After canceling its mainstage commencement ceremony amid pro-Palestinian protests, USC has announced plans for a "Trojan Family" graduation event next week at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The event will take place Thursday, May 9 at 8:30 p.m. USC announced on Thursday. The university promises a drone show, fireworks, surprise performances and the Trojan Marching Band. The university also promised a special gift for the class of 2024.

The celebration will share the L.A. Coliseum with several other groups around the same time, so the USC Trojan Family graduate event will be limited to a portion of the venue. Each graduate will receive up to six tickets for their guests, the university said, and will be limited to "graduates and their families and loved ones."

USC said it was unable to secure the entire venue, because it was already booked. The announcement for the event said that USC President Carol Folt "has created a major kick-off to three days and nights of commencement events to honor you and those who've helped you along the way."

The announcement does not mention how pro-Palestinian demonstrators had recently erected an encampment in Alumni Park. On April 24, police arrested 93 students and off-campus activists during the protest, one of several demonstrations at campuses across the country, including neighboring UCLA.

USC expects to confer over 18,000 degrees from May 8-11 for its commencement week with a slew of events to celebration the occassion. New security measures have also been put in place.

All vehicle and pedestrian access to the university campus will be limited to two entrances, USC's Department of Public Safety announced in a news release Thursday. The entrances are located at the north and south sides of the campus, referred to as the McCarthy and McClintock entrances.

The limited access will be in effect 24 hours a day. The entrance to Watt Way is closed, but could be reopened barring traffic conditions, according to university officials.

A temporary, separate interior fence will greet guests to the campus who are approaching outside of a vehicle, with pedestrians being asked to enter the university at McCarthy Way at the quad; the north side of Watt Way at 34th Street; and McClintock Avenue at Childs Way.

All USC students and employees will need to show their campus IDs to enter the campus or access the interior fence, according to USC. Guests will need to pre-register with the university online and show their QR code generated from the USC visitor registration website. Each registration must be completed daily and can be registered by a USC student, faculty or staff member.

The new safety measures follows days of protests at the private university in South L.A. Tickets will be required to access the campus and for all commencement events taking place during commencement week.

Guests will be screened much in the same way that security checks bags at sporting events, according to the university.

But the university's main stage commencement ceremony, which draws 65,000-attendees to the campus, was canceled after the administration rescinded Asna Tabassum's graduation speaking spot as USC valedictorian.

Tabassum, a biomedical engineering major with a passion for social justice who minored in "resistance to genocide," drew undisclosed threats to the university.

The university's decisions leading up to the cancellation has drawn criticism from both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel activists.


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