Valedictorian’s Silenced Speech Finally Revealed: What She Said


USC’s Silenced Voice: Asna Tabassum’s Redacted Commencement Speech

Asna Tabassum, the barred valedictorian of USC’s Class of 2024, has released a redacted version of the speech she intended to deliver at the university’s commencement ceremony. This move serves as a stark reminder of her silencing and the ongoing importance of free speech and open dialogue.

A Courageous Act of Resistance

Tabassum’s decision to publish her partially redacted speech is an act of courage and resilience. Despite the limitations imposed upon her, she has chosen to share her perspective with the world. The speech, published by Annenberg Media and the Daily Trojan, highlights the university’s suppression of her voice.

“This speech represents more than just my own words. It is a testament to the power of our voices and to the importance of preserving our right to free and open expression.” – Asna Tabassum

The Redacted Content

The redacted sections of the speech remain mysterious, leaving us to speculate on what Tabassum would have said. The university’s justification for her silencing remains unclear, making this incident even more puzzling.

Standing Up for Free Speech

Tabassum’s situation has ignited a larger conversation about the significance of free speech on college campuses. The act of silencing a student for expressing their views is a dangerous precedent that threatens intellectual freedom and open discourse. Universities should be places where all voices are respected and heard, regardless of whether they are popular or controversial.

The Impact of Tabassum’s Redacted Speech

Tabassum’s public release of her redacted speech has resonated widely. It has sparked discussions about the role of free speech, the limits of academic freedom, and the power of the individual against institutional control. Her refusal to be silenced inspires others to fight for their voices and challenge the suppression of diverse perspectives.

A Call for Transparency

The LA News Center urges the University of Southern California to provide a transparent explanation for Tabassum’s silencing. Students and the public have a right to know the reasons behind this unprecedented decision. Openness and accountability are essential to maintaining trust and credibility in higher education.


Asna Tabassum’s redacted commencement speech serves as a reminder of the importance of free speech and the lengths to which we must go to protect it. Her courageous act of resistance stands as an example to us all that our voices matter, even when they are met with opposition. Let Tabassum’s story be a catalyst for continued dialogue and unwavering support for freedom of expression on college campuses and beyond.