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UNR student who attended white nationalist rally resigns from campus job

Peter Cvjetanovic talks with KRNV in Reno about the aftermath of his appearance with white nationalists marching through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches. (SBG)

A University of Nevada, Reno student who attended a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, said he has resigned from his on-campus job.

Peter Cvjetanovic confirmed to News 4-Fox 11 that he chose to resign from his job as a driver for the campus escort service. He said, "while my job was protected, I understood that other students might not appreciate me."

The day he was scheduled to start training for his position at the university, Cvjetanovic said he decided it would be best for all parties involved if he walked away from the job.

"The thing about it, it's very much a social interaction and requires a lot of trust both ways." Cvjetanovic said, "I quit because I want to have some form of peace at the university."

A photo of Cvjetanovic attending the Unite the Right rally on the University of Virginia campus earlier this month quickly went viral.

He identified himself in an interview as a white nationalist and a member of Identity Evropa, which is classified as a hate group by organizations such the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The news about Cvjetanovic quitting his job came on the first day of classes at the University of Nevada. He told News 4 -Fox 11 that he attended his first class on Monday without issue. "I did get a few glares, but nothing really. No one approached me."

A petition on Change.org seeking calling on University President Marc Johnson to expel Cvjetanovic has received more than 36,000 signatures.

"He is not the victim here," it reads. "Hold him accountable for his actions. Give him consequences."

Cvjetanovic commented on the petition on Monday, saying, "the petition to expel me isn't going to work. I'm protected by the first amendment and that's not going to change."

University President Marc Johnson said at a press conference the school could neither expel Cvjetanovic nor fire him from his on-campus job, however, citing discussions with attorneys and protections afforded by the First Amendment.

"The First Amendment freedom of free speech requires us all to understand that sometimes support of this freedom can be uncomfortable," he said in a statement.

The Associated Students of the University of Nevada, on the other hand, has held meetings to look into whether Cvjetanovic's actions at the Charlottesville rally violated student conduct. He told News 4-Fox 11 it's just another reason he thought it would be best to quit his on-campus job. "The less interaction I have with students, the less chance there is going to be to see that I violated the student conduct."

When asked earlier this month if Cvjetanovic violated the student code of conduct, Vice President of Student Services Shannon Ellis only answered, "No."

A Black Lives Matter protest marched in Reno on Sunday, Aug. 27, with some participants sharing outrage over Cvjetanovic's participation in the Charlottesville rally.

But as the political science major begins a new semester, Cvjetanovic said he wants his peers to know he's open to having a respectful conversation about his beliefs.

"I can see where they're coming from that they might be uncomfortable. I really hope they understand that I'm not going to hurt anyone. I've held these beliefs for a long time." He said, "I just want a peaceful year. This is my senior year and the people who want me gone-- it's only until May."

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