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Kyle Rittenhouse is not currently enrolled in classes, ASU says

Rittenhouse said he took a Compassionate Withdrawal from classes he'd enrolled in as a non-degree-seeking student

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 Graphic published on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

After previously taking classes as a non-degree-seeking student through ASU Online, Kyle Rittenhouse is now "not currently enrolled in classes at ASU," according to University spokesperson Jay Thorne.

Rittenhouse was recently acquitted on multiple homicide charges after killing two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year during a Black Lives Matter demonstration. The University took "no action" regarding Rittenhouse's enrollment, Thorne said in an email, but did not elaborate.

While testifying at his trial, Rittenhouse said he was attending the University as a nursing student. At the time, Rittenhouse was an ASU student, but he wasn't in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. He enrolled as a non-degree-seeking ASU Online student for the semester's B session, which started Oct. 13.

READ MORE: Kyle Rittenhouse is an ASU student, but not in the nursing school

Thorne said in the email Rittenhouse "has not gone through the ASU admissions process." However, in order to enroll in classes, every student must complete some type of admissions process for ASU Online, according to the application process listed on the ASU Online admissions page.

On NewsNation last week, Rittenhouse told Ashleigh Banfield he had taken a "compassionate withdrawal" from two of his classes "because I got overwhelmed with the trial coming on." In that interview, Rittenhouse said he planned to re-enroll next semester and finish the classes he dropped.

The University's Medical and Compassionate Withdrawal Request procedures note: "A student may request and be considered for a compassionate withdrawal when extraordinary personal reasons, not related to the student's personal, physical or mental health, (for example, care of a seriously ill child or spouse, or a death in the student's immediate family), prevent the student from continuing in classes."

In follow-up emails to the University about Rittenhouse's enrollment status, Thorne said, "Those are questions for him." It is still unclear whether Rittenhouse has applied for the spring semester and when his original enrollment status changed.

David Hancock, a spokesperson for Rittenhouse, did not respond to a request for comment in order to confirm Rittenhouse's withdrawal from classes, among other questions.

Speaking to Tucker Carlson in an interview last week, Rittenhouse said he intended on coming to campus to pursue nursing and was even considering legal studies.

A protest organized by four large student groups – Students for Socialism at ASU, MEChA de ASU, Students for Justice in Palestine at ASU and the Multicultural Solidarity Coalition – was scheduled for Wednesday demanding ASU "get murderer Kyle Rittenhouse off our campus," a tweet says.

In a statement Monday evening, the four groups said "The danger Kyle Rittenhouse presents is not just as person on campus, representing the violence marginalized people face every day, but the racist and fascist right-wing elements that he will bring on campus."

The protest will still occur later in the week but the event's priority has shifted to denying Rittenhouse any further enrollment. The groups are still demanding the University release a statement against white supremacy, reaffirm its support for the multicultural center and redirect funding from the ASU Police Department to support both multicultural and Campus Assault Advocacy, Resources and Education centers.

"Even with a not-guilty verdict from a flawed 'justice' system – Kyle Rittenhouse is still guilty to his victims and the families of those victims," the groups' demands read.

An online petition started by ASU students who "refuse to welcome a murderer onto our campus" has more than 7,000 signatures as of Nov. 29.

Thorne, the University spokesperson, told The Arizona Republic even if the jury's verdict had gone the other way, Rittenhouse's status as an online student wouldn't have changed because the University does not ask prospective students about their criminal history in the traditional or online admissions processes.

This story was updated on Nov. 29 at 8:50 p.m. to include additional statements from student groups about the Wednesday protest. 

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Piper HansenDigital Editor-in-Chief

Piper Hansen is the digital editor-in-chief at The State Press, overseeing all digital content. Joining SP in Spring 2020, she has covered student government, housing and COVID-19. She has previously written about state politics for The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Capitol Times and covers social justice for Cronkite News.

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