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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has issued a statement saying a student who described himself in a widely circulated online video as a white nationalist has a First Amendment right to express his views.

In recent days, people have called for the student’s expulsion. On Wednesday afternoon, hundreds gathered on the campus to protest the student’s remarks.

On Thursday, UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green said in a written message that he rejects racism and bigotry. But, he said, the “student’s viewpoint — however hateful and intolerant it is — is also protected by the First Amendment.”

The contention comes just weeks after the NU system adopted a new policy reiterating its commitment to freedom of expression. That followed an incident last summer in which a UNL graduate student-lecturer yelled at and made an obscene gesture to a sophomore student who was recruiting membership in a conservative group.