The death of Rutger’s freshman Tyler Clementi is one of the worst examples of bullying by fellow classmates that has ever occurred at a major university. Tyler was a bright young man and a dedicated musician, and now we are learning that he cared about other people’s feelings, something that his roommate, Dharun Ravi, and dorm mate, Molly Wei, obviously don’t comprehend.
Tyler turned to an online message forum before he took his life, and he indicated that he knew that Ravi had been spying on him with a video webcam. On the forum he asked for advice on what to do regarding handling the situation and making sure it didn’t happen again. He knew that what his roommate had done was wrong, but he did not realize that his encounter with another male student had been captured on tape.
While pondering what action to take, Clementi posted, “…he (Ravi) never recorded anything…I feel like the only thing the school might do is find me another roommate, probably with me moving out…and i’d probably just end up with somebody worse than him.”
Tyler also went on to add that he thought that Dharun Ravi was “a pretty decent roommate” and didn’t want to turn him in and have Ravi get upset with him.
Other users on the online forum encouraged Clementi to report the incident to the school. Ultimately, he did wind up filling out a room change request form, but he hoped that things would work out and neither one of them would have to move.
It wasn’t until he invited his male friend over again that he saw Ravi had turned the webcam towards his bed, and had posted something online telling people to message him if they “wanted a free show.”
After that, Tyler’s last post on the message forum indicated that he had emailed his RA to get things moving with the room change request.
On September 22nd, Tyler Clementi updated his Facebook status with, “Jumping off the GW bridge sorry.”
I sincerely hope that Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei realize that a wonderful human being left this earth because of their disregard and total lack of respect for his privacy, character, and feelings. His death is a tragedy that absolutely could’ve been avoided.
Tyler Clementi will be incredibly missed. My heart and prayers go out to his family.