POLITICO: ‘Universities Fear a Violent 2018’

Violent protests erupted at the University of California at Berkeley over the scheduled appearance of a controversial editor of the conservative news website Breitbart
AFP

A report from POLITICO published on Tuesday claims that universities are gearing up for what could be a violent year for American campuses.

A new report from POLITICO suggests that universities are anticipating heightened violence on campus in 2018. In order to prepare, many universities are looking to proactively increase security funding.

Some colleges and universities are expecting increases in security funding, as they train campus police in mob control; others are scheduling student dialogue sessions and sending campus officials to training sessions on hate groups. Several universities are now requiring more notice before speaking events and have banned outside groups from reserving campus facilities without the sponsorship of a university-sanctioned group.

Security costs for events featuring controversial guests can reach up to $500,000 per event depending on crowd size and venue logistics. Speakers blame the increased security costs on agitators who attempt to derail events through violence.

Earlier this month, during a speech at the University of Connecticut, conservative commentator Lucian Wintrich got into an altercation with a community college professor after she allegedly swiped his speaking notes from his podium.

Janet Napolitano, the University of California system president, told POLITICO that the law provides no guidance in instances in which public universities are unable to host guest lecture events due to threats of violence and the resulting security costs. “One gray area of the law is at what point can a university say no to a speaker because of the security costs and what kind of showing would a court require to defeat a First Amendment claim because, while the University of California has spent a great deal, the pocketbook is not endless.”

“Right now, there’s simply no guidance from the courts on this,” she said.

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