It was a performance art piece that became famous: A woman who felt that Columbia University had mishandled her charge of rape against a fellow student turned that anger into her senior arts thesis, a yearlong project in which she carried a 50-pound mattress whenever she was on the Morningside Heights campus.

The woman, Emma Sulkowicz, won national acclaim and was largely embraced by her fellow students, who often helped her carry her burden, which she even brought to a graduation ceremony in May 2015.


The accused man, Paul Nungesser, who was cleared of responsibility in the case by a university disciplinary panel, found himself alternately hounded and ostracized, and condemned at a campus rally and on fliers posted around campus.

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