Green to campus: 'my highest priority is your safety'
Chancellor Ronnie Green sent the following message to university students, faculty and staff in an email Feb. 8.
This week, you received a message acknowledging concerns voiced about a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student, a self-identified white nationalist, in a video posted on Monday.
I want to assure all of you that my highest priority is your safety. Our safety experts have been carefully monitoring this situation and University Police have been and continue to work closely with their partners. They will take the action needed to ensure safety on this campus — 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.
If you do feel threatened or unsafe, please tell someone immediately — an administrator, faculty member or University Police at 402-472-2222 or anonymously at http://unl.edu/TIPS. We will follow up on each and every concern shared with us.
I have heard from many of you in our community and beyond, calling for this student to be removed from campus based on concern for safety and outright disgust and rejection of the ideologies represented. Like many of you, I categorically reject the viewpoints represented in the video, which are rooted in racism and bigotry. That is my right to reject these disturbing views and it is your right to do so as well.
The student’s viewpoint — however hateful and intolerant it is — is also protected by the First Amendment. That is the law, even if we disagree. Hateful words and speech, while protected, still have human and real consequences. Many of you have shared feelings of frustration and concern. Know that I hear you, the campus leadership hears you, and we stand by and with you.
To this end, Executive Vice Chancellor Donde Plowman will host the first of a series of listening conversations for students today at 11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of Kauffman Residential Center. If you cannot make that time, the next session will be held Friday at 11:30 a.m. in the Nebraska Union Colonial Room. I invite you to join her along with Laurie Bellows, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Charlie Foster, Director of the Gaughan Multicultural Center and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; and Joe Zach, President of ASUN and Student Regent.
Let’s stand together and demonstrate our collective strength, shared humanity and commitment to peaceful and respectful discussion and debate. That’s the university I know and love.