[UPDATED] Berkeley j-students to Nate Silver: Please visit us while you’re on campus!


FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver is speaking at UC Berkeley on Sunday, and journalism school students there have tried for months to arrange a chat with him. So far they’ve been unsuccessful.

The assistant dean’s January email to Rusty Barnes at Cal Performances, the campus outfit that booked Silver for the $20/ticket talk.

Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 6:05 PM
To: rbarnes@calperformances.org
Subject: Nate Silver

Mr. Barnes,

Our students are very interested in Nate Silver’s visit. Would Mr. Silver’s schedule allow for a short visit with journalism students on May 4th?

Roia Ferrazares
Assistant Dean
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Barnes’ response:

From: Rusty Barnes
Date: January 31, 2014, 3:00:00 PM PST
Subject: Re: Nate Silver

Hello, Roia,

Sorry for my delay in getting back with you. I wanted to let you know that I am looking into this, but I haven’t heard anything concrete yet. I hope to have an answer for you sometime next week.

Rusty Barnes
Public Relations Associate

Three months later…

On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 10:26 AM, [Berkeley journalism student] Mihir Zaveri wrote:

Hi Roia, any update on this?


Still no news:

On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 10:38 AM, Roia T. FERRAZARES wrote:

> Hi Mihir,
> Thanks for your reminder. The ball had been in the court of Rusty Barnes
> at Cal Performances, who said he was going to try to work something out. I
> hadn’t heard back from him, and didn’t follow up. I’ve written to him now.
> Keep your fingers crossed.
> Roia

“It’s a no”:

Para: “Mihir Zaveri”
Asunto: Nate Silver
Fecha: jue., abr. 24, 2014 1:20 PM

Rusty wrote back, and unfortunately it’s a no.
This from him:

Hello, Roia,

Please accept my apologies for the delay in my response. I have been
waiting on Nate’s management to get back to me on this for quite some time,
and unfortunately, he will not be available.

I’ve asked Silver if he’s aware of the campaign to get him to speak to Berkeley students on Sunday.

* Cal Performances presents Nate Silver at UC Berkeley (berkeley.edu)

Update — Linfield College (McMinnville, OR) Department of Mass Communications chairman Brad Thompson writes: “Jim Tankersley of the W.Post just visited my campus and spoke to five classes, had dinner (and good Oregon wine) with select faculty and students and guests and then spoke for an hour to a packed (for our small school) hall about the Post’s forthcoming effort to combine data mining and storytelling. Last year Mark Potok of the SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center] did a similar thing: all-day visits to many classes and talk in the evening. Before that, Leonard Pitts did the same. Seems the common thing to do.”