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Did Seton Hall Kick Jesse Cruz Out Of His Dorm Because He’s A Gay?

Jesse Cruz, a junior public relations major at Seton Hall in New Jersey, wants the school to pay up for allegedly forcing him out of his dorm room because his roommate had a problem with his gayness. Except Jesse is back in his original room, after a two week stint sleeping on a friend’s floor while this whole mess played out. Ugh, must we sue over everything?

As Jesse tells it, his roommate requested a room change, as all students are permitted, and on “Room Change Day” a switch was made — but rather than relocating the roommate, it was Jesse who was booted. And not another room, but to another dorm. That wasn’t cool, insists Jesse (and his attorney), who say it’s because of his sexual orientation that he got shafted, The Record reports.

Cruz, 20, said he then told school officials he was happy with his initial room and that he believed he had been moved because of his sexual orientation. He said he then received a letter from the school giving him the option to either move into a triple room or switch to a room “with a Chinese roommate.” Cruz said he did not take the other options. “I didn’t think it was fair that I was being moved because I was gay,” he said.

Cruz said he slept on the floor in a friend’s dorm room for more than two weeks while his attorney wrote a letter to the school asking that Cruz be allowed to move back to his first room. Katherine Suga, a lawyer representing Seton Hall, replied to Arnold on Sept. 29, saying Cruz had not been moved from his room. “The University has never taken any action against Mr. Cruz based on his sexual preference,” Suga wrote. Cruz said he moved back to his dorm — with a different roommate — and has not had any problems since.

I’m not sure what evidence Jesse and his attorney have that any mistreatment was because of his sexual orientation. And it’s unclear whether Jesse can show that his roommate wanted to get rid of him because he’s gay. If there is evidence, pony it up buddy. But otherwise: It sucks what happened to you. But you slept on a buddy’s floor for two weeks; you weren’t out of house and home. You were mildly inconvenienced. If you’ve got a smoking gun showing Seton Hall — which does have its share of gay issues — discriminated against you because of your sexual orientation, show your cards. Otherwise, this country does not need another lawsuit.

By:           Ryan Tedder
On:           Mar 15, 2011
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 21 Comments
    • redmont
      redmont

      Great article + common sense. We don’t need these false discrimination lawsuits polluting the ones where people were actually hurt, victimized, discriminated against, etc. This guy’s just looking for a pay day.

      And not the delicious kind.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 7:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      There’s enough real, documented discrimination on college campuses to worry about, so there’s no reason to clog up the courts unless there’s evidence. (and if some form of mediation doesn’t work.)

      Mar 15, 2011 at 7:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pam
      Pam

      We don’t know what really happened because it’s only the first article to be released, in the record article it says that the school wanted to move him in with a chinese roommate, and stated that to him. It sounds like whoever is in charge is a bigot and wants to group the people that they don’t like together.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      I’ll wait for more to make a judgement…but I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved him for being gay. If the old roomie had a problem, he should have been moved, not Jesse.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oprah
      Oprah

      OK OK OK….Lets not call him “Jesse” as if he is our best friend. Mr Cruz should not have moved out. He should not have agreed to move out.He should not have announced or acted he was gay either. He is 20 years old, does he have to say–Hi– My name is Jesse Cruz, and i am gay. Really? How about –Hey dude, sup–cool straight pants–lets get some education. And for pitts sake– Nothing is WRONG with the CHINESE ROOM OR THE CHINEESE PEOPLE. I think the article and Mr. Cruz should have attached the following politically correct stipulations on their statements: “Not that there is anything wrong with Chinese people or the Chinese room”. God knows–whoever made the messeged room re-arrangement noticed the Chinese student was a little ….’gay’.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 8:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oprah
      Oprah

      PS: ‘Messed up room re-arrangement’ as opposed to whatever i typed up there. Cheers! :)

      Mar 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DJ
      DJ

      Hmmm, I don’t know. But he’s kinda cute. If I decide to go to Rutgers this fall, I’ll definitely be looking for him. lol

      Mar 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rosie
      Rosie

      Whoa whoa who’s side are you on there queerty? Belittling what happened to him as an inconvenience? No one should be treated differently because they’re gay. Which is exactly what it looks happened here.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @Rosie: I agree. I’m quite surprised at the dismissive comments as well as the writer of the article. Remember that this is a Catholic university, and I certainly wouldn’t put it past them to treat a gay student differently in this situation.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      Without more facts, all we can do is speculate.

      Mediation should have been used before this escalated.

      A lawsuit isn’t the best way to resolve anything without using some common sense first.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas
      Thomas

      seton hall is a catholic university, who has had their share of anti-gay issues before so I would not be surprised in the least if what jesse is saying is true.

      we need to stand together as a community, and support our youth, he’s only 20 years old, still in college and he was bullied not by his roommate but by the school he chose to attend. I’m with jesse until something convinces me not to be.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gregger
      Gregger

      Hello, it’s a Private Roman Catholic college. Why is anyone expecting the RCC to do the right thing in any instance? I’m not a party to this but I’m not surprised there was a double standard as the RCC hates Gays.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oprah
      Oprah

      ‘seton hall is a catholic university, who has had their share of anti-gay issues’

      Thomas,

      Oh so this is a religious Catholic college? Well, then i dont really believe Cruz’s roommate is a homophobe. Like Queerty said-students often ask to change their rooms be any reason-bad cologne using roommate or snoring roommate–whatever. The obviously Christian roommate is not someone who is exposed to gay people or has an informed understanding of homosexuality.The question here is– did the school handle this correctly?By removing Cruz first and not the student requesting a change, clearly states– they were judging Cruz or discriminating him based on his sexual orientation. Unless, the school has a ‘fine print’ policy that prohibits the teachings of the Bible, not to be violated, Cruz will lose because the mere acceptable of homosexuality as your identity is against what the religious college might stand for. I say–Good luck to both of them. LOL

      Mar 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James Tuscano
      James Tuscano

      I disagree with the author of the article on the essence of the issue as well as on the tone the story is presented.

      If one student asked for a room change and instead his roommate is forced out, it is off to a bad start. The college should have never relocated Mr Cruz in the first place as he never requested for a room change.

      Mr Cruz was more than just inconvenienced, he was mistreated. Room assignment is a contract between the student and the college and it seems that the college violated the contract. Mr Cruz has the right to sue. The options he was given were clearly not of equal value to his initial room. From a 2-person room, he was offered to move to a 3-person room or to a Chinese(?) themed residence. The college cannot reassign students at will without the request of the student or a compelling reason (dorm renovation, violation of rules, etc). Here there is neither. The fact that his roommate did not want to stay with Mr Cruz does not constitute a compelling reason to move Mr Cruz.

      The college has some explaining to do as to why Mr Cruz, who did not request reassignment, was moved instead of his roommate, who requested the reassignment. It seems that there was a discrimination here as they moved Mr Cruz as if he did something wrong. Being gay should not be a reason for being kicked out of one’s dorm room.

      The tone of this article resembles those written by cheap right-wing local newspapers. The author should come to his senses and reassess the case with an objective mind. It is utterly ridiculous that such a lowly tone could be used accusing the mistreated college kid for looking for justice.

      Shame on Queerty! Instead of chasing shirtless guy pics and celebrity news, they should show some sensitivity for the college kid who is discriminated probably because of his sexual orientation.

      I am also very disappointed with all the comments coming from readers who must have been swayed by the counterproductive and dismissive tone of the article.

      Mar 16, 2011 at 12:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Peter
      Peter

      @James Tuscano:

      Preach! This happened in September 2010 which is the same time that tyler clementi took his own life, only miles away from where jesse was dealing with not only a roommate but a school that was treating him unfairly.

      the truth will come out eventually, but im sure that this kid wouldn’t just file a lawsuit willy nilly just to have it thrown out, he has to have something good.

      let’s watch this unfold

      Mar 16, 2011 at 1:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The sane Francis
      The sane Francis

      Ultimately, it comes down to, why was Jesse moved, and not the roommate, if the roommate was the one with the issue? And did Jesse create the issue with the roommate, or was it the roommate who had the problem? Because from how the story reads, the roommate request the change of the situation, so therefore the roommate should have been moved to a different location. And if it is true that the roommates’ problem was Jesse’s sexuality, then it is discriminatory to essentially force Jesse to move to a completely different dorm in what could be seen as lesser living conditions, because his homosexuality caused a bigot problems. What we need to know is exactly for sure what the roommates’ problems were and why the roommate requested a change or what happened to spur that situation.

      And yes, this being a religious school does make the homophobic question more valid.

      Mar 16, 2011 at 1:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WewaBoi
      WewaBoi

      I agree with the more recent comments, in that if the roommate requested the change then the roommate should have been moved. I, too, don’t understand why the author of this article took such an (in my opinion) unreasonable tone with the issue. When I was in my freshman year of college (sixteen years ago), I requested a room change because of an extremely homophobic roommate. I never had any expectation of my roommate being moved because I requested the change. Had he requested the change, I would have absolutely gone mad if I had been the one removed. It all goes back to (what should be, in my opinion) the answer for people who don’t like gay people: If you don’t like us, leave; igonor us, get out, remove yourselves from the situation. We have a right to exist, and we will not get out of your sight because you think you’re superior to us. If you have a problem with me because the love of my life has a penis, then move along and share memories of the good old days with Bull Connor and his useless apologists.

      Mar 16, 2011 at 1:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      I guess Jesse Cruz should feel lucky Seton Hall is Catholic instead of Orthodox Jewish, otherwise he’d be forced to share a room with a lesbian.

      Mar 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Reader
      Reader

      Hmmmmm,

      I don’t think it is right for Queerty to make such a judgement and attack the kid.

      Yes, he should not have been forced to move if it was the other roommate that complained.
      According to the article he wasn’t forced, but asked to move.
      He didn’t move though.

      My guess is his attorney recommended he not sleep in the room while the complaint was filed, as to not seem to be making a bad environment or a scene.

      He didn’t say that he didn’t want to live in a triple room or with “a chinese roommate”, He said he wanted to stay in the dorm he was in. Which is his choice.
      I think the point he was making is that he was asked to move, because he his roommate didn’t want to room with him. He was thinking that since the roommate didn’t want to live with him that the roommate should move.

      Now as far a suffering and money. It is possible. But, I think like the Lawyer said he wants to make a point that if someone does not want to room with another roommate, because of differences, then they should move not the roommate.

      Let’s not all pounce on the kid, he and his lawyer are just trying to make a point…..

      Whether we agree with it or not……

      Mar 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drake
      Drake

      We don’t need QUEERTY taking up a fight against gay rights.

      Mar 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jude
      Jude

      Queerty should fire the author of this article. This is the most disgusting piece of crap I’ve read on Queerty. Attack the victim? WTF

      Mar 18, 2011 at 12:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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