Statement from family of Columbia student accused by mattress girl
The family of Paul Nungesser, the student who was accused of rape by mattress-toting Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz, have released a statement about their son's graduation, calling their experience with the university "deeply humiliating."
"Our son's graduation should have been a joyous moment for our whole family. We are extremely proud of Paul for graduating, even more so because of the harassment campaign he was subjected to. For over two years, he had to fight false accusations and a public witch-hunt, even though Columbia and the NYPD exonerated him," Karin Nungesser and Andreas Probosch wrote in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner.
Nungesser's parents blasted Columbia for continuing to allow Sulkowicz to harass their son, as evidenced by her graduation stunt of carrying the mattress across stage and displaying drawings of their son at a public art exhibit the week before.
Nungesser is now suing Columbia for allowing — and even praising — Sulkowicz's art project.
You can read the full statement below:
"Our son's graduation should have been a joyous moment for our whole family. We are extremely proud of Paul for graduating, even more so because of the harassment campaign he was subjected to. For over two years, he had to fight false accusations and a public witch-hunt, even though Columbia and the NYPD exonerated him. "At graduation, Columbia University again broke its own rules and afforded Emma Sulkowicz a special exception. It was the second devastating experience in just a few days: Last week, Columbia exhibited Emma Sulkowicz's highly disturbing and extremely graphic drawings of our son publicly on campus. "We have come to realize that at Columbia, not all are equal before its policy. What is the point of internal investigations if their outcome is not accepted? Instead those with better connections and more influence promoted a false narrative. While they failed at their goal of bullying our son into leaving this university, they have turned his life into a nightmare. "Responsible for this nightmare is not just the woman, who received an academic degree for the attempt to shame Paul away from campus, but even more at fault is the University that conferred this degree. A university that bows to a public witch-hunt no longer deserves to be called a place of enlightenment, of intellectual and academic freedom. By failing to intervene in this injustice, Columbia ceases to be a place where critical thinking, courage and democratic practice are taught, learned and lived. "Two years ago we would have never believed that one of the world's most prestigious universities would not only allow such harassment but explicitly support it on its campus. This has been a deeply humiliating experience. We are very proud of our son for graduating from college, but our memory of it will always be tainted by Columbia's wrongdoing."