EAST LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A mediator will try to settle a dispute between Michigan State University and white nationalist Richard Spencer, who wants to speak on campus.

Michigan State was sued after it refused to rent space to a Spencer supporter. In August, the school said it was concerned about public safety, especially after violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Federal Judge Janet Neff on Friday ordered Michigan State and Spencer ally Cameron Padgett to pick a mediator by Nov. 17. She also set deadlines to manage Padgett’s request for a preliminary injunction. He says the school is violating free speech rights.

Meanwhile, the University of Michigan is still considering a speaking request by Spencer to speak on the Ann Arbor campus.

“I want to engage with them,” said Spencer, who last week told WWJ’s Zahra Huber he is not a white supremacist or a racist.  “My perspective, which is highly relevant, which has actually captured the imagination of millions of people around the country, is one that is suppressed at major universities.”

Spencer popularized the term “alt-right” to refer to a fringe movement that’s a mix of white nationalist, white supremacist, anti-Semitic and anti-immigration beliefs.

His think tank, per its mission statement, aims to “elevate the consciousness of whites, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights.” He was scheduled to speak at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville – which erupted into violence, leaving dozens injured and one dead.

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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