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.”
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.
Prison Is Not Feminist: These photographs are of attendees at the exhibition of No Selves To Defend that was held on July 18, 2014 and were taken by photographer Sarah Jane Rhee. The sign was designed by Antonia Clifford.
According to @prisonculture, this is how they framed the actual exhibit:
We decided that we would anchor it with the stories of Celia (a 19th century enslaved black woman) and Marissa (a 21st century unjustly prosecuted black woman).
- Ferguson protestors plan to halt highway traffic on Labor Day (x)
- At least 6 other Ferguson officers have been named in lawsuits alleging the use of excessive force
- Why taxpayers will get stuck with the bill for the Ferguson lawsuit
- Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.
- Between the world and Ferguson
- Teaching and talking about police violence
Ryo Oyamada, a 24 year old student from Japan, was struck and killed by an NYPD vehicle in a hit & run. Witnesses say the police car had no lights or sirens on and was going over 70 mph. The released footage by NYPD was proven to be heavily altered in a cover-up, showing “lights” on the vehicle, when compared to footage from the NY Housing Authority on the same street with the same timestamp.
On a personal note: I know that this will probably not be shared or reblogged very much, because Asians are not very prominent in American culture. I understand this, because Asians (like me) are partially at fault for being so passive. But I am begging you to please consider signing this petition out of human decency. Ryo was just a student walking home, then struck by a nearly silent police cruiser going at excess speed, and the NYPD covered it up.
Here is the side-by-side comparison of the released video footage, including updates from the case. *Edit* This article contains a link to a graphic video moments after the crash, showing the body of Ryo Oyamada and NY citizens yelling at the police. Please advise, it is highly disturbing.
And the following is an excerpt from the petition, which as of now only has 286 signatures.
On February 21st, 2013, Ryo Oyamada was struck and killed by a police cruiser while crossing the street. NYPD claimed that the cruiser’s lights and sirens were on before the collision, but multiple eyewitnesses stated otherwise, that the lights and sirens were only turned on afterwards, and that the cruiser was speeding in excess of 70 mph down a residential street. None of these eyewitnesses were interviewed for the police report.
What fucks me up about the Darren Wilson fundraiser is that he hasn’t been charged with a crime. He doesn’t have to hire a lawyer. He’s on paid leave, so he’s not losing wages. This is not covering his expenses, because he…
ya hes cute…….but is he conscientious of the social inequalities and corruption in hierarchies of power that plague this world