scrubbed plans for any outside speakers at commencement, then it opted to cancel the event altogether.
“We know many of you have had questions about why USC couldn’t use the Coliseum for our main stage ceremony,” according to the university’s announcement of the Graduate Celebration. “It was the first place we looked—unfortunately, it was fully booked. We also looked at many alternative arenas around Los Angeles—which on such short notice had similar issues.
“We have been able to host this event—and a couple smaller events—because several groups adjusted their plans at the Coliseum to accommodate limited access for this special event.”
Due to that limited access, the Graduate Celebration will be restricted to a portion of the Coliseum, so each graduate will be limited to a maximum of six tickets, university officials said.
Graduates are expected to receive an email with ticket information and other details.
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