UC Berkeley Coughs Up $70,000 In Settlement Over Policies Affecting Conservative Speakers On Campus

Neetu Chandak | Contributor

The University of California, Berkeley will pay $70,000 to the plaintiffs of a lawsuit who claimed the school discriminated against conservative speakers, although the the university did not admit to wrongdoing.

Berkeley College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation (YAF) sued UC Berkeley in 2017 after the school canceled conservative commentator Ann Coulter’s speech, citing “security concerns” at the last minute.

“No longer can UC Berkeley place a 3:00 p.m. curfew on conservative speech,” YAF said in a statement Monday. “No longer can UC Berkeley ban advertisements for Young America’s Foundation-sponsored campus lectures. And no longer can UC Berkeley relegate conservative speakers to remote or inconvenient lecture halls on campus while giving leftist speakers access to preferred locations.”

YAF said security fees will also be $0 with the exception of students handling money or providing alcohol. (RELATED: Berkeley Spent $600,000 For Security At Ben Shapiro Event)

UC Berkeley, however, emphasized it does not have to admit to “viewpoint discrimination.”

“The settlement does not require the university to concede that any of the plaintiffs’ claims of previous viewpoint discrimination have any basis in fact, for they did not,” an official said to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The settlement agreement confirms that all efforts by plaintiffs to prove viewpoint discrimination by the campus have been abandoned.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 27: Political commentator/author Ann Coulter speaks onstage at The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe at Sony Studios on August 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/ Alberto E. Rodriguez

LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 27: Political commentator/author Ann Coulter speaks onstage at The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe at Sony Studios on August 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/ Alberto E. Rodriguez

YAF spokesman Spencer Brown confirmed to TheDCNF it paid for the attorney fees, “so the $70,000 is going toward our damages.”

“While we regret the time, effort and resources that have been expended successfully defending the constitutionality of UC Berkeley’s event policy, this settlement means the campus will not need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in unrecoverable defense costs to prove that UC Berkeley has never discriminated on the basis of viewpoint,” UC Berkeley campus spokesman Dan Mogulof said in a statement sent to TheDCNF.

A university official added UC Berkeley has “hosted a large number of conservative speakers in classroom venues, including Charlie Kirk, Rick Santorum, Dennis Prager, Heather MacDonald, Candace Owens, Dave Rubin, Steve Simpson, Antonia Okafor and Allie Stuckey.”

UC Berkeley spent “approximately” $250,000 to date in relation to the lawsuit, Mogulof told The College Fix. The school was expecting to spend $1 million by “the end of a fully litigated process.” No state funds or tuition dollars were spent on legal expenses, he said.

“I cannot say whether or not the [sic] University will stick to the agreement of this settlement in the future, but I believe that for their sake, they will certainly want to,” Matt Ronnau, president of Berkeley CRs, told TheDCNF. “Over the course of the past year and a half we have shown that we can fight the University of California — and win. If UC Berkeley reverts back to their old tactics, I know that there is a lawyer ready to jump at the case and take Cal to court.”

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