Columbia U.’s shameful response to rape protest2 min read

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Pati Shojaee, Staff Writer

After Emma Sulkowicz’s performance art piece spread throughout the country, anti-rape protests have made their way to colleges everywhere. She carried around her dorm room mattress everywhere she went to represent the weight that she carries with her for attending the same school as her rapist.

One such protest took place at Sulkowicz’s own school, Columbia University.

Hundreds of protesters gathered with 28 mattresses stacked at the front doorstep of Columbia University President Lee Bollinger’s house. They did this in hopes of getting Sulkowicz’s rapist expelled from Columbia and bringing their cause to  the school president’s attention.

As part of the protest, the students left the mattresses in front of the president’s house after the protest was over to emphasize the importance of this matter.

The protesters are now being charged $471 in clean up charges for leaving the symbolic stack of mattresses on the doorstep.

These charges are not only unwarranted and ridiculous, but they represent an egregious disregard for the purpose of the protest.

Instead of seeing the seriousness of this matter, Bollinger saw the whole thing as an ordeal and a mess.

He was focused only on himself and did not look deeply into the meaning of the protest.

Bollinger could clearly not care less about this cause.

The root of the problem lies in the lack of respect this country shows for rape victims.

It is unbelievable that Sulkowicz’s rapist  is being allowed to continue attending the same school as her and that the police are not getting involved in the matter.

Especially considering she has reported having severe phobic attacks on campus due to the post-traumatic stress of the rape.

When Sulkowicz originally reported the rape to authorities, no one believed her, which is all too common a problem that rape victims must face.

Victims are not taken seriously when they report rape and are often blamed for the incident. This is exactly what happened to Sulkowicz.

That  is what makes the university’s cold reaction to the recent protest so shocking.

Charging the students to remove their symbolic mattresses from the president’s doorstep is an unabashed insult to Sulkowicz and rape victims everywhere.

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