Rutgers University to Open Tyler Clementi Center in Memory of Gay Student

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Tyler Clementi

New Jersey’s Rutgers University announced today (Feb. 4) the creation of a center in honor of Tyler Clementi, a gay student who jumped to his death of off a bridge after he was filmed by his roommate kissing another man.

The center will serve to create programs to help students transition to college. It will also offer lectures and training on social media, youth suicide—particularly aimed at LGBT students—bullying and cyberbullying , and understanding and promoting safe and inclusive social environments, according to the university’s website.

The New York Times reports the center will kick off its programs in March with a lecture on “growing up digital,” followed up by a conference on transgender issues in April.

“It’s bittersweet,” Jane Clementi, Tyler’s mother, told the Times. “It calls up a lot of pain and sadness, but at the same time it gives me some hope that I can be part of a better future for someone else. There are other Tylers out there, but they won’t have to go through what Tyler went through.”

In 2010, Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate, Dharun Ravi, spied on him using a webcam as Clementi, who was still in the closet, kissed another man. The video was seen by at least half a dozen other students.

Days later, Clementi posted on Facebook: “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.”

Ravi was convicted in 2012 of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and other counts. He served less than a month in jail and is currently appealing his conviction.