TO TYLER CLEMENTI WITH LOVE
LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION
My name is Katya and I am loving living away at college in Chicago. But let me tell you: there’s a lot of pressure and the strange on-campus crimes would blow your mind. There’s one woman in my dorm — a thick, angry bruiser who acts all super-militant and righteous. Okay. She’s not very attractive inside or outside but whatever. Then I don’t see her again after winter semester break. Then I hear she’s been busted and institutionalized for raping a smaller, fellow male student. Male. Student. She raped a male?! What craziness is in studying our midst?
During my first year at Fordham, my clothes kept disappearing. From my room, from the washer and dryer in the basement. Then I hear from other students on my floor that there’s been a rash of clothing thefts from the laundry room and dorm rooms. Our Residence Advisor called us together to say the clothing stealer had finally been caught. Come to find out my meth-using pre-med roommate Danika had been the stealer the whole time. She had been stealing clothes and hoarding and slashing the clothing in her room. Her girlfriend Sarah gave her up to the campus police cuz she thought Danika was out of control. What the?!! Give me my clothing back, you lunatic!!! Your parents better pay me back at least!!
Oh, college ain’t just for the sane. Psychopaths come in all flavors. What’s dreadful about being young is you have very little personal experience with dealing with these nutjobs one usually only sees on repeats of “Law & Order.” And they are 100% dangerous. Like any psychopath, the loose screws one encounters in the undergraduate dormitory.
Like Tyler Clementi, we all go to school to live our lives and further our educations and careers. Exploring our sexuality and relationships is part of that. How sick is it that your roommate would film, watch, clown and broadcast your private encounters?
Now no coed college student is a forensic or psychological expert. But amplify your own sense of modesty, isolation, and shame and confronting a bully becomes the hardest thing in the world. Especially when their actions become absolutely criminal.
It is well recognized that a person who has suffered abuse will tend in life to either become a perpetrator of further abuse or become self-destructive. So maybe there is some grain of “why” inside the perpetrator in these perilous college situations. Or maybe that’s just wishful psychobabble thinking.
The greatest sin of the tragedy is that Tyler Clementi’s roommate’s malice took him by surprise. An unfortunate part of adult life is learning to expect the worst from people.
And also understanding that the rot has nothing to do with you, Tyler. It’s inside them.
By drawing lines of acceptable behavior, finding safety in like-minded numbers and being aggressive about complaining to authorities when we are wronged, we can start to protect our psyches and lives from psychopaths.