Freedom of speech is under assault at
UCSB, and what happened at Associated
Students Legislative Council last night
should send a chill down the spine of every
student interested in free and open debate
on campus.

College Republicans at UCSB intend
to bring controversial, polemic David
Horowitz to UCSB on May 26, and we
requested a small amount of funding
from Finance Board to cover security and
audio-visual costs (the final amount came
out to $1,770). To put this in perspective,
security costs for UCSB CR’s Karl Rove
event last year was well over $10,000, and
Associated Students this year presided over
a $9 million budget. We were asking for
pocket change, and that small allocation
would have covered security, making sure
Horowitz and the students coming to the
free event would be kept safe from any
protesters who got out of control.

Our request was denied, and we were
allocated $0 because “the dialogue between
Horowitz and UCSB students [would] not
be a constructive one.” Yet, California law
requires A.S. not consider the ideological
content of a speaker’s presentation when
deciding whether or not to provide them
with funds. Finance Board broke the law
in an attempt to silence David Horowitz’s
free speech.

When we asked Leg Council to
reconsider Finance Board’s decision, we
were accused of being a privileged group
on campus by one of the council members
— which is news to us — because we were
“white, straight males.” Our request of
funds was compared to the Civil Rights
Movement — apparently providing
security costs for Horowitz is equivalent
to supporting segregation — and when
A.S. finally allocated by consent $1,100
to cover only the security portion of our
request, Leg Council — being accused of
“Islamophobia” by a gaggle of anti-free
speech protesters in the audience — went
back, breaking their own parliamentary
rules, to revote on the allocation. But the
allocation was passed by consent, a silent
vote — you cannot revote on a vote that
never happened.

When the five of us representing College
Republicans finally left Leg Council, after
being attacked by the audience and Leg
Council members for five straight hours,
one of my club members confided in me,
telling me that he had never felt more
discriminated against and personally
targeted in his entire life. He wanted to
raise his hand and tell this to the Leg
Council earlier, but he feared upsetting
the council members and jeopardizing our

The UCSB College Republicans are
asking that the A.S. Leg Council formally
apologize for the discrimination we were
subjected to during that meeting, both by
individual council members and members
of the audience who were yielded speakingtime
by members of the council, and for
the breaking of parliamentary procedure
that inappropriately reduced our funding
from $1,100 to $800. This is not a personal
attack on Leg Council — I know many
council members personally and have great
respect for them as individuals — but A.S.
is an elected board. College Republicans
pay student fees as well, voted in the
elections and deserve to be treated with the
same respect as every minority on campus.

David Horowitz will come to this
campus, whether we receive $1,100 or
only $800 from finance board. We invite
everyone who so viscously opposed us to
respectfully attend the event, but we ask
that you act like mature adults and give us
and David Horowitz the same respect that
we gave you at the meeting last night.

Steven Begakis is a third-year political
science and economics major and president of
the UCSB College Republicans.