Conservative Speaker Ann Coulter to Visit UC Berkeley

Controversy at what cost? That's what some UC Berkeley students are wondering about Ann Coulter's visit next week.

The conservative pundit was supposed to speak on campus in 2017, but the event was canceled due to security concerns.

Berkeley police confirm it will have officers on campus to back up university police.

"We're really excited," said Matt Ronnau, president of the Berkeley College Republicans. "I was a freshman when we tried to bring Ann in 2017 and didn't get to hear her speak because of problems with the university."

The Berkeley College Republicans student group invited the right-wing speaker to share her views on immigration on campus largely known for its left-wing students.

"This person's going to come and just talk about some things that are really just going to be attacking some vulnerable populations," UC Berkeley student Aldo Garcia said. "Some of these students are DACA students."

Student Ricardo Reyes thinks Coulter's upcoming visit will be a repeat of what occured when Milo Yiannopoulos visited in 2017. His scheduled speech sparked protests and series of violent clashes between pro- and anti-Trump protesters.

"We have every reason to believe this event will go off safely and successfully just like dozens of others in the last few years," UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

Mogulof said UC Berkeley has hosted several conservative speakers in the years since without incident and with security costs totaling about $4 million. The university spent $800,000 on Coulter's planned visit two years ago.

"When all was said and done, the speaker decided not to come of her own volition," Mogulof said. "We regret to have had to spend that kind of money for an event that never happened."

UC Berkeley does not have an amount on how much they are spending on security for next week's visit. Some students said the money would be better spent on places to study.

The Berkeley College Republicans said the school should decrease spending elsewhere and preserve the right to free speech.

Coulter's talk starts at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

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