Twin Vigils Held For Rutgers Student Who Committed Suicide

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) — The sound of silence was resonating across the tri-state area Sunday night in the wake of a college freshman’s suicide.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports from New Brunswick

Hundreds gathered at twin tributes for Rutgers student Tyler Clementi – one in the heart of the university’s campus, and the other in rainy Manhattan.

Emotions ranged from sadness and concern to outrage at candlelight vigil on the Rutgers campus, where attendees made calls for compassion.

For 15 minutes, not one word was spoken at Brower Commons in New Brunswick, where a crowd of several hundred remembered Tyler Clementi.

“It’s just sad someone could be going through so much pain on campus,” Rutgers student Danika Ali said. “Nobody really knew the depth of his sadness.”

The 18-year-old freshman jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge on September 22. His suicide came days after his roommate allegedly streamed video online of him with another man in his dorm room.

Clementi was a gifted violinist described by friends as quiet and kind.

The roommate, Dharun Ravi, and classmate, Molly Wei, are charged with invasion of privacy. More serious bias charges could come later as a debate over bullying rages.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn led a second vigil in a rainy Washington Square Park,

“You send a clear message to those ignorant individuals, who are bullies, that they are not in the mainstream,” Quinn said.

Quinn told a crowd that included Governor David Paterson that now is the time for peace, healing and the pursuit of justice – and that young people in crisis need to know they are not alone.

“Reach out. There are people who can help you,” Rutgers alum Grace Fiorito said. “Do it. It’s worth it.”

As this case continues to put this campus in the national media spotlight, students say they hope they can continue to show this is a tolerant place.

Clementi’s family members, who were not present at the vigils, have requested privacy. Last week, a family statement said the funeral will be private.

More from Dave Carlin
  • Rutgers has issues

    Not to worry…Snooki will fix everything.

  • christine

    there should be cyber bullying added to the charges as well.

  • Lolet Secerio

    I will say my prayers to Tyler Clementi for the eternal repose of his soul. I hope justice will be served to those commited mistkes to him. May his family would be able to move on after this tragedy.

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  • Nemesis xyz

    Although I feel sorry for Mr. Clementi’s parents, you must admit that this young man had a very weak constitution to resort to suicide over a prank. Young people have to toughen up to face the realities of life. But unfortunately, we live in a world of fantasy and fiction, and when reality hits, it can be unbearable.

    • Lynnette

      Hmmm, I doubt his suicide was prompted simply by one prank. I’m sure this was simply the icing on the cake. We don’t know what this boy’s life was like, he may have been bullied in high school as well, or endured other personal problems.Should we excuse the behaviour of these pranksters as the reality of today???? I should hope not.

  • frances dullo

    such giftedness and very young life wasted by the insensitive-ness of others. why can’t people just respect another for what and who they are? my prayers and symphaties to the Clementis!

  • Genuine

    My prayers go out to that young man’s family and may he rest in peace!

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