Campus Pride, the nation's leading organization of LGBT and ally college and university students, is calling for Rutgers University to "act decisively to expel both Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei for invasion of privacy of fellow student Tyler Clementi." On Wednesday, Sept. 22, Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge posting on his Facebook page, “jumping off the gw bridge sorry.”
Campus Pride cites the Rutgers University Code of Student Conduct that prohibits:
“making or attempting to make an audio or video recording of any person(s) on University premises in bathrooms, showers, bedrooms, or other premises where there is an expectation of privacy with respect to nudity and/or sexual activity, without the knowledge and consent of all participants subject to such recordings.”
"Ravi and Wei acted maliciously to secretly tape Tyler Clementi, even posting comments to encourage others to 'video chat' and watch. This is an egregious act of invasion of privacy. Both students should be expelled. Period," Shane Windmeyer, executive director and founder of Campus Pride, says in a press release. "This act was not simply a prank. It has been two weeks now and neither student has been expelled. Now is the time to act decisively and send a clear message at Rutgers and at colleges across the country that LGBT harassment and hate will not be tolerated any longer."
The press release notes that Campus Pride's "2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People" released last month shows that LGBT incidents of harassment and discrimination are neither rare nor fleeting– they are real. The national study indicates that one quarter (23%) of LGBQ staff, faculty, and students reported experiencing harassment. An even greater percentage of transgender students, faculty, & staff reported experiencing harassment (39%), often more overt and blatant on campus.
Since the death of Clementi, Campus Pride has received hundreds of emails and phone calls from concerned parents of LGBT youth who are asking for resources to determine safe, welcoming LGBT-friendly colleges and universities, the press release says. While they recognize that “it takes time for law officers to deal with the investigation surrounding the criminal charges and prosecuting to the full extent of the law, Rutgers University has a clear violation of its own student code of conduct to enforce for the safety and privacy of all students.”
"Rutgers University has an obligation to the family of Tyler Clementi and to parents who have gay kids across the nation to enforce the student code of conduct," says Windmeyer. “The nation is watching what happens. Rutgers should take immediate action in the wake of this national tragedy and immediately expel both students.”
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