UI's Campus Faculty Association defends Rosenstein's actions

UI's Campus Faculty Association defends Rosenstein's actions

URBANA — The Campus Faculty Association is standing by a University of Illinois professor who is accused of following members of a pro-Chief Illiniwek group into a State Farm Center bathroom and videotaping them.

In a statement issued in support of Jay Rosenstein, a professor of media and cinema studies, the faculty union said that "the struggle over the university's refusal to enforce its own regulations on the retirement of racist mascots continues," chiding the UI for allowing "a person dressed and behaving in racist and mocking ways" to "attend and perform in the stands" of Monday night's Illinois-Michigan State men's basketball game.

"That night," the statement went on to say, "Professor Jay Rosenstein was arrested due to his efforts to video-document possible collusion between university employees and the people who continue to inflict unauthorized representations of a racist mascot at University of Illinois events."

Rosenstein was arrested by UI police on initial charges of unauthorized videotaping but was released from the county jail the next morning after Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz declined to charge him with a crime.

The CFA accused the university of not following its own procedures in suspending Rosenstein with pay while it conducts an investigation into the incident.

"In cases of alleged faculty misconduct," the statement read, "the University Statutes provide for 'severe sanctions short of dismissal' and 'sanctions including dismissal.' In both cases, Senate committees and a hearing must be involved. However, Professor Rosenstein has been not been informed of the provisions under which he has been suspended, nor of the procedures which are being followed."

Campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler said Saturday that "Media and Cinema Studies Professor Rosenstein allegedly admitted to videotaping a person in a public restroom and was arrested by UIPD on unauthorized videotaping charges."

If the allegations are accurate, she said, "they do not comport with the university's Code of Conduct. Video recording of individuals in a public restroom without permission is an unacceptable violation of personal privacy under any circumstances."

Kaler said the procedures outlined in the University Statutes involve sanctions that could be sought after someone undergoes a review, which is allowed under state personnel rules.

"Administrative leave is the vehicle to allow that review to happen," Kaler said, citing provisions in the Department of Central Management Services' Administrative Code.

John Bambenek, a UI lecturer and member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, condemned the CFA's statement Saturday.

"This shows that there is a deep and festering moral rot in some of the faculty at the University of Illinois," he said. "If this was truly an investigation by a government employee on government property, where was (Rosenstein's) search warrant?"

The CFA "demanded" that the university take four steps:

— State under what provisions of the University Statutes that Rosenstein has been suspended.

— End the "investigation" and issue a public statement that clears Rosenstein of wrongdoing, as the state's attorney has already done.

— Investigate how supporters and enactors of the racist mascot are still allowed to perform on campus.

— Enforce university agreements and regulations banning representations of racist mascots from campus events and property, implement the recent student government resolution for removal of such representations from university buildings and educate students at large on the offensive nature of such images.

Staff writer Julie Wurth contributed to this report.

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rsp wrote on January 28, 2018 at 8:01 am

— End the "investigation" and issue a public statement that clears Rosenstein of wrongdoing, as the state's attorney has already done.

The SA didn't "clear" him, the SA stated very plainly that she wasn't getting involved in a political fight and giving an advantage to one side or the other.

I get checked every time I enter. I have to unzip my jacket, open my bag, etc. So how do they get the costume in without consent? How do they dress up with security watching over without consent? How do they walk into the crowd with security without consent?

We all know the UI has consented to this. We are not blind. Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Rot by any other name is still rot. A fake chief is just as racist as the old one, if not more so.

Bambenek is worried about a search warrant when on prior occasions the group changed in the open. They only ducked behind a door to avoid a detractor, while security paid for with tax dollars stood outside.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on January 29, 2018 at 10:01 am
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Bambenek's misconception of the 4th Amendment would be pretty common if the average person spent a lot of time thinking about the 4th Amendment.

Rosenstein didn't need a warrant because he was never planning to use evidence in a criminal proceeding.

Innocent_Primate wrote on January 28, 2018 at 9:01 am

What the professor did was in violation of state law — full stop. The rationale for doing it is immaterial. You don’t take pictures or video of folks in public restrooms. I would have thought that regardless of the law common decency would preclude such conduct, regardless of motivation. Apparently, I’m wrong. On the flip side, an easy, in my opinion, way of stopping the childish antics of those who want to dress up like a symbol (Johnny Reb ?) which is no longer sanctioned and appear at such events is for the University or the Big Ten to decree that any game at which this symbol appears will be forfeited and any event no longer sanctioned or permitted.

cjw61822@hotmail.com wrote on January 28, 2018 at 10:01 am

Good idea


If I was an opposing team fan  I would get a headdress and bring it to  the game.  Put it on and WHAM the Illini lose.


In the mean time, our snowflake warriors apparently have no clue what the first amendment is.........


you know.............


free speech.


wearing a costume is free speech.


except of course for the snowflake warriors

rsp wrote on January 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm

The only snowflakes are the people who can't stop themselves from calling other people snowflakes.

I can't get in without being searched and they recognize me. Do you think strangers from another team will get in with a costume? The UI is guilty of allowing the appearances to go on. They let them in, and provide security. They know who these people are just like everyone else does. They could stop it. Has nothing to do with free speech. If that was the case I'm going to put on a performance at the next game. What do you want to bet I get tossed?

social justice warrior wrote on January 28, 2018 at 5:01 pm

The only issue was that who ever plays the Chief should have just walked right in wearing the costume.


Let the U of I stop him.  You cannot.  Period.  Are YOU going to be the one who decides what is appropriate and what is NOT?  If I am wearing a NW Wildcat t shirt to an SFC event YOU going to stop me?


Enjoy your preformance.  try not  to  a break a hip.

Trailmom wrote on January 28, 2018 at 11:01 am

It is illegal to record in a restroom.  Period.  Being an "award winning journalist" does not give him special privileges. 

MasterOfTheObvious wrote on January 28, 2018 at 12:01 pm

The U of I is 100% complicit with the Chief Activities.

How else can you get a Full Sized Native American Headdress / War Bonnet in through the Security when my Wife cannot take her pocketbook in without it being searched.

Would the U of I allow fans to wear Nazi Uniforms into State Farm Center and give the Sieg Heil?

Would the U of I allow fans to wear Ku Klux Klan outfits into State Farm Center and shout hate rhetoric?

No and No.  As it should be.  Why then does the U of I continue to allow this spectacle to drag on?

Innocent_Primate wrote on January 28, 2018 at 12:01 pm

I don’t understand the First Amendment argument. No one said the person would be stopped. It is not, to my understanding, a violation of the First Amendment to forfeit a game or cancel sponsorship of an event. As for the “snowflake” reference, apparently one is a snowflake for not wanting the University to continuously be burdened and subjected to bad p.r. by "adults" who apparently can’t let go of a fictional creation. I’m wondering just who the snowflakes are. As for opposing fans masquerading as the Chief, possible but, in my estimation, not very probable. Of course, forfeiture would only be applicable to home games (the University having no control of opposing venues) and, as pointed out, security should be able to take care of that possibility.

griff507 wrote on January 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm

It is amazing to me, that this has taken a turn to the Chief.

I couldn't care less about what is going on with a fake Indian running around being stupid!

What I do care aboutis, a professor running around using his camera in a restroom! That is a violation of the law, PERIOD!!! As such this pervert should have been fired on the spot, PERIOD!  Charges should have been filled, and he should be forced to register with law enforcement as a pervert!

If all of you would just ignore the Chief, sooner rather than later he will disappear.

Better yet, put your thinking caps on, and come up with a new mascot! Some people will never give up the Chief, there are many generations who grew up with that image, give them a new image to think about. That way the younger generation will grow up with a different image!

CallSaul wrote on January 28, 2018 at 2:01 pm

To call him a 'pervert' and demand his immediate firing --- which of course would violate any number of contracts and employment laws --- you must fly in the face of all the obvious evidence to the contrary and falsely claim he was acting with purient intent when he was obviously not.

jparks wrote on January 30, 2018 at 10:01 pm

Penn State = Jerry Sandusky

Michigan State = Larry Nasser

University Of Illinois = Jay Rosenstein

rabblerouser wrote on January 28, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Society is not made up of mind readers.  Whether his intent is believed to be sexual or not is irrelevant.  Claiming that he is a pervert is out of bounds.  So is justifying professor idiot's position because you think his cause is righteous.  The law states thou shalt not record people in bathrooms.  He went in with camera on.  If he is a respectable journalist, its his job to understand and obey such laws and not fly in the face of them.  His actions and self-righteousness were that of a cheap web paparazi, and not that of a professional journalist.

Anyone with tenure should be standing against him, not with him.   The standard should be higher for faculty at a university - particularly on home ground.  The faculty are being passionate about a social issue here, but they are covering up for the inappropriate actions of a peer.  

If you want the chief to go away, then do legal things.  If you want to the chief to stay, then you also should do legal things.  Clear, completely above board legal things and within the system and with civil tounges.  Battle it out in society like grown adults and learn to accept the results instead of stomping like children.

Every campus comunity member, student and parent of a student should be asking how this should or would be playing out differently if the cause was different and the men's room was at the Union or in Greg Hall during the day.  What if it was an alt-right proponent taking video of a transgender undergrad?  The rules and laws should be consistently applied, regardless of the politics or the imagined intent. 

Anyone can self-justify their cause and act as they see fit.  That's just cheap theatrics fed by ego.  The community needs to decide if its standard is going to be higher.

CallSaul wrote on January 28, 2018 at 3:01 pm

It's of course not as if there are only two binary choices here. Objecting to commenters deliberately misrepresenting his actions as purient and calling for his arrest and termination does not require fully supporting or condoning all of his actions.

For example, I don't think he should have filmed inside the restroom regardless of the fact that he challenges Dozier's seemingly hyped up version of the incident and says he didn't film anyone in a state of undress or using the facilities. 

Rosenstein could have effectively made his point by filming only in the hallway and recording the person going in wearing street clothes and coming out wearing the racist old ex mascot garb while security personell looked on.

But there was obviously no criminal intent and while the cops decided to arrest him, the state exercised its discretion and decided not to charge him. That was the right decision.

He obviously shouldn't be fired because of this either.

His larger point is of course valid: the school is clearly condoning the appearances of the old racist ex mascot at its official functions. If administrators don't put an end to this, there should be appropriate consequences...

jparks wrote on January 28, 2018 at 10:01 pm

Excellent post.  Thank you.

CallSaul wrote on January 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Whenever there are consequences for --- or even the slightest criticism of --- their public racism, the racist snowflakes always whine and cry that their free speech are being violated.

It's one of the only moves in their tired and worn playbook...

BART15 wrote on January 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm

The Honor the Chief Society should retire the current Chief emblem and replace it with the FSU Chief emblem. That emblem is wholeheartedly approved and sanctioned by the NCAA and Native Americans.

JamBam wrote on January 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Anyone recording someone, without their permission in a bathroom, for ANY reason, would have been charged with a CRIME.  Because that is a crime.

And yet, these far leftists will defend the creepiest amongst them. Perverts that would go into a bathroom to show people changing clothes or using a urinal.  This is sick. 

And whoever runs against Julia Rietz, use this, amongst a million other thing like gangbangers getting probation for gun crimes, and vote her pathetic excuse for a SA OUT OF OFFICE.

As for U of I, and it's CFA, this is why I will never donate a single penny to this school.  I've been called by the College of Business every year and I continue to tell them - I ain't donating anything towards this poor excuse of a college.  The far leftist run it, the Chinese finance it, and I don't want any part of it.  It's the next Mizzou.

Maybe Rosenstein can seek asylum in the sanctuary city of Urbana. 



CallSaul wrote on January 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm

...'the Chinese finance it...'


Illiniwek222 wrote on January 28, 2018 at 4:01 pm

To recap:

First the Homecoming parade is stopped to the dismay of hundreds, including children and alumni, but it's OK because the Chief...blah..blah..blah.

Then a University professor illegally films in a rest room, but it's OK because the Chief...blah..blah..blah.

The do-nothing state's attorney declines to prosecute an admitted crime because of "political disagreement" and "public debate", thereby again shirking her duties, because the Chief...blah..blah..blah.

If and when Saul comes at Dozier with a baseball bat, I can only assume it will be OK because the Chief...blah..blah..blah.

cwakefld wrote on January 28, 2018 at 6:01 pm

1. I do not care at all about the chief.

2. Until a week and a half ago, I had never heard of Jay Rosenstein.

3.It is a violation of Illinois Compiled statutes to video or audio record someone in a restroom without their consent.

4. A statement from the Campus Faculty Association does not alter the criminality of the situation.

5. The Champaign County States Attorney did not clear Rosenstein of wrongdoing. 

BruckJr wrote on January 28, 2018 at 7:01 pm

Some may wonder how that perv at Michigan State was able to continue his  activities for so long.  It was because so many of his colleagues closed ranks behind him.  Those folks went to extraordinary lengths to protect one of their own.  So too, Penn State.  Now it would appear that the U of I is looking to make it a trifecta.

jparks wrote on January 28, 2018 at 10:01 pm

Excellent post.  Thank you.

Pointblank wrote on January 29, 2018 at 5:01 am
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Both things can be true at the same time: State Farm Center employees are helping to put the Chief on and Rosenstein shouldn't have tried to document it in the bathroom. 

Alexander wrote on January 29, 2018 at 7:01 am

Honestly, this whole "didn't follow the rules" business is overreach, and his opponents know it. Yes, what he did was against the letter of the law, but as a society we desire the law (as a system, an entity) to have flexibility to appreciate circumstances. However, let (s)he who hasn't jaywalked cast the first stone. That's against the rules too. In fact, anyone who speeds or runs a red is a bigger threat. I'd feel much more differently if he was caught for DWI, or if he went around grabbing students "by the p***y"; these are real dangers to society. 

In fact, I hope Rosenstein does present the entire video. This would help clear up many things. If indeed the video shows him "being a perv" then I'll stand corrected. 

On the other hand, suppose the video shows Dozier assisting the "Chief" the entire time, and never coming close to the urinal. The suggestion in print by Dozier that Rosenstein was watching him zip up would be slanderous/character defamation/libel (or even criminal -- lying to an officer), and I would think that Dozier would be subject a civil lawsuit. This forum could be provided as evidence.

Notsoaveragejoe wrote on January 29, 2018 at 9:01 am

The faculty will of course circle the wagons to protect their own. Rosenstein is not a pervert, but he did overstep the law. Unfortunately, his "award winning and renown reputation" as a social justice warrior and one who hides comfortably in the ivory tower away from reality does not absolve him from following the law like every other red blooded American. He needs to be held accountable as any other average Joe; pay his fine, make amends and get back to work.

Will be interesting to see how the university spins this one. Get your popcorn.