October 4th, 2010
11:10 AM ET

Rutgers holds vigil for student who committed suicide

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Rutgers University held an emotional vigil Sunday evening as the campus grapples with the suicide of a student whose sexual encounter with another man was broadcast online.

The body of Tyler Clementi, 18, was recovered from the Hudson River on Thursday, more than a week after he jumped from the George Washington Bridge, which spans the river between New York and New Jersey.

Two other Rutgers students - Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, 18, and Molly Wei, 18 - have been charged with invasion of privacy. The pair allegedly placed a camera in Clementi's dorm room without his knowledge and then streamed his sexual encounter online, according to the Middlesex County, New Jersey, prosecutor's office.

"Our entire campus is very upset about what happened," said Greg Blimling, Rutgers' Vice President of Student Affairs. "The entire campus is in mourning. And we feel very deeply for what happened to the family. This is a terrible tragedy."

Students and other members of the university community, some wearing pins that read "Pride," stood silently as they lit and held white candles.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Gay & Lesbian Issues
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. naleni

    OMG as a mother with 2 sons, it affects me alot, i do hope ravi gets the punishment he deserves, even if its from society. Ravi seems like a perfect jerk, i do hope he knows how much he has hurt us all. God be with the Clementi family.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  2. Kathy

    This poor sweet boy who was just finding out who he was, made to feel ashamed by people who thought that the way they live their life was morally better. After twenty years of marriage my husband came out to me, the pain and heartache of that whole time, could of been avoided if people would just let people be who they are. My heart goes out to the family.

    October 5, 2010 at 3:09 am |
  3. Geoff M

    For Tyler, discovering his sexuality can be a very scary time. And being forced to "come out" in such a public fashion without the support of friends or family can be truly devastating.

    I can only relive my own personal experience when in college I was inadvertently forced to come out when my roommate found me with another man. There was gossip and there were stares. I felt alone and ashamed. I thought ending it all would be best but I was able to find support through a college gay organization.

    I found my own voice and grew to love myself and focused on my future. I completed medical school and am now a practicing physician and faculty member at a well known academic medical center. I have been given the privilege to heal the sick and to teach future physicians.

    There must be an awakening. Our society must support ALL its people and we as Americans must embrace everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

    If not we will continue to lose valuable members of our society.

    October 5, 2010 at 2:54 am |
  4. Rhonda

    It is a tragedy to what happen to
    Tyler Clementi, bullying doesn't only target against gays, but it also effects people who are lesbian, and trans gender. I know what it feels like to be bullied upon, but now as we move forward, the question that lingers in mind is wither Tyler's life could have been saved? I think it could have been, but it begins with education within the family's home, for parent to teach their children before adulthood, not to hate anyone because of how his or her life style is different either due to gender variation or from a physical deformity. Tougher laws under tolerance and acceptance, should be placed in effect for the state of New Jersey.

    October 4, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  5. Deborah

    I so sympathize with the family. My grandson is bullied on the school bus, and my daughter tries to handle it with the bus driver and school teachers. I say knocked the kid out. Let's face it. If a young man takes his life over being bullied and there's a chance the two responsible gets off, what have you gained. NOTHING. Knock 'em out, and wait for the parents. Let's just see how bad they really are.

    October 4, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
  6. Karen

    My heart and prayers go out to his family. This never should have happened hopefully justice will be served.

    Bullying just doesn't happen in our schools or colleges but also happens in the work places as well.

    We need to do something to make these people realize they are wrong.

    October 4, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  7. Kim

    "Step By Step" by Whitney Houston to ya.Comprehensive development guidance models designed to maximize NO Bully and support school counseling services in all American School Buildings. Budget cuts hampering counselors from spending time with students ? Not waiting for Superman for solutions !

    October 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  8. alicenyc

    I feel so bad for this young man and his parents. This story really got to me because Rutgers was one of the schools that accepted my son for this fall freshman year. He was really considereing it. And although I know this could have happened anywhere I just keep thinking that if my son had decided to go there this would have been what he would have been dealing with this year he is a freshamn just like this young man and now I am happy he chose to go to another school St. Johns.

    October 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  9. Dara

    We always are in awe in the amazing things that technology now affords us the ability to do, but conversely, this shines a light on the damage that it can do as well. Its a true shame an innocent life was lost behind. The immaturity of others.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  10. Robert Stroney

    Every moment I hear this young man's name on CNN,Tyler Clementi, 18, I well up. This tragedy did not have to happen. Why do people have to die because they are different.

    It's all of our jobs' to protect others' against bullies/cyber-bullying. It take a village. It takes each and every one of us to stand and say, "Stop It! It's not funny."

    The responsibility lies with each of us, to just say, "No More Bullying". If you see someone being taken advantage of – it is your responsibility as a human being to say something; if you don't, then you are just as guilty. Silence = death.

    My sincere sympathy to this family.

    October 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm |

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