Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Tragedy at Rutgers?
Pres. Richard L. McCormick's statement regarding the death of a student

Dear President McCormick:
Re: the death of "a student"
"A student" had a name, and it is Tyler Clementi.
And may you live long enough to never, ever forget it.
And now, from the "Media Relations" section of Rutgers' website:
September 29, 2010
I deeply regret that today we learned from the family of one of our students that they believe their son has committed suicide.  We are profoundly saddened by this report, and our hearts and prayers are with the parents, family, and friends of this young man, who had started at Rutgers this semester as a first-year student on the New Brunswick Campus.

While there is a lot of information being communicated, we don’t have all the facts in this case.

This young man was reportedly the victim of an incident that took place in one of our residence halls last week.  Two fellow Rutgers students have been arrested and charged with invasion of privacy for their actions in that incident.  If the charges are true, these actions gravely violate the university’s standards of decency and humanity.

The case is being investigated by the Rutgers University Police Department.  The students – like all who are accused of a crime – must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The case is also being investigated by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs under the code of student conduct.  Please know that while Rutgers does not comment publicly on the specifics of cases involving active criminal investigations and allegations of student conduct, the university is taking this case very seriously.

We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family during this most difficult time. While I did not have the privilege of knowing this young man, I have learned that in addition to his academic abilities, he was a gifted musician.  Our university community feels the pain of his loss, and I know there is anger and outrage about these events.

Rutgers is a community that is extraordinarily proud of its diversity and the respect its members have for one another.  In fact, we have just launched a two-year dialogue focusing attention on civility in the context of one of the most culturally and racially diverse research universities in the nation.  I ask that all members of the Rutgers community honor the wishes of the family by providing them with privacy during this painful time and by committing to the values of civility, dignity, compassion, and respect for each other.

Richard L. McCormick
President
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was stunned to see that Rutgers did not expel Ravi and Wei. In fact, President McCormick allowed both students to "withdraw" without consequence. This despite the obvious, easily verified breach of Rutgers University ethics and code of conduct. I went back to look at McCormick's "Death of a Student" release to the media. It pointedly, and inhumanly, never mentions the name of the young man, the victim--it's Tyler Clementi Mister President. Clearly, the name name McCormick needs to be included when we all remember the guilty parties: Ravi, Wei and McCormick. When you meet them, their friends, their relatives, tell them we remember.

Friday, October 29, 2010 at 9:55:00 PM EDT  

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