Carol Christ announces task force for free speech issues

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Joshua Jordan/File

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Chancellor Carol Christ announced a new commission on Thursday to assess ways to better handle campus free speech situations like the canceled “Free Speech Week.”

In a campuswide email, Christ said the intent of the new task force is to address the controversy that free speech issues have caused on campus, as well as to examine the “complex set of issues and propose solutions.” The commission will be comprised of students, staff, faculty and administrators.

The commission is still in the very early stages of development, according to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof, and more information will be released in the coming weeks. Mogulof added that the chancellor is still finalizing the commission’s objectives and exact membership makeup.

“The team must be willing to balance the law and the needs of our students,” ASUC Senator Juniperangelica Cordova-Goff said in a text message. “Free speech is important, but controversial speakers have proven their intention to cause unnecessary chaos. We cannot let this continue, as (Free Speech Week) directly blocked the education of so many students who felt unsafe to attend class.

Cal Berkeley Democrats President Caiden Nason said in a text message that he feels the formation of a task force will help the campus to receive input but that the results of such efforts will always remain the same. Nason added that the campus has begun to attract outsiders, some of whom have engaged in violence in past protests.

According to Mike Wright, editor-in-chief of conservative student publication the Berkeley Patriot and one of the Free Speech Week organizers, he has no knowledge of attempts made by the campus to reach the publication regarding the commission.

Although Cordova-Goff is currently unaware of how involved the ASUC will be, she said she believes that student representation must play an integral role in the commission.

“If we desire a safe campus, we must act as a community, challenging systems and laws that allow for state-sanctioned violence and parallel speech,” Cordova-Goff said in a text message.

Contact Mark Henry Salupen at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @salupen_markdc.

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  • Graeme Stewart

    A commission on the extent to which Berkeley will respect a civil liberty? Wow.

  • Edward

    Berkeleyside has a link to a New Yorker article that has something to say that will cause grumbling from left and right.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/flip-flopping-on-free-speech

  • California Defender

    “The team must be willing to balance
    the law and the needs of our students,” ASUC Senator Juniperangelica
    Cordova-Goff said in a text message.

    Did she really say this or is the Daily Californian pulling our leg? You’ve got to be kidding!

    The law is the law. There is no “balance” to be struck with the “needs” of students, for they are not above it.

  • FreedomFan

    “Free speech is important, but…[only if you agree with me.]

    [First Amendment rights are] a tactic used by the state [to preserve a] white supremacist, capitalistic and patriarchal [society which has elected] an openly racist, queerphobic, Islamophobic/xenophobic and anti-poverty adminstration.”
    -Senator Juniperangelica Cordova-Goff, typical Democrat and a major part of the problem

    This is why the second amendment follows the first.

  • laughing tyger

    Apparently some students at UC Berkeley exercise their right to free speech to whine about taking a test and demand a take home test because they can’t handle it – their fragile mental health is threatened by tests and studying for them. They are protesting taking a test – that is ridiculous.

    Perhaps Berkeley is too rigorous and they should choose another school instead of lowering the quality of education at a once fine institution that is now descending into Clown U.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/10/berkeley_students_protest_exam_because_noted_professor_isnt_mexican.html

    • BerCaley

      Yawn.

      • California Defender

        Tired? That explains why you are unable to present an intellectual argument.

        Go to bed early tonight and try again tomorrow.