College student complains of 'cisgender men' who installed radiators

Posted 44 days ago


A student at an $80,000-a-year ultra-liberal Oberlin College in Ohio claimed in an op-ed that he was left ‘angry, scared, and confused’ because ‘cisgender men’ installed a radiator in his ‘safe space’ dormitory.

Peter Fray-Witzer, a student enrolled at Oberlin College, posted an article in Friday's edition of The Oberlin Review in which he takes school administrators to task for giving him short notice about the installation.

Fray-Witzer writes that he asked a campus official if he could be exempt from having a radiator installed in his room so as to avoid the ‘intrusion.’

He also complains that he felt ‘mildly violated’ and ‘a little peeved’ when the contractors returned to his dorm room the next day to ‘check the insulation.’

According to Fray-Witzer, he and other residents of the on-campus dorm Baldwin Cottage received an email on October 7 notifying them that ‘contractors will be entering rooms’ the next day to install radiators.

'This will mean that they will be in your room for a period of time to complete the work,' Josh Matos, the area coordinator for Multicultural and Identity-Based Communities, wrote in an email.

Fray-Witzer wrote in response: 'I had not been contacted about any sort of radiator installation before this email, so right away the word "update" stood out to me as untrue.

'I grew concerned reading the second line, which informed me that I had less than 24 hours to prepare for the arrival of the installation crew, and I was further perturbed by the ambiguous "for a period of time".' has reached out to Matos seeking comment.

Fray-Witzer adds in his op-ed that he was '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.'

‘Cisgender’ is a term used to describe someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex that they were assigned at birth.

The word is considered the antonym of ‘transgender’ - which means a person who identifies as a gender that is opposite of that which they were assigned when born.

The dorm where Fray-Witzer lives, Baldwin Cottage, is known as ‘the home of the Women and Trans Collective.’

Oberlin, the liberal arts college with a student body of 3,000, describes the dorm as 'a close-knit community that provides women and transgendered persons with a safe space for discussion, communal living, and personal development.'

According to the school, Baldwin Cottage, which houses 30 students, is ‘open to anyone who identifies as female or trans, regardless of race, nationality, religion, assigned sex, or sexual orientation.’

The Oxford Dictionary defines a ‘safe space’ as a 'a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm.'

‘Safe spaces’ are normally located on college campuses. They have prompted criticism from many who say they are being used to silence on-campus political debate and censor views that are unpopular.

Fray-Witzer writes that 'cisgender men are not allowed to live on the second and third floors, and many residents choose not to invite cisgender men to that space.'

He added: '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?'

Fray-Witzer describes seeing the contractors arrive at the dorm. Before they showed us, he writes, he ‘waited apprehensively.’

'The workers began installing in common spaces, a... (Read more)