“I’m a college student studying nursing at Arizona State University,” he told the jury, just minutes into the questioning when asked about his studies.
Although Rittenhouse’s current trial has become a national flashpoint, the news came as a surprise. Since the 17-year-old shot and killed two people during current protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, he has been residing in southern Wisconsin.
But Rittenhouse registered for online classes as a non-degree seeking student, Jay Thorne, a spokesperson for ASU, confirmed to the New Times in a statement. Rittenhouse enrolled for the session beginning October 13 of this year. Students can begin taking classes before going by the admissions course of action for a degree program at the university, Thorne said.
Rittenhouse, “has not gone by the admissions course of action with Arizona State University and is not enrolled in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation,” according to Thorne.
According to a university information page for non-degree students, though, Rittenhouse likely would have been approved by the university in order to enroll in its non-degree courses. “Students will need to apply to ASU and be admitted as an ASU student,” reads the webpage for ASU’s non-degree programs.
Thorne did not reply to further inquiries from New Times regarding Rittenhouse’s admission to the university. “As with any student, FERPA student privacy provisions exist,” he said.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law that protects the privacy of students in higher education over disclosure of records to third parties, already parents.
It’s not altogether surprising that Rittenhouse would select ASU as his alma mater. Last year, a conservative student group at the school, College Republicans United, raised $14,000 for Rittenhouse’s legal defense, calling him a “citizen who attempted to help in a city in chaos.”
College Republicans United kept a slice of the money raised for his defense fund and used it to expand the organization. Following the news of his ASU ties on Wednesday, that group sent out a tweet calling Rittenhouse their “future president.”
And as his trial stretches on, Rittenhouse also has begun to see thriving sustain from some of Arizona’s elected officials.
“The more I see Kyle Rittenhouse,” Arizona Sen. Wendy Rogers wrote on Telegram, a messaging app, on Wednesday, “the more I love him.” She additional that the shooter represents “everything good about America.”
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