UC Berkeley continues to make futile attempts to police free speech via lies, deceit, and incoherent policy.
News broke Wednesday that Ben Shapiro would not be able to speak at Berkeley because “despite extensive efforts, we have been unable to identify an available campus venue that meets your stated criteria,” a university administrator said. Self-absorbed, academia bureaucrats went on to tell the Berkeley College Republicans, “Although it is not common practice for the Dean of Students office or the LEAD Center to work on securing space reservations on behalf of a Registered Student Organization (RSO), our interest in supporting your ability to host speakers of your choice has led us to make additional efforts on your behalf.”
This is complete and utter nonsense. As Secretary of the Berkeley College Republicans, I am in charge of booking the room for our weekly meetings. I have yet been able to book a room because the site for booking university space for club events is undergoing a software update. Due to these technical difficulties, the only way you can currently book a school event due to the software delay is through the LEAD center. This only proves their sheer incompetence.
Because administrators have failed to offer next best alternatives at any point in our correspondence, I am extremely skeptical these rooms are “unavailable.”
This leads me to one conclusion: UC Berkeley is up to its old tricks of Leftist censorship, but this time in a slimy, hypocritical fashion.
UC Berkeley administrators have reportedly “committed” themselves “to supporting … free speech.” Despite claims the administration “unequivocally” supports Ben Shapiro’s and the Berkeley College Republicans’ free speech, the university has implemented a vague and inconsistent event policy.
Former speakers were all barred from speaking at Berkeley because the administration would place arbitrary hoops the Berkeley College Republicans would have to jump through in order to host an event. Other organizations could host Justice Sotomayor and Vicente Fox (former President of Mexico) at any venue and time they wanted, without the university skipping a beat. But as soon as the Berkeley College Republicans attempted to bring prominent conservatives on campus, the University turned obstructionist. They delayed and increased the costs of hosting an event, caved to the heckler’s veto as a “security risk,” and turned to enforcing unwritten policies such as “high profile speakers cannot speak in the evening” (despite the fact Vicente Fox and Justice Sotomayor spoke in the evening).
Berkeley addresses none of the prior ambiguities in the preliminary draft of their new policy. The new policy does not guarantee that the university administration cannot selectively set speaker curfews and venue restrictions, and simply replaces the term “high profile” with “Nationally Recognized Personality/Performer.”
Ben Shapiro stated Wednesday, “Using ridiculous pretexts to keep conservatives from speaking is unsurprising but disappointing.” I couldn’t agree more.
The disappointment is even more intense when the new University Chancellor, Carol Christ, claims to be “creating a more shared understanding of free speech” (even though free speech is a black and white issue); however, the only change I’ve seen between the shift in administrations is the nauseating embrace of hypocrisy.
In the past, I at least could have a little respect for the administration and faculty’s unabashed willingness to violate my constitutional rights. Now, my rights continue to be violated by shadowy figures inside the administration that enforce half-baked policies and take home six-figure paychecks, insisting they’re my friend.
Why would the administration embrace hypocrisy and shut down conservatives when they should believe sunlight is the best disinfectant for supposedly immoral conservatism? Answer: snowflakes melt, and the Leftist administration is petrified to lose their disciples. They have devoted millions of taxpayer dollars to brainwash adherents, and exposure to a logical, differing viewpoint could create conservative converts. Therefore, the university is willing to pull out all the stops: security concerns and fees, curfews, hate speech. Whatever claim would justify stalling and shutting down the event to avoid jeopardizing UC Berkeley’s influence and power.
I have some bad news for you, Berkeley: We will never waiver in our fight for free speech, and Ben is coming to Berkeley whether you like it or not.
If Chancellor Christ wants tickets, tell her to email me at email@example.com.