The Oberlin Review

For the culmination of their summer program, six Oberlin Organ Academy students played across the country in a Virtual Student Concert. The Organ Academy — which typically takes place on campus — was offered remotely this year due to the spread of COVID-19.

Conservatory Hosts a Summer of Remote Programming

August 5, 2020

Oberlin’s Conservatory — which typically offers a range of workshops, camps, and other programming on campus each summer — did not host any students in-person this year due to the spread of COVID-19. While several programs were cancelled altogether, others moved to online to preserve opportunities for learning, community building, and student recruitment. The three programs that moved to an online format were the Organ Academy, the Flute Academy, and the Baroque Performance Institute. Cre...

Upperclassmen Welcome Incoming First-Years Through Obie Mentorship Project

Casey Troost, Staff Writer

August 4, 2020

Through summer and fall, Oberlin student volunteers will support incoming first-years via an unofficial mentorship program as they transition to College amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was created by rising College third-year Colby Fortin and rising College second-year Remy Gajewski. Mentors will meet with first-years over Zoom throughout the year to listen to their anxieties, share information, and be early Oberlin friends. Fortin and Gajewski structured the program to adapt to student needs, in hopes that it will effectively launch first-years into long companionships with older Obies. “We just believe that supporting all first-years — especially as we enter in the midst of COVID-19 — is really impo...

College Outsources Custodial and Dining, UAW Charges College with Negotiating in Bad Faith

College Outsources Custodial and Dining, UAW Charges College with Negotiating in Bad Faith

July 24, 2020

After outsourcing 108 dining and custodial positions, the College and the United Auto Workers union will begin effects bargaining to negotiate post-employment terms. Meanwhile, the National Labor Relations Board will investigate the UAW’s July 3 charge alleging that the College negotiated the outsource in bad faith. On June 22, the College decided to outsource dining positions to AVI Fresh and gave the UAW a final proposal for custodial workers. A week later, UAW leadership opted against brin...

Junior Practicum Aims to Provide Career Readiness Skills in Lieu of Summer Internships

Ella Moxley, Senior Associate Editor

July 19, 2020

While third-year College students won’t enroll in the fall due to the College’s three-semester plan, they will have the opportunity to continue their education off-campus with the Junior Practicum program. The practicum is designed to help build career readiness skills. Although the practicum offers an opportunity for experiential learning, some students remain concerned that it will not make up for lost internships during the summer semester. “I think that everyone in the community is making an adjustment that they would rather not make [due to COVID-19],” said Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan, OC ’84. “[But] if we think about other ways in which Oberlin could provide an experience for juni...

A still image from the College's video

College Releases Details for Three Semesters of In-Person Classes

July 18, 2020

Information about changes to housing, dining, student activities, and campus social life was sent in an email to students, faculty, and staff last Wednesday, accompanied by a community agreement for on-campus enrollment. This year the College will adopt a three-semester model and enroll a limited student body in the fall, spring, and summer. The goal of this plan is to “de-densify” campus, allowing students to live in single rooms, practice social distancing in classes, and limit the potentia...

College No Longer Employs ResEd Staff Member Following Offensive Facebook Comment

Gigi Ewing, Senior Associate Editor

July 18, 2020

After a contentious Facebook comment posted by a Residential Education staff member surfaced in early June, students, alumni, and others called for the employee’s termination through a petition to College administrators. Though the College cannot comment on the employment status of its staff, by mid-June the employee’s name no longer appeared on the Oberlin campus directory.  The Facebook comment was made by Administrative Assistant Norma Frasher in reference to  the May 25 murder of George Floyd.  “Yeah, & IF some people would SHUT their mouths & follow the RULES that EVERYONE else complies with they WOULDN’T get a Knee to the Neck,” the comment read.  Many of Frasher’s critics felt that ...

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...

Established 1874.