Columbia Student Pledges to Carry a Mattress Every Day Till Alleged Rapist Leaves Campus

Published 09/02/2014 by Dani B.

TIME

Columbia University senior Emma Sulkowicz, 21, says she was raped in her own bed at the beginning of her sophomore year. This week, two years after the alleged assault, Sulkowicz, a visual arts major, has made a promise to carry her mattress around campus every day as part of her senior thesis. It is, she says, a symbol of the burden sexual assault survivors carry with them every day.

“The act of carrying the mattress from inside my room out into the light has mirrored the way my life has changed, as I’ve brought my personal story out into the light,” Sulkowicz told TIME. “This project is a way to heal one of the most difficult things that happened to me. As I will build muscle and get stronger, hopefully I will also build emotional strength.”

Sulkowicz started the performance art project on Tuesday and she said she is determined…

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