UC Santa Barbara College Republicans announced Friday that conservative pundit Ben Shapiro will be speaking at Campbell Hall on Feb. 21.
The event, titled “Lies, Prejudice and Division: The Legacy of the #BLM Movement” has sparked controversy on campus since it was first announced that the A.S. Finance and Business Committee granted $5,000 in funding for College Republicans.
Shapiro graduated from UCLA and Harvard Law School and is known for writing several non-fiction books and serving as the editor in chief of The Daily Wire.
Based on Shapiro’s views, the event’s Facebook description says the Black Lives Matter movement has had a “disproportionate – and overwhelmingly negative – impact on the political climate in America” since it first rose to popularity in 2012.
Many students reject Shapiro’s stance and believe his views are damaging to the progress of minority groups. Following a six-hour A.S. Senate meeting, students protested the senate’s decision to approve the finance committee’s funding.
Shapiro, who last spoke at UCSB in 2013, has been banned from speaking engagements at other universities and was escorted off the CSU Los Angeles campus in May 2016 due to protests.
Students and faculty who do not support Shapiro’s speaking engagement have suggested protest, alternate programming and solidarity movements to counter the College Republican’s event.
Others believe it is unconstitutional to prevent Shapiro from speaking at UCSB due to his controversial dialogue, and say free speech must be upheld on college campuses. College Republicans secured Campbell Hall to host their speaker with additional financial support from the Young Americas Foundation.
Correction: Shapiro has written several non-fiction books, not novels.