Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro will be speaking at UCLA Monday evening in an appearance that was almost derailed in a dispute over the cost of security for the event.
Security arose as a concern in light of turmoil that erupted during a Shapiro appearance earlier this year at Cal Berkeley, where nine people were arrested during a flurry of protests.
In October, the Bruin Republicans, who are sponsoring Shapiro’s visit, complained that the university was imposing “unconstitutional” security fees on the organization, claiming the fees were an effort to quash the event. UCLA, however, pointed to a school policy that outlines responsibilities for security costs, nothing that groups are only charged fees if 30 percent or more of the people attending the speech are from outside the UCLA community.
University officials said at the time they doubted the group would actually have to pay any of the security fees. The Republican group, however, argued that the university didn’t impose such security requirements during a 2014 appearance by Hillary Clinton on the campus.
UCLA announced a short time later that in the spirit of the university’s commitment to free speech, “and to avoid any appearance to the contrary,” the university would foot the bill for security costs for Shapiro’s appearance.
“UCLA will be adopting this approach going forward while it reviews its current policy to ensure that it continues to be a useful planning tool for UCLA and registered student organizations,” according to the university.
Shapiro is editor-in-chief of the conservative Daily Wire website.
–City News Service
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