Who Are We
The Berkeley Forum is a non-partisan, student-run organization at the University of California, Berkeley. Founded in 2012, the Forum hosts debates, panels, and talks by leading experts in a wide variety of fields. The Berkeley Forum plays an important role in the community by providing unique opportunities for students, faculty, and community members to come together and engage in the discussion and presentation of a diversity of relevant and important topics and issues. The unique platform the Forum hosts allows experts to share their passions with an engaged, excited audience, but also allows the audience to interact and grapple with the ideas being posed to them. The Berkeley Forum has a long history of hosting events with a range of distinguished speakers. In the past, we have hosted Chief Justice of California Tani-Cantil Sakauye, US Senator Rand Paul, ACLU President Susan Herman, Olympic Swimmer Natalie Coughlin, 88Rising Founder Sean Miyashiro, and many more.
How Your Support Helps
The Berkeley Forum was founded on the principles that its events ought to be open and accessible. We consistently strive to improve the quality of experience and discourse we foster, but these goals come with a significant financial burden. Unfortunately, the funding we are provided from the university cover just a limited fraction of our overall costs. Frequently, Forum members, who are all undergraduate students, are required to pay out of their own pockets for our events. Thus, we are hoping to receive support from the Berkeley community that will help us continue putting on our events. Our current semester includes a total of 13 debates, panels, and talks. As our organization strives to stay true to its founding values, our financial limitations as a prominent student-run organization have begun to inhibit our abilities to achieve our goals. With your support, we hope to overcome these issues in three areas:
1) $1750 to increase the number of debates and panels. As opposed to our talks, which only feature one speaker, our debates and panels often feature 2-4 speakers which can multiply the costs of an event significantly. For instance, flying one speaker out from the East Coast can cost $450, but flying two speakers costs $900. As a result, we limit the number of debates and panels we can put on. $1750 of this crowdfunding campaign will be used for organizing more debates and panels and, thus, diversifying our platform even more.
2) $1250 to host more high-profile speakers. High-profile speakers often cost the Forum more money because of higher venue costs (bigger venues cost more money), higher transport and accommodation costs (many high-profile speakers are not based in the Bay Area), and higher security fees. We hope to allocate $1250 towards accommodating such speakers and exposing the Berkeley community to more well-known speakers. Hosting just one high-profile speaker includes costs such as transport ($350 flight), accommodation ($100 hotel/night), security ($250), marketing ($50), and venue ($500), totaling $1250.
3) $1000 to host more events at off-campus venues. Recently, we have not been able to use many of the venues we used to get for free (especially in the Haas School of Business) because of changes in administrative rules. As a result, we will end up having to spend more money on venue rentals. To compensate for this, we would like to allocate $1000 towards increased venue costs as well as towards hosting more events in venues that are off-campus to make them more accessible.
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