Suicide was the decision Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi made when he leapt off of the George Washington Bridge last Wednesday, Sept. 22 after his roommate and the roommate’s friend broadcasted videos of Clementi engaging in homosexual encounters.
The Loquitur sees this recent loss of Clementi as offering an opportunity to colleges to address students in crisis and to educate students to respect the privacy of others, especially their sexual identity.
At Cabrini, we offer resources and support for all students dealing with an identity issue, in conjunction with celebrating diversity on campus. The office of Student Diversity focuses on “programming, training and events that promote an inclusive campus community and strives to empower students of all backgrounds and walks of life.”
This month, Student Diversity is celebrating GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) history month. By recognizing diversities on campus, we address the possibility that a student of a certain race, faith or sexual orientation, feels isolated. We have freedoms on campus for students to begin a club or organization where they can gather with people who are interested in discussing differences.
Initiating in these types of organizations, in the Loquitur’s opinion, has made Cabrini a comfortable environment for all to learn in.
The Loquitur cannot speak on behalf of other colleges and universities, but we feel that more undivided attention to student diversity with an emphasis on respect is necessary for all colleges and universities. Moreover, support and services should be offered to those who feel unwelcome in a student environment that discriminates against someone who is different.
The tragic suicide of Clementi is an event that could potentially happen at any school. Although Cabrini is a Catholic college, we affirm that we are open to all creeds and all walks of life. We see this tragedy as a way for people of all faiths and especially sexual orientations to respect our neighbor, classmate and friend with the same dignity that was owed to Clementi.