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Columbia University Emma Sulkowicz Paul Nungesser

Pre-trial summary letter

26 Jun, 2015

Both sides submit a letter (text) to the court summarizing the arguments they plan to raise in advance of a July 1 pre-trial hearing. Nungessers lawyer’s expand on their original claims, saying  that despite Nuingesser being cleared by the University, Columbia did not curtail Sulkowicz’s activities, and actually honored her:

Emma’s time and indeed her academic work at Columbia has largely been defined by her part in the gender based anti-male discriminatory harassment campaign against Plaintiff Nungesser[;] these honors constitute yet another instant of Defendant Columbia directly rewarding, encouraging and celebrating Emma Sulkowicz’s role in the gender based discriminatory harassment.

They also say Columbia allowed Sulkowicz to display pornographic material that had Nungesser’s name attached to it in an art exhibition, and allowed Sulkowicz to carry the mattress to her (and Nungesser’s) graduation:

At the graduation ceremony, Emma Sulkowicz was given a special university privilege contrary to the rules by Defendant Columbia to carry the mattress to her and Plaintiff Nungesser’s graduation in another instance of Defendant Columbia perpetrated gender based discriminatory harassment of Plaintiff Nungesser

They also claim that Columbia allowed Sulkowicz to:

 build a public persona surrounding her false allegations, which has led to the posting of videos and other proposed performances depicting Plaintiff Nungesser as a rapist.

Columbia’s attorneys do not rebut any of Nungesser’s claims, and while the school acknowledges that Sulkowicz’s campus activism made her a major figure in the sexual assault debate, it claims she was an independent third-party actor, and the school cannot be held responsible or liable for her conduct. The letter concludes by saying both sides are open to a pre-trial settlement.