Rutgers University in N.J. to open Tyler Clementi center for youth

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 01, 2013 6:50 PM

(Reuters) - The parents of Tyler Clementi, the college student who committed suicide after learning his roommate spied on his gay tryst, and Rutgers University in New Jersey have jointly set up a research center for vulnerable youth that will open on Monday, the school said.

Called The Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers, the state university for New Jersey, it will offer lectures and training on subjects such as cyberbullying and youth suicide, particularly among gays and lesbians, Rutgers said in a statement.

The center will also offer programs to ease the transition from home to college and serve as a resource for youth advocates, including policy makers, social activists and community leaders.

"We'll make use of a lot of existing resources, including the schools of Social Work, Arts and Science and the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology," Rutgers spokesman E.J. Miranda said.

Clementi, 18, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, days after learning that his college roommate Dharun Ravi had used a computer-mounted webcam to snoop on him kissing an older man and had encouraged others to watch.

Ravi, who was never charged in Clementi's death, was convicted of bias crimes for spying on him. He served 20 days of a 30-day sentence.

The research and training center is a joint effort of Rutgers and the Tyler Clementi Foundation, formed by Tyler's parents, Joseph and Jane Clementi, as a memorial to their son.

It will be dedicated on Monday at Rutgers' Busch Campus in Piscataway, New Jersey.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)