Officials at the University of California, Berkeley have determined that they simply cannot find a suitable campus venue to accommodate a speech by popular conservative writer Ben Shapiro — two months from now.
The Berkeley College Republicans announced plans for Shapiro to speak on the public campus on Sept. 14. That date will occur 56 days from now, on a Thursday.
The Republican student group has requested a space which can hold at least 500 people for the speech by Shapiro, a 33-year-old Harvard Law School graduate and a prolific political commentator.
On Wednesday, UC Berkeley’s dean of students, Joseph Greenwell, and a student organization coordinator Millicent Morris Chaney informed Berkeley College Republicans that they are “unable to identify an available campus venue,” according to a press release from Young America’s Foundation, a national conservative group.
The problem, the administrators explain in a letter, is that events — at least events featuring conservative speakers — must be “held at a time and location that allow for the provision of any required security measures.” Also, campus police “might rule out certain hours for the event” (which likely means any time in the evening, when more people could attend).
Morris Chaney swore up and down that she put forth “extensive efforts” in her sad, failed attempt to locate a 500-seat room on the 1,232-acre, 27,496-student, taxpayer-funded campus.
Shapiro isn’t buying it.
“Using ridiculous pretexts to keep conservatives from speaking is unsurprising but disappointing,” he said, according to Young America’s Foundation.
“We’ll find a way to get this event done, and UC Berkeley has a moral and legal obligation to ensure we do so.”
UC Berkeley officials insist that they are not trying to censor Shapiro or the Berkeley College Republicans through the use of bureaucratic obstacles, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
School officials point to the part of the letter from Greenwell and Morris Chaney which reads: “Mr. Shapiro is welcome on our campus.”
The administrators say they may be able to find a 500-person space on a different date, or a smaller space on Sept. 14.
UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said school administrators want to meet with members of the Berkeley College Republicans to determine a time and a place for Shapiro’s speech, they say.
“The way to do this is not by press release,” Mogulof told the Chronicle, “but by sitting down together.”
In its press release, Young America’s Foundation notes the impressive double standard achieved by UC Berkeley officials.
“An endless stream of liberal speakers continue to be granted opportunities to speak, unobstructed by time, place, or manner restrictions while conservatives are continually treated unequally, and repeatedly relegated to the margins of campus activity,” the conservative group says.
“This attempt to block Ben Shapiro is the University of California, Berkeley’s third instance of shredding the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of conservative students who’ve tried to host YAF speakers on their campus,” the group notes.
The other two speakers were former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos and conservative author Ann Coulter.
Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans are suing UC Berkeley because, they say, administrators have unduly burdened conservative speakers with time and place restrictions — or just canceled their speeches altogether. (RELATED: Berkeley Sued For Cancelling Ann Coulter’s Speech)
In February, a left-wing group called the Alliance for Global Justice helped organize the violent shutdown of a speech by Yiannopoulos at Cal Berkeley. The Alliance for Global Justice is backed by a progressive charity that is in turn funded by George Soros, a major labor union and several large companies. (RELATED: Look Who Funded The Group Behind The Call To Arms At Milo’s Berkeley Event)
Prior to the riot staged over Yiannopoulos, the UC Berkeley student newspaper published an op-ed inviting students to show up to protest. (RELATED: Cal Berkeley Student Newspaper PROMOTED Protest-Turned-Riot The Day Before Milo Event)
Far-left protesters and far-right protesters staged hateful, occasionally violent battles in April after Cal Berkeley officials canceled Coulter’s speech.
A resident of Oakland, Kiara Robles, attempted to attend the Yiannopoulos speech at UC Berkeley but found herself being pepper-sprayed by a radical leftist protester instead. Robles has filed a $23 million federal lawsuit against the public school — and the Berkeley Police Department, and left-wing billionaire George Soros, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and many others. (RELATED: Female Trump Supporter Sues For $23 MILLION After Berkeley Rioter Mauled Her With Pepper Spray)