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Ahead of Ben Shapiro's Speech, UC Berkeley Offers Counseling Services to Students If They Feel 'Threatened'

Published: September 11, 2017
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Source: news week

Ahead of a talk from conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro at UC Berkeley, a letter has been sent by the university to students, faculty and staff, stating that counseling services will be made available to those who feel "threatened or harrassed" by certain speakers.

"We are deeply concerned about the impact some speakers may have on individuals’ sense of safety and belonging," the letter states.

The letter also highlighted a slew of security measures that will be taken during Shapiro's appearance, noting an "increased and highly visible police presence."

In recent months, UC Berkeley has experienced violent protests and widespread public outcry over certain planned speakers, including tedentious individuals like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter (whose talks were both ultimately canceled), which helps explain the new measures. 

"This sort of communication has not been needed previously," Dan Mogulof, a spokesman for UC Berkeley, tells Newsweek. 

Mogulof says there were no reports of Shapiro saying anything that would lead anyone on campus to fear for their safety, but also noted there are speakers who seem to intentionally lean toward "provocative rhetoric" to intentially induce "discomfort and concern."

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