“This is a clear threat to public higher education.”
A faculty letter addressed to the UC Berkeley campus and the Berkeley community at large is calling for a complete boycott of classes and campus activities during the upcoming “Free Speech Week,” which will feature conservative speakers whose very names inspire college students to seek safe spaces and therapy.
The Berkeley paper called The Daily Californian reports that the letter was co-written by seven faculty members, including Michael Cohen, a campus associate teaching professor of African American studies. The letter urges fellow faculty members to take three steps: cancel classes and tell students to stay home; close buildings and departments and allow staff to stay home; and not penalize students who are afraid of coming to campus. The letter was signed by 132 campus faculty members from various departments, and by 56 individuals who aren’t part of the UC Berkeley faculty.
Cohen said that most of the students in his African American Studies class are students “of color,” and he believes it is unethical and discriminatory for him to ask his students to be on campus during Free Speech Week, which will be held on campus from Sept. 24-27.
As noted by the Daily Californian, Free Speech Week is being hosted by the Berkeley Patriot, a conservative student newspaper. The four-day event includes themes such as “Feminism Awareness Day” and “Mario Savio is Dead.” Speakers scheduled to be on campus include libertarian provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, conservative commentator Ann Coulter, and dreaded Breitbart honcho Steve Bannon.