University of California, Berkeley is demanding up to a staggering $10,000 in security fees from the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) in order to host MILO in February, according to a report from the school’s student newspaper.
The Daily Californian reports that MILO’s scheduled visit, which forms part of his Dangerous Faggot Tour, “has generated controversy across the campus community given his straightforwardness and extreme conservative views,” and the university’s has determined that the cost of policing the event will be roughly $10,000.
“The ballpark is $7,500 to $10,000 and that is solely based on the number of people (attending),” campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof told the newspaper.
Mogulof claimed that the university’s decision to charge up to $10,000 has nothing to do with the event’s content, but instead would be based on where the event is held and how many people attend.
He also added that the BCR had yet to fill in the appropriate event paperwork, so an exact figure could not be given.
“The final number will be based on objective criteria without regard for the content for the event,” he added.
However, BCR’s head of communications Celine Bookin accused the university administration of deliberately prohibiting the platform of a conservative speaker.
“The absolute magnitude of the charge is extreme and appears designed to make it prohibitively expensive, causing BCR to cancel the speaking engagement. That would be a backdoor attack on free speech,” she said.
Berkeley is just one of a number of universities that have demanded excessive security fees for hosting a MILO event. Washington State University also demanded a $2000 security fee in order to host a talk, whilst an event at Iowa State University had to be cancelled after administrators demanded an additional $2000 just days before the event.
Editor’s note: This story has be updated to correct an incorrect reference to Berkeley College.