Kyle Rittenhouse’s ASU enrollment status troubles some, inspires others

Phoenix might be the next stop for Rittenhouse, who killed two people during August 2020 protests in Wisconsin


Tony Webster

ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus hosts the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, where Rittenhouse has applied for enrollment.

With one rendering of a “not guilty” verdict, Kyle Rittenhouse may be headed to Arizona State University for the spring semester.

During his highly-publicized murder trial, Rittenhouse stated that he began his collegiate career by registering in an online program connected to the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State. 

In an email received by the Arizona Republic, ASU spokesperson Jay Thorne said the program allows students access to begin taking classes as they prepare to seek admission into a degree program at the university.” 

Thorne also added that Rittenhouse has not gone through the admissions process with Arizona State University and is not enrolled in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.”

As of now, this remains the case, even as Rittenhouse has expressed interest in completing the enrollment process and attending in-person classes in the upcoming semester. 

In a recent interview with Fox NewsTucker Carlson, Rittenhouse made it clear that he hopes to be on campus. 

There is a lot of things we have to look into, so I don’t know for sure yet. But I do intend on going in campus and pursuing a career in nursing,” Rittenhouse said. “I may change it. I’ve been looking into law. I may want to become a lawyer. I haven’t completely decided yet.

“But I’ve been looking — I want to be a nurse, so I’ve been doing the prerequisites for that.”

However, Rittenhouses largest obstacle might be ASU’s student body. 

In addition to protesting the Rittenhouse verdict, numerous student groups have come together in opposition to the teenager’s potential enrollment. 

Trey Wueste, a sociology student at Arizona State, is one of those students.

Thats not someone I would feel comfortable in a classroom with,” Wueste said. For one, thats a pretty big distraction to your education…sitting in a room with a murderer, thats kind of distracting and a little distressing.”

Wueste thinks this stress and uncertainty would encourage more students to express their feelings on the matter. 

I hope it would embolden more progressive students to demonstrate,he said.

Wueste is not alone, as students across ASU’s diverse population have echoed similar sentiments.

Our campus is already unsafe as is, and we would like to abate this danger as much as possible,” an anonymous spokesperson for Students for Socialism told Fox News about Rittenhouse’s possible enrollment.

But Rittenhouse’s advocates are just as emboldened, if not more. Each anti-Rittenhouse protest has been met with counter-protesters, with many students and admirers pledging their support to him.

I would expect it to garner more far-right and fascistic students to actively express their political opinions,” Wueste explains. If one of their heroes is (on campus), that sort of validates their beliefs to an extent.”   

Rittenhouse has been portrayed as a hero in right-wing circles. Republican Congressmen Madison Cawthorn and Matt Gaetz both offered him an internship just hours after the verdict in his trial was reached. 

Jackson Lahmeyer, a Republican Senate candidate, labeled Rittenhouse an American hero.” Gregg Keller, a Republican strategist, even believes that an invitation to the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference is possible.

I think there will be every effort made to turn him into conservative hero,” Keller told Politico.

However, an interview Rittenhouse did with NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield seems to indicate the 18-year-old doesnt want this notoriety. 

I dont (like when) fans recognize me or anti-fans recognize me,” he told Banfield. Im just a normal 18-year-old kid trying to move on with my life and just want to live in peace and attend college and study.”

This is a difficult task for someone who has already made the rounds on a conservative press tour starring Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson, and Glenn Beck. 

Sessions A and C of ASUs spring semester begin on Jan. 2, with session B starting on March 6. In the upcoming weeks, there should be more information as to Rittenhouse’s enrollment status. But if one thing is certain, it’s that both protestors and supporters will be ready for the next developments.