Thursday, December 10, 2015

Newsweek: The Other Side of the College Sexual Assault Crisis By Max Kutner

The Other Side of the College Sexual Assault Crisis, December 10, 2015
By Max Kutner  

When you are the most notorious alleged college rapist in the country, it takes a lot of guts to attend your graduation ceremony. 

For most of Columbia University’s Class of 2015, graduation day was an exuberant celebration of four years of hard work at one of the country’s most prestigious schools. For Paul Nungesser, it was yet another reminder of how alone he was on that storied campus, and how hated he was. He and his parents had agonized over whether to attend the ceremony because his classmate Emma Sulkowicz had accused him of raping her, and for more than eight months she had carried an extra-long twin-size mattress around campus, vowing to do so until he was expelled, or fled. Despite this very public shaming, Nungesser had stayed in school and earned his degree. But now he worried that people would boo him as he crossed the stage to claim his diploma, that reporters would hound him, that the image of him in his cap and gown would spread across the Internet. He also feared that Sulkowicz would lug that mattress onstage, even though Columbia had warned the seniors not to bring “large objects which could interfere with the proceedings or create discomfort to others.”

At the last minute, the family decided to attend. His parents flew in from Berlin, where they live and where Nungesser is from. His mother, Karin, recalls that on graduation day it was pouring rain “like it’s perhaps the last day of New York.”  

Despite the apocalyptic weather, a thousand students lined up in their blue caps and gowns, eager to take their prize. Nungesser wore a matching blue bow tie and khaki pants, while some of his classmates stuck red tape to their caps, part of a campus anti-sexual-violence organization called No Red Tape, co-founded by Sulkowicz.

Virginia Governor McAuliffe Announces: $110.4 Million to Expand Virginia’s Sexually Violent Predator Facility (Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation) to Address the Growing Population

Governor McAuliffe Announces $2.43 Billion Bond Package to Fund Key Research and Economic Development Projects
December 9, 2015

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget he will introduce on December 17th will include a $2.43 billion bond package to support key capital projects that will enhance Virginia’s technological research and economic development infrastructure.

The bond package represents the largest research-oriented capital investment in the Commonwealth’s history as well as the largest state investment in Virginia’s state parks.

The chief focus of the bond package will be strengthening research and workforce development in high-demand fields at Virginia’s four-year institutions of higher education and community colleges.

The bond package will also include funding for other key priorities like strengthening the Port of Virginia, serving Virginia veterans, enhancing Virginia’s state parks, transforming Virginia’s approach to juvenile corrections and protecting the Commonwealth’s natural assets.