Tyler Clementi Hub




Rutgers Has Seriously Beefed Up LGBT Inclusion Since 2010

RutgersLGBTTyler Clementi's suicide opened the nation's eyes to homophobic bullying, but no place was deeply impacted as Rutgers University, the New Jersey institution where Clementi had just started his freshman year. Since Clementi's death, the school has vastly improved its LGBT outreach and extracurricular efforts.

According to The New York Times, Rutgers Center for Social Justice Education and L.G.B.T. Communities' budget has expanded from $45,000 the year Clementi died, 2010, to $70,000 today.

And campus participation too has become a cornerstone of the University's fight against anti-gay attitudes:

...Today, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and their supporters can choose from four specialized housing options, three of them new, ranging from a service to pair them with like-minded roommates to Rainbow Perspectives, a floor in a residence hall organized around common interests. They can now turn for support to the 130 staff and faculty members who have been trained as official campus liaisons, or to the graduates of a new training program for “allies,” whose inaugural session is already booked to capacity. This year’s edition of a handbook that lists campus resources for “queer issues” is 92 pages long.

And this week, Campus Pride, an organization that rates schools based on the inclusiveness of their policies, upgraded Rutgers’s main campus in New Brunswick to the maximum rating, five stars. Out of the 32 possible categories in which a school can distinguish itself, Rutgers scored in 31.

Though there's no way to completely eradicate homophobia, it's clear that the inclusive culture is gaining ground, and outright anti-gay sentiments are clearly becoming less socially acceptable. "A lot of people who might be homophobic probably won’t say so because of the consequences they can see can happen," said Robert S. Goopio, president of the school's gay fraternity, Delta Lambda Phi.

Perhaps the most telling manifestation of an increasingly aware campus is the consistent run on "ally" lapel buttons being provided by the Social Justice Center. They're being snatched up faster than the school can make them.


Tyler Clementi's Parents Speak Out On Son's Suicide, Dharun Ravi's Trial And Their New Foundation: VIDEO

JaneJoeClementi

In their first formal interview since their son's 2010 suicide, Joe and Jane Clementi, Tyler Clementi's parents, sat down with NBC's Hester Holt to discuss how Dharun Ravi's actions led to Clementi's death ("This was an executed plan," says Joe), how they're coping since the trial and the way their their evangelical Christianity influenced their reaction to Tyler's coming out.

"Sin needs to be taken out of homosexuality," they learned.

The duo also express their surprise and appreciation at all the national attention around Clementi's death and the hate crime trial against Ravi, and Tyler's brother James, also gay, speaks out about the contentious ruling against Ravi, who was sentenced to 30 days in jail for his role in the 18-year old's death. He only spent 20 days behind bars.

While they're still upset over the trial, the Clementi family is now focusing on their new foundation, the Tyler Clementi Foundation, through which they're trying to erode social discrimination and save other young men and women from the fate that befell Tyler.

Watch the interview AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Tyler Clementi's Parents Speak Out On Son's Suicide, Dharun Ravi's Trial And Their New Foundation: VIDEO" »


Tyler Clementi's Parents Sit Down With NBC: 'Sin Needs To Be Taken Out Of Homosexuality'

JaneClementi

For the first time since his 2010 suicide, Tyler Clementi's parents are sitting down for a formal interview to discuss the young man's life and death.

In an interview with NBC News' Lester Holt, Tyler's father, James, admits Tyler had issues with depression that led to his suicide, but also insists that roommate Dharun Ravi's spying "was the straw that broke the camel's back."

Jane Clementi agrees, telling Holt that the "humiliation" of having his private sex life tweeted and shared was too much for her son to bear. "“I think it was – it was the humiliation that his roommates and his dorm mates were watching him in a very intimate act and that they were laughing behind his back," she says. "The last thing that Tyler looked at before he left the dorm room for the bridge was the Twitter page, where Ravi was announcing Tyler's activities."

Mrs. Clementi also opens up about how her son, who had only come out to her a few weeks before his death, changed her view of homosexuality.

She says the news [of Tyler's homosexuality] "shocked" her, in part because of her strong Christian faith.  Since then she says she’s gone from "point A" in her beliefs "to point B."

"Was that point A, the point of 'homosexuality is a sin?'" asked Holt.
"Well, yes," Mrs. Clementi answered. "And of trying to just accept it."

She said she also realizes that Tyler may have misread her reaction during their conversation. He later texted a friend that his mother had rejected him after he came out to her.

"It just was like a dagger," Mrs. Clementi said. "And that took me a long time to process. Because I did not think I had rejected him."

The interview airs tomorrow night. Judging from the short clip included AFTER THE JUMP, I recommend you keep a hanky close…

Watch NBC's teaser AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Tyler Clementi's Parents Sit Down With NBC: 'Sin Needs To Be Taken Out Of Homosexuality'" »


Dharun Ravi Released from Jail After 20 Days of 30-Day Sentence

Dharun Ravi has been released from jail, the AP reports:

RaviDharun Ravi, 20, reported to the Middlesex County jail on May 31, though he could have remained free while his case is appealed.

A judge sentenced him to 30 days in jail — far less than the 10-year prison sentence he could have given him. He still faces three years of probation, plus more than $11,000 in fines and assessments, 300 hours of community service, and counseling. Like other county jail inmates, Ravi automatically was given five days off for good behavior and five for working. Jail officials say he has not done anything to have those credits taken away.

Federal immigration authorities said Monday that Ravi will not be deported to his native India. He lived there until he was 5 years old and remains a citizen, though he is in the United States legally.

Ravi's attorneys filed papers on June 4 to appeal his conviction.


Dharun Ravi to Appeal Conviction in Tyler Clementi Case

Dharun Ravi's attorney's have filed a notice of intent to appeal his conviction in the Rutgers webcam case involving Tyler Clementi, the Star-Ledger reports:

RaviThe notice, filed June 4 with the appellate court, lists the proposed issues to be raised, including that the bias intimidation statute is unconstitutional as applied to Ravi and that several decisions by Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman, who presided over the trial earlier this year, "prejudiced the defendant's ability to get a fair trial."

The appeal process could take upwards of two years before a three-judge panel hears the appeal. Ravi is currently serving a 30-day sentence in the Middlesex County jail.

Warden Edmond Cicchi of the county jail said last month that inmates at the jail are automatically awarded 10 days for good behavior, which would place Ravi's release date at sometime next week, since he began his sentence May 31.


Dharun Ravi Apologizes, Says He'll Begin Jail Term Despite Appeal

Dharun Ravi today apologized for his actions in the case surrounding Tyler Clementi's suicide, in a statement released by his attorney.

D_raviSaid Ravi in the statement:

"Last Monday, I was sentenced to 3 years probation, 300 hours of community service, a fine of more than $10,000.00, and 30 days in jail. Since the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office appealed that sentence, the sentence does not have to start until the appeal is decided. Nevertheless, I decided to accept and hopefully complete the sentence as soon as possible. It's the only way I can go on with my life.

I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made on September 19, 2010 and September 21, 2010. My behavior and actions, which at no time were motivated by hate, bigotry, prejudice or desire to hurt, humiliate or embarrass anyone, were nonetheless the wrong choices and decisions. I apologize to everyone affected by those choices. I am surrendering myself to the Middlesex County Correctional Facility on Thursday, May 31, 2012, to start my 30-day period of imprisonment."

NBC News adds: "Ravi's lawyers have said they expect to appeal the convictions entirely. They say that he was not hateful and that authorities charged him with such serious crimes because of Clementi's suicide even though he was not charged with the 18-year-old's death."


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