Rutgers Urged to Improve Student Safety

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 26 2010 8:50 AM ET

A gay rights group at Rutgers University is urging the administration to do more to protect what the group calls a “hidden population of Tyler Clementis,” referring to the freshman who committed suicide last month after his roommate secretly broadcast his private encounter with another man.

According to The Record, Queering the Air, a New Brunswick–based group that includes some Rutgers community members, presented its concerns during a recent student government meeting. Rutgers president Richard McCormick said he takes the concerns — which include the suicide of another gay student last March — seriously, and the university is reviewing the group’s proposals. Their ideas include the creation of gender-neutral housing, screening students to ask whether they would be comfortable living with LGBT students, establishing a committee to review harassment and student services policies and procedures, and empowering investigation into Clementi’s suicide with the goal of creating a safer campus.

Clementi, who was 18, committed suicide by jumping from the George Washington Bridge in late September after his roommate Dharun Ravi live-streamed video of him with another man over the Internet. Ravi and another Rutgers student, Molly Wei, have been charged with invasion of privacy in the incident.