Emma Sulkowicz’s performance art piece, Carry That Weight, isn’t causing strong reactions only in the Columbia community. Her story went viral, and now even people who have no Columbia affiliation are getting involved. Outraged Facebook users are posting using the hashtag #Justice4Emma, encouraging people to give Columbia poor google-reviews, and call Columbia up to demand change.
On campus, students are expressing support for Emma through the website carryingtheweighttogether.com, which aims to organize “collective carries of the mattress by members of the Columbia community to help Emma carry the weight of the physical mattress, give her and other survivors of sexual assault in our community a powerful symbol of our support and solidarity, and show the administration that we stand united in demanding better policies designed to guarantee our safety and wellbeing on campus.”
Meanwhile, literally the only response from the University on the issue so far is, strangely enough, this comment on a totally unrelated post on the University’s Facebook page, in response to a question from a non-affiliate… Huh.
Deantini also sent an email update on sexual assault prevention out to alumni this morning, which mentioned the recent changes to the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, the opening of the second Rape Crisis Center, and the new NSOP program. The email included this non-reference/reference to Sulkowicz’s performance:
The University fully respects the choice of every member of our community to peacefully express personal or political views on this and other issues. At the same time, it is important to understand that both federal student privacy law and our policies aim to ensure that students are not deterred from reporting gender-based misconduct out of a concern for their privacy. The University therefore does not comment on specific cases and steadfastly respects the confidentiality of those involved.