Evidence is mounting that Tyler Clementi turned to online forums for help in addressing his roommate’s invasion of his privacy, and that he was convinced to bring his concerns to his RA on the evening of September 21 — the day before he died.
Earlier this week it was reported that anonymous poster using the name “cit2mo” left a series of messages on the gay message board site JustUsBoys on September 21 and 22 that appear to match what is known about Clementi’s dilemma. Yesterday, a lawyer representing JustUsBoys told CNN that cit2mo had indeed connected to their site via a computer at Rutgers.
In the first message, posted early in the morning of September 21, cit2mo writes
so the other night i had a guy over. I had talked to my roommate that afternoon and he had said it would be fine w/him. I checked his twitter today. he tweeted that I was using the room (which is obnoxious enough), AND that he went into somebody else’s room and remotely turned on his webcam and saw me making out with a guy.
He describes himself as “kinda pissed,” but unsure what recourse he has. He says he’s not sure whether he’s up for the hassle of changing roommates, adding that he doesn’t want to “report him and then end up with nothing happening except him getting pissed at me.”
Several other posters then chime in with advice, and cit2mo responds with more details. Later that morning he says that he’s planning to request a room change, and by the afternoon he has decided to bring the issue up with his RA, though he suspects that “the school really prolly won’t do much of anything.”
That evening he texts his roommate to ask if he can have the room again that night. The roommate says yes, but then, he writes
when I got back to the room I instantly noticed he had turned the webcam toward my bed. And he had posted online again….saying….”anyone want a free show just video chat me tonight”…or something similar to that….
soooo after that…..
I ran to the nearest RA and set this thing in motion…..
we’ll see what happens……
The following morning cit2mo posted a further update saying that the RA
seemed to take it seriously…
he asked me to email him a written paragraph about what exactly happened…
I emailed it to him, and to two people above him….
That message, posted hours before Tyler Clementi died, was the last that cit2mo ever posted to the board.
In the days since these posts were first linked to Clementi, many commenters have noted that cit2mo seems in them to be taking his situation in stride. But it’s clear as well that the situation escalated rapidly over the course of the 24 hours that elapsed after his first post to the last, and that by the time of his last message he regards the situation as far more serious than he initially did.
If cit2mo was in fact Tyler Clementi, then it appears that Rutgers dorm staff were made aware of Dharun Ravi’s spying before Clementi’s death.
And if that is the case, then the question must be asked: What was their response?