Columbia Student Carried Her Mattress During Graduation In Rape Protest

This past fall, Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz began lugging her dormroom mattress around campus. She was protesting Columbia's decision to clear fellow student Paul Nungesser, whom she accused of raping her, of responsibility in her case and two others brought against him.

Sulkowicz's performance became a nationally recognized protest and piece of performance art, serving as her senior thesis; the work is called Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight).

This afternoon, Sulkowicz graduated — but that didn't stop her from carrying the mattress. Even though the university said that students wouldn't be allowed to bring large objects into the tents for the ceremonies, the Daily Beast reported that she brought the mattress with her when her name was called, with the help of a few friends.

Spectators tweeted that she was met with overwhelming cheers and applause from the audience, and that she did not shake hands with President Lee Bollinger.

Nungesser also graduated today, and won't face criminal charges. Now, he is suing Columbia for allowing Sulkowicz to "harass" him.

Was this the last installment of her performance? We'll just have to wait and see.

Screengrab via Columbia Daily Spectator/YouTube

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