You may recognize Emma Sulkowicz as the Columbia University student who’s gone viral for carrying a mattress around campus until the University expels her accused assailant.
The Japanese-Chinese-Jewish daughter of Manhattan psychiatrists is a subject of a cover story in this month’s NY Magazine.
She tells the magazine she met her assailant Paul in a co-ed fraternity she describes as a “hipster frat.”
Emma talks about Paul in the past tense.
“He was a nice person,” she said, “a cool person who was secretly really crazy.”
— MTV Act (@MTVact) September 16, 2014
Both were leaders in the frat’s outdoor orientation program. She says the two were having consensual sex until she says he forced his way on her, got physically violent with her–even choking her– as she struggled and said no– he penetrated her anally.
She says she didn’t report the attack until two other students, including junior Sarah Yee, told her Paul had sexually assaulted them as well.
Emma formally filed a complaint that wasn’t heard until six months later. The University ruled in Paul’s favor who argued the sex was consensual.
“There’s three women accusing the same guy here,” she says. “Like, we don’t have any other motivation other than he assaulted us.”
Her mattress protest, while not swaying Columbia, clearly has caught its attention.
“This is a person who is one of my students, and I care about all of my students. And when one of them feels that she has been a victim of mistreatment, I am affected by that. This is all very painful,” said University President Lee Bollinger. Bollinger says he’s spent “as much time on this issue…as any issue.”
He unveiled a new sexual assault policy in August which requires “unambiguous communication and mutual agreement” before students can have sex.
The impact of Emma’s mattress protest has been powerful. You can read about that in NY Magazine.