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US Columbia Settles With Student Cast as a Rapist in Mattress Art Project

08:25  15 july  2017
08:25  15 july  2017 Source:   nytimes.com

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A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Columbia Settles With Student Cast as a Mattress Protest at Columbia University Continues Into Graduation Event. May 19, 2015. Image. In a Mattress , a Lever for Art and Political Protest.

The fact is Columbia not only allowed one student to continually harass another, but sanctioned it, graded it as a " project ", and even allowed the harassment to continue at his Now she's doing this: ‘ Mattress Girl’ questioning art and politics through BDSM in new performance. permalink. embed.

It was a performance art piece that became famous: A woman who felt that Columbia University had mishandled her charge of rape against a fellow student turned that anger into her senior arts thesis, a yearlong project in which she carried a 50-pound mattress whenever she was on the Morningside Heights campus.

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They told the Columbia Daily Spectator: "I do think that nowadays art pieces can include whatever the artist desires and in this performance art piece it utilizes the elements of protest "[29]. " Columbia Settles With Student Cast as a Rapist in Mattress Art Project ".

" Columbia Settles With Student Cast as a Rapist in Mattress Art Project ". The New York Times. ^ Student Accused Being 'Serial Rapist ' Files Lawsuit Against Columbia And Art Professor, Associated Press/Huffington Post.

The woman, Emma Sulkowicz, won national acclaim and was largely embraced by her fellow students, who often helped her carry her burden, which she even brought to a graduation ceremony in May 2015.

The accused man, Paul Nungesser, who was cleared of responsibility in the case by a university disciplinary panel, found himself alternately hounded and ostracized, and condemned at a campus rally and on fliers posted around campus. A month before he and Ms. Sulkowicz received their degrees, he sued Columbia, accusing it of supporting what he called an “outrageous display of harassment and defamation” by giving Ms. Sulkowicz academic credit for her project.

Columbia said late this week that it had reached a settlement with Mr. Nungesser, the terms of which it did not disclose. But the university said in a statement: “Columbia recognizes that after the conclusion of the investigation, Paul’s remaining time at Columbia became very difficult for him and not what Columbia would want any of its students to experience. Columbia will continue to review and update its policies toward ensuring that every student — accuser and accused, including those like Paul who are found not responsible — is treated respectfully and as a full member of the Columbia community.”

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Columbia will continue to review and update its policies toward ensuring that every student — accuser and accused, including those like Paul who are found not responsible — is treated respectfully and as a full member of the Columbia community.” Source: Columbia settles with student cast as a rapist

The New York Times has a fascinating development in the case of the Columbia student who dragged a mattress around campus ever since she decided her so-called rape case wasn’t settled to her satisfaction

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Mr. Nungesser’s lawyer, Andrew T. Miltenberg, said it had been important to Mr. Nungesser and his parents that Columbia “take some steps to ensure that this wouldn’t happen again, that this type of experience wouldn’t be suffered by someone else.” Of the settlement, Mr. Miltenberg said: “It’s as reasonable of an ending as you can have under these circumstances. Paul still has to live with this, and I suspect he will for a long time.”

Ms. Sulkowicz did not respond to a request for comment.

The news of the settlement comes as the Trump administration is revisiting policies on campus sexual assault that the federal Department of Education put in place under President Barack Obama. The policies led the government to investigate many universities and colleges, including Columbia, over their handling of sexual assault cases under the federal law known as Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination by any school that receives federal funding.

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But the university said in a statement: “ Columbia recognizes that after the conclusion of the investigation, Paul’s remaining time at Columbia became very difficult for him and not what Columbia would want any of its students to experience…”

Remember Mattress Girl? The New York Times reports on the Columbia student who dragged her mattress everywhere she went on campus, as an art project Surprisingly, being cast as a rapist wasn't great for his social life.

On Thursday, Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, met with women who said they had been assaulted, with students who had been accused and their families, with higher education officials, and with advocates on both sides of the issue. After the meetings, Ms. DeVos said, “there are lives that have been ruined and lives that are lost in the process,” referring to students accused of assault.

But, she said, “We can’t go back to the days when allegations were swept under the rug.”

Advocates for sexual assault victims expressed some concern on Friday about the settlement of Mr. Nungesser’s suit.

“I hope that schools don’t interpret this as a sign that they should be cracking down on student activism,” said Dana Bolger, a founder of the organization Know Your IX, which is focused on ending sexual violence on college campuses.

She added, “Especially now as we see some retrenchment from the current administration, it’s more important than ever that student speech is allowed to thrive on campuses.”

Annie E. Clark, the executive director of the group End Rape on Campus, said she was disappointed that Columbia was not more concerned about victims of assaults and that it had not said it was “committed to the process on all sides and that they would support survivors, as well, but we did not see that.”

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15.07.2017. Columbia said that it had reached a settlement with accused rapist Paul Nungesser, the terms of which it did not disclose.

Columbia University has settled with Paul Nungesser, a then- student who was investigated for allegedly raping classmate Emma Sulkowicz in 2012, the Columbia Spectator first reported.

Cynthia Garrett, a co-president of Families Advocating for Campus Equality, which argues that current procedures tilt too heavily in the direction of the accusers, said that the settlement did not make up for what Mr. Nungesser had endured.

“I don’t think it will ever compensate him for the loss of that college experience that he deserved because he was innocent,” she said.

Janet Halley, a professor at Harvard Law School who has been among the critics of that university’s sexual misconduct procedures, said she was not sure what to think of Columbia’s promise to review its policies.

“I can’t tell from this statement whether they’re promising to suppress the speech of someone like Emma Sulkowicz,” she said. “If they’re saying that they would gag her, then this is an ominous statement.”

But Ms. Halley said she thought Columbia had erred in not distancing itself from Ms. Sulkowicz’s project and that the university should not have allowed her to carry the mattress at graduation. By doing so, she said, “they explicitly adopted the speech as their own, because the commencement is the utterance, is the speech, of the university itself.

“In those two ways, I think the university very significantly failed in its role, and I regard this announcement as a confession that it thinks that that’s the case,” she said.

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The man, who was cleared by the university of responsibility in a rape case, said the university enabled his harassment by giving his accuser academic credit fo

The Columbia University student accused of raping “ mattress girl” Emma “I think this case fits into the larger debate in that the mark of being called a rapist is a significant one, and it follows you regardless of whether or not the university finds you responsible,” Miltenberg said.

Ms. Sulkowicz accused Mr. Nungesser of anally raping her on the evening of the first day of classes of their sophomore year. He said the sex had been consensual. After Ms. Sulkowicz filed a complaint with the university, a panel found him not responsible. She filed a police report in 2014, more than a year and a half after the episode, but later stopped talking to investigators, and no charges were brought. Two other women also accused Mr. Nungesser of sexual misconduct, but he was ultimately not found to be responsible in any of the cases.

The experience led Ms. Sulkowicz to begin the performance, which she called “Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight).” Under rules she set for herself, she had to carry the mattress whenever she was on campus until Mr. Nungesser was no longer there.

Mr. Nungesser’s lawsuit had been dismissed twice in Federal District Court. Mr. Miltenberg said that, shortly before settlement talks began, he had filed a notice saying that he intended to appeal the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The settlement was first reported by the Columbia Daily Spectator, the student newspaper.

Columbia said in its statement that it stood by its finding clearing Mr. Nungesser of any misconduct. It said he had graduated “as a distinguished John Jay Scholar,” an honor recognizing “remarkable academic and personal achievements, dynamism, intellectual curiosity, and original thinking,” and that he was currently enrolled in film school. Mr. Miltenberg said that Mr. Nungesser, who is from Germany, was living there.

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