Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz, 21, reported she was raped at the start of her sophomore year in August 2012. The university dismissed her case, so Sulkowicz, now a senior, is building her thesis around the weight she still carries.

Her thesis is titled “Mattress Performance” or “Carry That Weight,” and it involves Sulkowicz carrying around a twin-size mattress everywhere she goes until her alleged rapist is expelled — an effort she realizes could continue until graduation.

The mattress, she told the Columbia Spectator, is big enough for her to carry it, but heavy enough for it to be a constant struggle. “I think the past year or so of my life has been really marked by telling people what happened in that most intimate, private space, and bringing it out into the light," she said. "So I think the act of carrying something that is normally found in our bedroom out into the light is supposed to mirror how I’ve talked to the media.”

Sulkowicz knows two other students who reported being raped by the same student, a fact, she told Time, she wasn’t allowed to bring up during her hearing, since each case was tried separately. If Sulkowicz were able to note an alleged serial rapist living on campus, she believes she and her peers would have been taken more seriously.

As it stands, a total of 23 Columbia and Barnard College students have filed sexual assault complained with the United States Department of Education without much help from the university. It's a reality not often portrayed by campuses.

Julie Zeilinger, a senior at Barnard College, also spoke to Time and said if a student sees a campus has zero sexual assults reported, they assume it's a really positive thing. Yet, she added, the overall rates of sexual assaults on campus are as high as one in four so zero sexual assaults is actually a red flag.

Watch Sulkowicz talk more about her story and thesis in the video below: