Campus administration ‘confident’ it can host Ben Shapiro on Sept. 14

ben shapiro, national right-wing pundit, sits on stage
Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Campus administration announced Thursday it is “confident” it will be able to provide Berkeley College Republicans a venue for Ben Shapiro to address the campus Sept. 14, according to an emailed statement from campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof.

According to the statement, BCR — which had originally requested a venue to host an audience of 500 people for the event — is open to accepting smaller on-campus locations to hold the address. Campus officials also announced they are willing to underwrite BCR’s potential rental costs to offer the group venues “usually not available free of charge to students” for its planned event, according to an emailed statement.

The announcement comes a day after Young America’s Foundation alleged campus student affairs administrators blocked and “denied” BCR’s request for a campus venue to hold the event.

“The Berkeley College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation are pleased to learn that the university has been able to identify several open venues for Mr. Shapiro’s proposed speaking date after stating to the press that there were no available locations,” said BCR External Vice President Naweed Tahmas in an emailed statement.

Shapiro, a conservative author and columnist, was invited by BCR to address the campus earlier in July. Shapiro’s invitation follows BCR’s failed attempts to host Milo Yiannopoulos, David Horowitz and Ann Coulter on campus.

BCR plans to meet with campus administration to further discuss details of the event, according to Mogulof. Tahmas said in an email that BCR looks forward to a “productive discussion” with the campus.

“We will do what’s necessary for the event to take place,” Mogulof said.

Mogulof added the campus will be implementing a new events policy effective Aug. 1, with a concerted focus on requiring student groups to adhere to the requirements the policy lays out so that “a situation like we had here will not happen again.”

Chancellor Carol Christ said in an emailed statement that the campus looks forward to hosting Shapiro on campus and “fully supports student groups’ right to invite speakers of their choice to campus.”

“Over the years, we have hosted literally dozens of speakers from both conservative and libertarian movements without incident,” Christ said in an email. “The key is for the hosting organization to work collaboratively with the campus through a detailed planning process. I am confident the event will be safely and successfully held.”

Bobby Lee is an assistant news editor. Contact Bobby Lee at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @bobbylee_dc.