Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University student who has been carrying her mattress around campus to raise awareness about sexual assault, will accompany Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to Tuesday#8217s State of the Union address.
As a co-sponsor of the Campus Safety and Accountability Act, Gillibrand says she is pushing for Obama to address campus sexual assault in his speech, especially as he unveils his plan to make two years of community college free for all Americans. #8220I hope the President will seize this opportunity to shine a national spotlight on the need to flip the incentives that currently reward colleges for sweeping sexual assaults under the rug,#8221 she told the New York Daily News.The Brief Newsletter Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now. View Sample Sign Up Now
Sulkowicz, 22, has been carrying her mattress around campus as part of her senior thesis about campus sexual assault. She says that after she was raped by a classmate in 2012, Columbia failed to punish her attacker. Although two other women also publicly accused the same man of assault, the university found him #8220not responsible.#8221 Sulkowicz has been carrying her mattress everywhere she goes on campus to call attention to the issue, but she won#8217t be brining her mattress to the State of the Union.
#8220The Columbia administration is harboring serial rapists on campus,#8221 Sulkowicz wrote in an op-ed for Time.com. (The university declined to comment in response to the article.) The accused student has also spoken out. He says his encounters with Sulkowicz and the other students were entirely consensual.
Write to Charlotte Alter at email@example.com.