Campus Update

May 3, 2024

Dear Trojan Family,

I’m writing to let you know the steps we’re taking now to ensure students finish their finals in a quiet, safe academic environment – and that our graduating students can enjoy peaceful and joyous commencement ceremonies worthy of their accomplishments.

Freedom of expression is one of our foundational values, and throughout the year, faculty, staff, and students have held lawful marches, vigils, and peaceful demonstrations. But let me be absolutely clear: free speech and assembly do not include the right to obstruct equal access to campus, damage property, or foment harassment, violence, and threats. Nor is anyone entitled to obstruct the normal functions of our university, including commencement.

The university is legally obligated to ensure that students, faculty, and staff can move freely throughout our campus while pursuing their studies, work, and research. Every part of our campuses, including Alumni Park, must be fully accessible and free from vandalism and harassment.

When laws and policies that apply to everyone are repeatedly and flagrantly violated – there must be consequences. This is an intense and highly charged time for the country and for many here at USC – I’m asking everyone to help, abide by all our security measures, and treat each other with empathy and respect. The university has initiated disciplinary review processes for individuals who have violated both our policies and the law. We will take any further actions required to maintain campus safety and security, consistent with our legal obligations.

Finals conclude on Wednesday and our commencement ceremonies begin that same day. We’re quickly approaching the time when our graduates, their families, and loved ones will come together at USC. I’m grateful to everyone who is working so tirelessly to bring USC’s commencement celebrations to life.

With gratitude,

Carol L. Folt