Posted by: Catherine Lugg | October 7, 2010

Not a good sign

The Star Ledger is reporting that Rutgers has received subpoenas from the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office to surrender any e-mails that discussed Tyler Clementi.

Now, Rutgers is claiming these e-mails are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, hence Rutgers is forbidden under federal law from disclosing any information.

But the central administrators at Rutgers University are being jerks. Privacy rights largely end once someone dies–and they know this. It’s why we discover just who’s been followed by the FBI, after they die. Furthermore, Rutgers is also covered by the NJ Open Records Act, which means any university e-mail is property of the state of NJ–not the people who typed the e-mails.

I suspect Rutgers is stonewalling the Prosecutors’ Office because the RU’s leadership is terrified of any and all civil litigation over Tyler Clementi’s death. The informal word put out last week by Rutgers head honchos was that “Rutgers had done everything that could be done” to prevent Clementi’s suicide. I immediately interpreted that as “We screwed up, but we ain’t going to say so.”

It looks like we’re going to find out just exactly how the central administration values the lives of Rutgers’ queer students. I fear that answer is going to be utterly depressing.

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Responses

  1. It’s crap like this that makes me want to rip up and burn both of my RU diplomas!

  2. […] I suspected this would happen, particularly after the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office had to file subpoenas to obtain administrative e-mails regarding Clementi’s death. As I noted on October 7, 2010: I suspect Rutgers is stonewalling the Prosecutors’ Office because the RU’s leadership is terrified of any and all civil litigation over Tyler Clementi’s death. The informal word put out last week by Rutgers head honchos was that “Rutgers had done everything that could be done” to prevent Clementi’s suicide. I immediately interpreted that as “We screwed up, but we ain’t going to say so.” […]

  3. […] the administrative stonewalling involving the Clementi criminal investigation, I have many, many […]

  4. […] story—what documents from Rutgers, if any, was the prosecutor’s office able to secure? As I observed in December, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office was forced to subpoena Rutgers University regarding […]

  5. […] Office has vigorously pursued this case, despite being stonewalled by Ravi and Wei, and even Rutgers at one […]


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