Thursday, September 21, 2017
“Free speech is not free, it turns out,” UC President Janet Napolitano told the Los Angeles Times’ Washington bureau on Wednesday. She said UC would underwrite security costs through “Free Speech Week” — which begins Sunday and will feature right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and others — but that such support may not continue.
“The question, or the rock and the hard place that Berkeley is in, and other university campuses, is the value put on free speech and the safety and security issues that are implicated,” Napolitano said.
“Milo and his cast of speakers will be on Sproul Plaza, which is a public space … and we will underwrite the safety and security expenses associated with that. At a certain point, that position — i.e. that we will have these speakers and pay for the security costs associated with that — may not be sustainable.”
The mounting costs to the campus — which is struggling to reduce a crippling budget deficit from $150 million last year to $56 million by June — are sparking growing concern.
Berkeley has shelled out at least $1.4 million in security costs since February, when Yiannopoulos’ last appearance sparked violent protests. The campus spent $200,000 on security for that event, $600,000 for conservative commentator Ann Coulter — whose event ultimately was canceled by the sponsoring campus groups — and an estimated $600,000 for the talk last week by conservative writer Ben Shapiro, according to UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof...
Full story at http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-uc-berkeley-security-20170920-story.html