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Carry That Weight Causes Strong Reactions On and Off Campus

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, 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.


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  • Michael S says:

    @Michael S You have been giving this way too much coverage. Let’s move on to something else.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous welcome to bwog where the front page is always rape.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous the other two complaints against emma’s rapist was that he was an abusive boyfriend (he didn’t pay for dates, played mind games with her over text)… and that he tried to force a girl into a makeout at a bar.

      in other news, the equivalent of 7 jumbo jets full of children continue to die every day from malaria.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Who the fuck looks at Google reviews when considering colleges?

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Deantini sent an email to alums this morning…that’s an official response if I’ve ever seen one.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous nice edit

      1. CC'10 says:

        @CC'10 Yeah, but the Facebook post still has the “no response” wording, as well as whatever cited this in the meantime… the copies of copies of retweets of aggregations never get updated, which is why it’s important to get things right the first time.

        Also, Prezbo + Deantini emailing on the same subject in a month is more formal attention than I’ve ever seen the administration give to anything. It’s probably to try to sweep it under the rug, but they’re not ignoring it.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous The students are only hurting themselves in the long run by posting fake bad reviews of their school. Everyone knows they are fake.

  • anon says:

    @anon This girl needs to check her privilege. I have a friend who did not get columbia housing and is living on a park bench in riverside. He would kill to have a mattress and she is just carrying it around wasting it while others suffer

    1. ugh says:

      @ugh although she had the funds to purchase the mattress herself, stop being so trigger happy with ‘check your privilege.’ just going to columbia is a privilege, though clearly some google reviews disagree.

  • #stand4dueprocess says:

    @#stand4dueprocess Bwog only tries to jump on the bandwagon Columbia Spectator has started with their biased reporting and with taking on the role of Emma’s press officer.
    When does it stop that shaming a person off campus who hasn’t been found guilty by two investigations is considered a legitimate action by student media?
    None of the so-called “journalists” ever tries to even ask a question about the plausibility of her claims, never even asks for example why she keeps calling the guy a “serial rapist” when he was not even accused of that?
    Having experienced sexual assault myself, I deeply feel that standing for survivors is an important and noble thing and true survivors really need support. We need, however, a system that is credible, which means that it is fair to all parts involved. Every false accusation, every false conviction steels from the plausibility of real victims.
    None of these activists have ever spoken out for due process, all they want is an easy process to kick people out of school, no matter, what evidence, and this campaign harms people, harms the culture on campuses nationwide.
    Obviously the disciplinary process here is seriously flawed. Replacing it with mob justice cannot be the way, however. If students let it happen, it will soon happen to them, too.
    Could anyone who is a student journalist who actually cares about the importance of journalism really investigate? Or don’t they exist anymore?

    1. bewildered says:

      @bewildered Interesting thoughts.
      By the way: has anyone noticed that according to Deantini’s mail it is a matter of free speech, if you accuse someone to be a serial rapist and cannot prove it? Or did I get something wrong?

      1. My understanding of the law says:

        @My understanding of the law is that it’s not libel/slander unless you can definitely prove a rape did not take place. On both sides of the line there exists reasonable doubt so while it’s hard to find him guilty for rape, it’s similarly hard to find her guilty of defamation.

        If it was any different, a convincing perjury would consistently place the accuser in prison–and we clearly don’t want a system where that can happen.

      2. so uh... says:

        @so uh... track Bewildered/#standfordueprocess

        I would bet a handsome sum that you’re the same person who was agreeing with him/her-self while casting aspersions on Emma on the other thread ( under the pseudoyms Florence/Sonia

        Why do you need people to agree with you so badly that you’d try to pass yourself off as multiple people?

        1. to all these people who hit the track button says:

          @to all these people who hit the track button Has anyone ever noticed that tracking works with your public ip address? So if you’re at a public computer in butler and you post something and later someone posts something from a computer using the same gateway, these two should appear as the same person.
          On the other hand, if you’re at home and every time you post you just get an new ip address, you appear like a bunch of people (tried it myself).
          So how many people are you?
          Tracking button isn’t worth sh*t, but people feel they are Sherlock 2.0 if they hit it.
          Don’t ever think discussions on internet media are in any way representative of the real world – there’s no way you can verify identity and content – unless you’re the NSA.
          But we are not at an institution of higher learning, are we?
          Wondering if this thread is going to explode after the two people who are actually debating here now know, how it’s done.

          1. to all these people who hit the track button says:

            @to all these people who hit the track button should read: “a new ip address”, sorry.

          2. to all these people who hit the track button says:

            @to all these people who hit the track button oops, now I’m three people. Track me now!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Yes, Emma is getting a lot of support. As she should. But she has detractors, too. A significant amount it seems. Why is this not mentioned in a single article? In fact, every article about sexual assault ignores everybody except the administration and activist groups. Why?

    1. because it's not journalism but public relations says:

      @because it's not journalism but public relations and everyone writing about it in a positive way gets plenty of applause. You even get internships and jobs with real life media that are hyping the topic, too.
      Why would Columbia students endanger their career by taking a critical stand and using their own heads?
      If anybody actually questioned the plausibility of Emma’s claims, the mob would be right there.
      This is what you call anticipatory obedience.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Who’s the dipshit bwog writer who can’t hop off Emma’s dick? We get that you really want to be an armchair activist, but you’re rallying around a shitty cause. The alleged rape doesn’t have enough evidence to punish the guy. Stop throwing a tantrum about how CU won’t take Emma’s mattress seriously.

  • jeffvonsteinhopper says:

    @jeffvonsteinhopper I will be walking around campus for the rest of my senior year with a backpack at all times. I’ll take 1 art degree plz

  • James Davis says:

    @James Davis all the activists outraged by Emma’s rape have nothing to worry about

    no man would ever rape them

  • Bad Publicity Hurts Students says:

    @Bad Publicity Hurts Students What all this bad publicity is doing is making it seem like this man was clearly an obvious rapist and that the University is trying to protect him, which is not what happened. A lot of people who don’t attend Columbia don’t realize that Emma reported her rape 8 months after it happened and her assailant was found innocent due to LACK OF EVIDENCE! There were no other witnesses and no DNA evidence was examined (because it was gone). It became a “her word versus his” and there was nothing anyone can do.

    But that’s not how everyone else sees it. What pisses me off more is that people are not refusing to give to alumni funds at Columbia University which isn’t hurting the institution like they think it is: it’s hurting the students that go there. Fewer monetary gifts means fewer financial aid, smaller enrollment, and tuition skyrocketing more than it already has. The University isn’t going to feel that burden. We are!! All because the media is making it seem like Emma’s alleged rapist practically had a smoking gun in his hand and he was still found innocent.

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