Today, Milo Yiannopoulos and Stephen Bannon made public statements about their plans to speak on the UC Berkeley campus as part of a series of events tentatively planned for Sept. 24-27. None of these events have been confirmed, and many planning details remain unresolved. The university has issued the following statement in response to media inquiries:
The university is committed to working with registered student organizations to host speakers on campus. Student groups planning such events must meet requirements outlined in our events policy in order for the events to proceed.
The series of events proposed for Sept. 24-27 is being planned by a student group called the Berkeley Patriot. Milo Yiannopoulos and Stephen Bannon have said publicly that they will be speaking on our campus during that time, along with “more than 20 additional speakers,” as per Mr. Yiannopoulos’s statement. However, the university cannot yet confirm exactly when or if they will be here, nor can it confirm a list of speakers.
We have repeatedly asked representatives of the Berkeley Patriot to confirm that contracts have been completed between the student organization and each of these speakers; to date they have not. In addition, the tentative information the student group has shared with us about the scheduling of the proposed speakers conflicts with information that has been shared publicly by Mr. Yiannopoulos.
We must also note that some of the proposed events are being planned for indoor venues that have specific security and procedural requirements. We have asked the student group to meet those requirements and have informed them in writing that critical deadlines are fast approaching. Simply put, the university cannot provide the security and support the student organization has requested, and the campus wants to provide, if we do not receive the essential information. To date a number of key deadlines have been missed. Only three speakers have connected with the campus or our police department to discuss security arrangements, as is required. Rental fees for venues have not been paid. Contracts with venues have not been signed.
While campus officials and venue managers are working diligently to assist the Berkeley Patriot group with its proposed events, the group’s failure to meet important deadlines is making it increasingly difficult to ensure a safe and secure program.