Young America’s Foundation (YAF) and Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) continue preparations to welcome New York Times best-selling author Ben Shapiro to UC-Berkeley on September 14  at 7:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall. Sadly, campus administrators continue to let bureaucratic roadblocks delay the release of free tickets to allow students and community members to secure a seat to see Shapiro.

In the meantime, Young America’s Foundation encourages all students and members of the community interested in attending to complete this ticket request form to be notified first when tickets are available from Berkeley through the Zellerbach box office. Updates will be posted to YAF.org/BenAtBerkeley.

Students, fans, and interested community members are planning to travel from as far away as Southern California just to see Shapiro’s breakthrough presentation, yet they must wait on administrators in charge of Zellerbach Hall to make free tickets available. After numerous inquires made by BCR leadership both via email and in person regarding a timetable for release, administrators responded with more red tape, paperwork, and delays. The school says the request for tickets to be released is “working its way through” bureaucratic channels.

Berkeley’s disingenuous approach towards conservatives by now should be apparent. The dirty tricks and double-speak are so frequent that it is important to recount them here:

  • More than two months in advance of Shapiro’s lecture, Berkeley administrators claimed they were “unable to identify an available campus venue” despite “extensive efforts.” It was only when YAF and BCR exposed their suspicious claim to the press that Berkeley discovered the availability of Zellerbach, one of the largest venues on campus.
  • Administrators were proud to boast to the press that they were waiving all fees to allow YAF and BCR access to the largest venue on campus, Zellerbach Hall. Yet, upon agreeing to use the venue, Berkeley charged BCR a $15,738 security fee. It should be noted that when Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor spoke to a full house in the same venue, the hosting organization was charged $5,000.
  • Similarly, despite Berkeley’s boasts that they waived fees to allow for Shapiro to speak on campus, they have not offered in any recent case to assist with the honoraria for Ben Shapiro, Ann Coulter, or David Horowitz. Thankfully, Young America’s Foundation’s generous supporters were able to fund each of these events.

Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans filed a lawsuit against Berkeley on April 24, 2017, seeking to enjoin school administrators from violating students’ free speech rights. The case is making its way through court—the next step is a hearing in federal court on September 21, 2017.

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