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Last fall, Columbia University senior Emma Sulkowicz began carrying a mattress around campus — a protest, she said, of how the school handled her sexual assault complaint against a fellow student. She didn’t name her alleged assailant, but as Sulkowicz’s story and the image of her mattress went viral, his identity soon became obvious. By the end of the term, Paul Nungesser had been denounced on fliers and at rallies and former friends crossed the street to avoid talking to him.
Now Nungesser is suing his school, its board of trustees, its president and one of its professors, saying that Columbia failed to protect him from a “harassment campaign” by Sulkowicz even after a school disciplinary panel cleared him of responsibility in the case.
“Columbia University’s effective sponsorship of the gender-based harassment and defamation of Paul resulted in an intimidating, hostile, demeaning . . . learning and living environment,” reads the federal discrimination lawsuit filed Thursday, according to the Associated Press. 
The lawsuit alleges that Nungesser’s rights were violated by Columbia and its officials for supporting Sulkowicz, and by professor Jon Kessler for approving the mattress-carrying piece as her senior thesis. Nungesser is a senior and German national, and his reputation and job prospects in the United States “are suffering immensely” because of the project, according to the lawsuit.
It’s true that Sulkowicz’s performance piece, dubbed “Carry that Weight,” has become something of a national phenomenon in the months since she launched the project. Images of Sulkowicz toting a 50-pound mattress into classrooms and up and down stairs went viral last September. Later in the fall, anti-sexual-assault groups at more than 130 schools organized a “Day of Action” inspired by the project — with students at each school carrying their own mattresses around campus. She has been profiled in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Time and elsewhere, and in January she attended the State of the Union as a guest of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Nearly everyone knows Sulkowicz’s mattress, if not her name, and many see her as a victim of everything that’s wrong with college campus culture when it comes to rape.
Which would make Nungesser the villain — a characterization he vehemently denies in this lawsuit and elsewhere. He said that Sulkowicz’s project is designed to bully him, and that Columbia and its faculty have effectively endorsed that bullying by giving her course credit for it. 
The lawsuit added that a Columbia-owned Web site portrayed Sulkowicz’s version of the story — that Nungesser, a former friend, sexually assaulted her in 2012 — as fact, according to the Associated Press. It said that the university allowed Sulkowicz to carry her mattress into classes, the library and on campus-provided transportation, and that Sulkowicz’s pledge to carry her mattress at graduation may prevent Nungesser’s parents from participating in the ceremony.
In addition, Nungesser “has been subjected to severe, pervasive . . . and threatening behavior by other Columbia students, believing that Paul is a ‘serial rapist,’ whenever Paul has appeared at university activities,” the lawsuit said. (Two other Columbia students filed sexual assault complaints against Nungesser, though he was not found responsible in both of those cases.)
The lawsuit, which was filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, seeks damages in an amount to be determined at trial for the harm it says was done to Nungesser’s reputation, his school opportunities and his job prospects.
It comes just days after a judge dismissed another lawsuit against Columbia by an unnamed male student. In that suit, the student alleged that the school violated his Title IX rights — treating him too harshly in a sexual assault hearing against him to counter perceptions that the school wasn’t doing enough to tackle campus rape.
Sulkowicz is not named as a defendant in the suit, which focuses instead on how Columbia has responded to her project.
“By refusing to protect Paul Nungesser,” the lawsuit reads, “Columbia University first became a silent bystander and then turned into an active supporter of a fellow student’s harassment campaign by institutionalizing it and heralding it.”
Roger Hornsby, a Columbia spokesman, told the AP that the school had no comment. In the past, Columbia President Lee Bollinger has also declined to comment on the issue, though he told the New York Times in December, “The law and principles of academic freedom allow students to express themselves on issues of public debate; at the same time, our legal and ethical responsibility is to be fair and impartial in protecting the rights and accommodating the concerns of all students in these matters.”


  1. RJ O'GuilloryApril 24, 2015

    ...it also explains why the fascist Marshall assaulted the citizen. Charge him with treason...find him guilty and hang him...immediately...on the court house parking lot...from a lamp post...and force his fascist brethren to stand and watch the pig slowly choke to death...let them know...this is what happens to people who break an oath and attempt to deprive an American of Their Constitutional liberties...
    RJ O'Guillory
    Author -
    Webster Groves - The Life of an Insane Family

  2. dougdigglerApril 24, 2015

    This website is just a shit-ton of stupid.

  3. isn't this just more of divide and conquer. their are training facilities that are set up certain ways for a purpose, with all men and women expected to follow certain protocal, for years without issue. now we have certain people complaining that they want special treatment that goes against the point of the entire exercise,(so its just wasting money achieving nothing). being that male on male sexual assault is now ten times as big a problem as male on female, this solves nothing. yes rape has always been a problem, that has never been addressed,(but needs to be), but isn't it a little hyppocritical to complain about people who job is to kill without question,which creates all sorts of phsychological issues, to act normal, when they are told not to act normal. this solves nothing, other that to destroy whats left of commadrie, that murder and rape and pillage haven't already taken.

  4. PaulFrancisApril 24, 2015

    Stage two was tampons in their anuses. Are all liberals complete idiots?


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