UC Berkeley Cuts Ben Shapiro's Audience In Half, Citing Security Risks

Bryan Michalek | September 6, 2017
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Ever since the notoriously left-leaning University of California-Berkeley (UCB) announced that it would be hosting a lecture by conservative author and speaker Ben Shapiro, the months leading up to the event have been marked with controversy.

Now, university officials say they'll be slashing the number of attendees allowed at the event.

According to a news post from Young America's Foundation, nearly 2,500 people said they were interested in hearing Shapiro's lecture, scheduled for September 14th. But it appears the school is doing all they can to keep that from happening.

In a report, YAF's Spencer Brown accused UC Berkeley of hindering Shapiro's ability to reach conservatives on campus, claiming that at first, Berkeley only offered to host the event to avoid a civil rights lawsuit over their denial of free speech on campus. 

In addition, Brown noted that the school "claimed their 'extensive efforts' turned up zero available venues, and before they assessed a $15,738 “security fee” to secure a fully-filled Zellerbach Hall."

"This charge was not accompanied by any explanation of what the $15K+ fee provides or a guarantee that such a fee would protect students from being beaten like animals if campus police officers aren’t allowed to do their jobs," he added.

On top of all that, Berkeley is also slashing Shapiro's audience numbers. While Zellerbach Hall can hold about 2,000 people, the university is now limiting the number of attendees to just 1,042, supposedly for security reasons.

Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof told the Daily California the school made the decision to close the balcony overlooking the venue's main floor to keep objects from being thrown that could cause injuries and further confrontations. 

Mogulof also noted the school had dropped their controversial $16,000 security fee to $9,162 following the audience reduction.

On top of everything else, campus officials have also been criticized for roadblocking Shapiro by not releasing tickets for the event, citing "logistical planning."

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