Columbia University Student Takes Mattress to Graduation in Rape Protest

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With Help From her Friends, Emma Sulkowicz Carries Her Mattress Onto the Stage for Graduation

Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz claims she was raped by Paul Nungesser her sophomore year.  In her senior year, she began carrying her mattress around campus, initially as a part of an art project called “Carry the Weight” but then as a vow to do so until Nungesser was expelled.

When Columbia never expelled Nungesser, and he graduated alongside Sulkowicz, she carried the mattress onto the stage to receive her diploma.  She also refused to shake the hand of President Leo Bullinger when given her diploma.  Nungesser denies the claims and has filed a lawsuit against the school for failing to protect him from harassment.  An NYPD investigation found there wasn’t sufficient evidence to charge him.

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