Media Coverage 10/2/17

While “Free Speech Week” was called off, a number of small rallies drew protestors from opposite sides of the political spectrum to Sproul Plaza last week. A large police presence, reserved in anticipation of “Free Speech Week,” was visible throughout campus and a handful of arrests were made following scuffles. However, the national media paid little attention to events on campus after the much-hyped parade of high profile conservative speakers was cancelled, instead shifting their attention to consider free speech in the context of NFL protests.

In an interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education, Chancellor Christ contrasted the appearance by Ben Shapiro, who was invited by the Berkeley College Republicans, with “Free Speech Week,” which was driven by a small and largely inactive student group, Berkeley Patriot. Christ called the latter event a “fiction” meant to provide a useful narrative for the alt-right, while the former event realized its stated purpose, namely providing an opportunity for a conservative thinker to share his views on campus. Christ’s further said she suspects Berkeley Patriot never intended for their event to occur, a view backed up by email records obtained by the San Jose Mercury News. In an email exchange with campus leaders, one of the invited right wing speakers, Lucian Wintrich, wrote, “It was known that they didn’t intend to actually go through with it last week, and completely decided on Wednesday.”

The big picture emphasis on free speech in the national media was driven in part by a speech Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave at Georgetown University. Sessions declared, “A national recommitment to free speech on campus and to ensuring First Amendment rights is long overdue.” While the right attacked campuses for supposedly not embracing free speech, a number of commentators called out the apparent hypocrisy of conservative commentators, who during the week were critical of high-profile protests by NFL players. A number of pieces exploring the issue of free speech are included in this week’s news summary on the Our University blog. While the featured writers dismiss the speech of Milo and his coterie as hollow grandstanding, a number are critical of the reception mainstream conservative thinkers receive from student activists.

The Week That Wasn’t

9/26 – Berkeley’s Leader Saw Hints That ‘Free Speech Week’ Was a Stunt. Here’s Why She Planned for It Anyway (Chronicle): Christ emphasized how the campus went of its way to help the group behind “Free Speech Week,” though she now doubts the group ever intended to hold the event:

“We took extraordinary measures to try and accommodate them even though they missed all these deadlines. And we have spent extraordinary resources, not just in money for security, but in people’s time, and the amount of administrative attention this has received.”

9/25 – UC Berkeley’s ‘Free Speech Week’ officially canceled, appeared to be set-up from the start (SJMN): A lawyer for Berkeley Patriot denies Wintrich’s account, saying the group planned to go ahead with “Free Speech Week.”

9/25 – And the point of all this was what exactly? (SFGate): Sociologist David Meyer who studies social movements said Milo’s appearance, albeit brief, was a victory for the provocateur.

9/28 – Milo, Ann Coulter and the “Free Speech Week” Add Up to the Right’s Best Troll Yet (Wired): The article outlines the strategy behind the alt-right’s focus on Berkeley. Namely, appearing on a campus famed for its commitment to free speech forces the university to shell out large sums of money for security, which often prevents violence, but nonetheless provides the right with the optics they crave.

9/26 – Column: The Milo Yiannopoulos shtick shows the disconnect between Berkeley students and the meaning of free speech (LATimes): The article suggests the climate on campus is not conducive to views that go against the grain. The writer notes the difference between the abhorrent rhetoric of the far right and the main stream right, asking if the latter is welcome.

9/26 – Scuffles break out during far-right march in Berkeley; at least 3 arrested (LATimes): The article describes a campus protest by the right wing group Patriot Prayer and scuffles with counter protestors.

9/26 – Confrontations Result in Arrests During Patriot Prayer March in Berkeley (NBC/BayArea): Three were arrested at the Patriot Prayer rally.

9/27 – Berkeley: Suspicious package defuses latest free speech protests (SJMN): A rally that pitted left and right wing protestors against each other was dispersed by police due to a suspicious package.

9/27 – Antifa leader, teacher Yvonne Felarca arrested at ’empathy tent’ Berkeley brawl (FoxNews): The conservative news outlet highlights the arrest of a local Antifa leader who has become a symbol of the movement within right-wing media channels.

Free Speech in Focus

9/26 – Sessions’ Justice Dept. Will Weigh In on Free-Speech Cases. What Should Campuses Expect? (Chronicle): Sessions announced the Justice Department plans to “enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students’ free expression from whatever end of the political spectrum it may come.” However, a number of the institutions the Justice Department has singled out maybe surprising, including Boise State, Clemson and Georgia Gwinnett College. The Justice Department last week filed a statement of interest regarding a case against Georgia Gwinnett last week.

9/26 – Sessions Calls for ‘Recommitment’ to Free Speech on Campus, Diving Into Debate (NYT): You can read Sessions’ prepared remarks in full here.

10/1 – Flip-Flopping on Free Speech (NewYorker): Historian Jill Lepore writes “An unwillingness to engage with conservative thought, an aversion to debate, and a weakened commitment to free speech are among the failures of the left.” While she rejects the claim made by those on the right that conservatives are interested in promoting free speech, she is quite critical of left’s drift away from the lessons of Mario Savio and Harry Edwards.

9/28 – Why We Must Still Defend Free Speech (NYRB): The ACLU’s national legal director argues that while free speech is difficult in such an unequal society, a commitment to its defense is our best bet for preserving democratic pluralism, defending the most marginalized and avoiding violence.

9/26 – A Nation of Snowflakes (Atlantic): The columnist probes the role of the Trump-era state in silencing free, writing, “The boundaries of free speech that elements of the conservative movement mean to set delineate a world in which the state protects the right to discriminate against religious, ethnic, sexual, and gender minorities, and those who choose to protest such treatment can be easily marginalized with public opprobrium or state violence if necessary.”

9/26 – Why Banning Speakers Is Absolutely Wrong (Academe): The author takes a very critical view of a letter Berkeley faculty, students and staff signed calling for a boycott during “Free Speech Week.” The author, TK, writes, “Calling for a campus boycott with the goal of banning certain events and certain speech is an attempt at repression.” He also dismisses claims that “Free Speech Week” posed a threat to students covered by DACA.

9/27 – Free Speech Then and Now: The FSM and the Alt-Right on Campus (Academe): The author, a professor of English, explores how speech on campus has changed under neoliberalism and the embrace of corporate-style techniques for controlling behavior.

Advertisements

Media Coverage 9/25/17

“Free Speech Week” is off. Following a series of conflicting media reports, it emerged that the student organization that had hastily invited a parade of alt-right speakers to campus for a week-long event had backed out. After hosting a video-press conference on Saturday, event headliner Milo Yiannopoulos appeared on campus Sunday without the backing of any student organization. The university spent an estimated $800,000 to muster a police force for the event, which was largely peaceful despite a large contingent of protesters and a smaller but sizable coterie of right-wing activists. During his brief speech, Yiannopoulos made a sex joke and invited his supporters to pray. After interacting with supporters for about 15 minutes, he was whisked away in a GMC Yukon parked outside Barrows Hall. The student organization behind “Free Speech Week” has reportedly filed a civil rights complaint against UC Berkeley for denying their First Amendment rights. The campus was posed to spend millions on security to ensure the week could occur safely.

Turn-of-the-screw stories detailing the on-again-off-again drama of “Free Speech Week” overshadowed two incidents in which individual members of the Berkeley community were harassed by “Free Speech Week” participants. In one incident, posters from the David Horowitz Freedom Center accused community members of supporting terrorism. In another incident, Yiannopoulos posted information online about two students who had been critical of Free Speech Week.

While “Free Speech Week” monopolized media attention, two stories concerning UC’s financial situation made the news. According to the Daily Cal, the administration is considering cutting funding for Berkeley Connect, a program that unites graduate student mentors with undergraduates. The program not only helps undergrads navigate Cal, but also provides funding to graduate students. A Daily Cal editorial urged the administration to protect the program.

Meanwhile, the LA Times reported that over 5,400 UC retirees take in annual pensions worth over $100,000. As the article notes, “Someone without a pension would need savings between $2 million and $3 million to guarantee a similar income in retirement.” According to the paper, “the number of UC retirees collecting six-figure pensions has increased 60% since 2012.”

Free Speech Sunday

9/21 – UC Berkeley students harassed after Milo Yiannopoulos publicly identifies them (DailyCal): Yiannopoulos published photographs of the two students on social media accounts.

9/21 – Posters alleging UC Berkeley community members are ‘terrorist supporters’ appear on campus (DailyCal): Chancellor Christ condemned the posters in a campus-wide email.

9/24 – Milo Yiannopoulos’ brief visit was ‘most expensive photo op’ in Cal history (SFGate): The article offers a ticker-style update of the day’s events.

9/24 – Milo Yiannopoulos’ 15 minutes in Berkeley cost university $800,000 (SJMN): Yiannopoulos argues the campus prevented his supporters from making it to his speech.

9/23 – Yiannopoulos pledges to speak on UC Berkeley campus Sunday, welcome or not (SFChronicle): In a video conference on Saturday, Yiannopoulos said:

We are going to be hosting an event come hell or high water. We will be expressing our constitutional rights to free speech, free expression, on Sproul Plaza, the home of the Free Speech Movement, tomorrow as planned, with or without student help, with or without the cooperation of UC Berkeley itself. The administration has done everything in its power to crush its own students’ aspirations. UC Berkeley has a deservedly poor reputation for free speech.

9/22 – Milo Yiannopoulos’ ‘Free Speech Week’ At Berkeley Falls Apart, Organizers Say (NPR): The article highlights the confusion around what led to the downfall of Free Speech Week.

9/24 – In Sad, Sad Press Conference, Milo Says ‘Free Speech Week’ Is Now Just One Measly Rally (HuffPo): Yiannopoulos appeared beside an anti-Islamic activist and a noted conspiracy theorist and “mens’ rights” activist.

9/22 – Berkeley Patriot files civil rights complaint against UC Berkeley (DailyCal): The complaint is included as a PDF in the story.

9/22 – Let Right-Wing Speakers Come to Berkeley? Faculty Is Divided (NYT): The article highlights a debate among faculty members over how the campus should respond to the incursions of extreme right-wing speakers.

9/23 – Organizers call off far-right festival at UC Berkeley; some speakers plan rally on campus on Sunday (LATimes): The article notes that the 11 members of Berkeley Patriot were divided over whether to cancel the event. The article also cites information that indicates the event was cancelled earlier than acknowledged, though Yiannopoulos denies the claim.

9/22 – Student Organizers Cancel ‘Free Speech Week’ Events at UC Berkeley (KQED): KQED was one of the first outlets to report the cancellation, though their initial report was refuted by some involved upon publication.

9/22 -‘Out of control situation’: Uncertainty looms over cancellation of ‘Free Speech Week’ (DailyCal): This article highlights some of the confusion in the press over whether the event was cancelled following KQED’s report.

9/19 – Press Release: ACLU of Northern CA Corrects the Record on Berkeley Patriot Statement as Reported on KQED’s The California Report (ACLU/NorthernCalifornia): The statement notes the legal organization is not involved in helping Berkeley Patriot.

9/22 – Confusion reigns as far-right Berkeley ‘free speech week’ approaches: Coulter won’t be coming (LATimes): The article notes that one of the event’s planned headliners, Ann Coulter, “never” planned to attend.

9/18 – Milo Yiannopoulos’ far-right Berkeley event is set to occur at birthplace of 1960s free speech movement (LATimes): The article notes Yiannopoulos’ attempts to leverage the history of Berkeley’s campus.

9/16 – ‘Failure to confirm’: Berkeley Patriot loses Zellerbach, Wheeler auditoriums for ‘Free Speech Week’ (DailyCal): One of the first dominoes to fall in what eventually became the cancellation of Free Speech Week.

9/19 – Op-Ed: There’s no crisis of free speech. Milo’s campus crusade is rank hypocrisy (TheGuardian): The author calls the perception of a threat to free speech a myth.

Berkeley Finances

9/24 – UC is handing out generous pensions, and students are paying the price with higher tuition (LATimes): The paper highlights what it frames as excessive benefits:

Nearly three dozen received pensions in excess of $300,000 last year, four times as many as in 2012. Among those joining the top echelon was former UC President Mark Yudof, who worked at the university for only seven years — including one year on paid sabbatical and another in which he taught one class per semester.

9/19 – Editorial: UC Berkeley is considering defunding valuable mentoring program. This is a mistake (DailyCal): The editorial cites research showing the program boosts transfer student GPAs.

Media Coverage 9/18/17

UC Berkeley spent an estimated $600,000 on marshaling a massive police presence to deter violent protests outside a speech by Ben Shapiro last week. In a statement, the campus said the conservative radio host and UCLA grad’s speech went “off with barely a hitch.” Despite fears that Antifa protestors would appear en masse, the campus protest, which drew about one thousand in opposition of Shapiro, was peaceful. Nonetheless, police made nine arrests, mostly stemming from a new City of Berkeley regulation granting the city the power to temporarily ban certain items from public spaces. As the New York Times noted, it’s a sign of the times that Shapiro’s April 2016 appearance attracted little protest.

Coverage of the event in the mainstream press and among left-leaning websites was extensive, with journalists wrestling over how to balance free speech, student safety and the ever-slimming pocketbooks of higher learning institutions. Coverage on the right before the event occurred was prominent, usually framed around the perception of an effort by universities to limit conservative speech. However, after the event’s peaceful conclusion, right-wing coverage was more muted, especially in comparison to reporting on the chaotic scenes at cancelled speeches last academic year. One thing that did not receive a lot of attention in any venue is what Shapiro actually said in his “Say No to Campus Thuggery” event. Watch his full talk, including a Q&A session, here.

Attention has now turned to a so-called “Free Speech Week” planned to run from September 24 to 27, in which a number of conservative icons may appear on campus. The event is spearheaded by Milo Yiannopoulos and is also set to include Steve Bannon and Ann Coulter. Some outlets have questioned whether the event will actually occur, pointing to what appears to be a slapdash approach to logistics by the student group sponsoring the event. According to the New York Times:

Dan Mogulof, a spokesman for the university, said Tuesday that the event’s organizers had not submitted any of the information or forms required for the university to provide security: a description of the events, for example, and a police services request form. The requirements are outlined in Berkeley’s events policy, he noted, and “they just have not completed any of that.”

Ben Shapiro

9/15 – Price Tag to Protect Speech at Berkeley: $600,000 (NYT): The brief article focuses on the cost of the event, and includes a number of photographs, one of which seems to portray a small counter-protest (in support of Shapiro) outside the event.

9/14 – Press Release: Shapiro event goes off with barely a hitch (BerkeleyNews): “We have no regrets for having assembled the forces that we did and for providing police with the resources they requested,” a campus spokesperson said. “It certainly didn’t hurt, and there is reason to believe that it deterred those who might have come with mal intent.”

9/14 – 9 arrested in connection with protests of UC Berkeley Ben Shapiro event (DailyCal): The article contains a list of the nine people arrested, specifying the relevant charges for each.

9/15 – Nine people arrested at Ben Shapiro event at UC Berkeley (SJMN): According to the article, there were no reports of injury of property damage. The article calls the police presence “unparalleled,” noting officers were drawn from all 10 UC campuses.

9/15 – UC-Berkeley braced for protests when conservative writer Ben Shapiro came to campus (WaPo): The article notes the City of Berkeley’s councilors voted to allow police to use pepper spray should things get out of hand.

9/15 – The cost of free speech isn’t cheap at UC Berkeley (AP): The article calls Berkeley a “famously liberal university.” The article notes Berkeley has declined to specify how many officers were called in.

9/14 -Hundreds Protest Conservative Speaker At UC Berkeley; Several Arrested (CBS/AP): BFA Chair Michael Burawoy is quoted as saying:

“There are faculty who don’t think the campus should be the site of this, what they call, political circus…We bring them on campus and allow them to speak and we encourage both right- and left-wing groups” to hold potentially violent protests. “If we exclude them, they say Berkeley doesn’t believe in free speech. It’s a lose-lose situation.”

9/15 – Ben Shapiro’s Berkeley speech wasn’t met with the violence he expected (Slate): The article notes Shapiro referred to affirmative action policies as racist. It also notes Shapiro was an opponent of President Trump’s campaign and left Breitbart for what he perceived to be an unfair bias in support of Trump’s campaign.

9/15 – Ben Shapiro speaks at UC Berkeley despite arrests and protests (FoxNews): The article highlights how some protestors accused Shapiro, who is Jewish, of being a neo-Nazi and white supremacist.

9/15 – Latest Berkeley Protest is Largely Peaceful Amid Heavy Police Presence (WSJ): The Journal article contrasts the peacefulness of the event with previous right wing talks.

9/13 – UC Berkeley free speech in spotlight over super-tight security plans (SFChronicle): The article questions what kind of a precedent the heavy security sets for the campus:

Ben Shapiro, a conservative speaker headed to UC Berkeley on Thursday evening, hasn’t mocked feminists, as right-wing performer Milo Yiannopoulos has done. He hasn’t boasted of being a “mean-spirited bigot,” as far-right author Ann Coulter has done. And, unlike Steve Bannon, ex-adviser to President Trump, Shapiro doesn’t even like the president.

Yet the Harvard Law School graduate, author and political commentator has drawn unprecedented security measures at UC Berkeley for his sold-out speech at the campus’ many-windowed Zellerbach Hall, and Berkeley city police have received permission from the City Council to use pepper spray on any violent protesters who show up.

These defense measures around a standard-issue conservative whose idea of provocative is to call California a “nut-job leftist state” spotlight this question: How left must a speaker be to avoid causing a riot in Berkeley?

9/12 – Editorial: A Political Conservative Goes to Berkeley (NYT): The editorial contrasts the rhetoric of the left-wing protestors opposing Shapiro to the anti-semitic vitriol Shapiro has endured from the alt-right.

9/16 – Op-Ed: Memo to UC Berkeley students: Free speech is the best weapon against the alt-right (LATimes): The author urges campuses to allow alt-right speakers a platform, as their rhetoric will collapse under its own contradictions.

9/15 – Editorial: The Price of Free Speech at Berkeley (WSJ): The editorial says Berkeley’s decision to provide security for Shapiro was a “democratic service,” if an overly expensive one.

Free Speech Week

9/16 – Napolitano pledges to uphold UC’s free-speech tradition (SFGate): Acknowledging that the line between protected speech and hate speech (or harassment) is hard to define, UC President Napolitano told an audience, “If we at UC unreasonably limit the ability of speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter to safely express themselves on our campuses, we are telling the world that we would accept suppression of our own speech.”

9/15 – UC Berkeley professors urge campus boycott during ‘Free Speech Week’ (SFChronicle): A letter has called for a boycott to ensure student safety during the planned event. The petition cites a slew of violent actions that have occurred during such gatherings, including the death of a woman in Charlottesville who was protesting a gathering of white supremacists.

9/15 – Column: Berkeley’s Bind (Slate): The column notes a letter being circulated by the Anthropology Department, which was forced by campus leaders to rescheduled a lecture due to the disruption the event is projected to cause.

9/15 – Speaking at Berkeley With Milo Yiannopoulos? It’s News to Them (Chronicle): The organization behind the event appears to be in disarray. For example, Scholar Charles Murray, who recently had a talk interrupted by left-wing protestors, was listed as a speaker. Murray said he never had plans to attend, saying Yiannopoulos is “a despicable asshole.”

9/12 – Bannon Will Address Berkeley, a Hotbed of Conflict Over Free Speech (NYT): The campus has said student organizers of the event have failed to communicate specific plans with the university, which could jeopardize their ability to host speakers.

9/15 – The Far Right’s “Free Speech” Fest at UC-Berkeley Looks Unlikely to Happen (MotherJones): The article notes that despite the hype, it is unlikely student organizers will be able to meet campus requirements for hosting speakers.

9/15 – Berkeley-Con includes Bannon, Coulter, Milo — but will they show? (SJMN): The article notes one scheduled speaker, Pamela Geller, is a leader of the racist anti-Muslim movement.

Media Coverage 8/28/17

Berkeley Protest on Aug. 27

As of early evening Sunday, press reports indicate clashes between right-wing protestors and counter-protesters in downtown Berkeley turned violent, with police using tear gas to disperse the crowds. Those on the right claim they gathered to promote free speech and counter what they perceive to be the spread of Marxism in the US. Counter protestors have organized around a desire to reject what they argue is a right-wing movement centered around racism. Early reports suggest violence surged when antifa protestors jumped a barrier separating the two sides. A full report on media coverage from the protest will be included in next week’s summary.

More audits, Christ center stage, and the right-wing’s fall plans

A state audit deeply critical of UC’s payroll system was released Thursday. The report highlights not only that costs have trebled beyond projections to nearly $1 billion, but that the time to completion has been extended by five years. UC Path was intended to upgrade disparate HR systems across the system’s campuses and save money by eliminating the need for duplicate positions, but the audit says such savings “will not materialize.”

A few days earlier, the state auditor released another report that found UC failed to follow its policies regarding replacing workers with cheaper contract employees. Of 31 contracts the audit reviewed, two were found to violate rules requiring the system to provide justification for any contracts that will displace existing university employees.

The week before the two audits brought negative attention to UC, back-to-school coverage of Berkeley cheered the campus’s new leader, Carol Christ. The San Francisco Chronicle focused on the financial challenges facing Christ and the recently announced plan to reduce Berkeley’s $110 million deficit. The article notes Christ’s long tenure at the campus offers its advantages: “Many faculty appreciate that, and say she’s an insider who understands UC Berkeley’s culture and politics far better than the outsiders who preceded her.” However, the article foreshadows what may be a controversial decision to “help athletics pay the seismic retrofit portion of its stadium debt.”

In its take on Christ, the Mercury-News emphasized her status as the first woman to lead the campus, one rocked by a string of recent sexual harassment scandals. A profile in the LA Times painted a flattering portrait of Christ greeting newly-arrived freshman as they moved into Cal. The article notes her myriad professional achievements but goes on to add, “But it is her personable style, her penchant to listen and learn, and her natural instinct to connect that draw people in. Those qualities have helped stir new optimism and excitement on a campus battered by financial woesfree speech controversiessexual harassment scandals and a leadership crisis under her predecessor.” In an interview with Times Higher Education, Christ discussed the campus’s financial challenges and expressed pessimism that state funding will ever return to its historic norm.

Meanwhile, while plans to bring right-wing provocateurs Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter back to campus have circulated for months, the details remain murky, according to the Chronicle of Higher Ed. The student group reportedly behind the invitation, Berkeley Patriot, may also be attempting to bring Breitbart editor and former Trump administration official Stephen Bannon to Berkeley. In an editorial ahead of Sunday’s protests, the Daily Cal criticized campus and city leaders for urging counter-protesters to stay away from the right-wing rally in downtown Berkeley. The editorial cites the recent right-wing protest in Boston which was peacefully drowned out by a sizable counter-protest.

Meanwhile, as happens annually, UC’s salary information was made public. Two former coaches earned nearly $3 million. On a happier note, UC President Janet Napolitano published an op-ed touting the system’s welcoming of 30,000 first-generation incoming students. Beyond urging other universities to reach out to first-generation students, she notes policies UC has implemented to attract and retain such students.

Audit

8/22 – New UC audit raises more questions about Office of the President (SJMN): The article on the contract audit notes a lawsuit is in the works related to the violation of protocol.

8/24 – UC’s new payroll system will cost at least $200 million more than expected (LATimes): The article notes, “As she did in that stinging audit earlier this year, (State Auditor Elaine) Howle on Thursday accused the president’s office of leaving the UC Board of Regents in the dark on the problems.”

8/24 – UC ripped again in latest audit that finds bungling of payroll upgrade (SFGate): The article notes Napolitano pointed out she arrived two years after UC Path was initiated.

8/22 – University of California system didn’t follow its own contracting rules, state audit finds (LATimes): A UC spokesperson, noting that only a few contracts reviewed violated the rules, said the contracts “generally adhered to the Office of the President’s contracting policy.”

For a copy of the full UC Path audit, click here. For a copy of the contract audit, click here.

The Right Returns

8/24 – Details on Berkeley Free-Speech Event Are Hazy, but Campus Readies for Another Fight (Chronicle): Students involved in Berkeley Patriot refused to confirm details to the paper.

8/22 – When white supremacists flood the city, Berkeley should not back down (DailyCal): The student paper argues:

“But recent events show how a bloodbath can be avoided, and it’s not by staying away. In Boston, one week after Charlottesville, tens of thousands of counter-protesters drowned out the planned alt-right rally (dubbed a “free speech” protest, which nobody’s buying). And by 1 p.m., rally attendees had slunk away before they even made the speeches they had planned, and the Washington Post reported that no one was injured.”

Carol Christ Profiles

8/15 – New UC Berkeley leader takes over as school seeks creative money sources (SFChronicle): BFA Chair Michael Burawoy is quoted as saying, “She’s been very impressive. She is so prepared to talk with everybody.”

8/15 – Meet UC Berkeley’s groundbreaking new chancellor (SJMN): The article emphasizes Christ’s long tenure at Berkeley and provides a good overview of her career and recent campus controversies.

8/18 – UC Berkeley’s new chancellor brings optimism — and a world record — to an embattled campus (LATimes): The article says Christ is planning “open hours for students, community-building events, a new blog and visits to students, staff and faculty.”

8/19 – Berkeley chancellor to focus on funding and rebuilding community (TimesHigherEducation): Christ told the website, ““I will certainly do everything I can to advocate that state funding stays stable. [But] understanding the state budget in the way that I do, I don’t think it’s likely it’s going to go back to its former levels when it was much higher.”

8/18 – UC Berkeley wants students to know it’s OK to fail (SJMN): Recognizing how many students may challenged for the first time at Cal, the campus is doing what it can to help students face and grow from setbacks.

Other News

8/21 – Here are the 5 highest-paid UC Berkeley employees last year (DailyCal): Berkeley’s former mens basketball and football coaches led the list.

8/23 – Op-Ed: How UC is Shaping the Next Generation with First Generation (HuffPo): The article notes ways UC has offered targeted support to first-generation students, including special housing at UCLA.

Campuses & the Right-Wing

In light of the tragic events in Charlottesville, this report compiles media coverage and commentary on higher education and the alt-right. The report focuses on issues of free speech raised by the alt-right, advice for how campuses should respond to provocative right-wing speakers, coverage of planned right-wing appearances in Berkeley and the greater Bay Area, and relevant statements by and interviews with Berkeley and UC officials. The report begins with a narrative summary of these topics and concludes with a list of relevant links and article summaries. At the bottom, I’ve also included a small selection of writings from right-wing media outlets.

The First & Second Amendments

The rally in Virginia and other recent right-wing gatherings have claimed the mantle of free speech, raising the question of what kind of speech, if any, campuses and municipalities can ban. While some called for government action to block the gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, the ACLU – an institution the left has embraced with renewed vigor in the era of Trump – defended the marchers’ right to assemble. After the City of Charlottesville moved to pull the march’s event permit, the ACLU intervened to support what it has framed as free speech. As Vox notes, the ACLU is famous for defending the rights of Neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, IL in the 1970s. In a lengthy essay, Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept argues that accusations from left-wing activists that the ACLU enabled the Charlottesville tragedy are misguided, pointing out that the ACLU is the frequent target of the right for its support of left-wing groups and the legal defense it has provided for suspected terrorists. Such impartiality, Greenwald contends, is essential for the protection of civil liberties, as enabling the state to limit speech is a slippery slope.

Nonetheless, discord within the ACLU has grown since Charlottesville. As the LA Times notes, the “ACLU’s three California affiliates released a statement Wednesday declaring that ‘white supremacist violence is not free speech.'” Amid the criticism, the ACLU has announced it will not defend white supremacist groups that wish to protest with guns, a new stance for the organization.

Analysis by Slate highlighted how the presence of armed protestors creates a clear conflict between First and Second Amendment rights (while much attention has been paid to the weapons carried by the white nationalists in Charlottesville, the article claims guns were also carried by some anti-racist activists). The article argues that the presence of legally carried firearms makes police hesitant to intervene when skirmishes break out for fear of inciting a mass shooting. However, the skirmishes make it impossible for non-violent protestors to realize their First Amendment rights. As a result, in practice, “The right to bear arms overrides the right to free speech.” Nonetheless, the authors contend courts should consider limiting the right to bear arms in order to protect freedom of speech.

Confusing matters, many of the heavily-armed militia members who appeared in Charlottesville have stated they condemn white supremacy and the violence that occurred. As reported by the Guardianmilitia leaders claim they intended only to protect first amendment rights, with one leader referring to the white supremacists as “rightwing lunatics.” Nonetheless, a photograph in the Atlantic clearly shows a self-styled militia member with a Confederate flag on his suit (the Guardian article includes a militia leader stating such racist displays are not associated with his movement). The relevant article in the Atlantic picks apart the militia’s line of reasoning, contending that openly carrying weapons is not a way to protect political speech but a means of chilling it.

But, is it possible the racist chants heard at the rally cross a legal line beyond protected speech? In 1942, the Supreme Court ruled “fighting words” are not protected, defining the term as “those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.” In an article, Vox provided conflicting legal opinions on whether the chants heard at the rally constitute “fighting words.” Nonetheless, citing a string of comparatively-less offensive incidents in which offensive speech was ruled to be unprotected, the article concludes that some of the chants should not earn protection under the First Amendment.

Advice for Campuses

In a widely circulated report, the Southern Poverty Law Center offers advice for campuses where alt-right speakers intend to gather. In short, the SPLC suggests that such speakers intend to create a spectacle, and thus the best course of action is to offer a spectacle focused on inclusion far removed from the alt-right demonstrators. While the report doesn’t explicitly condemn Antifa for violent clashes with the alt-right, the report is being read as a condemnation of such tactics. So will students listen to the SPLC? According to a number of experts on social movements quoted in an article from Inside Higher Ed, it’s unlikely student activists will stay away.

Responses to planned alt-right campus events differ dramatically. While UC Berkeley leaders have stated they are willing to spend $500,000 to protect a single speaker, a number of schools are moving to cancel speeches. The Monday after Charlottesville, Texas A&M announced it would cancel an appearance by Richard Spencer, according to the New York Times. The University of Florida also denied a request from Spencer, citing the recent events in Virginia and social media posts that predicted violence. The university’s president stressed violence and not a desire to limit speech drove his decision. Legal challenges are possible, and this spring, a federal judge ruled Auburn University could not block an appearance by Spencer. The following event turned violent.

In an LA Times op-ed, two USC professors urged campus leaders to explicitly call alt-right protesters racist and acknowledge the influence such right-wing activism has on students on color. The op-ed was critical of UVA President Teresa Sullivan for not making this point clear enough. An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education cites an array of campus leaders who feel that little can be done to prevent the presence of the alt-right, and, as a result, the focus should be on safety once they arrive. They stressed that the same things that make college campuses strong, inclusion and openness, are also what make it possible for the alt-right to appear.

Planned Alt-Right Events in the Bay Area

On Sunday, August 27, there are plans for a rally entitled “No to Marxism in America” in downtown Berkeley at MLK Civic Center Park. According to the Facebook invitation:

In America we have Marxism being taught in our schools and communities. Berkeley is a ground zero for the Marxist Movement and we need to speak out and say NO to Marxism. This event is our chance to speak out and expose the plan of purging our nation from a free nation to a communist nation. We will not tolerate this in America. So we are asking people to come stand against Marxism.

Berkeley’s mayor has said the city is exploring means to stop the event, which has no permit. An article in the LA Times notes the organizing effort behind the event is amorphous and not centered around a particular organization. On Friday, the Berkeley City Council passed an emergency ordinance in a 7-to-1 vote granting the city manager the ability to impose rules on street gatherings that do not have a permit. Previous rules allowed such control to be imposed within a park, but police lost their ability to enforce such rules if protestors spilled into the streets. The new rule sunsets on Dec. 31.

There are also plans for a rally on August 26 at San Francisco’s Chrissy Field, though local, state, and federal politicians have called for the National Park Service to deny a permit to the organization behind the event, Patriot Prayer. According to the Mercury News Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, has publicly disavowed the Charlottesville attack. Gibson, who identifies as a Japanese American, said in an interview with a Portland TV station that he hopes white supremacists stay away from his events. As reported by the SF Chronicle, in an online video, he noted the rally will have speakers who are black, Hispanic, Asian and transgender. At previous rallies Gibson has organized, white supremacists have had a sizable presence. The issue of whether the August 26 rally will be permitted is unresolved, according to media reports.

Further, a student magazine, the California Patriot, has invited Milo Yiannopoulos to a four-day so-called free speech event, as noted by the New York Times. The organization has also invited Ann Coulter and David Horowitz. Details about the Yiannopoulos event have not been reported, though the alt-right leader has made declarations about intending to stage a week-long event on campus this fall. Former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro is scheduled to appear on campus September 14, though college Republicans criticized the campus for putting too many conditions on the appearance.

At Berkeley

Much attention has fallen on Berkeley’s new chancellor, Carol Christ, who has dubbed the upcoming school year “Free Speech Year.” As the LA Times and Inside Higher Ed note, Christ plans to host a number of events intended to explore the history of free speech at Cal and to demonstrate the manner in which debate between opposing sides can elevate everyone’s understanding. The events are pegged as a rebuke to the style of violent protests and counter-protests that have engulfed Berkeley and other communities.

In order to limit such violence this school year, the campus has also instituted a new interim policy governing all outside campus speakers. According to the LA Times, “campus police will provide a security assessment for certain large events that could endanger public safety, and the hosting organizations will be responsible for basic costs. Such organizations will have to give advance notice, preferably eight weeks or longer, and provide detailed timetables — and contracts with speakers may not be finalized until the campus has confirmed the venue and given final approval. The rules will be applied to all events, regardless of viewpoint.” Campus leaders note these rules are not entirely new and instead are intended to eliminate any “gray areas.”

Links

Advice

8/10 – Guide: The Alt-Right on Campus: What Students Need to Know (SPLCenter): The report advises, “While there’s nothing wrong with peaceful student protests against a hateful ideology, it’s best to draw attention to hope instead. Hold an alternative event – away from the alt-right event – to highlight your cam­pus’ commitment to inclusion and our nation’s democratic values.”

8/16 – Will Students Stay Away From White Supremacists? (InsideHigherEd): Doug McAdam, an expert on social movements, says student activists are unlikely to avoid confrontation with the alt-right.

8/12 – When White Supremacists Descend, What Can a College President Do? (Chronicle): The article quotes James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association, as saying, “(E)verything that white supremacists think is wrong with this country,” including the celebration of diversity and the integration of diverse histories into college curricula.

8/12 – Op-Ed: What UVA did wrong when white supremacists came to campus (LATimes): According to the two authors, “Mishandling these situations in raceless ways does nothing to confirm, for instance, that black lives matter. It signals to students and faculty that their university is either too unaware, too afraid or insufficiently skilled to talk about racism, let alone to address it.”

8/16 – After Charlottesville Violence, Colleges Brace for More Clashes (NYT): The article offers a run down of the response from a number of campuses of planned alt-right activity.

8/10 – An Anti-Hate Group Has This Advice for When the Alt-Right Comes to Campus (Chronicle): This article summarizes the SPLC’s guide.

8/18 – Op-ed: Charlottesville Will Move On (NYT): Charlottesville’s mayor insists restricting the democratic rights white supremacists exploit is not the path forward, instead emphasizing the responsibilities of various institutions to promote inclusiveness.

8/19 – Commentary: Charlottesville Was Not a Surprise (Slate): The author notes the existence of white supremacism should be no surprise, and that focusing anti-racist energy on removing Confederate statues “is the very least we can do.”

8/19 – The road to hate: For six young men, Charlottesville is only the beginning (WaPo): An expert at the SPLC compares the radicalization of alt-right supporters to Islamic extremists, saying it’s driven by personal failure, limited economic prospects and “a radical ideology promising answers.” As one extremist tells the Post, “White privilege, I’m still waiting for my privilege.”

Free Speech & the Right to Bear Arms

8/14 – The Guns Won (Slate): The authors write:

But of course, the presence of a gun itself dramatically heightens the odds that somebody is going to get shot. And, as Saturday proved, the presence of many guns, particularly the sort that can kill many people in very little time, may dissuade law enforcement from stepping in when a protest gets out of hand. The result is an alarming form of censorship: Nonviolent demonstrators lose their right to assemble and express their ideas because the police are too apprehensive to shield them from violence. The right to bear arms overrides the right to free speech. And when protesters dress like militia members and the police are confused about who is with whom, chaos is inevitable.

8/12 – Why the ACLU defends white nationalists’ right to protest — including in Charlottesville (Vox): While the ACLU has experienced some resignations over its support of the rally, the organization has not reversed its stance.

8/13 – The Misguided Attacks on ACLU for Defending Neo-Nazis’ Free Speech Rights in Charlottesville (TheIntercept): Greenwald writes:

The need to fight neo-Nazism and white supremacy wherever it appears is compelling. The least effective tactic is to try to empower the state to suppress the expression of their views. That will backfire in all sorts of ways: strengthening that movement and ensuring that those who advocate state censorship today are its defenseless targets tomorrow. And whatever else is true, the impulse to react to terrorist attacks by demanding the curtailment of core civil liberties is always irrational, dangerous, and self-destructive, no matter how tempting that impulse might be.

8/17 – In Backing Alt-Right, A.C.L.U. Embraces Role in Defending ‘Groups We Detest’ (NYT): The article notes the ACLU “stayed uncharacteristically quiet when the University of California, Berkeley, canceled speeches by two right-wing writers and provocateurs, Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter, earlier this year, issuing statements and tweets, mainly after the controversy had already passed.”

8/15 – Some racist, homophobic chants in Charlottesville may not be protected under 1st Amendment (Vox): The article cites a number of cases in which speech was ruled illegal:

In 1999, a Minnesota appeals court found that calling a police officer a white, racist “motherfucker” and wishing his mother would die was not considered free speech.

In 2001, a Minnesota appeals court upheld a ruling (State v. Hubbard) that a man who repeatedly flashed lewd hand signals to a young female driver was not exhibiting protected speech. That same year, an appeals court in Arizona found that it was not free speech when a man called a black woman the n-word and threw an empty can of Mountain Dew at her on the street.

In 2003, a Wisconsin appeals court ruled that calling a nude woman on the beach a “whore,” “harlot,” and “Jezebel” was not protected.

In 2010, a North Dakota court upheld a ruling against a teen who called a black girl the n-word at a teen dance and then again at a restaurant. The defendant’s attorney argued that saying the n-word is not a crime. The court said that while the First Amendment does protect use of the slur, “an objectively reasonable person would find the totality of [the defendant’s] statements constituted explicit and implicit threats that were likely to incite a breach of the peace or violent reaction and alarm the listener.”

8/17 – Tensions grow inside ACLU over defending free-speech rights for the far right (LATimes): According to ACLU’s executive director, “(W)e believe that even odious hate speech, with which we vehemently disagree, garners the protection of the 1st Amendment when expressed non-violently. We make decisions on whom we’ll represent and in what context on a case-by-case basis. The horrible events in Charlottesville last weekend will certainly inform those decisions going forward.”

8/15 – Militia leaders who descended on Charlottesville condemn ‘rightwing lunatics’ (Guardian): A leader of the organization said he contacted local police before the event to offer help with security, a request that was denied, though police did provide an escort for the militiamen.

8/16 – The Chilling Effects of Openly Displayed Firearms (Atlantic): The article picks apart the argument that guns serve as the only means to deter political violence.

8/17 – ACLU Will No Longer Defend Hate Groups Protesting With Firearms (WSJ): The organization’s executive director told the paper, ““The events of Charlottesville require any judge, any police chief and any legal group to look at the facts of any white-supremacy protests with a much finer comb. If a protest group insists, ‘No, we want to be able to carry loaded firearms,’ well, we don’t have to represent them. They can find someone else.”

Events in the Bay Area

8/14 – Alameda County Sheriff deletes retweet of Richard Spencer (SFGate): the ACSO claims the retweet of the alt-right leader was accidental.

8/14 – Right-wing rallies planned in San Francisco, Berkeley (SJMN): The article was one of the first pieces reporting the rallies.

8/15 – San Francisco Leaders Question Permit For Alt-Right Rally at Crissy Field, Seek Security Precautions From Park Service (NBC/BayArea): The article quotes numerous local leaders opposed to the rally.

8/14 – ‘White supremacist’ patriot rally coming to San Francisco — counter-protest already planned (SFExaminer): The article notes a counter-protest was quick to organize.

8/15 – In wake of Charlottesville, Bay Area law enforcement girds for protests (SFGate): The article includes an interview with California-based white nationalist Nathan Damigo, who was involved in earlier Berkeley riots.

8/15 – S.F. Leaders Vow Fight to Stop Far Right Rally (KQED): The article says a decision about the permit should be made by Aug. 25, one day before the event.

8/16 – Northern California pushes back as white nationalists plan rallies (LATimes): Berkeley’s mayor urged people to ignore the rally and warned protestors, ““Anyone who threatens to engage in violence — and we have seen from earlier events that this is exactly their intent — will be arrested and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

8/19 – Berkeley modifies city laws to empower officials during protests (SFGate): Some community members expressed concern the new rule ceded too much power to the police. The council introduced the sunset clause and a condition that such powers be exercised only when 100 or more participants are expected.

8/17 – Crissy Field rally group has history of provoking fights (SFChronicle): Despite the organizer’s claim of promoting a moderate position, his events have often led to fighting.

Berkeley & UC

8/15 – UC Berkeley chancellor unveils ‘Free Speech Year’ as right-wing speakers plan campus events (LATimes): Christ is quoted as saying, ““You have the right to expect the university to keep you physically safe, but we would be providing you less of an education, preparing you less well for the world after you graduate, if we tried to protect you from ideas that you may find wrong, even noxious.”

8/14 – Press Release: A message from the chancellor on Charlottesville (Berkeley): The statement condemns the violence and views of the white supremacists.

8/14 – Press Release: Letter from UC President Janet Napolitano on the violence in Charlottesville (UCOP): Napolitano calls the events in Charlottesville “domestic terrorism.”

8/15 – Leading Berkeley Through Free Speech Tests (InsideHigherEd): The article offers an overview of recent events on Berkeley’s campus and challenges ahead for Christ as she attempts to balance free speech and student safety.

Views from the Right

8/15 – Op-Ed: Campus Conservatives Gave the Alt-Right a Platform (NationalReview): While the author, an editorial intern, is critical of what he describes as left-wing intolerance, he criticizes college Republican groups for legitimizing a brand of conservatism that is anything but.

8/16 – Editorial: Trump and His ‘Very Fine People’ (WeeklyStandard): The editorial condemns Trump’s remarks about some “very fine people” marching in Charlottesville.

8/15 – White Nationalist Groups to Hold Rallies in San Francisco, Berkeley (Breitbart): The platform most commonly associated with the rise of white nationalism takes a traditional news lens on the matter:

At least two white nationalist groups are planning to hold rallies in San Francisco and Berkeley, California later this month. The announcements came just days after a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — where members of the far-left Antifa movement were also present — turned deadly. 32-year-old paralegal Heather Heyer was killed when a car driven by a suspected neo-Nazi rammed into a crowd of participants. At least 19 others were injured.

8/16 – Major Figures Work To Mainstream Violent Antifa Protesters (DailyCaller): The far-right publication claims that comparisons of Antifa and WWII soldiers legitimates Antifa violence.

To suggest additions to this report, please contact tyler_leeds [at] berkeley.edu

 

Media Coverage 8/7/17

A New York Times article interviewed and named two Berkeley students who identify as members of Antifa and participated in last school year’s clashes. The article does not address an issue important to UC’s PR efforts, namely the degree to which Antifa’s composition is made up of students and non-students. After a violent protest last school year, then Chancellor Dirks in a statement characterized the violent Antifa protestors as distinct from students. The article featured a transgender student and Muslim student who both say they feel threatened on campus. The article’s author notes one intention of the piece is to to complicate the image of Antifa as a white male movement focused on making trouble. The article also quotes Nathan Damigo, a white nationalist activist from Cal State Stanislaus who was recorded punching a woman at a protest in Berkeley. Asked about plans to return to Berkeley, Damigo said, “We have some plans.”

In other news, UC Irvine continued to receive criticism for rescinding 500 admissions offers based on slumping senior year grades and missed deadlines, including from San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting, who asked the UC president to intervene. The move by Irvine was interpreted as a way to lesson the strain of higher than anticipated enrollment. On Wednesday, Irvine’s chancellor announced all students would be admitted, except those whose offers were revoked for academic reasons. However, those students will be offered an “expedited process” to review any extenuating circumstances. An op-ed in the New York Times praised the reversal and the chancellor’s mea culpa.

In other news, as the Trump administrations eyes changes to how the Justice Department views campus affirmative action, the history of Proposition 209’s impact on UC has received renewed attention. In a statement, UC President Napolitano stressed the importance of maintaining a diverse student body. Meanwhile, a decision to reduce the number of managed funds in the UC’s investment portfolio has helped to increase investment returns, with the endowment gaining 14 percent in 11 months.

Protests

8/4 – Behind Berkeley’s Semester of Hate (NYT): The article also notes that Milo Yiannopoulos plans to host a week-long “tent city” on Sproul this fall.

UC Irvine

8/2 – Press Release: Message from UCI Chancellor about current admission issues (UCI): Chancellor Howard Gillman wrote, “The stories of our students whose college dreams were crushed by our decision to withdraw admissions to hundreds of students are heartbreaking. And unacceptable.”

8/3 – Op-Ed: A College Admits a Big Mistake. Imagine That. (NYT):

7/31 – Ting rips UC for withdrawing admission to hundreds at Irvine (SFGate): In a statement, Ting said, “Instead of taking the initiative to effectively communicate with students making life changing decisions, Irvine played a high stakes gotcha game with students.”

Other News

8/4 – The impact of affirmative action at the University of California in one graphic (Guardian): The article notes that the share of black and hispanic students has declined.

8/1 – For many UC Berkeley students, affordable housing is elusive (Berkeleyside): The median rent for a two-bedroom in Berkeley is $2,800.

8/2 – Statement of UC President Janet Napolitano on public university admissions (UCOP): Napolitano: The full statement: “Over the years public universities have been the one tried and true tactic for addressing issues of inequality in our country. Thus, UC has been increasing its outreach efforts to historically underrepresented groups like Latinos and African Americans, while still bound to the strictures of Proposition 209, which bars consideration of race or ethnicity in granting admission. It would be tragic, to say the least, if these efforts somehow ran afoul of this reported misguided Justice Department initiative. ”

8/1 – Money-Manager Purge Boosts University of California’s Return (Bloomberg): The value of UC’s assets are just above $110 billion.

Media Coverage 04/24/17

Ann Coulter’s insistence on speaking in the Berkeley area on Thursday, April 27 has raised fears of another violent political clash on UC Berkeley’s campus. The conservative commentator was invited to speak on campus by a student Republican group, which failed to inform the administration of their invitation. After campus leaders got wind of the invite, they insisted the organization and Coulter agree to a number of conditions aimed at preventing a repeat of the riot which stopped Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus. Eventually, the administration cancelled the April 27 event, offering to host the speaker at a later date.

The cancellation was criticized by the student group and across right wing media outlets, which repeatedly questioned the campus’s commitment to free speech. Prof. Robert Reich, who has a following on the left, also waded into the fray, saying Coulter should be allowed to speak. The university insisted Coulter was being allowed to speak, but that moving the date would allow her to do so safely. Coulter rejected the later date, saying it would not work for her schedule and she had committed to April 27. Since the Yiannopoulos event, the city of Berkeley has been the scene of violent clashes between supporters of President Donald Trump and those opposed to the administration, many of whom identify as Antifa, or anti-fascists. Some media reports have noted there is an effort to find a nearby off-campus venue for Coulter to use on April 27. The student Republican group has stated it may sue the university over the incident. On the lighter side, the controversy was lampooned by the satirical website The Onion, which ran the headline, “Berkeley Campus On Lockdown After Loose Pages From ‘Wall Street Journal’ Found On Park Bench.”

In other news, an audit by the state questioned the management of the California State University system. The report found that between fiscal years 2007-08 and 2015-16, the number of managers grew by 15 percent while the number of faculty rose by only 7 percent. It also raises questions about how managers are evaluated and compensated. UC’s finances are also in the news, as a digital overhaul of UC’s payroll and personnel system entitled UCPath has seen four years of delays and costs triple.

News Articles

4/21 – How Berkeley has become the far left’s and far right’s battleground (WaPo): The article notes how UC Berkeley and the City of Berkeley have become sites for frequent clashes between activists on both ends of the political spectrum, though its discussion of the far left conflates distinct movements. It notes targeting campuses is often a successful strategy for the right:

The showdowns are, for many on the far right, part of a successful strategy: schedule a controversial event on campus or in town, wait for the liberal outrage and threats of violence to grow, and when the event is canceled, point out the hypocrisy and oppression against free speech.

4/21 – Berkeley Is Being Tested on 2 Fronts: Free Speech and Safety (NYT): The article frames the campus’s weighing of free speech, violence and its reputation.

4/20 – How Berkeley became a hotbed of violence in the Trump era (Politico): Politico takes a deep look at the recent eruptions in Berkeley and what’s motivating protestors.

4/20 – Satire: Berkeley Campus On Lockdown After Loose Pages From ‘Wall Street Journal’ Found On Park Bench (TheOnion): The satirical website wrote:

Advising students to remain in their dormitories and classrooms until the situation was resolved, the University of California, Berkeley declared a campuswide lockdown Thursday after several loose pages from The Wall Street Journal were found on a park bench outside a school building. “At 11:15 this morning, several pages from two separate sections of today’s Wall Street Journal were discovered spread across a bench outside of Eshleman Hall in Lower Sproul Plaza,” read the urgent alert sent to all students and faculty, emphasizing that while campus security and local police had safely disposed of the pages, there was no way of knowing if others were strewn elsewhere on university grounds. “As of now, the perpetrator remains at large, so it is vital that you stay where you are until the all-clear is given. In the meantime, notify police immediately if you have any additional information at all regarding this incident.” At press time, a black-clad group of 50 students were throwing bottles at the bench while chanting, “No Nazis, No KKK, No Fascist U.S.A!”

4/20 – Cal State hires too many managers, needs better budget oversight, state audit finds (LATimes): The article notes Cal Poly was singled out as a particularly bad apple. According to the article, the campus “increased pay for at least 70 management personnel in 2016 who either had outdated performance evaluations or no evaluations on file.”

You can read the audit here.

4/17 – Cost triples, delays mount for UC computer system upgrade (SacBee): A total of $327 million has been spent on the project so far, which is only operational at UC’s system headquarters.