On Thursday afternoon, after significant public attention to its initial statements that facilities would not be available on September 14 to host Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, the University of California, Berkeley administration announced in the press that they would not only facilitate the event moving forward, but would cover all necessary security fees.
As of 1:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, Berkeley had not reached out to Young America’s Foundation, the sponsors of the event.
According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education:
“It’s clear that we have a number of workable options,” said Dan Mogulof, Berkeley’s assistant vice chancellor for public affairs. “This event is going to happen. We just need to sit down with the College Republicans to talk through the details.”
He said it was unclear whether the Berkeley College Republicans had been informed of the news.
Mogulof said Berkeley reconsidered its initial denial of the College Republicans’ request for a free, centrally located, 500-seat campus venue. Berkeley initially said the College Republicans didn’t follow the rules by pre-booking Shapiro before they asked whether the university had a room available.
“We didn’t have any options in terms of the spaces available free of charge,” Mogulof told FIRE, but “because of the extent of our commitment to free speech, the campus will help fund any fees associated with hosting this event if need be.”
The Berkeley College Republicans confirmed to The Daily Wire that they haven't heard from the administration directly.
“I haven’t heard from Berkeley,” Shapiro told The Daily Wire, “but as a California taxpayer, I’m pleased that they’re pledging to fulfill their commitment to the First Amendment. Now let’s see them fulfill the pledge. Words without action won’t be sufficient, obviously.”
Patrick Coyle, vice president of Young America’s Foundation, agreed: “We hope these rumors are true, and if they are, it calls into question the sincerity of their previous efforts to secure a venue for Ben to speak. We look forward to the day when Berkeley welcomes all viewpoints to the campus.”