The University of Memphis Turning Point USA Chapter invited Kyle Rittenhouse to speak on campus on Wednesday, March 20. The event was met with backlash from students who disagree with Rittenhouse's views, especially in the wake of his high-profile trial.

Rittenhouse is best known for his acquittal in 2020 after killing two people and shooting another at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

He spoke to students Wednesday night about his views on the second amendment, his actions in 2020, gun violence and his impact in Memphis.

But the majority of students vehemently opposed his invitation to speak. "Choosing a specific person was intentional," said student Gabrielle Hunter-Davis.  

The University of Memphis, as a public institution, has made it clear since Rittenhouse was invited to speak that his right to speak is a first amendment right.

Some students who disagreed with his message chose to buy tickets and either voice their disapproval or not show up altogether.

"The goal is to take up space, but mostly space from people with harmful ideologies," one student said.

The University of Memphis' Crossroads Department declined to comment on Rittenhouse's invitation to speak.

Dean Musarra, who is not a student at the university but attended in support of Rittenhouse, said, "The left has painted Kyle as a murderous psychopath... I disagree with that," he said.

Around midnight on Thursday, Rittenhouse posted a video on X (formerly Twitter) saying the event was "amazing" and that reports that he was "booed off the stage" were untrue. Instead, he said his team had had a tough interim period.