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Rutgers University to name new anti-cyberbullying center after Tyler Clementi

NBC News

Tyler Clementi with his mother Jane. Clementi, 18, a freshman at Rutgers, jumped off the George Washington Bridge in September, 2012.

On Monday, Rutgers University and the family of Tyler Clementi -- the freshman who committed suicide after his roommate used a webcam to film him in a romantic encounter with another man -- will announce the newly created Tyler Clementi Center at the New Jersey college, dedicated to helping students transition from home to university life. 

The ceremony at the campus will include members of Clementi's family, who started a foundation after his death focused on bullying, youth suicide and other issues related to gay students, the Star-Ledger reported.

"The Tyler Clementi Center is a collaborative effort between Rutgers University and the Tyler Clementi Foundation," Rutgers officials said in an announcement.

"The center will draw from academic disciplines across the university and throughout the nation to create new programs and approaches to address issues that confront young people — specifically youth making the transition from home to college."


Although Joseph and Jane Clementi, Tyler's parents, filed court papers shortly after their son's death in 2010 preserving their right to sue Rutgers for damages, the family chose not to file suit anyone associated with the webcam spying or the suicide, the family's attorney Paul Mainardi said in October. 

Read more about Tyler Clementi on NBCNews.com

"The Clementi family made a considered decision to not pursue civil suits," Mainardi told the Star-Ledger. "They are devoting their energies to the positive work of the Tyler Clementi Foundation."

Last year, the university and the Clementis’ newly formed foundation co-sponsored a symposium on bullying and social media on the Piscataway campus. Nearly 200 academics and school officials attended, the Star-Ledger reported.

The new Tyler Clementi Center will offer lectures, symposia and training on the misuse of social media and youth suicide, Rutgers officials said. The center will also focus on cyber bullying and the adjustment to adulthood and college life.

"The goal of the center is to provide scholarly support for the work of policymakers, social activists, community leaders and other advocates for vulnerable youth," Rutgers officials said.

Two of the university's professors will serve as directors of the center. 

John Munson / AP file

Dharun Ravi, 20, the former Rutgers University student waits before court proceedings, Friday, March 9, 2012 in New Brunswick, N.J.

Clementi, 18, jumped off the George Washington Bridge in 2010, a few weeks after he started his freshman year.

His roommate used a webcam to watch the freshman in a romantic encounter with another man in their dorm room, then boasted about what he had seen on Twitter. Clementi, who had told his parents he was gay weeks before leaving for college, filed a complaint about the spying with university officials hours before his suicide.

Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, was found guilty of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and other charges in a nationally televised trial last year. He served less than a month in county jail. 

Ravi is currently appealing his sentence.