Just days before the conservative commentator Ben Shapiro was slated to speak at California State University at Los Angeles, the institution’s president, William A. Covino, called off the event after some people on the campus expressed concerns about Mr. Shapiro’s appearance.
“After careful consideration, I have decided that it will be best for our campus community if we reschedule Ben Shapiro’s appearance for a later date, so that we can arrange for him to appear as part of a group of speakers with differing viewpoints on diversity,” Mr. Covino said in an email on Monday to the chair of the campus’s Young America’s Foundation chapter, Mark Kahanding.
Mr. Shapiro’s scheduled lecture, titled “When Diversity Becomes a Problem,” is part of a nationwide campus speaking tour in which he is teaming up with the student group to “invade safe spaces.” In the weeks leading up to the planned speech some students and staff members on the Los Angeles campus expressed disapproval on the event’s Facebook page.
A professor of Pan-African studies, Melina Abdullah, posted a picture of the event’s promotional flier on her Facebook page with a cry for action. Ms. Abdullah later tweeted that she was receiving hate mail in response to her post.
On Tuesday, Mr. Shapiro, an editor at the conservative publications DailyWire.com and Breitbart, vowed on Twitter to still show up for the lecture, stating, “I’ll be there on Thursday. See you there, snowflakes.”
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 23, 2016
University officials would not comment to The Chronicle on what they would do if Mr. Shapiro arrived as planned.
This isn’t the first time Mr. Shapiro has made waves on a college campus. In a mid-November speech at the University of Missouri at Columbia, he slammed higher-education institutions as politically correct places of “leftist fascism,” reported The Columbia Missourian.