Big, Ugly Truth


Conservative pundits have been attacking Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia student who spent the last year carrying around her mattress in protest of how the university handled the discipline hearing after she was raped, labeling her a liar. Most of these criticisms seem to forget that three other women also filed complaints against her attacker, Paul Nungesser. One of Nungesser’s victims went through the Columbia University discipline process and Nungesser was deemed “responsible,” at least before the university granted him an appeal. That victim has now spoken out, publishing an account of the incident and subsequent fallout on Jezebel. She writes:

In filing my complaint, I followed all of Columbia’s rules: I didn’t talk about the case (except to my parents, who were concerned and supportive), I didn’t try to change any of the dates or times of the interviews or trials (unlike Paul, who asked them to hold the trial off for months while he was in Europe for the summer), and I provided them with names of people I had talked to about what happened. I went through the trial, which was horrible and draining; I watched him, through a live TV feed, act baffled and perplexed about groping me. Columbia found him responsible. I felt vindicated: the system had worked.

Then, a while later, I was notified that Paul had been granted an appeal to re-try the case.

Ian MacAllen is the Rumpus Deputy Editor and founder of English Kills Review an online literary magazine focused on books, authors, and New York City. His writing has appeared in Little Fiction, Vol 1 Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, Chicago Review of Books, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He holds a Master’s Degree in English from Rutgers University and lives in Brooklyn. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →