In the wake of the assault on Hayden Williams, the Leadership Institute employee tabling for Turning Point USA, President Donald Trump announced that he plans to sign an executive order “denying federal funding to universities that fail to protect freedom of expression on campus,” reports Campus Reform.
UC Berkeley was hit hard when this news came out. Berkeley is now “the school at the center of the impassioned free speech controversy,” and is “defending itself against a barrage of accusations, including the allegation that it doesn’t do enough to protect conservative viewpoints on campus.”
President Trump added while on stage at CPAC in early March:
“If [universities] want our [tax] dollars, and we give it to them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people like Hayden and many other young people and old people to speak. And if they don’t, it will be very costly.”
Campus Reform asked UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogoluf if the university plans on taking “precautions to avoid the possibility of losing any federal funding.” Mogoluf responded saying that UC Berkeley will “continue to take the very specific actions” to support the First Amendment on campus grounds.
“In other words, we will continue to support and assist conservative student groups who wish to host speakers of their choice on the UC Berkeley campus… We will continue to prohibit bias or discrimination based on viewpoint or perspective. We will continue to impose consequences when rules protecting free speech are violated.”
UC Berkeley reported $422.1M in federal research spending granted by the federal government.
“The school known as the’ birthplace of the free speech movement’ could stand to lose nearly 60 percent of its total research funding should it fail to convince Trump and his administration of its support for free speech from people of all perspectives.”
On February 19, the university made a statement that reassured their allegiance to freedom of speech, blaming ‘distorted’ news coverage for misrepresenting the university:
“Although we made every effort to inform the media, not a single outlet reported on the incontestable fact that these conservative student groups hosted a large number of conservative speakers, including Charlie Kirk (founder of Turning Point USA), Rick Santorum, Dennis Prager, Heather MacDonald, Candace Owens, Dave Rubin, Steve Simpson, Antonia Okafor, and Allie Stuckey. Not a single disruption. No opposition. No protest. No coverage… Our commitment to freedom of speech and belief is unwavering and no amount of incomplete, distorted news coverage is going to change that.”
While UC Berkeley says this, the institution has made headlines time and time again for the wrong reasons, explains Campus Reform.