In Reversal, Cal State L.A. President Allows Conservative Pundit Ben Shapiro to Speak at Campus Event

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Conservative author and pundit Ben Shapiro has been allowed to appear at Cal State Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon, despite the university’s previous cancellation of an event at which he had been slated as the featured speaker.

Ben Shapiro, editor in chief of DailyWire.com, is seen on Feb. 24, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Ben Shapiro, editor in chief of DailyWire.com, is seen on Feb. 24, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

The Breitbart editor-at-large was initially scheduled to deliver remarks on the topic “When Diversity Becomes a Problem,” part of the Young America Foundation’s Fred R. Allen lecture series.

After some students and faculty members objected to Shapiro’s planned appearance at the event, it was cancelled by Cal State L.A. President William A. Covino.

“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,” Covino said in a statement.

“We will be happy to work with Mr. Shapiro to schedule the more inclusive event that I have in mind,” the university president added.

Covino later reversed his decision, saying in a Thursday statement that he "strongly" disagrees with Shapiro's views. "But if Mr. Shapiro does appear, the university will allow him to speak," the CSULA president said.

In an interview on Wednesday, Shapiro decried the given rationale for the initial cancellation.

“It’s a non-excuse,” he said. “I am the diversity. I mean, the entire place is left. … I’m the first conservative speaker we’ve even heard of who’s going to the campus.”

He pointed out that talks have been given at Cal State L.A. by commentators and activists such as Dr. Cornel West, Tim Wise and Angela Davis.

Shapiro insisted that the cancellation of Thursday’s event would not stop him from being at that the campus.

“Screw them. I’m going anyway,” he told KTLA.

According to a post on Breitbart.com, “The event is expected to draw heavy protests from #BlackLivesMatter activists and other leftist groups.”

The post includes a livestream video player and invites viewers to “watch all of the action” at 2 p.m. PT Thursday.