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Columbia Settles Lawsuit With Student Accused by ‘Mattress Girl’

Columbia Settles Lawsuit With Student Accused by ‘Mattress Girl’

“Columbia’s investigation had found Nungesser not responsible”

The student who was accused was found not guilty but claimed the school didn’t protect him as Emma ‘Mattress Girl’ Sulkowicz made a national story out of the accusation.

The Columbia Spectator reports:

Columbia settles Nungesser’s Title IX lawsuit

Columbia and Paul Nungesser, CC ’15, have agreed to settle a lawsuit that he filed against the University in 2015.

Nungesser was at the center of a gender-based misconduct investigation after Emma Sulkowicz, CC ’15, accused him of assault in 2012. He was later found not guilty by a University investigation.

Sulkowicz protested that finding in her senior art thesis, “Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight),” in which she carried a mattress with her at all times in a critique of the University’s decision not to discipline Nungesser. The thesis made national headlines, and Sulkowicz spearheaded a national student-led push for a reformed gender-based misconduct process.

Nungesser’s suit charged that the University failed to protect him from—and even encouraged—sustained protest by Sulkowicz, which Nungesser initially argued was a violation of Title IX.

The University announced that it had settled the suit—for which Nungesser submitted a new complaint after his initial one was dismissed last year—in a conciliatory statement released Thursday.

The statement reaffirmed that Columbia’s investigation had found Nungesser not responsible and expressed regret that his time after the investigation was “very difficult for him and not what Columbia would want any of its students to experience.”

The statement also said the University will reform its gender-based misconduct policies to make sure all students, “accuser and accused, including those like Paul who are found not responsible,” are treated with “respect.”

The University did not disclose the terms of the settlement.


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I fail to understand why universities get involved in investigating criminal acts. If someone is assaulted or accuses a student of an act of violence, that is a criminal act and should be dealt with by the justice system, not by the university (with the sole exception of university police departments that have law enforcement power and the ability to bring cases to the local DA). If a crime is committed, it needs to be properly and fully investigated and dealt with by the court system. If someone does not want to go through a formal criminal investigatory process, it can’t be handed off to a quasi-judicial system that provides no protections of the court system. If a university wants to deal with issues of cheating or plagiarism, so be it. IF someone is violating a university policy, that’s the university’s problem; if someone is accused of breaking the law, the university needs to stand aside and let the legal system investigate and adjudicate the matter.

Gremlin1974 | July 15, 2017 at 1:08 am

Well this is at least a Minor win for sanity.

Universities became involved because the lefty/feminist Obama Administration strongly “encouraged” universities to do so:

“Nice university ya got there….be a shame if ya lost yer federal grants cuz ya violated Title IX and gave rights to men involved in dat rape culture thing……