Berkeley to allow speech by conservative (trauma counselors WILL be available!)

**Written by Doug Powers

The new UC Berkeley chancellor is surprisingly still the UC Berkeley chancellor even after saying it would be a “free speech year” on campus and telling students part of the school’s job was to prepare them for the real world. All that’s being put to the test now that admins are prepping campus progs for an invasion of the un-like-minded:

In advance of talk show host Ben Shapiro’s appearance next Thursday, Sept. 14, at UC Berkeley, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos today sent out this message detailing campus logistics for the event:

Dear UC Berkeley community,

This is an important time for all of us as we work together to uphold our commitment to free speech and to the principles of community, including respect for the dignity of all members of our UC Berkeley community. I recommend that you consider viewing Chancellor Christ’s recent Berkeley Forum speech and the Q&A that followed.

Today I write about specific commitments we are making to support our community, as well as to share logistics and security arrangements for Sept. 14. That evening, from 7-9 p.m., political commentator and radio talk show host Ben Shapiro will speak at Zellerbach Hall at the invitation of one of our registered student groups. Our commitment to free speech, as well as to the law, mandates that the students who invited Shapiro be able to host their event for those who wish to hear him speak. Our commitment to the principles of community mandates that all students, faculty and staff be able to be present on campus, engaging in their regular academic activities without fear. Achieving this poses unusual challenges for us; this memo lays out the arrangements that we are putting in place.

But fortunately for any students or faculty who end up hiding in fear under their Noam Chomsky limited signature edition bed sheets, help will be available:

Support and counseling services for students, staff and faculty

We are deeply concerned about the impact some speakers may have on individuals’ sense of safety and belonging. No one should be made to feel threatened or harassed simply because of who they are or for what they believe. For that reason, the following support services are being offered and encouraged:

–Student support services
–Employee (faculty and staff) support services

Among those student services:

We recognize these events can engender harm for some. If you need support, the campus has several resources, including counseling services. For help navigating these resources, please contact my office (link sends e-mail), or visit our Well-being Page and our Support Page.

Additionally, counselors will be available for any counselors who hear tales of triggering that are too much to emotionally handle. Also, counselors will be available for the counselors who counseled the counselors, and so forth.

**Written by Doug Powers

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