I want to cut a pass through in this wall to join the spaces better in my basement, but before I start cutting studs I was hoping for a 2nd knowledgeable opinion. The beam is a ~15.5ft span steel W12x40 (joists run perpendicular 16" O.C.) and is supported on one end by a beam pocket in the foundation wall and on the other end by a column of 2x6s. I don't believe the wall is supporting the beam due to it being supported on the ends, and there is not a thicker footing under the wall I want to cut through (calls for a 16"x8" footing on all bearing walls). Also, there is not a wall directly above this one so my assumption is the weight from the roof, and 2nd floor, comes through the center stairs and exterior wall around the pass through.
As mentioned, a steel beam is the structural element and it is normally supported at the ends. A wall under it would not normally be load-bearing.
I am worried about those 6 studs in the first photo. Whatever they are, you shouldn't take them out. If in doubt, take the drawings to an architect or engineer.