A student at Oberlin College in Ohio described being “scared” and “angry” after the school announced a work crew would be installing radiators in a “safe space” dormitory for women and trans students, explaining the crew would likely be “cisgender men.”
“I was angry, scared, and confused. Why didn’t the College complete the installation over the summer, when the building was empty? Why couldn’t they tell us precisely when the workers would be there? Why were they only notifying us the day before the installation was due to begin?” Oberlin student Peter Fray-Witzer wrote in an op-ed published in the college newspaper on Friday.
The student said he grew concerned because he had not heard of the installation plans before a school email was sent on Oct. 7. He explained that the crew would likely be cisgender men entering Baldwin Cottage, which is home to a “safe space” for “women and transgendered persons.”
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“In general, I am very averse to people entering my personal space. This anxiety was compounded by the fact that the crew would be strangers, and they were more than likely to be cisgender men.”
The work crew eventually showed up at the dorm, and Fray-Witzer described that he saw “immediately that they were all men.”
“It was clear that the College had not made a special request that male workers not be allowed onto the upper floors of Baldwin,” the student continued.
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Fray-Witzer asked a representative of the college – who he called “Polo Man” because he was wearing a “neat polo” – who accompanied the crew if he could reject getting the radiator installed. The college emissary apparently said no, and the student left for class to allow the work crew to make the dorm improvements.
“By the time I had come back, they appeared to be done, though Polo Man warned me that they would return later in the week to check the insulation. Sure enough, they were back the next day. I felt mildly violated and a little peeved.”
Fray-Witzer said he asked how other students in the dorm felt about the work crew, with many complaining about messes, noise, and other typical complaints that accompany construction projects. Others noted that they didn’t feel comfortable with how the school handled the installation.
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“I understand, of course, that installations like this are routine; the College needs to improve its facilities occasionally, and who am I to stand in the way of that? After all, I get a brand-spanking-new radiator, right in time for the cold weather. But why not finish the project during the four months of the summer semester, when the building was unoccupied?”
Oberlin’s press office did not immediately respond to Fox News’s request for comment on the matter.
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The op-ed has since spread on social media, with some criticizing the piece.