Students Carry Mattresses in Show of Solidarity

Students, staff members and faculty members marched across the 5Cs on Oct. 29 carrying mattresses to show their support for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Called “Carry That Weight Together,” the event was inspired by Emma Sulkowicz—a student and survivor at Columbia University—who is carrying a mattress across campus both as part of her senior art thesis and as a personal protest against sexual assaults on college campuses. Similar events took place on campuses nationwide throughout the night.

The march serves as a reminder that sexual assaults are not exclusive to certain campuses, but rather that they occur on all campuses. In an email to TSL, Clancy Tripp CM ’15, founder of CMC Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault and its current director of outreach, wrote that the march was meant to be “a celebration of strength from and for survivors and a reminder that there is still more work to be done on the topic of sexual assault prevention and support.”

The event planners added an artistic element to the march by “providing bed sheets for students to contribute messages of support and solidarity in addition to any art they feel like sharing,” Tripp added. She said that the event’s organizers hoped to show respect to Sulkowicz’s combination of protest and performance art. At the end of the event, participants had the opportunity to share their opinions of the event and the issue of sexual violence. 

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