Officials at the University of California-Berkeley (UC Berkeley) got caught in the middle of a clash between groups of students over the visit of conservative commentator Ann Coulter. The school recently canceled the visit and some conservative students demanded that her talk should be rescheduled.
The conservative students threatened to sue UC Berkeley if they do not reschedule Coulter's talk next week. The group Berkeley College Republicans worked with the nonpartisan Bridge USA for the event. On Tuesday, UC Berkeley officials told them the event had to be canceled due to security concerns.
Due to the cancellation, they re-scheduled the event on Thursday, April 27. UC Berkeley Chancellor, Nicholas Dirks, defended the school officials' cancellation decision, saying the police received specific intelligence that there is threat and danger to Coulter's life if the event pushes through, FOX News reported.
School officials wanted to reschedule the talk on May 2 but Coulter did not agree. Although UC Berkeley officials said May 2 is appropriate and protectable, Coulter took to Twitter to say that there are no classes on that particular week since it is the "Dead Week," a time when students study for their finals. Another tweet from Coulter contained a link from a publication regarding the protests against her speech.
She added that they already spent money for the April 27 scheduled speech. She shared with "Hannity" on Thursday, "You cannot impose arbitrary and harassing restrictions on the exercise of a constitutional right. None of this has to do with security."
Aside from Coulter, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont defended the conservative commentator's right to speak without disruption or intimidation. Sanders said he does not like the fact that others seek to prevent controversial speakers from expressing their thoughts on college campuses. Sanders added the people who blocked the speech show intellectual weakness, The Washington Post revealed.
Sanders continued that students who requested for the cancellation should have come up with difficult questions that would have challenged Coulter. Booing a person or shutting down events should not be the last resort.