Student YouTube channel alleges harassment and suspension by University over mask policies

Aidan Morris

*Any videos noted in this article as deleted have been put back up on the channel as of 5 p.m. on September 10

Last week, in the Security Beat section, The Argus reported that a student was removed from State Farm Hall on August 26 and 27 for refusing to wear a mask. The following week, on September 7, several videos were posted to a YouTube channel named “Come and Take it!” The videos appeared to show an IWU student being removed from campus property, later discussions with administrators about his removal and his subsequent suspension. Classmates told The Argus that the individual was a first-year on campus.


“Come and Take it!” Channel on Youtube. Some videos discussed in the article have been deleted.

In a post titled “IWU Associate Dean of Students Kevin Carey violates students rights,” the video depicted a conversation between the student and Associate Dean of Students, Kevin Carey. Carey was shown explicitly reminding the student that Illinois “is a two consent state,” meaning that in Illinois, one needs the consent of both the one recording and the one being recorded. Carey added, “I’m not consenting to recording.” In the video, the student said that he has “been on campus for less than a week and the school has either tried to suppress or [has] violated four of my rights.” The only one of these rights the student specifically mentioned was “[the] freedom of expression and movement.”

The university currently has a mask mandate that is outlined in the Titan Pledge, an amendment to the student conduct code. A video that was removed around 1 a.m. last night titled “IWU Dean of students Karla Carney-Hall lies about school policies and gets caught in her lies” was an apparent recording of a conversation between the student and Carney-Hall. There is no evidence of consent given by Carney-Hall to be recorded. “​​I did not consent to being video-taped at any time,” Carney-Hall said. In the video, the student and Dean Carney-Hall discussed his reported suspension and removal from campus. What Carney-Hall is alleged  by the student to be lying about is never specified. 

According to Carney-Hall, though she can not comment on the details of the incident due to confidentiality, failure to comply with the University’s Student Code of Conduct and the Titan Pledge may result in consequences detailed in the pledge. 

The IWU Titan Pledge notes that students who do not comply with the pledge can be sanctioned with monetary fines, restriction from campus grounds or activities, including in-person classes, forfeiture of tuition and fees, probation, suspension in abeyance, suspension, or expulsion. The pledge requires Titans to “wear their washable cloth face mask while around others in indoor spaces including class, campus activities, work, and meetings, regardless of vaccination status.”

“Illinois Wesleyan University has clear expectations regarding health and safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, consistent with mandates and guidance from local, state, and national agencies,” Carney-Hall said. 

In another video titled “Illinois Wesleyan University. Arrested for wearing a mask” the student was shown being removed from State Farm Hall after refusing to wear a mask. BPD Officer R. Fryman informed the student that, “if [the university] asks you to leave, because they have the right to do that, [and] you don’t, you are trespassing, which is an arrestable offense.”

 After this, the student said,  “I’m not going to leave,” which led to his forced removal from campus. There was no video of an arrest taking place. 

In another video titled “Illinois Wesleyan University security guard refuses to Identify and assaults student,” the first-year was removed from State Farm Hall again and claimed to have his foot stomped on by a campus safety officer.  The camera did not show the alleged assault and the campus safety officer was not in-frame. Unlike the others, this video was apparently recorded by someone other than the student. That was the case with another video titled “IWU Security pull student out of class. Harass and violate students rights for not wearing a mask.” 

In the most recent video that has also since been removed, “IWU Professor* calls out school for their inconsistent mask policies,” a professor of IWU’s School of Music (SoM) is shown to be discussing the SoM’s mask policy in rehearsals and private lessons with the director of the SoM, Dr. Franklin Larey. The recording captured what appears to be a confidential video conference between the two faculty members at IWU. It can be seen in the video that the conversation is being recorded over the professor’s shoulder.  That recording violated Larey’s privacy, as he was never made aware of the recording. The professor who appeared to be involved in the video has been reported by students to be absent since August 30. Students also said that their classes have been taken over by other members of the SoM faculty for an unspecified amount of time. As of September 9, no further videos have been published on the channel and the SoM has not made a statement on the incident. Four videos remain on the channel.