The Sad State of UC Berkeley

A Berkeley alumnus speaks out on the university's nightmarish turn.

Author’s note: A week ago I received an invitation to a fundraiser for the Daily Californian Foundation, which raises private money to support the UC Berkeley student newspaper.

However, after recent violent attacks on Milo, Pam Geller, David Horowitz, and Ann Coulter, among others, I felt that I could no longer donate to a newspaper which had apparently abandoned its commitment to free speech, and wanted to share my thoughts in this regard with its staff. As they never responded, I thought publication of my letter in FrontPageMag, founded by a UC Berkeley alumnus and former instructor, might get their attention, and hopefully lead to some “second thoughts” at the Daily Cal:

Thank you for your email and kind invitation.

However, I am too disappointed and embarrassed by what I read in the Daily Californian recently about Free Speech at Berkeley to attend your event.

It is appalling to see articles, opeds, and editorials which advocate violence against those with dissenting opinions in a student newspaper that left campus during the Free Speech Movement in order to maintain editorial independence and commit itself to free speech.

Therefore, I can’t in good conscience support the Daily Cal unless and until it unequivocally disavows and rejects politically correct positions which run counter to principles of freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry, freedom of debate, academic freedom and free-thinking in general.

It makes me very sad, because I enjoyed working on the paper when I was a student. But I have been truly horrified by what I have been reading online in the Daily Cal about Ann Coulter, Milo, David Horowitz (a Cal alumnus and former instructor!) and the persecution of conservatives and Republicans on campus. 

The paper right now seems to me like a totalitarian propaganda sheet out of a dystopian novel or movie, full of ugly denunciations rather than thoughtful or intelligent journalism. Intolerance would be an understatement to describe the horror show I’ve seen on campus and in the pages of the Daily Cal online. Nightmare might be a better word choice.

So, I regret to say that I am ashamed to be a Cal alumnus, and especially a Daily Cal alumnus, at this time.

Let me know when you have an editor-in-chief and staff who are proud to declare their support for the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence, and I’ll reconsider the issue. 

Until that time, I must  decline your invitation on principle.

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

Laurence A. Jarvik, BA 1977

Former Daily Cal Staff Writer