Arizona State University (ASU) officials say Kyle Rittenhouse may enroll for classes, notwithstanding radical student groups like the ASU Students For Socialism’s vows to demonstrate on campus Wednesday to demand the school prevent him from attending. Rittenhouse, who was recently acquitted of homicide for defending himself, has taken online courses at ASU previously and said after the acquittal that he intends to resume them.
Several prominent ASU graduates denounced the protest, and one, State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa), pushed ASU for a response.
Townsend told The Arizona Sun Times she asked ASU’s President Michael Crowe on Tuesday whether Rittenhouse had been disenrolled. In a more detailed statement than previously offered, ASU responded, “Kyle Rittenhouse did not go through the ASU admissions process, but was enrolled in two publicly available courses for this semester. University records show that he is no longer enrolled, a status precipitated by his own actions.”
During an interview with Ashleigh Banfield of NewsNation, Rittenhouse said he had taken a “compassionate withdrawal” from his two online ASU courses because, he said, he was “overwhelmed with the trial coming on.”
ASU assured Townsend that Rittenhouse was not banned, “As a university that measures itself by whom it includes and how they succeed, should he choose to seek admission in the future, his application will be processed as any other would be.”
I reached out to @michaelcrow this AM to see if I could learn if #KyleRittennhouse had been disenrolled from ASU via pressure from student groups. He promptly replied with this answer. I thank him for the quick response and am glad that Kyle is free to apply for admission. pic.twitter.com/5gjDCJmtc3
— Senator Kelly Townsend (@AZKellyT) November 30, 2021
However, while ASU has not taken any action yet to sever itself from Rittenhouse, it could still decide not to admit him when he formally applies for its nursing program.
Townsend told The Sun Times that even if Rittenhouse is admitted, “these student groups have made it an unsafe place to go.”
She said, “There should be consequences for actively slandering a potential student and making a hostile environment for him.”
She is drafting a bill to ban student groups and curriculum at Arizona’s public universities and community colleges funded by taxpayers that advocate to overthrow the Constitution and promote the destruction of the country.
Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) told The Sun Times that he will consider taking action against ASU if it caves into the “bigoted attempts.”
He said, “The hate and racial hostility that has been allowed to grow unchecked at Arizona State University is both shocking and disturbing. The racist and bigoted attempts by extremist groups like MECHA de ASU to block Kyle Rittenhouse from attending the school, even after having been unanimously found to be ‘not guilty,’ is merely the latest display of ASU’s toxic campus culture.”
He warned, “If ASU’s leadership and student government don’t immediately act to hold those institutionally sponsored groups responsible for their repeated attempts to divide our communities and state, the legislature will have no choice but to block all funding to the university when it reconvenes in 2022.”
Newly appointed State Rep. Teresa Martinez (R-Maricopa) told The Sun Times she was outraged by the student groups’ attempt.
“I think that’s ridiculous, he was found innocent by a court, a jury of his peers found him innocent,” she said. ”He deserves to go live his life like every normal person. Just because some students don’t like his ideology doesn’t mean they have the right to run him out of school.”
ASU is not known for radical activism. However, that may be changing. In September, the school made national news when two white students were kicked out of the multicultural center.
The activists started a petition entitled “Kyle Rittenhouse Should Not Be Allowed To Attend ASU,” which has received 13,531 signatures. It misstates gun laws, refers to Rittenhouse as a “murderer,” and says without any sense of irony, “ASU should be a safe and inclusive place for all students.”
– – –
Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Arizona State University – College of Nursing & Health Innovation” by Cygnusloop99 CC3.0