The high costs of controversial campus speakers

In September, Milo Yiannopoulos strolled onto the University of California's Berkeley campus, surrounded by supporters, hecklers and a lot of police. Wearing an American flag hoodie, the right-wing commentator took selfies, signed autographs and posed with signs, including one that read: "Feminism is Cancer". His 15-minute appearance cost UC Berkeley US$800,000 in what the university's spokesman Dan Mogulof called "the most expensive photo-op in the university's history", writes Madison Park for CNN.

Free speech has neither come free nor cheap on campuses this year – especially amid fierce protests in response to controversial speakers. On Tuesday Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at California State University, Fullerton as part of his ‘Troll Academy’ tour. He was invited there by the Cal State Fullerton College Republicans. The university said it would be closing several campus roads, shutting its student union early and increasing police presence on campus for the event.

If past events are any indicator, Tuesday's event could be a costly one for the southern California university. Last month, the University of Florida spent more than half a million dollars in security costs for a speech by white supremacist Richard Spencer. In April, UC Berkeley spent US$600,000 in security for conservative commentator Ann Coulter's cancelled event. The university has already spent more than US$2 million on managing protests since July, the beginning of its fiscal year.
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