Hundreds of University of Michigan students walked out of class late Wednesday morning in protest of the university's negotiations with white nationalist Richard Spencer.
Last week, the university's board of regents and President Mark Schlissel held a meeting to discuss their decision to allow Spencer speaking space on the campus.
"I recognize that an appearance by Spencer will cause genuine emotional hurt to many members of our community,” said U of M President, Mark Schlissel.
Schlissel was clear he doesn’t support Spencer’s views.
"I personally detest and reject the hateful white supremacy and white nationalism expressed by Mr. Spencer as well as his racist, anti Semitic and otherwise bigoted views,” said Schlissel.
But he does support free speech.
"As painful as it is to allow this speaker to rent our space, a democratic society without free speech is unimaginable,” said Schlissel.
"We will not and cannot participate in classes at a University that prioritizes avoiding a lawsuit instead of protecting its students," one student said. "We cannot function in a University that insists that they can control safety in the hands of white supremacists, when they cannot even control the hate crimes on this campus that happen every month."