NEW: USC cancels graduation ceremony after Gaza Camp protests, student arrests

"We will not be able to host the main stage ceremony that traditionally brings 65,000 students, families, and friends to our campus."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

On Thursday, the University of Southern California announced that it has canceled its mainstage graduation ceremony, citing unspecified additional "security measures." 

This after the university struggles to contain ongoing pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have brought in outside agitators, which resulted in the arrest of 93 individuals on Wednesday.

USC told students in a press release, "With the new safety measures in place this year, the time needed to process the large number of guests coming to campus will increase substantially. As a result, we will not be able to host the main stage ceremony that traditionally brings 65,000 students, families, and friends to our campus all at the same time and during a short window from 8:30 am to 10 am."

According to school officials, commencement details will be released on the graduation website by April 30.

"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 school added.

The decision follows several controversies that USC has had to deal with over the past few weeks.

This includes canceling the valedictory address of Asna Tabassum over "safety concerns," as reported by KTLA, and the ongoing Gaza camp protests that have taken over the campus. 

LAPD was dispatched to the university on Wednesday to disperse thousands of students and outside agitators participating in pro-Palestinian demonstrations, similar to those that have sprung up on college campuses across the US over the past week.

USC requested the LAPD's presence after several videos emerged across social media showing the school's public safety officers, who were seen vastly outnumbered by the protesters, struggling to contain the unruly crowd.

LAPD arrested 93 individuals on various charges, including criminal trespass after the group failed to comply with dispersal orders.

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

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