Rutgers University Freshman Commits Apparent Suicide After Cyberbullying

The NY Times reported that Tyler Clementi,18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University in New Jersey, commit suicide on September 22 three days after his roommate streamed a video of him having sexual intimacy with a man.

This story has a compelling lead that sets the scene for the article. The New York Times opens with, "It started with a Twitter message on Sept. 19, 'Roommate asked for the room til midnight. I went into molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.'"

By setting up the story with this type of action from the night of the incident it makes the reader feel like they are "in the know" on a personal level. This style of setting up the story eases the the reader into the harsh reality that this choice of action by the roommate led to Clementi's suicide. Suicide is a very hard topic to read and write about, so this helps to make it seem more personal, not like it is just another news story.

The New Yorker reports that Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson river in an apparent suicide.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reported that Clementi posted a note on his Facebook page the day of his death saying, "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry."

The New York Times reports that Clementi's roommate, Dahrun Ravi,18, stated on Twitter that his roommate was gay, but according to classmates at Rutgers University it is unclear what Clementi's orientation actually is.

The New York Times reports that it appears that Ravi tried to make another attempt to broadcast Clementi's personal life. On September 21 he posted a message on Twitter saying, "Anyone with ichat, I dare you to chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it's happening again."

The Middlesex County prosecutor's office said Clementi's roommate, Dahrun Ravi, 18, and another classmate, Molly Wei, 18, have each been charged with two counts of invasion of privacy. The most serious charges could lead to a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The New York Times reports that Ravi and Wei stated that the initial broadcast was an accident, but became the gossip of the campus.

The New York Times reports that Rutgers officials would not say whether or not the two students have been suspended. Rutgers officials would not say whether the two suspects had been suspended. In a statement on Wednesday, University President Richard L. McCormick said, "It is more clear than ever that we need strongly to reassert our call for civility and responsibility for each other."

Clementi's family issued a statement on Wednesday confirming the suicide. "Tyler was a fine young man and a distinguished musician, " the statement read. "The family is heartbroken beyond words." Thomas Jung,19, who shared a music stand with Clementi in the orchestra said, "He loved music. He was very dedicated. I couldn't tell if anything was wrong."

This type of article showcases a more personal news story because Clementi's decision to commit suicide was triggered by the hurtful actions of his roommate and classmate. This story provides the hard facts of the story, the police reports, university statements, and events that took place, but does so in a way that does not take away from the magnitude of the event. The choice to release say that it was a suicide was made by the family, because of the bullying that provoked it. In most cases, suicide deaths are not reference which also makes this a notable article. This case has repeatedly been in the news since the incident occurred in late September, which shows that it was an important topic that has left lasting effects on the family, Rutger's University Policies, and students that attend Rutgers University.

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This page contains a single entry by favr0015 published on November 19, 2010 7:10 PM.

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