Rutgers Honors Late Student At Homecoming Game
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) – Rutgers University paid a public tribute Saturday at a football game to a student who committed suicide last week after his sexual encounter was secretly streamed online.
Most in the crowd bowed their heads after a public address announcer requested a moment of silence for 18-year-old freshman Tyler Clementi before the start of Rutgers’ homecoming game against Tulane.
Clementi’s name was shown on the stadium’s huge scoreboard, and the crowd applauded politely after the observation ended.
Prosecutors say Clementi’s roommate and another student used a webcam to broadcast on the Internet live images of Clementi having an intimate encounter with another man.
Clementi, a promising violinist, jumped off the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River three days later. His body was identified Thursday.
The homecoming tribute was the latest in a series of remembrances for Clementi at the university that included the
establishment of a Facebook group, In Honor of Tyler Clementi.
On Friday, students wore black and were encouraged to leave flowers or mementoes at a makeshift memorial for Clementi. The Rutgers Glee Club also marched down to the memorial and performed an a capella rendition of “Rutgers Prayer,” which is traditionally sung when an important member of the Rutgers community dies or a tragedy happens at the university.
The university will hold a vigil on Sunday.
Clementi’s death was one of a string of suicides last month involving teens believed to have been victims of anti-gay bullying.
On Friday, more than 500 people attended a memorial service for Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old central California boy who hanged himself after enduring taunts from classmates about being gay.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)