Student Proposals Presented: Moving Forward

Madeline Stocker, Staff Writer

After the formal presentation of student proposals that took place April 28, a question and answer section followed in which members of the audience had a chance to voice questions and concerns to the members of each working group. Although most of the information regarding the proposals themselves had been covered in the meeting, many students were curious as to how the proposals might be implemented in the future.

Because the groups are still endeavoring to get their proposals, they are hesitant to disclose any information, fearing their statements may be detrimental to their cause. Choosing to remain cautious, they largely avoided specifics throughout the meeting, making sure that they did not release any information that was not already approved by the administration.

The groups did, however, make a point to answer the concerns of students to the best of their ability. Rather than discussing specific strategies of implementation, the working groups focused on the future of their proposals through the lens of student activism. In their document, “Student Proposals for Institutional Change Around Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion at Oberlin College,” they discuss the requirements of moving forward.

In order to successfully realize the implementation of these proposals, the groups explained, there must be a campus-wide commitment to continued critical thinking about how to create a better Oberlin. This requires engaging all facets of the institution — included but not limited to the Office of Admissions, the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of the Dean of Studies.

The groups have recently developed a better mechanism for meeting and collaborating with one another, as well as with the different organizations on campus, such as the offices listed above. In order to uphold such a high level of communication, the student working groups suggest that each individual continue to propose changes and to remain open for collaboration with the administration, faculty and staff. The goal of such activism is to make the Oberlin College campus and city of Oberlin more affirming places for all students, staff, faculty and residents.

The working groups view this document as “just the beginning.” Those who helped contribute hope it acts as a springboard for more serious dialogue centered on student frustration, as well as on hopes and visions students have for the future. The working groups have also provided a blueprint for administrative engagement in order to raise the standards of education, safety and inclusion at Oberlin College and Conservatory.