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Columbia University Charging Student Group $1,500 After Anti-Rape Protest

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A Columbia University student group said it is being charged $1,500 by the school after a demonstration against sexual assault last month.

Hundreds of Columbia students stacked 28 mattresses at Columbia president Lee Bollinger’s doorstep in a protest organized by the university student group No Red Tape on Oct. 29. The mattresses represented 28 complainants in Columbia’s Title IX case, reported New York Magazine.

The mattress is used as a symbol of the burden that victims must carry when universities and institutions do not adequately address reports of rape. In May, Columbia senior Emma Sulkowicz began a performance art piece and senior thesis project, which requires her to carry a mattress with her for as long as her assailant is still on campus.

The Columbia group Student Worker Solidarity, which booked space on campus for the event on No Red Tape’s behalf, would be charged at least $1,500 for clean-up for the event. Students told the Huffington Post that they were told the charge is for removal of the 28 mattresses.

Columbia said SWS’s clean-up charges for the mattresses dumped in front of the president’s home totaled $471, and the student group has not received an official bill. “These are entirely typical matters in apportioning direct costs for facilitating student events,” Columbia spokesman Robert Hornsby said in a statement to HuffPo.

[Huffington Post]

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