The Oberlin Review

President Ambar Announces Presidential Initiative to Address Racial Injustice

Kushagra Kar, Senior Associate Editor

June 16, 2020

President Carmen Twillie Ambar sent an email to the Oberlin community announcing a new Presidential Initiative to educate and mobilize students against racial injustice. This announcement came six days after four Minneapolis police officers brutally murdered Floyd, setting in motion global protests against racial injustice. “I will establish a Presidential Initiative for faculty and students that seeks to address issues of violence, police-community relationships, and racial injustices,” President Ambar wrote in her May 31 email. “One could imagine courses, co-curricular initiatives, community engagements, and internships focused on the very issues that the death of George Floyd invokes. The primary goal of thi...

College, Gibson’s Bakery File Briefs Appealing $25 Million Verdict

College, Gibson’s Bakery File Briefs Appealing $25 Million Verdict

June 12, 2020

Last Friday, the College filed to appeal the $25 million verdict that Gibson’s Bakery won in their case against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. A jury found the College guilty of libel last June and initially awarded the Gibsons $44 million in damages, later capped at $25 million due to Ohio state laws regarding tort lawsuits. The Gibsons argued that the College supported students in protesting and boycotting the bakery following accusations of racism in ...

Many International Students Remain in U.S. Due to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Gigi Ewing, Senior Associate Editor

May 31, 2020

Travel restrictions and visa limitations have prompted many current international students to remain in the U.S. rather than return home for the summer. The College is offering on-campus room and board to international students who wish to remain in the country until the start of fall-semester classes while other students have opted to stay with family members or friends.  For international students considering returning home for the summer, the decision is complicated by uncertainty that they may not be able to travel back to the U.S. if in-person classes resume in the fall. College first-year and member of the Student Senate International Students Working Group Latifa Tan has been grappling with the question of wheth...

College fourth-year and News Editor Katie Lucey.

News: A Year In “Review”

May 25, 2020

Editor’s note: This article appears as part of a series in which the Review’s graduating editors reflect on how their sections have evolved, the biggest stories of the year, and their time at the paper as a whole. The rest of this series can be found here.  From the impacts of COVID-19 on both the College and town, to student United Auto Workers activism, to the ongoing Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit, to the congressional race in our district, and more, Oberlin has seen an eventful year with plenty to...

Incoming International Students Face Difficulties In Light of COVID-19

Ananya Gupta and Devyn Malouf

May 9, 2020

Admitted students from the class of 2024 are facing unprecedented complications in committing to an institution of higher education in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Incoming international students — who made up 12 percent of enrolled students for the Class of 2023 — face an additional set of challenges due to visa delays and uncertainties surrounding international travel that may prevent them from coming to campus this fall.  “Normally what happens is students get their admissions decision that they've been accepted to Oberlin, and after they submit their deposit and agree to come to Oberlin, that triggers a couple of different things,” said Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the International Stud...

Lab-Based Natural Science Courses Adapt to Remote Learning

Alexa Stevens, Production Editor

May 8, 2020

Natural science classes with hands-on lab components have undergone significant adjustments following the shift to remote learning for the second half of the spring semester. Professors have developed a range of strategies to convert interactive courses to an online format  — from preparing lab kits for each student to take home before they left campus, to pre-recording data-collecting labs, to having students explore their own backyards or local parks. Chair and Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Jason Belitsky spoke to the challenges posed to science courses, especially for larger classes required for certain majors or minors. Belitsky’s Bioorganic Chemistry class alone enrolled approximately 7...

College and Conservatory Announce Optional Pass/No Entry Grading System, COVID-19 Incompletes

Aly Fogel, Associate Editor

May 6, 2020

In an effort to accommodate students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to remote learning, the College and Conservatory have announced new grading protocols effective for the rest of the semester. The changes were announced by faculty governance committees and the Arts and Sciences and Conservatory Deans' Offices via emails sent in mid-April.  The new grading protocols shift the optional Pass/No Pass system to an optional Pass/No Entry grading model, but the default grading system for most courses remains letter grades. If a student elects to take a class Pass/No Entry and earns a grade below a C-, the course will not be listed on their official transcript. This is a change from the previous optio...

Campus Housing Announcements Spark Student Confusion, Frustration

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

April 15, 2020

Students remaining in College-owned housing were left confused and frustrated last week after receiving a pair of email communications — the first from the Office of Residential Education and the second from President Carmen Twillie Ambar — regarding potential changes to their living situations. The emails came after most students were required to vacate campus housing last month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; students who stayed on campus went through a petition process in order to do so. On Tuesday, April 7, ResEd informed students in campus housing that they should start packing up their belongings in order to be “consolidated” into South, Langston, or Noah Halls beginning Friday, April 17. The ro...

Bibbins Hall, which holds the Conservatory's main classrooms, is currently closed to students following Oberlin's transition to a remote campus.

Conservatory Adjusts Curricular Requirements Following Transition to Remote Campus

April 12, 2020

Following Oberlin’s transition to a remote campus in the wake of the ongoing health crisis, the Conservatory has had to adapt their curriculum including private lessons, ensembles, and culminating recitals to an online platform. The Conservatory has adjusted some of their requirements and set flexible guidelines for students in order to accomodate for the variety of departmental and individual circumstances.  This semester, to account for extenuating circumstances due to COVID-19, the deadline...

College Implements Telecommuting Policies in Response to COVID-19

Katherine MacPhail, Editor-in-Chief

April 10, 2020

In coordination with local public health authorities, the College has drastically limited the number of employees on campus and developed new telecommuting policies in response to the local outbreak of COVID-19. Employees working from home have been asked to sign a Remote Work Agreement in which they commit to being available by phone or email during core work hours. Employees who still work on campus have been instructed to stay home if they have a temperature of over 100.4 degrees or otherwise feel ill. The College has also, in some cases, implemented a rotation strategy for employees who work remotely but come to campus periodically to complete essential tasks.  These policies were developed last month in antici...

Oberlin faculty and Staff meet over Zoom to plan the new Uncovering COVID-19 class for accepted students.

College Creates Programs to Supplement Remote Learning

April 7, 2020

Editor’s note: Editor-in-Chief Nathan Carpenter is the course manager of the Uncovering COVID-19 class, and was uninvolved with the reporting and editing of this story. Three weeks after students were sent home and the College transitioned to remote learning, Oberlin administrators continue to respond to the academic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. A variety of new programs and classes have been created to address complications caused by remote learning, including new second-module classes ...

Administrators, Faculty Governance Committees Decline to Endorse Universal Pass

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

April 4, 2020

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences David Kamitsuka and Dean of the Conservatory William Quillen announced to the Oberlin community Thursday afternoon that administrators and faculty-governance bodies had declined to endorse a Student Senate-led petition advocating for a Universal Pass grading system. The petition, drafted in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, had been co-signed via Google Docs by more than 1,300 current students. “Student Senate sees it as being imperative that our grading system reflect the unprecedented situation presented by the current COVID-19 pandemic,” College third-year and Chair of Student Senate Henry Hicks wrote in an email to the Review. “Given the inaccessible reali...

Established 1874.