Man sues Columbia University for harassment under Title IX policies

by jovan1984

He said University failed to protect him as rape victim dismisses allegations

Today's News Briefs

NEW YORK CITY — A man accused of rape by rape victim Emma Sulkowicz has filed a federal lawsuit against Columbia University under Title IX’s anti-harassment policy.

The man said a Columbia-owned website had presented as fact that he raped Ms. Sulkowicz, a senior who is about to major in visual arts. It said that the school allowed Ms. Sulkowicz to carry a mattress into classes, the library and campus-provided transportation as part of her senior thesis, that a former professor approved the “Mattress Project” for her course credit and that Ms. Sulkowicz’s pledge to carry her mattress to graduation may prevent the man and his parents, who’d like to fly from Germany, from participating in graduation ceremonies.

“Day-to-day life is unbearably stressful, as Emma and her mattress parade around campus each and every day,” charged the suit.

The man later slams Ms. Sulkowicz, saying that her claim that he is a serial rapist has led to abuse and harassment by other Columbia students, and that in supporting her “Carry That Weight” project, the University effectively sponsored gender-based harassment, which would be a flagrant violation of Title IX, and allowed the creation of “an intimidating, hostile, demeaning … learning and living environment”. He also claims that his daily life on campus is “unbearably stressful” and that his employment prospects have been jeopardized by the media coverage of Ms. Sulkowicz’s project.

Ms. Sulkowicz, who is not a defendant, rightfully dismissed the explosive charges in the lawsuit.

“I think it’s ridiculous that he would sue not only the school but one of my past professors for allowing me to make an art piece. It’s ridiculous that he would read it as a ‘bullying strategy,’ especially given his continued public attempts to smear my reputation, when really it’s just an artistic expression of the personal trauma I’ve experienced at Columbia,” said Ms. Sulkowicz to the Associated Press. “If artists are not allowed to make art that reflect on our experiences, then how are we to heal?”

This is the first-of-its-kind lawsuit because of the fact that the man was never charged with, or convicted of, rape. (Jovan Note: There have been Title IX lawsuits filed by men accused of rape previously, but all of those were dismissed because the men were actually found guilty by a court of law of rape.) That’s why although we oppose this lawsuit, we are concealing the identity of the plaintiff here (sorry, readers).

Man kills Indiana co-ed

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Brown County (Ind.) Coroner’s Office has declared the death of a 22-year-old co-ed as a homicide.

Brown County Coroner Earl Piper said Saturday he estimates the victim had been dead several hours by the time her body was found.

She died from blunt force trauma injuries to her head.

Daniel E. Messel, 49, of Bloomington, was arrested in connection to the death. He has since been charged with murder.

Police have not disclosed a possible motive or said whether Mr. Messel and the victim knew one another.

The Fishers woman’s body was found Friday morning in a rural area of Brown County, just east of Monroe County, where IU’s main campus is located.

Her body was identified Friday night, hours after she had been reported missing.

Mr. Messel is at the Brown County Jail. A bond hearing has not been set.

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