Vulnerable youth making the transition from home to college now have a place to turn at Rutgers University.  Administrators and student leaders joined with the Clementi family today to announce the opening of the Tyler Clementi Center, named after the former Rutgers student who committed suicide after his roommate used a web cam to spy on him.

Tyler Clementi

"This center will embody our shared commitment to breaking new ground to study the rapidly changing world our young adults live in and to lend them support, especially as they transition into adulthood," the Clementi family said in a statement.  "We commend Rutgers for its commitment, unique in higher education, and we are grateful to have the center named in memory of our son."

"Tyler's death deeply touched the Rutgers community and brought the issues of cyber-bullying and the suicide of gay youth to the attention of the world," said Richard Edwards, Rutgers University executive vice president for academic affairs.  "Rutgers has a history of being responsive to the needs of our LGBTQ community, as well as offering forward-thinking scholarly work to impact broader cultural change.  It was our sincere wish to work with the Clementi family to turn this tragedy into an effort that would help young people not only at Rutgers but beyond."

Support for Vulnerable Youth

Lectures and training on topics which include the use and misuse of new technologies and social media will take place at the center.  Other topics will include youth suicide, particularly among LGBTQ youth and other young people, during the transition to adulthood, adjustment and assimilation into college life, bullying and cyber-bullying and understanding and promoting safe and inclusive social environments.

Jeff Longhofer, Rutgers associate professor of social work, will run the center.  The goal is to provide support for the work of policymakers, social activists, community leaders and other advocates for vulnerable youth.