A Message to the Trojan Community

April 26, 2024

Dear Trojan Community,

These past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for all of us. As your president, my responsibility is to uphold our Trojan values so that everyone who lives, learns, and works here can have safe places to live, learn, and speak.

This week, Alumni Park became unsafe. No one wants to have people arrested on their campus. Ever. But, when long-standing safety policies are flagrantly violated, buildings vandalized, DPS directives repeatedly ignored, threatening language shouted, people assaulted, and access to critical academic buildings blocked, we must act immediately to protect our community.

USC has long-standing protocols that allow for peaceful protesting, and we have been working successfully with our community to ensure these rules have been followed at gatherings, protests, and vigils taking place all year. USC also has firm rules regarding harassment and bullying that we will uphold. If you have a concern, please report it here. I assure you we will launch an inquiry and take action to protect all USC students, faculty, and staff – no matter their views.

The current pressures and polarization have taken a toll in ways that break my heart. I know Trojans will do what they have always done: share points of view, listen, search for common ground – and find ways to support each other.  

As students prepare for finals and our graduates look forward to celebrating their achievements at commencement – which we will do in just two weeks – we remain focused on what commencement means for all our graduates. This is especially true for our seniors who did not have a high school graduation and spent their first university year online.  

Many of you have been on this journey together – from new student convocation to USC’s 141st commencement – for four years. Still others, like many of our graduate students, have shared even more years together. Many more faculty and staff have been working side-by-side with their colleagues throughout decades of service to our university.

We are working around the clock to infuse this special day with new activities, surprises, and celebrations, while upholding traditions that are uniquely USC.

I know every Trojan will continue to bring their best selves to meet this moment.


Carol L. Folt