Last month’s not guilty verdict for Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t stop student protesters from gathering on Arizona State University’s campus Wednesday to protest. While on trial, the 18-year-old testified that he was taking online classes from the university. He also said in numerous media interviews that he wanted to be on campus to pursue a career in nursing.
Around 100 students from various student organizations walked to the administration office chanting “Killer Kyle off our campus,” according to the Associated Press.
“I don’t think anyone with a prior charge of those sorts would even be able to attend here,” said ASU freshman, Zein Hajaig. “I think we all know it goes without saying he was there to intimidate and hurt people of color or people who are supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.”
However, the school administration says that Rittenhouse is not currently enrolled at ASU. “Kyle Rittenhouse has not gone through the ASU admissions process. Our records show that he is not currently enrolled in any classes at ASU,” the university said in a statement.
The school does not ask about criminal history during the admissions process or to enroll in online classes, according to USA Today, and there is nothing stopping Rittenhouse from re-enrolling if he wanted to. “Any qualified individual can apply for admission,” ASU spokesman Jay Thorne said Thorne also said that even if Rittenhouse was found guilty he could still be an ASU student.
Jay Thorne, an ASU spokesman, declined to comment on the planned rally.
There were about an equal number of Rittenhouse supporters. Many had signs and hats from Kari Lake’s campaign. They attempted to shout over the rally, saying remarks like “Not guilty. The former Phoenix TV anchor is running to be the Republican nominee for Arizona governor.
Former Republican Rep. Matt Salmon, who is running for Arizona governor, slammed the rally as an “ongoing harassment campaign” of someone who was not convicted of a crime. In a statement, he also criticized university officials for not speaking out more.
“It is time for the far-left to respect our judicial system, and it is time for administrators at ASU to stand up for the rule of law and protect their students from these thugs.”
The student organizations are demanding that along with preventing Rittenhouse from re-enrolling, ASU must put out a statement against white supremacy and support multicultural spaces on campus. USA Today reports that there is also an online petition against Rittenhouse being allowed to attend ASU. As of Wednesday, there are over 15 thousand signatures.