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Columbia student will carry her mattress until her rapist exits school
September 2, 2014

While most students at Columbia University will spend the first day of classes carrying backpacks and books, Emma Sulkowicz will start her semester on Tuesday with a far heavier burden. The senior plans on carrying an extra-long, twin-size mattress across the quad and through each New York City building – to every class, every day – until the man she says raped her moves off campus.

“I was raped in my own bed,” Sulkowicz told me the other day, as she was gearing up to head back to school in this, the year American colleges are finally, supposedly, ready to do something about sexual assault. “I could have taken my pillow, but I want people to see how it weighs down a person to be ignored by the school administration and harassed by police.”

Sulkowicz is one of three women who made complaints to Columbia against the same fellow senior, who was found “not responsible” in all three cases. She also filed a police report, but Sulkowicz was treated abysmally – by the cops, and by a Columbia disciplinary panel so uneducated about the scourge of campus violence that one panelist asked how it was possible to be anally raped without lubrication.

So Sulkowicz joined a federal complaint in April over Columbia’s mishandling of sexual misconduct cases, and she will will hoist that mattress on her shoulders as part savvy activism, part performance art. “The administration can end the piece, by expelling him,” she says, “or he can, by leaving campus.”

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As painful as I know the constant reminder of attending school with her rapist must be, I’m glad she won’t be the only one forced to remember. I hope the rapist drops out immediately…or better yet, I hope he faces the justice he deserves. 

Where is the rapist’s information? why is his identity being withheld?

why do people insist that people accused of rape are innocent until proven guilty but that people who have been raped are guilty until proven innocent

colbyart

colbyart:

Fun fact: In August 2010, there was this Club Penguin contest called Art for Haiti, which wanted users to make a drawing that would be painted as a mural on a school in Haiti that was built after the earthquake. I entered with this drawing:

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and I ended up being a finalist

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and winning the contest

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I’ll always be proud of this and someday, I wish to go to Haiti to get my picture by the mural.