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Columbia University's Emma Sulkowicz Carries Mattress To Graduation To Protest Against Rape

20/05/2015 14:46 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 14:59 BST

Last September, US student Emma Sulkowicz vowed to carry her mattress everywhere with her, until the man she accused of raping her was expelled from Columbia University.

On Tuesday, Sulkowicz stayed true to her word, and, with the help of three friends, lugged the 50lb object on stage at her graduation.

Despite a new university policy barring graduates from carrying "large objects" at the ceremony, Columbia officials permitted Sulkowicz to carry her mattress, the Columbia Daily Spectator reported.

A video posted by the Spectator shows the crowd cheering as Sulkowicz continued with her protest, which has also served as a performance art piece for her senior thesis project.

The university has found Paul Nungesser, the fellow graduating senior whom Sulkowicz and at least two other women have accused of sexual assault, "not responsible" in Sulkowicz's accusations. Last month, Nungesser filed a lawsuit against the school, its board of trustees, and the professors who approved the mattress project, for allowing Sulkowicz to publicly defame him.