- University of Nevada, RenoPresident - Marc Johnson; VP Student Services Shannon Ellis
Fire & Expel Peter Cvjetanovic
Update: August 17, 2017
By Keeping Him at the School, THE UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO IS AS RACIST AS WHITE SUPREMACIST PETER CVJETANOVIC
- The university has been unequivocal about their stance to keep Peter Cvjetanovic, white supremacist, on campus as an employee (he's a student also - but his status as a student is difficult to terminate).
- Peter Cvjetanovic is the (now world-famous) white supremacist and poster boy for the violent marches that took place in Charlottesville.
- The staff at University at Nevada, Reno support racism, welcome hate-speech, encourage white supremacy, thus making them just as racist as Peter Cvjetanovic.
- Scroll to the very bottom of my message to see what you can do other than sign this petition.
The University of Nevada, Reno has refused to take any action against Peter Cvjetanovic’s participation in the alt-right violent Charlottesville march. And they don’t plan on it.
UNR has condemned the actions that took place in Charlottesville. Yet, UNR has also refused to give Peter Cvjetanovic any consequences for his actions.
Marc Johnson, UNR’s President, said that firing Peter would go against Cvjetanovic’s constitutional right of “free speech”.
I argue that inaction, when you are in a position of power, is as good as not caring.
Kevin Page, the chairman of the state Board of Regents, also said Cvjetanovic’s status at UNR would not be affected no matter how many people sign this petition. He claims “UNR police looked at it — he wasn’t arrested, he didn’t break any laws. We don’t have any right to terminate him. Expression of free speech is protected in the country. We don’t like what he said, but that’s what makes this country so great — people can have the right to say what they want.”
Let me reiterate that Kevin Page “didn’t like” what he said.
I don’t like traffic jams. I don’t like long line-ups. I don’t like finding spiders in my bathtub.
But when it comes to one of my peers marching in a very violent and hateful rally with extremists, it’s not that I “didn’t like” it. It’s that it shakes me, and many others, to our very core. These are groups that promote the killing of people who are not like them and violence against those who disagree with them. In fact, these groups killed Heather Heyer. This is not about “not liking” what Peter did. Peter participated and contributed his physical presence to this march. He booked a ticket from Nevada to Virginia. He planned his attendance well in advance. When you befriend a Nazi, you are sympathizing with a Nazi, you enable a Nazi, you become the Nazi.
Peter recently said in an interview that he ‘condemns’ Nazis and stresses he isn't an 'angry racist'. Peter, that's where you and I are the same. I, too, hate Nazis, and I too am not an angry racist. But the difference between you and me is that I mean it when I say that. You cannot ‘condemn’ them and also participate in a rally with them. It can't be both. Your actions have spoken louder than your words. When you contribute to the problem, you become the problem. This is the flaw in your logic, and why no one believes you, despite you trying to clear your name.
Joe Cohn, legislative and policy director for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said terminating Cvjetanovic would be applicable only if his actions would undermine his job duties.
As a white male student at an institution of higher learning myself, I asked my school’s Office of Student Affairs if they would terminate someone’s employment if they participated in the march. They said yes without hesitation. It goes against what institutions of higher education stand for.
Employment attorney Andrew Rempfer agrees with this. He states that an employee checks his constitutional rights at the door of his job and that employees can be terminated for off-duty conduct. Rempfer states “I’m frankly surprised they haven’t fired him. If it were my paralegal who went off site and was at an active rally like that, I’d fire her in a heartbeat. It’s off-duty conduct that besmirches what I do. I wouldn’t find a client who would be willing to hire me, and I don’t condone it in the first place.”
I am all for freedom of speech, but there’s a huge difference between expressing your views civilly versus participating and marching in a violent rally joined by the KKK and Neo-Nazis. Free speech is not freedom from consequence at an institution of higher learning.
So, it comes down to this: the university can take action, it does not want to fire Peter. It has found a politically correct way to say ‘yea this sucks, and we can do something about it, but we don’t care enough to’. Nevada is an at-will state – in U.S. labor law, it means an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish “just cause” for termination), and without warning.
The university’s decision is beyond embarrassing, and scary for the current students who are not white. The University of Nevada, Reno does not care about you. Sorry.
To those who signed this petition, or to those reading who oppose their decision– here’s what you can do:
1) If you donate to the school, pull out your support.
2) If you are a current student, let the university hear you, be unequivocally vocal. Suggest how they can better support you. Hold them accountable to it. Go to your local press. Be proactive and vigilant about what you will and will not stand for. I trust you do this already, but right now, it is especially important. Or better yet - switch to another school. Do not waste your money here.
3) Get in touch with people I've mentioned in this article. Continue showing your support for this petition by contacting the university through your social media channel of choice and making your voice heard.
4) Contact funding agencies, the government, sponsors of UNR etc. See what can be done.
5) Update their Wikipedia page, maybe make one for Peter. Because if this is the decision they are sticking with, don't let them or the world forget it.
6) All prospective students - Keep away from UNR! I promise you, you can do better.
Keep spreading the word about this decision.
And lastly, let this situation serve as a case study of a broader issue in America: privilege based on race and gender. Basically, you can be an outward Nazi-sympathizing white supremacist participating in world-condemned terrorism, and your all-white male superiors will still support you.
- President - Marc Johnson; VP Student Services Shannon Ellis
University of Nevada, Reno
Fire & Expel Peter Cvjetanovic
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