UC Berkeley creates website devoted to free speech ahead of ‘Free Speech Week’

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UC Berkeley’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs recently launched a website dedicated to free speech as part of Chancellor Carol Christ’s promise that UC Berkeley will have a “free speech year.”

The site includes links to articles about free speech, campus policies on hosting speakers and protesting safely, a list of upcoming free speech events and a timeline of the Free Speech Movement. There is also a Q&A page, as well as a moderated public discussion forum.

According to campus spokesperson Michael Dirda, the Office of Communications and Public Affairs began working on the project at the end of the summer and built the website on WordPress with no external costs over the last few weeks. The website will remain online for at least the next year.

While building the website, the office received feedback from a group of staff members within the Dean of Students’ office, Dirda said.

The website comes at a time when conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos is scheduled to return to UC Berkeley for “Free Speech Week” — a four-day-long event organized by campus student publication the Berkeley Patriot. Yiannopoulos’s previous campus event in February was canceled due to violent protests.

Dirda said the office believed that the campus community would benefit from having a “central hub” of information concerning free speech.

“I hope that the website will help people understand the university’s legal obligations and commitments to free speech as well as why we think it is a value that needs to be preserved,” Dirda said. “I also hope that it helps people realize that the campus recognizes the tensions that come alongside this belief.”

Dirda added that the project is “much broader than Free Speech Week” and that the office will continue to seek community feedback on the website and make additions.

The Berkeley Patriot could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Campus sophomore Jonathan Archer said he felt that some people are confused about the distinction between hate speech and free speech, so the website may help them understand that free speech can include speech that is hateful.

But campus freshman Xochitl Barrios said she did not believe the website is helpful to students of color.

“(The website) doesn’t erase the fact that people (who) are coming to speak are speaking against (minorities),” Barrios said. “Just giving me a timeline of free speech doesn’t keep me safe.”

Contact Hannah Piette at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @Hannah_PietteDC.

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  • Who is April Lorenzen?

    was Barrio a diversity admittance? asking for a friend

  • thekux

    All federal money needs to be pulled from all these universities all across the USA that keep doing this. This is a taxpayer-funded institution it gets tax dollars and they’re using it as their own institution with my money. Just goes to show you who the real tyrants are. Disagree with me and you’re a fascist won’t that’s how I feel about them but I know they have free speech and I have to defeat them with my intelligence. The problem for the left is they don’t have any they just got a bunch of shrill screaming lunatics

  • Bobby Barrett

    This is just posturing – see university’s actual position https://milo.yiannopoulos.net/2017/09/redacted-emails-from-berkeley-prove-the-school-is-lying/

  • California Defender

    From the so-called “Berkeley Free Speech” website:

    “Free speech is one of UC Berkeley’s most cherished values: It is both part of our legacy as the home of the Free Speech Movement as well as central to our academic mission. This site outlines our campus’s commitment to being a place where all manner of views can be expressed.”

    This either illustrates how delusional Berkeley is or how incredibly devious to create such a facade to mock the concept of free speech.

    But they do have nice little calendar of upcoming “free speech” events. You know what isn’t listed?

    Free Speech Week.

  • Brenda Macedo

    Steve Bannon and Ann Couter coming to Berkeley, my alma mater? Ann Coulter has blood on her hands…the militant groups she’s encouraging to come and “protect” her at Berkeley are inciting violence with teenagers to further her own career. The aim of groups like Oath Keepers and Proud Boys is to beat up as many students as possible….Proud Boys are really just little boys who have a long way to go to become men…cowards who punch women in the face. look at the videos~

    I’m proud to have attended Berkeley.

    There are more Nobel Prize winners from CAL Berkeley than the entire country of Russia~

    But inviting Ann Coulter to CAL Berkeley, who body shames immigrants, is like inviting a Satanist to a Christian college~ It’s really hard for the right to put the shoe on the other foot. And it’s just as hard for our idiot “predator in chief” to understand that Frederick Douglass is already dead~

    It’s as if the ignorant talking heads on FOX, including Coulter, don’t understand the DNA makeup of America.

    We have been protesting and rioting as a people since the Boston Tea Party.

    We’ve rioted against extremism and the individuals who hold the vast majority of wealth in this country and continue to vie for their interests in an unfair way~Like Trump~and we’re not getting paid~

    And we’re going to continue to protest and riot….and as usual, Berkeley will lead the way, as it does in everything else from science and innovation and to speaking truth to power~

    • Wherearemymufrazies

      I’m with you baby cakes… If they allow AC on the grounds, we make that place look like Watts in 65. Grrrrrr.

      • California Defender

        Wow. Misogyny, anti-free speech, and threats of violence all rolled into one sentence of abject hate.

        You Berkeleyites sure are something.

        • Wherearemymufrazies

          Best get some batteries for the old smarm detector.

          • California Defender

            Ahh shi… When operating behind enemy lines, friendly fire can happen. Plus, it’s not like you have a conspicuous NRA logo or anything.

            I guess it says something about Berkeley when even the smarmiest smarm is quite believable.

    • roccolore

      Fascist Democrats like you are the bigots and cowards who hate free speech.

    • California Defender

      More violent protests and riots over your opposition to the freedom of speech?

      You throw bricks. We throw ideas.

      You hit with bats. We hit with logic.

      You smash heads with bike locks. We smash heads with intellectual reason.

      You can’t win. We can and will.

  • Sam

    A website run by a student organization should not hold the job if “keeping you safe.” No violence is occuring, so grow up and see that others have different opinions than you.

  • roccolore

    Xochitl Barrios sounds like a Mexican supremacist pig.

  • taxpayer22

    Who knew there were so many Homophobic, Racist , hypocritical, anti-Semitic .. Xenophobes at Berkeley.

    More than 100 UC Berkeley faculty members signed a petition to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking.

    • roccolore

      The same faculty has no problem with Islamists, black supremacists, and Mexican supremacists.

    • Brenda Macedo

      Homophobes? Are you referring to Yilo, the podophile? No, he shouldn’t come. And Steve Bannon and Ann Couter shouldn’t come either. Ann Coulter has blood on her hands…the militant groups she’s encouraging to come and “protect” her at Berkeley are inciting violence with teenagers to further her own career. The aim of groups like Oath Keepers and Proud Boys is to beat up as many students as possible….Proud Boys are really just little boys who have a long way to go to become men…cowards who punch women in the face. look at the videos~

      I’m proud to have attended Berkeley.

      There are more Nobel Prize winners from CAL Berkeley than the entire country of Russia~

      But inviting Ann Coulter to CAL Berkeley, who body shames immigrants, is like inviting a Satanist to a Christian college~ It’s really hard for the right to put the shoe on the other foot. And it’s just as hard for our idiot “predator in chief” to understand that Frederick Douglass is already dead~

      It’s as if the ignorant talking heads on FOX, including Coulter, don’t understand the DNA makeup of America.

      We have been protesting and rioting as a people since the Boston Tea Party.

      We’ve rioted against extremism and the individuals who hold the vast majority of wealth in this country and continue to vie for their interests in an unfair way~Like Trump~and we’re not getting paid~

      And we’re going to continue to protest and riot….and as usual, Berkeley will lead the way, as it does in everything else from science and innovation and to speaking truth to power~

      • Jean Ann Smith

        “pedophile”…podophile makes it sound like he’s got a foot fetish…which he might.

      • roccolore

        MSNBC supporters like you are the ignorant ones who hate free speech. Fascist Democrats like you have no problem with Jew-haters, Communists, terror apologists, black supremacists, Mexican supremacists, and cop-haters.

        Fascist Democrats like you will riot and loot to prevent free speech. Fascist Democrats like you hate dissent and debate. Fascist Democrats like you are the cowards who hate Jews, hate Christians, hate our troops, hate cops, but love Islam.

      • Real American

        Obviously, you are NOT one of the nobel prize winners, Brenda. And satanists align with YOUR ideology, anyway.

        • Brenda Macedo

          I don’t think so, and if you support pedophiles, you’re not a “real
          American…”

          • Real American

            Prove the paedophilia.
            Weiner is (D)
            His actions are sanctioned by your flavor of governance.

  • taxpayer22

    Berkeley Mayor told the Police to Stand Down so peaceful Conservatives could get Pummeled during the alt-left Riots..

    Berkeley Mayor supports the Antifa terrorists .

    • Brenda Macedo

      It’s not ANTIFA you should be afraid of…it’s Milo, the podophile… No, he shouldn’t come to Berkeley and Steve Bannon and Ann Couter shouldn’t come either. Ann Coulter has blood on her hands…the militant groups she’s encouraging to come and “protect” her at Berkeley are inciting violence with teenagers to further her own career. The aim of groups like Oath Keepers and Proud Boys is to beat up as many students as possible….Proud Boys are really just little boys who have a long way to go to become men…cowards who punch women in the face. look at the videos~

      I’m proud to have attended Berkeley.

      There are more Nobel Prize winners from CAL Berkeley than the entire country of Russia~

      But inviting Ann Coulter to CAL Berkeley, who body shames immigrants, is like inviting a Satanist to a Christian college~ It’s really hard for the right to put the shoe on the other foot. And it’s just as hard for our idiot “predator in chief” to understand that Frederick Douglass is already dead~

      It’s as if the ignorant talking heads on FOX, including Coulter, don’t understand the DNA makeup of America.

      We have been protesting and rioting as a people since the Boston Tea Party.

      We’ve rioted against extremism and the individuals who hold the vast majority of wealth in this country and continue to vie for their interests in an unfair way~Like Trump~and we’re not getting paid~

      And we’re going to continue to protest and riot….and as usual, Berkeley will lead the way, as it does in everything else from science and innovation and to speaking truth to power~

  • Barbara Toby Stack

    Link to site?

    • Jean Ann Smith

      freespeech.berkeley.edu

      • California Defender

        Hmmm.

        Just yesterday, Chancellor Christ said she will be working to change the policies that “currently allow” events such as Free Speech Week to happen:

        “Once Free Speech Week ends, we have to come together as a community and
        think hard about our policies.”

        It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.