Tyler Clementi and Dharun Ravi

Tyler Clementi and Dharun Ravi

This letter is in response to the op-ed by Nicolaus Mills, "Colleges should rethink roommates" [March 21], about the guilty verdict for Dharun Ravi for invading the privacy of Tyler Clementi, who later killed himself.

The thought of a world without college roommates is as glum as it is impractical. As a college teacher and student affairs professional, I am all too familiar with roommate disputes. However, the wicked actions of an unfortunate few must not stunt the societal imperative that is student development.

In an era of social networks and virtual realities, college residency programs are a last vestige of community and accountability. In the face of conflict, students must be taught to reasonably articulate dissent and to ultimately compromise as adults. Such is life.

The "roommate situation" does not need a cure. Rather, it is the solution to correcting the putridly insular mentality that isolation is somehow advantageous to oneself.

Frank Rampello, Farmingdale

Editor's note: The writer is a staff associate in the office of the dean of students at Farmingdale State College.