The Oberlin Review

Midwest Direct misprinted hundreds of absentee ballots, causing delays for many Oberlin students.

In the Midst of Absent Ballots for Ohio’s Absentee Voters, Obies Continue GOTV Initiatives

October 23, 2020

Many voters who expected to receive their absentee ballots last week are experiencing delays or received faulty ballots. This issue has affected nearly 800 College students, according to Associate Professor and Chair of Geology Zeb Page.  The delays stem from a third-party company called Midwest Direct that Lorain County Board of Elections and other BOEs in Ohio and Pennsylvania contracted to print and ship absentee ballots. The BOEs contracted the third-party company because an unprecedented t...

College Deficit $5 Million Less Than Expected, Trustees Roll Back One-Time Salary Cuts

Kate Fishman and Katherine MacPhail

October 23, 2020

While COVID-19 complications and the three semester plan have created a budgetary shortfall for the College, the current deficit is almost $5 million less than originally projected and is expected to improve further. This positive forecast has prompted the Board of Trustees to roll back the faculty wage freeze and senior staff pay cuts that were instituted at the beginning of the school year.  The 2020–2021 academic year was initially projected to produce a total budget deficit of $44.7 million due to COVID-19 safety measures and an anticipated decrease in enrollment. While the College initially projected that enrollment would drop by 20 percent, the actual enrollment drop this semester has only been 11 perce...

Selene Siyun Pan is the Founder and Director of Nudge, which provides mentorship to international students from the greater China region.

Off the Cuff with Selene Siyun Pan, Nudge Founder and Director

October 21, 2020

College second-year Selene Siyun Pan is the founder and director of Nudge, an intercollegiate mentorship program for international students from the greater China region. Originally from Shanghai, Pan studied in Costa Rica for two years before coming to Oberlin College as a Bonner Scholar. In the few months since the program’s inception, she has recruited mentors and mentees from around the globe. Pan is an East Asian Studies major and currently serves as a co-coordinator for El Centro Volunteer Initiative...

College Reports Six New COVID-19 Cases in One Day

Gigi Ewing and Ella Moxley

October 21, 2020

After three consecutive weeks with zero new COVID-19 cases on campus, six people tested positive for the virus yesterday, including four students, one faculty member, and one staff member. These six positive tests were administered on Friday, and the College received the results yesterday afternoon, according to an email from President Carmen Twillie Ambar.  Prior to yesterday’s cases, there were only 13 positive COVID-19 tests out of almost 7,500 administered since campus reopened this August.    The six recent cases do not seem to be connected to each other, according to Chief of Staff David Hertz, who oversees the College’s health strategy.  “We don't believe there was a super-spreader event,...

Security Notebook

October 21, 2020

Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020 2:10 p.m. A student reported the theft of their bicycle from the bike rack outside of East Hall around Sept. 11. The bicycle is a pink Mongoose with 30” mountain bike tires, a black bike seat with white and purple lining, and a broken right handlebar. The bicycle was not registered with the College and was not locked at the time of theft. Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020 4:02 a.m. A Campus Safety officer on a routine patrol observed a fort-like structure built around the fire escape at Johnson House on the west side of the building. A work order was filed for removal of the structure. Monday, Oct. 5, 2020  2:06 a.m. An officer on patrol of Talcott Hall observed several four-by-four woode...

Professor of Religion and Nancy Schrom Dye Chair in Middle East and North African Studies Mohammad Jafar Mahallati denies recent allegations claiming that he covered up human rights violations in Iran in the late 1980s.

Religion Professor Denies Accusations of Human Rights Abuse Cover-Up

October 9, 2020

A letter calling for the removal of a faculty member was sent to President Carmen Twillie Ambar yesterday, alleging that the professor participated in covering up the Iranian regime’s 1988 mass killing of political prisoners. The letter was written by human rights activists Kaveh Shahrooz and Lawdan Bazargan and is signed by 56 family members of the victims and former political prisoners, as well as 577 other signatories. The faculty member, Professor of Religion and Nancy Schrom Dye Chair in Mid...

Junior Practicum Students Tackle Complex Problems, Career Readiness, Internships

Katherine MacPhail, Editor-in-Chief

October 9, 2020

Students enrolled in the new Junior Practicum program have just finished the month-long Career Readiness and Skill-Building Summit and many are now beginning micro-internships or research opportunities. The practicum was created to give College third-years — who are not in Oberlin due to the College’s three-semester plan to de-densify campus — an outlet to continue learning and preparing for their futures, even while not in classes. Last month’s summit provided students with skills such as résumé building, developing networking skills, practicing for interviews, and workplace negotiation. In addition to these foundational career readiness skills, participating students also tackled social and political pr...

The Campus Safety Office, which is open 24-hours a day.  The Campus Safety department sometimes receives COVID-19 reports of community safety violations to follow up on.

Students Call for Peer-to-Peer Intervention for COVID-19 Safety Violations

October 7, 2020

Students at Oberlin College and nationwide have raised concerns that peer-reports and disciplinary action for breaches of COVID-19 community agreements could disproportionately impact students of color. Students on Oberlin’s campus have called on one another to reflect on potential biases and consider peer intervention prior to calling Campus Safety with concerns related to ObieSafe guidelines. Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo attests that students of color are not disp...

Alexia Hudson-Ward, the Azariah Smith Root director of libraries, will leave Oberlin College at the end of September.

Off the Cuff with Alexia Hudson-Ward, Former Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries

September 30, 2020

Alexia Hudson-Ward, the Azariah Smith Root director of libraries since 2016, has accepted a new position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology starting at the end of this month. At Oberlin, Hudson-Ward led the four campus libraries to become the College’s top-performing administrative unit in 2018; chaired the libraries’ first diversity, equity, and inclusion task force; and spearheaded collaborations with the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Previously, she worked in the Camden County Librar...

A dining hall employee works in Stevenson Dining Hall, which is now managed by AVI Foodsystems.

New Dining and Custodial Vendors Transition to Oberlin

September 23, 2020

New third-party vendors for dining and custodial services have been transitioning to Oberlin’s campus and community this fall, introducing COVID-19 policies and procedures. AVI Foodsystems is facilitating on-campus dining, while Scioto Services is providing custodial services. While AVI has rehired 90 percent of the former dining staff, Scioto has only hired one former custodial employee.  Campus dining was previously administered by Bon Appétit Management Company, and custodial services were manage...

MULTI Affinity Group Restarts to Build Community for Multiracial Students

Casey Troost, Staff Writer

September 23, 2020

Editor’s Note: Production Editor Arman Luczkow was uninvolved in the reporting or editing of this piece.  The Multiracial Students Association launched this semester with hopes of creating community for multiracial students as well as facilitating discussions with the rest of the campus. Oberlin previously had a similar organization called Multi- that disbanded two semesters ago. The group created this fall, also known as MULTI, has an entirely new student leadership, but seeks to build on lessons learned from the previous organization.  The new organization uses consensus-based decision making and compromise to better support multiracial students. According to MULTI treasurer and College second-year Ben Ecko...

College UAW workers gathered on Aug. 15 for a socially distanced parade to say goodbye to outsourced colleagues.

Alumni Fund Seeks Just Transition for Outsourced Workers

September 18, 2020

The 1833 Just Transition Fund has raised almost $150,000 in pledges to support the United Auto Workers union members who lost their jobs last spring when the College outsourced 108 custodial and dining services workers. The fund will mostly be distributed to about 44 former UAW custodians who have not found jobs that offer comparable compensation. The fund was initially created by alumni last spring in response to the College’s announcement and to student activism in support of the UAW members. It...

Established 1874.