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.this is what a hero looks like
this is incredible
In Ferguson Missouri 54 percent of the Black population, and 55 percent of the White population, showed up at the poles to vote in 2012’s general election. Contrast that with only a 6 percent Black voter turnout (versus 17 percent White voter turnout) for the local school board, city council and mayoral elections…why the significant difference?Why are Ferguson’s police, school board members and elected officials overwhelmingly White when the city itself is two-thirds Black? QTNA (via odinsblog)
Ferguson, unlike many cities, does not hold it’s municipal elections on the same day in November as the general elections. While not unique, that, by design, yields decidedly lopsided results. Ferguson’s important local elections are held on odd numbered years in April. That scheduling tactic is a virtual guarantee for lower voter turnout, which favors Republicans.
Ferguson also holds nonpartisan elections, where party labels do not appear on the ballot, and that has been shown to reduce both what citizens know about candidates as well as their likelihood of voting. And the consequences are worse for residents with less education and less income.