Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Obies for Undocumented Inclusion Hosts Undocuweek Media Night

Erin Koo
OUI hosts Media Night at the Cat in the Cream.

On Monday, Obies for Undocumented Inclusion hosted Media Night at the Cat in the Cream as part of their 2023 Undocuweek. Other events from Undocuweek included a symposium on migration last Friday and Saturday, an UndocuAlly training on Thursday, and a dodgeball game on Friday. Initially, Media Night was supposed to be a screening of short films from The Center for Cultural Power, but due to availability issues, it was changed to the Danish film Flee (2021), an animated documentary about Afghan refugee Amin and his journey of migration from his home country as well as his personal journey with his sexuality and family.

Because of time constraints, only half the film was shown, but students were then encouraged to buy the film in order to support the filmmakers. Although Flee is animated, it is shot as a traditional documentary, including  confessionals by Amin intercut along with B-rolls of his daily life, flashbacks from his childhood, and real footage of the events covered in the film.

The event was on the smaller side with a turnout of around 15 people, but it was an overall success. The film’s reception was overwhelmingly positive, leading to an engaging discussion on its animated medium, compared to more traditional formats.

Media Night and other events included in Undocuweek are a way for OUI to offer a space where students can connect over shared interests. 

“It brings in a supportive community where we all get to converse and connect,” College first-year Jasmine Gonzalez said. 

Flee was not just moving, but also an educational experience. The educational aspect of Media Night is especially important because, despite hosting fascinating and meaningful events, OUI does not have a large presence on campus. The matter of OUI’s small reach goes deeper than just awareness. According to College third-year Angelina Martinez, an OUI board member, Oberlin’s administration has historically not been adequately supportive of undocumented students.

“A big issue is with financial aid,” Martinez said. Sometimes people will miscatalog people, … and then people in the [Office of] Financial Aid themselves aren’t very educated on certain terms.”

Although OUI has been able to make tremendous strides in getting support from the administration and creating a safe space for undocumented students, what they really need in order to achieve their goals is support from the student body. 

“I hope to see more people at our meetings, just coming to our events, showing support in our events, and just being there for our community members,” Martinez said. 

With events such as Media Night, OUI hopes to draw in more people in order to educate students about issues faced by undocumented students at Oberlin and in general, as well as to garner support for their causes. So far, OUI has made efforts to get the word out about their meetings and events through flyers or their Instagram, but Martinez says they still are not receiving the support they need in order to accomplish their goals. 

“Oberlin … claims to be activists and big on social change, but that’s not very evident for marginalized groups who push for change,” Martinez said. “You can see that in who attends these meetings. … It’s usually only those who have [a] direct stake, and that’s not what it should be.”

OUI has been doing everything it can to try to educate and gain support from the student body. The responsibility lies with students to support them.

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