White Supremacist Student Protester Won't Be Expelled and That's a Good Thing

Alt Right demonstrators walk into the entrance of Lee Park surrounded by counter demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

In the aftermath of the past weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Va., one photo taken Friday night of a group of white supremacists shot Peter Cvjetanovic, a University of Nevada – Reno student, to national attention and deserved derision.


After Cvjetanovic was identified, a Change.org petition was started in an attempt to get the 20-year-old expelled and fired from UNR. The effort was unsuccessful. UNR President Marc Johnson stated at a Monday news conference Cvjetanovic will not be expelled. And that’s a good thing.

While many people’s reflex is to want people with bigoted and racist points of view ostracized, in this case, the individual could clearly benefit from continuing his education. As evidenced by comments he’s made to the media, it appears Cvjetnanovic’s worldview originates from a position of ignorance as it relates to culture.

“I believe that cultures are being threatened,” says Cvjetanovic, 20, who identifies Reno as his hometown. “Everyone is melding together and I personally believe that with immigration, some cultures are being threatened and that includes whites, European culture. I do not hate other cultures.”


A couple Western Civilization courses would show him that cultures evolve. We send kids to college with the hope and intention that it will make them better, more productive and knowledgeable members of society. Expelling Cvjetanovic simply makes it less likely he will be exposed to information and ideas that would benefit him and ultimately society.

The university’s main reason for existing is to educate and teach people to think critically. Kicking out students who have unsavory viewpoints, rather than educating them and giving them tools and information showing them differently, is abandoning the mission of higher education.


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