Tom Reid Must Be Reinstated as Associate Director of Student Union

We, the undersigned group of students and alumni, created and distributed a petition on Sept.13, 2018, calling for the reinstatement of Tom Reid, OC ’80, in his position as associate director of the Student Union. In less than one week, 1,100 current students, alumni, and community members signed in support of that demand. Nearly 500 individuals also wrote testimonials sharing stories about Tom and his value to the Oberlin experience and College-town relations. One can tell from the outpouring of support that Tom influenced student life in a unique and deeply significant way.

Based on last week’s Review article titled “Alumni, Students Try Reversing Staff Cuts With Petition,” it is clear that there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the depth and breadth of Tom’s impact on Oberlin. The notion that he sat behind a desk in Wilder Hall all day does not accurately characterize his work. In addition to managing the information desk, Tom oversaw Oberlin College Lanes, the Cat in the Cream, Folk Fest, and the Hales Late Nighter.

He taught two courses for credit that regularly demanded waitlists of over 30 students, and he was one of the highest-rated instructors at Oberlin among his students. In his position, he trained and mentored student staff at three different facilities, held numerous meetings at the Cat in the Cream, worked as a pinsetter mechanic at the College Lanes, and welcomed community members to campus in ways that fostered respect for the College’s place within the town of Oberlin. His position took him well beyond Wilder Hall and directly into the lives of students on a daily basis.

We stand firm in our commitment to the reinstatement of Tom Reid and his position. We will continue to make our voices heard. We understand that Oberlin faces challenges as a liberal arts school with financial uncertainty, but eliminating the position of someone who positively impacted thousands of students will neither help Oberlin reach its financial goals nor invest in the core mission of the institution.

We would appreciate the chance to address our concerns directly with the administration in the next two weeks so we can express the importance of Tom, his position, and his effect on student experience.

Johnnie Kallas, OC ’14

James Riggs, OC ’09

Lola Lorber, OC ’13

Andrew Meister, OC ’06

Eastman Presser, OC ’14

Emma Rowan, OC ’12

Savannah O’Meara, OC ’18

Griffin Sabelli, OC ’14

Clare Curry, OC ’20

Judd Wexler, OC ’21

James Peake, OC ’06

Liz Gupta-Harrison, OC ’06

Jess Wilber, OC ’21

Riley Calcagno, OC ’20

Sophie Maffie, OC ’20

Judy Cook, OC ’71

Adam Work, OC ’19

John Schechtman-Marko, OC ’19