UC Berkeley alumnus and author David Horowitz was invited by the campus’ College Republicans to speak. The convoluted communication between the College Republicans and Berkeley’s administration led the cancellation of the event.
Similar to how the mainstream media will bury facts of a story in the twentieth paragraph of an unconfirmed narrative, UC Berkeley decided to give time and space for David Horowitz’s appearance during scheduled class times. This would have caused students to skip class if they were interested in attending his lecture.
The College Republicans stated, “[T]he organization chose to cancel the event because of its high cost and expected low turnout.”
UC Berkeley’s administration refuses to acknowledge that they may have the cause for this outcome. Dan Mogulof, campus spokesperson, has denied any and all accusations that they used any measure to effect the presentation.
David Horowitz released a statement on his publication, Front Page Mag:
The College Republicans who were indiscreet enough to invite me to campus, originally had asked for a speaking time of 4PM. At that time, most classes would be over so that students could attend their event. They asked for a venue on campus for the same reason. They were denied both. Justifying this sabotage of their event, the Vice Chancellor for Student affairs invoked “security” concerns on the authority of Captain Yao. Yao insisted the event could only be held at 1PM, coincidently a time when afternoon classes were just starting and few students were likely to skip them to attend a lecture for which there were no academic credits. In addition, Captain Yao was adamant that the event could only be held at a site a half mile away from the actual campus, adding yet another deterrent to any students attending. He warned me personally, that while we could announce the event, we could not advertise its location. All these strictures were in lieu of providing a strong force to deter potential troublemakers, or providing an explicit warning to radical student groups that if any of their members were found to be obstructing such an event their club would have its campus recognition withdrawn for a year.
Given UC Berkeley’s recent lack of determination to secure both guests and students in the recent past, it is no shock that they influenced the decision to rescind Horowitz’s invitation.
This has not been Horowitz’s first return to his alma mater. His previous visit in 2001 consisted of being escorted by 30 armed guards in order for him to appear.
Horowitz said, “Berkeley is a disgrace. But it is just the most visible example of a nationwide trend among universities to bow to the desires of the totalitarian left and further their goal of suppressing ideas they don’t like.”
He couldn’t be more accurate. If universities want shake off the appearance of leftist bias, they have to be willing to invest equally into opinions they personally don’t agree with. It is time for academia to exercise the tolerance they expect out of everyone else.