University of California, Berkeley officials are citing concerns over the threat of students violently rioting and protesting a planned speaking engagement featuring conservative commentator and author, Ann Coulter.
In January, Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was preparing to speak on the campus when the event was abruptly canceled due to violent protesters smashing windows, igniting small fires, and scuffling with police.
The rioting forced the university to take the action of shutting down the event, altogether.
Now, university student Republicans and the nonpartisan students’ political group BridgeCal want to ensure that a stronger security plan is in place. Coulter’s event will take place in approximately one month, on April 27, but BridgeCal president Pranav Jandahyala wants to make certain the gig goes off without a hitch.
“We are pretty apprehensive right now about everything. But, at the same time, what’s pushing us forward is our optimism. We truly believe we can put on a great event. This time, we are definitely going to push them to provide more security than they did last time. More officers on the ground instead of in the balcony.”
UC Berkeley released a statement regarding the controversy over Coulter’s scheduled speech:
“The administration wishes to make clear that an invitation of this sort in no way suggests our endorsement of a particular point of view, and we will continue to affirm our commitment to the values of diversity, equality, and tolerance that underlie the greatness of Berkeley and, indeed, of our nation.”
The Young America’s Foundation, a conservative organization, plans on paying most of Coulter’s hefty $20,000 speaking fee. Coulter is expected to lead discussions on immigration at the event.
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