Ronnie Green, chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, assured his campus Thursday that security is his highest priority while preserving a white nationalist’s freedom of speech.
Green said through a written statement that UNL police and other “safety experts” are keeping an eye on the situation. They will take the action necessary, Green said.
“I trust their judgment, competence and professionalism to manage this situation in a manner that protects the safety of all members of our campus community,” he said.
UNL has been abuzz since videos of an undergraduate student from Norfolk, Nebraska, have been unveiled. The student, Daniel Kleve, calls himself a white nationalist who relishes violence. He also says that “now is not the time” to perpetrate violence and said further in an interview that he never meant actual violence.
A student rally at UNL on Wednesday attracted close to 300 people and prompted many cries for Kleve to be expelled.
Green said in his statement that he rejects the young man’s views and finds them disgusting. But however hateful those views are, Green said, they are protected by the First Amendment.
Green said UNL Executive Vice Chancellor Donde Plowman would hold “listening sessions” on the matter. One took place Thursday morning, and another will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
The Friday session will be in the Nebraska Union Colonial Room.
“Let’s stand together and demonstrate our collective strength, shared humanity and commitment to peaceful and respectful discussion and debate,” Green said.