Student organizers of an upcoming event at UC Berkeley featuring Ann Coulter are fearing a backlash similar to the chaos that erupted in February in response to an event featuring Milo Yiannopoulos.
The Berkeley College Republicans reached out to Coulter after they heard that BridgeCal, a nonpartisan student organization that facilitates discussion between students with conflicting viewpoints, was planning to host a speaker series on the topic of illegal immigration. Coulter is scheduled to appear at Berkeley on April 27.
“We are pretty apprehensive right now about everything,” said Pranav Jandahyala, president of the BridgeCal. “But at the same time, what’s pushing us forward is our optimism. We truly believe we can put on a great event.”
The students are hoping to avoid the riots that ensued ahead of February’s scheduled event featuring former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos. The event was ultimately canceled.
In a statement, Berkeley administrators expressed that the university doesn’t endorse any particular political viewpoints.
“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 statement read.
To avoid potential conflict, Jandahyla is encouraging students to challenge Coulter intellectually.
“So what I challenge you to do is actually confront her,” said Jandahyala. “If she comes to speak on campus and there’s no challenge to her viewpoint and people resort to violence and maybe she doesn’t speak, her views go unchallenged.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about education and social justice for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org