Sculptor Tony Matelli installed this Sleepwalker statue near the campus center at Wellesley College recently as a part of a larger exhibition at the college's Davis Museum. The hyper-realistic sculpture depicts a man in his underwear with outstretched arms and closed eyes, an aesthetic that some of the college's all-female student body are taking issue with.
A petition has been started on Change.org to have the statue removed, stating that it has "become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community." Davis Museum director Lisa Fischman said in a statement that Matelli's work "provokes dialogue, and discourse is at the core of education." She also wrote that the reaction to the piece has been varied, as she has watched students "stop to interact playfully with the sculpture...take selfies with him, snap pics with their phones, and gather to look at this new figure on the Wellesley landscape."
Fischman encourages students and others nearby to see the statue in person, but a student told the Boston Globe that she and her fellow petitioners are "really disappointed that [Fischman] seemed to articulate that she was glad it was starting discussion, but didn’t respond to the fact that it’s making students on campus feel unsafe, which is not appropriate." There is no word whether or not the college will remove the statue ahead of schedule.