The University of California, Berkeley is offering enhanced security as well as counseling services in light of former Brietbart editor Ben Shapiro’s scheduled appearance at a campus speaking event next week.
Shapiro, a conservative political commentator who has spoken at UC Berkeley without incident before, tweeted out a comment in response to the university offering counselors for those who could be potentially impacted by his appearance or speech: “SNOWFLAKE ALERT: UC Berkeley Offers ‘Support And Counseling’ For Students Offended By Shapiro’s Speech,” the 33-year-old writer wrote, linking to a article by the Daily Wire, where he currently serves as editor-in-chief.
“If there ever needed to be confirmation that Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro’s characterization of Leftist students at American universities as “snowflakes” hits the bulls-eye, the campus-wide announcement issued by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos of the University of California, Berkeley, regarding Shapiro’s September 14 speech at the university offered just that,” the article went on to say.
In its message about logistics, Alivisatos detailed several security measures, including a police perimeter spanning six buildings, because of the potential controversial nature of the event.
Further down in the memo, Alivisatos says that campus officials “are deeply concerned about the impact some speakers may have on individuals’ sense of safety and belonging.”
“No one should be made to feel threatened or harassed simply because of who they are or for what they believe,” the memo continues. “For that reason, the following support services are being offered and encouraged: Student support services, Employee (faculty and staff) support services”
Shapiro is expected to speak from 7 to 9 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall at the invitation of one of the university’s registered student groups. The university plans to create a closed perimeter around Zellerbach as well as Cesar Chavez Student Center, the Alumni House, MLK Jr Student Union, Sproul Hall and Eshleman Hall. Only those with a ticket will be allowed inside the perimeter.
According to Alivisatos, the campus hopes to learn from what happens at the Shapiro event.
“We will also explore and what will be needed for future events, such as those proposed by another registered student group that involve Milo Yiannopolous and other possible guest speakers,” he said.
In an effort to avoid making Berkeley the center of violent protests, the city’s mayor is urging UC Berkeley to cancel its upcoming Free Speech Week set to feature conservative public figures Milo Yiannopoulos, Anne Coulter and possibly Steven Bannon in September.
Earlier this year, Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley but was canceled due to violent protesters, causing $100,000 worth of damage to the campus. Arreguin believes that inviting right-wing speakers is setting up the city for a possible repeat of chaos.
Berkeley made headlines recently after a large group of protesters turned violent as they chased out a small number of right-wing demonstrators from downtown Berkeley.
Yiannopoulos told TMZ last week he wants everybody to protest, but that “it should be done peacefully. You got to do it with speech not violence. As soon as you lay a hand on somebody else or start destroy somebody else’s property, you become a problem.”
Shapiro has said that he welcomes anyone who wanted to protest his appearance. In a nine-post Twitter thread last week, Shapiro asked Berkeley police to “do their jobs and stop violence.” He also addressed the recent protests that took place in Berkeley in an article titled “Houston Is The Best Of America. Berkeley Is The Worst. Here’s Why.”
SNOWFLAKE ALERT: UC Berkeley Offers ‘Support And Counseling’ For Students Offended By Shapiro’s Speech https://t.co/p1j2ebknuQpic.twitter.com/oM8411Evum
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 8, 2017
Ben Shapiro visit: Campus details logistics and resources https://t.co/BaL2YiydFt#freespeechpic.twitter.com/k1jvmKFOkF
— UC Berkeley (@UCBerkeley) September 8, 2017
Published 55 minutes ago | Updated 43 minutes ago