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The Other Side of the Sexual Assault Crisis

December 10, 2015

By Max Kutner at Newsweek

When you are the most notorious alleged college rapist in the country, it takes a lot of guts to attend your graduation ceremony.

For most of Columbia University’s Class of 2015, graduation day was an exuberant celebration of four years of hard work at one of the country’s most prestigious schools. For Paul Nungesser, it was yet another reminder of how alone he was on that storied campus, and how hated he was. He and his parents had agonized over whether to attend the ceremony because his classmate Emma Sulkowicz had accused him of raping her, and for more than eight months she had carried an extra-long twin-size mattress around campus, vowing to do so until he was expelled, or fled. Despite this very public shaming, Nungesser had stayed in school and earned his degree. But now he worried that people would boo him as he crossed the stage to claim his diploma, that reporters would hound him, that the image of him in his cap and gown would spread across the Internet. He also feared that Sulkowicz would lug that mattress onstage, even though Columbia had warned the seniors not to bring “large objects which could interfere with the proceedings or create discomfort to others...

Schools: Colgate University Columbia University Brandeis University Washington & Lee University Vassar College