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Columbia Student Protesting Campus Rape Carries Mattress During Commencement

Emma Sulkowicz walked across the stage at Columbia University’s commencement Tuesday the same way she’s walked around campus during the school year: While carrying a mattress to protest campus sexual assault.

The mattress was the centerpiece of Sulkowicz’s “Carry That Weight” senior arts thesis. She said she was raped by a fellow student in her dorm room during her sophomore year and that her attacker was cleared in a school hearing. The mattress symbolized what she said was the university’s flawed handling of her complaint.