Arizona State University (ASU) decided to cancel a prominent conservative program’s first annual fundraiser scheduled for next month, and there are conflicting explanations behind their decision. The event was arranged to honor prominent community leaders Dan and Carleen Brophy; 100 percent of the event proceeds were to go to the program.
Three different reasons for the event’s cancellation were given to different parties involved in the event. The first two related to technicalities: the uptick in COVID-19 cases, and one unnamed faculty member’s failure to follow ASU rules. The third had to do with a more contentious topic: the featured speakers.
ASU’s decision means that the program, Political History and Leadership (PHL), may not obtain funds it anticipated from the event, which was to take place at the Desert Botanical Garden. Each guest would have paid $250 for attendance, and tables of eight would’ve pulled in $2,000. The PHL Program is part of the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies.
AZ Free News learned that ASU informed several of the featured speakers that the event was canceled due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.
Scientists hypothesize that COVID-19 likely functions as a seasonal disease. Last year, the case counts for February were nominal after the holiday spike.
AZ Free News also learned that ASU President Michael Crow wasn’t aware of the event or its cancellation, and that ASU would reschedule. However, emails obtained by AZ Free News indicated that the ASU administration was responsible for canceling the event.
ASU spokesman Jerry Gonzalez told AZ Free News a slightly different story. Gonzalez said that a faculty member broke the university’s scheduling protocol. When we asked which protocol was broken, ASU said it didn’t have any more information to provide.
“The event at the Desert Botanical Garden was canceled due to a breach of scheduling protocol by a faculty member in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies,” said Gonzalez. “The university welcomes the opportunity for this event to be rescheduled following the required protocols.”
AZ Free News also inquired of the ASU Foundation, which was in charge of receiving the program funds earned from the event and approving any event planning. They didn’t respond to any of our emails.
A third potential reason surrounding the event cancellation had nothing to do with logistics. Some reported that they were informed that the event was canceled due to controversy over the choice of guest speakers: Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) and former Utah congressman and Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz.
In a press release, Arizona Free Enterprise Club President Scot Mussi derided ASU based on the claim that they canceled the fundraiser over Biggs and Chaffetz.
“It is outrageous that Michael Crow and ASU would cancel an ASU Foundation Fundraiser because they oppose the views and philosophy of the featured speakers attending the event. It is becoming clear that woke cancel culture has taken over every office at the University,” said Mussi. “ASU doesn’t have a problem with liberal activists and public officials appearing at the school for various events. It is well known that Democrat politicians, including US Senator Kyrsten Sinema, have in the past or currently work for the University at taxpayer expense. It only becomes a problem when the speaker is a conservative. If Michael Crow is going to surrender to the ‘cancel culture’ mob, then he is no longer fit to be ASU President and should resign.”
Those registered for the PHL event will receive full refunds.
Kyle Rittenhouse told Louder With Crowder (LWC) on Wednesday that Arizona State University (ASU) wasn’t honest in their characterization of his enrollment status, and declared he will attend ASU in the spring despite student activists’ pushback late last month.
Rittenhouse was vindicated by a jury of all charges last month, proving he’d lawfully exercised self defense during the Kenosha riots. During Wednesday’s episode of political news and comedy show Louder with Crowder, Rittenhouse explained that he’s a student at ASU currently.
“Yeah, it’s online. I took a compassionate withdrawal from my classes. My professors offered it and then a week later they gave me a compassionate withdrawal which – thank you for that. But then they came out with a statement saying, ‘Oh no no, he’s not enrolled at ASU anymore.’ I’m enrolled, I’m just not in any classes, but I have a student portfolio,” said Rittenhouse.
AZ Free News inquired with ASU about the technicality of student portfolios and enrollment. ASU spokesman Jay Thorne told AZ Free News it couldn’t go into detail about Rittenhouse’s enrollment status due to FERPA law. Their official statement contradicted Rittenhouse’s claim, saying he wasn’t enrolled currently.
“Kyle Rittenhouse did not go through the ASU admissions process but was enrolled in two publicly available online courses for this semester. University records show that he is now no longer enrolled, a status precipitated by his own actions,” stated Thorne.
That wasn’t all that Rittenhouse had to say about his future education. Rittenhouse also told LWC that he wasn’t deterred by the socialist and social justice student protestors at ASU.
“There weren’t even a lot of protestors there. It was a very, very small amount. And then people are just like, ‘I thought you were getting an education?’ and I’m like, yes, that’s what I want to do,” explained Rittenhouse. “I want to go to law school. I’m going to ASU in the spring in person. I want to do my four year undergrad there before I take the LSAT and go do my three years of law.”
Some recognizable faces were among the protestors’ number. One of the featured speakers there was Mastaani Qureshi – one of the three women found guilty of ASU’s Code of Conduct for harassing two white male peers with apparently rival political beliefs out of a common space on campus. Mastaani apparently took issue with another white male that represented apparently rival political beliefs, Rittenhouse, for his potential attendance at ASU. She claimed he was a white supremacist, vigilante, and killer.
“We want to say that Kyle Rittenhouse is not just any random killer, he’s a white supremacist killer. He is a vigilante. He is the descendant of white Americans who killed black and brown people. White supremacists back in the day were also acquitted of all charges if we have read history,” asserted Mastaani. “Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t get a guilty verdict because he was f*****g white!”
The entire Kenosha ordeal has shaped Rittenhouse’s career goals. Rittenhouse originally expressed an intent to study nursing, a desire reflected by his reason for being in Kenosha that fateful night last August: to put out fires and administer first aid to anyone present. Then on Wednesday, Rittenhouse confirmed with Crowder that he intends to study law instead of nursing because of the prosecutorial misconduct he witnessed and experienced during his trial.
“I want to be a criminal defense attorney,” said Rittenhouse. “I’m big on, no matter who the person is, I believe everybody deserves fair and good legal representation.”
OJ Simpson jury consultant Jo-Ellan Dimitrius helped select the jury for Rittenhouse’s trial. Rittenhouse said that she was an amazing support for them.
“She’s a phenomenal jury consultant. She’s more than that for us, though. She was a rock for my mom – someone my mom could lean on and hold during this entire ordeal,” said Rittenhouse.
“Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t get a guilty verdict because he was f*****g white!”
Thus spoke Mastaani Qureshi – one of the Arizona State University (ASU) students who violated the Code of Conduct for harassing two white male students out of “their” multicultural center – during a campus protest against Kyle Rittenhouse’s potential future enrollment. Four socialism and social justice advocacy student organizations held the protest: Students for Socialism, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán (MEChA), Students for Justice in Palestine, and the Multicultural Solidarity Coalition (MSC).
As punishment, Qureshi received a stern warning for the multicultural center incident. In an interview with ASU’s newspaper, State Press, Qureshi revealed that ASU also required her to write a reflection paper on how to “facilitate civil dialogue.”
That mandated reflection apparently had no bearing on Qureshi’s remarks during Wednesday’s protest. Like the other protestors, Qureshi repeated that “killer Kyle” must be barred from campus. Rittenhouse was acquitted of all murder and reckless endangerment charges last month after days of jury deliberation. One of the investigative reporters who testified at the Rittenhouse trial, Drew Hernandez, documented the ASU Rittenhouse protest and Qureshi’s speech.
“We want to say that Kyle Rittenhouse is not just any random killer, he’s a white supremacist killer. He is a vigilante. He is the descendant of white Americans who killed black and brown people. White supremacists back in the day were also acquitted of all charges if we have read history. Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t get a guilty verdict because he was f*****g white!” yelled Mastaani. “ASU is not only a predominately white university, it is a white supremacist university!”
In response, a white male counterprotestor holding a sign for gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake yelled repeatedly, “Hey bigot! What’s wrong with you, bigot? What’s wrong with our skin, bigot?”
“And that is exactly what whiteness and masculinity looks like,” responded Qureshi.
Not only did the four student organizations protest against Rittenhouse’s potential enrollment at ASU, they demanded that the university fund some of their other initiatives.
Several of the initiatives were those that Qureshi was deeply involved in. One of them was a hub where victims of domestic and sexual abuse could receive help that Qureshi advocated for last year as the co-president of the campus’ Women’s Coalition, called a Campus Assault Advocacy, Resources & Education (CAARE) Center.
As AZ Free News reported earlier this week, the student organizations didn’t answer why they would demand funds for a rape crisis center when Joseph Rosenbaum was a convicted child molestor and Anthony Huber was a convicted domestic abuser.
The student organizations also demanded that ASU fund the multicultural center also advocated for by Qureshi through the MSC, where she and two other female students harassed two white male peers for “racist” messaging like a “Police Lives Matter” sticker. Neither ASU or the student organizations clarified the current status of the center’s funding when AZ Free News asked.
Arizona State University (ASU) told AZ Free News that it doesn’t have anything to say about Wednesday’s student-led protest against Kyle Rittenhouse’s prospective enrollment to the university. Four student organizations that advocate for socialism and other social justice causes coordinated the protest: Students For Socialism (SFS), Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán (MEChA), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and the Multicultural Solidarity Coalition (MSC). The following is the only statement ASU spokespersons had concerning Rittenhouse:
“Kyle Rittenhouse has not gone through the ASU admissions process. University records show that he is not currently enrolled in any classes at ASU.”
The ASU newspaper, State Press, confirmed earlier this week with ASU spokespersons that Rittenhouse isn’t enrolled currently because Rittenhouse took a “compassionate withdrawal” ahead of his trial. ASU spokesman Jay Thorne also clarified that ASU doesn’t ask for prospective students’ criminal history during the admissions process.
ASU President Michael Crow clarified in an alternative, slightly lengthier statement to State Senator Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa) that Rittenhouse voluntarily unenrolled, and ASU would consider Rittenhouse’s application with the same consideration granted to any other applicant should he decide to reenroll.
“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 now no longer enrolled, a status precipitated by his own actions,” wrote Crow. “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.”
The student organizations said it didn’t matter to them that Rittenhouse wasn’t enrolled currently – the fact that he planned to enroll again in the spring was still problematic.
“While students with debilitating medical problems or going through mental health crises must fight tooth and nail for medical leave of absence, Rittenhouse is given ‘compassionate’ withdrawal to deal with his murder trial – unacceptable,” tweeted SFS in back-to-back tweets sharing the State Press coverage. “We will not allow it! Killer Kyle off our campus!”
In an interview with The Conservative Circus, ASU College Republicans United (CRU) State Chair Ren Ramsey insisted that the behavior of the four student organizations was harassment.
“[T]he fact that these radical, domestic extremist [student] organizations on campus have created a hostile environment for many students that have conservative or patriotic beliefs,” said Ramsey. “We would like to make a demand that [these organizations] be suspended. They deliberately created a hostile environment for Kyle Rittenhouse. [Campus] was made unsafe for him, for many other conservative students. We want the ASU administration to place them under suspension. They’ve also been involved in pushing out two white kids from the multicultural center for being white.”
Ramsey further claimed that ASU has consistently supported the behaviors and values of the organizations protesting Rittenhouse, and has been hostile to organizations like theirs. He asserted that ASU officials gave MEChA an entire basement area to use, but won’t give CRU a professor to serve as their advisor.
As for the multicultural center incident, Ramsey was citing the September incident in which three female student activists harassed two of their peers out of a common area for being white males displaying “racist” messaging, such as a “Police Lives Matter” sticker. ASU found that the women involved had violated several policies within the university’s Code of Conduct, though it is unclear if any disciplinary action has been taken yet.
The student organizations aren’t only protesting the potential admission of Rittenhouse – they’re also making demands of ASU. The groups insisted that ASU rectify Rittenhouse’s past and potential future presence on campus by funding the Multicultural Center and a Campus Assault Advocacy, Resources & Education (CAARE) Center, a rape crisis center helping sexual and domestic assault victims. ASU wouldn’t comment on these demands, either.
“It’s good to see he knows he’s not welcome here, we’ll still be there Wednesday to tell administration to support our other demands,” said the organization. “Denounce white supremacy, fund the Multicultural Center and the CAARE center!”
Rosenbaum was a convicted child molestor, and Huber was a convicted domestic abuser. In their statements, the coalition of student organizations only referred to the deceased men as “anti-racist protestors” and victims.
Court proceedings revealed that Rosenbaum wasn’t at the Kenosha, Wisconsin riots to protest for Black Lives Matter (BLM) or anti-racism. Rather, Rosenbaum happened to be discharged that day from a mental hospital for a suicide attempt; Rosenbaum threw a hospital-provided plastic toiletries bag at Rittenhouse just before the fatal moment when he grabbed the barrel of Rittenhouse’s gun.
The claimed “anti-racist” was also heard by eyewitnesses and recorded as having shouted repeatedly a racial slur: “Shoot me n***a!”
Here’s our extended statement regarding Kyle Rittenhouse on campus, including our revised demands.
AZ Free News asked SFS why they and their coalition of fellow student organizations chose to use their Rittenhouse protest to demand funds for a CAARE center, considering the criminal histories of Rosenbaum and Huber. SFS responded that Rosenbaum and Huber could have been anyone.
“Did Rittenhouse run a background check on Rosenbaum before? Are you saying he premeditated the murder? No, he didn’t. It could have been anyone. Period,” responded SFS.
We attempted to follow up further with SFS on their response and our other, unanswered question. They didn’t respond by press time.
Another similar effort to bar Rittenhouse from attending ASU – a Change.org petition unaffiliated with the student organizations’ efforts – has garnered around 13,000 signatures as of press time.
Arizona State University’s (ASU) College Republicans United (CRU) pledged to donate half of their funds raised to Kyle Rittenhouse’s defamation lawsuit against the media, if one occurs, shortly after Rittenhouse’s acquittal on Friday. Rittenhouse has been taking non-degree online classes with ASU since October. Following his acquittal, a spokesman for Rittenhouse reported that he plans to pursue a nursing degree at ASU.
“Half of all funds collected for the rest of the year will be donated to the Kyle Rittenhouse lawsuit against the media,” tweeted ASU CRU. “We hope this action will teach a lesson to those who profit from lies and that Kyle has a comfortable life from this ordeal.”
This won’t be the first time ASU CRU has funded Rittenhouse’s legal efforts. Immediately following Rittenhouse’s arrest last August, ASU CRU pledged half of their funds raised that year to his legal defense. Rittenhouse faced five charges related to murder, attempted murder, and reckless endangerment. Based on the jury’s decision, Rittenhouse exercised self-defense and abided by Wisconsin’s gun laws.
Five days into their fundraising efforts, ASU CRU donated $5,000 to Rittenhouse’s defense. ASU CRU thanked the “screaming liberals” for helping their effort go viral, tagging ASU’s newspaper, State Press, as well as The Arizona Republic and The Hill.
In response to Twitter outrage over ASU CRU’s fundraiser, ASU tweeted that it didn’t endorse or support the effort and that the university would be meeting with the club to speak about it. Over a year later, ASU CRU provided an update – contrary to ASU’s promise, they reportedly never spoke with the club.
Earlier this month, the club updated that they donated a total of $14,000 to Rittenhouse’s defense. The other $14,000 reportedly went toward establishing CRUs in Iowa and California, as well as another Arizona university: University of Arizona (UArizona). ASU CRU spokespersons also told the Arizona Daily Independent that they were able to send student representatives to conferences and conventions, as well as provide legal protection for students who won’t comply with their university’s COVID-19 mandates.
“Half of all funds collected this semester for Republicans United will be donated to 17 year old Kyle Rittenhouse legal defense fund. He does not deserve to have his entire life destroyed because of the actions of violent anarchists during a lawless riot,” wrote ASU CRU.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson teased a trailer for his documentary on Rittenhouse shortly after his acquittal. The trailer featured original clips of Rittenhouse describing his experience in the year after the incident, ending with an exclusive statement from Rittenhouse as he was driven away from the courthouse following his acquittal.
“The jury reached the correct verdict: self defense is not illegal. I believe they came to the correct verdict, and I’m glad everything went well. It’s been a rough journey but we made it through it – we made it through the hard part,” said Rittenhouse.
In addition to the upcoming documentary, Rittenhouse will appear on one of Carlson’s other shows, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” on Monday.
It doesn’t appear that the establishment college Republicans group, ASU College Republicans, donated to Rittenhouse’s legal defense. They also didn’t post a celebration of Rittenhouse’s acquittal.
ASU CRU split from ASU College Republicans in 2018. The former reportedly took issue with the latter’s approach to governance and perspective on the Republican Party, claiming that the latter was more “establishment conservative” which they likened to the “John McCain branch of the Republican Party” – or, as some would call it, the “Republican In Name Only” (RINO) branch. ASU College Republicans refuted that characterization.