The University of California Berkeley is making counseling and other services available to students who may be upset or "threatened" by conservative writer Ben Shapiro's upcoming appearance on campus. In a memo published on Friday ahead of the event, the University reminded students that support services would be available if they were to need them.
UC Berkeley is offering counseling services to those upset by Ben Shapiro's speech pic.twitter.com/wPX1dYXD3P— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) September 8, 2017
We are deeply concerned about the impact some speakers may have on individuals’ sense of safety and belonging. No one should be made to feel threatened or harassed simply because of who they are or for what they believe. For that reason, the following support services are being offered and encouraged:
When asked by The Daily Signal why counseling services would be offered specifically for Shaprio's speech, the assistant vice chancellor at the university’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs responded that students--both liberals and conservatives--had voiced concerns about Antifa and other violent groups coming to campus to disrupt the speech.
Still, it's rather absurd that counselors could even be considered to be necessary for a speech by a relatively mainstream conservative figure. Ben Shapiro is not a threatening figure. There's no need for Antifa to stage a Milo Yiannopoulos-esque protest, nor is there any real reason for a student to be disturbed to the point of needing a counselor over a political figure coming to campus. If they don't want to hear what Shapiro has to say, they can simply skip the speech. (I'm sure there's plenty to do in Berkeley besides going to this talk.)
The real world doesn't come with easily-available counselors and safe spaces. Sometimes people disagree on things, and sometimes it gets awkward. UC Berkeley is one of the best schools in the nation--it's high time they start treating their students like adults.