Berkeley College Republicans, or BCR, is hosting a Conservative Women in Media panel Thursday, with speakers including Conservative Review TV podcast host Allie Stuckey, founder of Lone Conservative Kassy Dillon and Antonia Okafor, an advocate for students’ rights to carry concealed weapons on campuses.
Dillon described the event in a tweet as “three pro-life, pro-Israel, and pro-2A women” walking into a liberal campus. Her website, Lone Conservative, is a platform aimed at college students and recent graduates, and it encourages participants to discuss politics, current events and conservative campus culture. Dillon is currently a student at Mount Holyoke College, according to Berkeley College Republicans President Bradley Devlin.
“(We’re) hosting the event to promote intellectual diversity on campus,” Devlin said, citing the event as an opportunity to hear a “different perspective than you normally hear on this hyperliberal campus.”
The event has garnered less attention than previous BCR campus events. Last February, the planned appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos was met with protests that resulted in the event’s cancellation. After the February protest, Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro and other guests were invited to speak on campus, but some were met with administrative difficulties. Coulter, specifically, canceled her appearance after losing the support and partial funding of the Young America’s Foundation.
Campus sophomore Eric Lee, who attended the February protest, said Yiannopoulos’ event garnered more attention because of Yiannopoulos’ high profile nature.
“People recognize his name more,” Lee said. “I also feel like a lot of students were there last time because they saw how big it was and were there to witness it rather than actively protest.” Lee added he will not attend the Conservative Women in Media panel.
Devlin attributes the lack of protest of Thursday’s panel to the event’s smaller size. The panel is set to be held in 2040 Valley Life Sciences Buildings, which limits attendance to roughly 160. Devlin said BCR is hoping the event will sell out despite the fact that multiple posters for the event had been “systematically destroyed.”
Founder and co-president of BridgeUSA Pranav Jandhyala, who will be attending the event, said he didn’t anticipate many protests regarding the event in part because the individuals were less controversial than previous speakers. Jandhyala also emphasized the dialogue aspect of the event, as opposed to an individual speech, stating dialogue events result in “the most thoughtful” conversations and discussions.
“(BridgeUSA encourages) all students to go and share their views and engage with the speakers. I think it’s a great opportunity for everyone whether you’re a liberal or conservative,” Jandhyala said. “It shouldn’t cause controversy … and if it does cause controversy, then (that’s) indicative of some bigger problems.”