Prof arrested for filming mascot supporters in bathroom
University of Illinois professor Jay Rosenstein was arrested during a basketball game Monday night for filming the president of the “Honor the Chief Society” as he was using the bathroom.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Media professor’s documentary work has been featured on PBS, ABC, HBO, ESPN, and Nickelodeon. His most notable work, In Whose Honor?, explores and criticizes the use of Native American imagery in athletics, largely through the prism of his employer’s former athletic symbol “Chief Illiniwek,” which he has long sought to eliminate from campus.
Rosenstein’s latest film, however, received poor reviews from authorities. Ivan Dozier, president of the Honor the Chief Society, leads the campus and community effort to bring Chief Illiniwek back to the Urbana campus. Dozier attended the game against Michigan State University with Omar Cruz, unofficial student portrayer of the Chief, to rouse school spirit.
Dozier accompanied Cruz to the bathroom as he changed into the Chief’s regalia, and says Rosenstein followed the duo into the bathroom.
“After finishing at the urinal, I turned to find the professor, phone still in hand and pointed right at me,” Dozier told Campus Reform. “I was almost speechless. The man was literally trying to catch me with my pants down.”
Dozier’s father flagged security, and the professor was apprehended by campus police. The Champaign County Jail reports that Rosenstein was booked at 9:46 p.m. on January 22 for alleged “Unauthorized Videotaping.” He is ordered to appear in court for his criminal arraignment on Tuesday, January 23.
This incident comes after a semester of harassment faced by supporters of the former university symbol, culminating in the temporary shutdown of the school’s Homecoming parade by protesters upset at the inclusion of Chief Illiniwek.
“All I want is to be able to go to an Illini game, and be proud of the Native heritage that we used to honor and respect at this school,” Dozier told Campus Reform. “Instead, I have professors literally following me into the bathroom, clearly misinterpreting the term ‘exposé.”
“This is just one of the many things that make this campus unwelcoming and abusive,” Cruz agreed. “As a student and member of this community, I feel unsafe having a pervert teaching amongst the students on campus. He needs to be stopped before he attacks other students.”