The Oberlin Review

College, Local Officials Continue to Respond to COVID-19 Outbreak

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

March 20, 2020

As more cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, are confirmed daily in the United States and around the world, local Oberlin leaders — both College administrators and City officials — continue to respond to the pandemic. Currently, the only publicly confirmed COVID-19 case in Oberlin is an employee in the College’s Campus Dining Services. This case was announced to the campus community in an email sent by President Carmen Twillie Ambar late Sunday night. According to Interim Chief of Staff David Hertz, Lorain County Public Health and the College are in regular contact, and LCPH is conducting an ongoing investigation into the confirmed case on campus. Hertz added that LPCH stresses that people who feel ill sho...

Tensions Between College, UAW Not New

Nathan Carpenter and Rachel Marcus

March 17, 2020

The current campus controversy around the proposal to outsource campus and dining services is not the first time that significant tensions have erupted between the College administration and members of Oberlin’s chapter of the United Automobile Workers union. Notably, in 1995, UAW members said they would strike if they were unable to reach agreeable contract terms with the College by March 31. Ultimately, a deal was reached an hour before the deadline and a strike was avoided. “The College recognizes the right of an individual to strike,” wrote Alan Moran, then-director of communications, in a March 30 memo to the Oberlin community. “The union has the right under the law to publicize the strike by picketi...

COVID-19 Outbreak Continues, College Moves to Remote Campus

COVID-19 Outbreak Continues, College Moves to Remote Campus

March 13, 2020

In an email sent to the campus community Thursday afternoon, President Carmen Twillie Ambar announced that today will be the last day of classes prior to spring break and that students should plan to leave campus by noon on Monday, March 16. The decision is meant to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — known as COVID-19 — following the discovery of five confirmed cases in nearby Cuyahoga, Stark, and Trumbull Counties. Students should not expect to return to campus for the remainder...

Students Discuss UAW Concerns with Trustees

Students Discuss UAW Concerns with Trustees

March 13, 2020

Student activists met with members of the Board of Trustees last week to denounce the College’s announcement that they are considering outsourcing up to 108 United Auto Worker jobs. In the meeting, students expressed their concerns and presented petitions that had been signed by students, alumni, and the broader Oberlin community. Elsa Schlensker, College fourth-year and chair of the Student Labor Action Coalition, was one of the students who presented. “The overall message that students h...

Congressional Candidates Campaign in Oberlin

Ella Moxley, Senior Staff Writer

March 13, 2020

Despite fears over the novel coronavirus — or COVID-19 — community spread, Democratic candidates running in Ohio’s fourth Congressional district have ramped up their campaign efforts. Some candidates, including Shannon Freshour and Jeffrey Sites, have increased their presence in Oberlin in recent weeks. Freshour, Sites, and Mike Larsen will all be on the ballot during Tuesday’s contest for the Democratic congressional nomination. The winner will face incumbent Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, the founder of the far-right House Freedom Caucus who has represented the district since 2007. Independent candidate Chris Gibbs also plans to run in the general election against Jordan. Sites, a warehouse assistant manager a...

College Announces New Music Minor

Katherine MacPhail, Editor-in-Chief

March 13, 2020

Oberlin is offering a new minor in Music following recommendations put forth by the One Oberlin report to expand “opportunities for private lessons, classroom study, and performing” for College students. Elizabeth Hamilton, associate dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences and co-chair of Musical Studies, highlighted the opportunity that this program creates for students to expand their studies. “The new minor creates a clearer formal structure than we’ve ever had for Arts and Sciences students to pursue rigorous study of music,” Hamilton wrote in an email to the Review. “It taps into their musical passions and talents and integrates advanced study from conservatory faculty into their overall B.A. d...

Pressure Mounts Against Outsourcing Proposal; Senator Sherrod Brown Voices Support of UAW

Pressure Mounts Against Outsourcing Proposal; Senator Sherrod Brown Voices Support of UAW

March 6, 2020

Campus controversy continues to swirl around President Carmen Twillie Ambar’s Feb. 18 announcement that the College is “formally considering” outsourcing dining and custodial services, a proposal that could impact jobs currently held by 108 members of the United Automobile Workers union. While students and alumni have made their dissatisfaction with the proposal known, regional politicians and media have also begun to take notice — most notably Senator Sherrod Brown (D–OH), who circulated ...

COVID-19 Outbreak Suspends Study Away Programs

Katie Lucey, News Editor

March 6, 2020

In the wake of rising global concern over COVID-19, a newly-discovered strain of coronavirus, Oberlin students are finding their study away programs altered or abruptly terminated in countries facing travel advisories. Although the College has issued statements indicating its ongoing support for affected students, the situation has raised questions about how program cancelations will impact the remainder of these students’ academic careers. “As of March 4, six of those programs have made the decision to suspend the in-country portion of their semesters, impacting 12 Oberlin students,” Director of International Programs and Study Away Mike Rainaldi wrote in an email to the Review. “Those decisions to cancel were not ...

Conservatory to Launch New Recording Arts and Production Programs

Conservatory to Launch New Recording Arts and Production Programs

March 6, 2020

The Conservatory has announced new one-year and two-year certificate programs for postgraduate students in Recording Arts and Production. The program is currently accepting applications for its first semester, which will begin this fall. The program is spearheaded by Director of Audio Services Paul Eachus and Associate Director of Audio Services Andrew Tripp. They explained that the idea originated in the midst of the Academic and Administrative Program Review process. “When AAPR initially started to get ...

Community Responds to College’s Demolition of Village Housing

Community Responds to College’s Demolition of Village Housing

February 28, 2020

Last month’s demolition of seven Village Houses has sparked conversation over whether the College should have been more intentional in consulting the surrounding community before making the decision to tear the houses down. The College currently has no plans to build on the vacant lots, and some residents are concerned about how the demolition could change the character of their neighborhoods. Carrie Handy, director of planning and development for the City of Oberlin, says her office has received a ...

Administrators Address Potential Impact of COVID-19

Carson Li, Staff Writer

February 28, 2020

As the newest iteration of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, continues to spread around the world, Oberlin — like other colleges and universities across the country — is preparing to address challenges that the virus may inflict on campus life. Administrators are taking steps to support current and prospective international students impacted by the viral outbreak, as well as to anticipate the potential financial impact of COVID-19 on Oberlin. According to President Carmen Twillie Ambar, some of the potential financial difficulties could stem from foregone tuition from students who would not be able to come to campus in the fall, should international travel restrictions remain in place until that time. “Most colle...

Rapid Response Team Debuts at UAW-Related Protests

Rapid Response Team Debuts at UAW-Related Protests

February 28, 2020

President Carmen Twillie Ambar’s Feb. 18 announcement that the College is formally considering outsourcing 108 dining and custodial jobs currently held by United Automobile Worker union members incited a campus-wide conversation and student-led protests and demonstrations. As activism in support of UAW continues, the College is in the midst of considering how best to approach its relationship with student activists. One approach taken by the Division of Student Life is to assemble a Rapid Res...

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