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Columbia student carries rape protest mattress to graduation

Columbia student carries rape protest mattress to graduation

Not even college graduations are safe from rape culture

Ah yes, Mattress Girl. You may be familiar with Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz, who carried her mattress around campus in protest after claims she was allegedly raped. Sulkowicz never pressed charges and the university dismissed the case against the alleged offender. By carrying her mattress around, Sulkowicz made national headlines and also earned credit for her performance art.

Over the past few months, Sulkowicz’s version of events have been challenged by Nungesser’s accounting. Nungesser shared his side of the story and provided screen shots of text and Facebook messages to corroborate his recollection of the contentious tale. Following months of defamation due to Sulkowicz’s claims, Nungesser recently filed suit against Columbia University in an effort to clear his name.

Sulkowicz continued to carry her mattress as a protest against campus rape.

At Columbia’s graduation this morning, Sulkowicz’s mattress made it’s final appearance. To a chorus of cheers and applause, Sulkowicz carried her mattress across the stage with the help of three other gals.

According to the Columbia Spectator:

Though a new policy said graduates would be barred from bringing ‘large objects’ to Class Day ceremonies, Spectator news deputy Teo Armus has confirmed that Emma Sulkowicz, CC ’15, was allowed into the Columbia College Class Day tents with her mattress.

Sulkowicz’s senior thesis, “Carry That Weight,” is a performance art piece in which she has carried her mattress around campus until her alleged rapist, Paul Nungesser, CC ’15, is no longer on campus. Nungesser is currently suing Columbia and Sulkowicz’s thesis adviser, visual arts professor Jon Kessler. His suit alleges violations of Title IX in the University’s handling of Sulkowicz’s project.

Professor Jacobson pointed out Sunday how Ambassador Samantha Power decided a commencement speech to Barnard College was the best platform to discuss the proliferation of sexual assault on colleges campuses. In that speech, Power compared Sulkowicz’s performance art to the plight of Afghani women. She later tweeted the comparison.

I would like to give Ambassador Power the benefit of the doubt that she failed to follow this story and so was unaware that Sulkowicz’s claims are questionable in light of Nungesser’s evidence. Otherwise, hand-picking Sulkowicz’s performance art as an appropriate equivalent to the fight for women’s rights in the Middle East is as terrible a comparison as I can imagine.

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I’d say this was a mortifying moment for Columbia…

except they sewed exactly what they what they reaped here.

Stupid is as stupid does…or indoctrinates.

I think mattress-girl has carried this a little too far …

    Exiliado in reply to walls. | May 19, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    I say keep carrying it.

    She should carry the mattress to job interviews, and make it clear to prospective employers that they MUST allow her to carry the thing to the workplace too.

      jim_m in reply to Exiliado. | May 19, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      Whhat employers? SHe’s an art student. She must be setting the record for the most expensive ticket to unemployment ever.

        Oh, I’m sure she might find a job in the Obama Administration. Perhaps, the Justice Department where I’m sure she’d find a warm welcome in the Civil Rights Division.

        As it is, I sure as hell wouldn’t hire her. I’d be afraid she’d accuse me of something as I carry the Y chromosome.

    Elliott in reply to walls. | May 19, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Someone needs to complain to the health department about a potential vector of contamination.

I would have matched the sheets to the gowns and why no mortar pedstle hat for the mattress?


    ss396 in reply to EBL. | May 20, 2015 at 9:30 am

    That mattress has attended as many classes as has Ms. Sulkowicz, and is therefore just as accomplished. I say award it a degree. Give it and her a BS*-Performance Art.

    *BS does NOT stand for Bachelor of Science.


Disgusting. Sulkowicz should be sued for defamation and civil rights violations and crimminally charged for filing a false police report.

    That’s the thing: she didn’t file a police report. She didn’t press charges.

    That said, I agree on the defamation claim, but the civil rights violations sit with the Columbia University administrators and their inherent lack of due process for the (male) accused.

If that mattress so much as brushed against me I would never stop disinfecting myself.

So will she carry the mattress to the job interviews, or to the unemployment line?

    Elliott in reply to georgfelis. | May 19, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    It is her metier for performance art. Now she gets to perform on it for the rest of her life.

      Observer in reply to Elliott. | May 20, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Judging by the content of her texts (which Nungesser produced but was not allowed to use in the Columbia action, and which Sulkowicz has admitted are accurate), this woman has spent more than a little time on her nasty mattress already. In her pre-“rape” texts to Nungesser, Sulkowicz repeatedly pressured him for anal sex, which he was resisting. (At the Columbia hearing, she blatantly lied and said that they had never discussed anal sex before the “rape”). Sulkowicz also texted Nungesser about various drunken sexual escapades she’d had with men she didn’t know, and even boasted about random threesomes.

      It seems that the only real “performance” in Sulkowicz’ “art” is her performance as a mentally competent adult, when in fact she is nothing but a pathetic, attention-seeking, adolescent fool.

      Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Elliott. | May 20, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      She’s made her bed, now she can “lie” in it.


The grinning ninnies think it is funny. It is all a lark. Little sociopaths.

On Monday, Columbia circulated an email banning students from bringing large objects to graduation. It appeared at the time that Sulkowicz was being disallowed from carrying her mattress across the stage. But evidently, that was not the case.

Allowing Sulkowicz to carry her mattress may have helped Nungesser’s case in court, as the school made clear that large objects were banned but then did nothing to stop Sulkowicz.

Nungesser’s lawyer, Kimberly Lau, told the Washington Examiner that Columbia’s acceptance of Sulkowicz’s graduation stunt was “absurd” and would help her client’s case.

“This goes beyond mere facilitation; they have now granted a special exception,” Lau said.
—Ashe Schow

The pendulum is about to swing…

    sidebar in reply to Ragspierre. | May 19, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Her behavior makes me wonder whether she is suffering from some underlying psychiatric disorder. Bizarre, attention seeking behavior.

    That said, Federal Causes of action based on Title IX (20 U.S.C. § 1681) face a very steep hill to avoid a dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6). These dismissals are Twiqbal fallout.

    Under Twiqbal most pleadings must state plausible claims as opposed to merely “conceivable” claims. An exception is Title VII where a “disparate impact” standard may be pled. However Title IX claims fall under the stricter Twiqbal pleading standard. Without disparate impact pleading a plausible set of facts pre-discovery is nearly impossible.

      Ragspierre in reply to sidebar. | May 20, 2015 at 10:57 am

      “Her behavior makes me wonder whether she is suffering from some underlying psychiatric disorder.”

      Yes. It is called current-wave feminism. It IS a mental disorder and it IS communicable.

    siguiriya in reply to Ragspierre. | May 20, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Seems to me that by allowing the mattress stunt at graduation the university in effect puts its stamp of approval on her campaign against the accused, even as the university found that the preponderance of the evidence did not support the accusations against the accused.

    The only interpretation I can see is that the university believes that the rape narrative must be protected at all costs, even though the evidence does not support it. The university doesn’t officially punish the accused, but permits him to be unofficially punished, and even supports such punishment. And why? Because . . . well, because he is the accused. Male students at this school should take note, because the school’s rhetoric about fairness, justice, objectivity, and confidentiality does not apply to them. Evidence is irrelevant; the accusation itself is proof of guilt.

Nothing left to shame Columbia. They are proudly living in an alternate universe.

Trooper York | May 19, 2015 at 8:19 pm

I hope her new boyfriend provides her with anal as she requested in her Facebook postings.

I suggest she give Mark “Dirty” Sanchez a call.

If I were a yacht broker or a Porsche salesman, Mr. Nungesser would be high on my list of people to meet. His lawyer also.

It appears to be her resume

This lunatic will turn up in porn films. You’ll see.

“Sulkowicz’s mattress made it’s final appearance” I’m afraid not. She’ll take it to her job interview… Or Vagina (or some such) Monologues.

Dear Mattress Girl: It’s ALL about the ‘eyes on you’ deal. Right? Selfies…Tweeties…Facies…Instas….

PERFECT. Isn’t the carnage of today’s Me-ME-MEEEEEE Culture A-Mazing, Insipid Dudes?!

Empress Trudy | May 20, 2015 at 10:11 am

Is she taking it to job interviews? Or if she, and I know this unbelievable, gets a job, will she bring it to her job? But I suppose she’s just going back into academia to get a degree is mattress dragging so she can eventually get a PhD in mattress dragging in order to teach it to other future mattress draggers.

healthguyfsu | May 20, 2015 at 11:27 am

I keep seeing the cry rape squad around comment boards lauding her bravery in the face of all the public shame of “carrying the mattress”. I can’t believe people are that dense…go search twitter trend maps right now and you’ll see little miss sunshine is trending in CA, the Northeast liberal elite land, Europe, and South Africa.

That’s EXACTLY why she did it and bravery has nothing to do with it. Insecurity that spawned a highly defensive narcissistic personality disorder on the other hand…

Posters with her picture and ‘pretty little liar’ showing up around Columbia.