The Oberlin Review

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...

Office of Undergraduate Research Provides Unique Opportunities for Students

Office of Undergraduate Research Provides Unique Opportunities for Students

February 28, 2020

The cornerstone of many students’ undergraduate careers is the opportunity to pursue independent research while guided by faculty members who are experts in their fields. The Office of Undergraduate Research offers a variety of programs and events that support faculty-assisted student research, and is currently accepting abstracts through March 8 for the Undergraduate Research Symposium, which will take place May 1–2. Associate Professor of Neuroscience Leslie Kwakye, OC ’06, took over the...

College “Considering” Outsourcing Dining, Custodial Services

College “Considering” Outsourcing Dining, Custodial Services

February 21, 2020

Employees in Oberlin’s chapter of the United Automobile Workers union are reeling after a Tuesday afternoon email from President Carmen Twillie Ambar to the campus community announced that the College is “formally considering” contracting with outside vendors to provide campus custodial and dining services. If the College ultimately chooses to outsource, more than 100 union employees could lose their jobs on June 30, when the transition would occur. According to President Ambar’s email, O...

#VotingIsSexy Initiative Hopes to Engage Students

#VotingIsSexy Initiative Hopes to Engage Students

February 21, 2020

In light of a perceived lack of voter participation among Oberlin students, College fourth-year Eli Kirshner and others saw Ohio’s upcoming presidential primary on March 17 as an opportunity to start a #VotingIsSexy initiative on Oberlin’s campus. The #VotingIsSexy campaign started in fall 2018 at the University of Michigan. The project was spearheaded by Stephanie Rowden, associate professor at the Penny W. School of Art & Design, and several of her students. At both UM and Oberlin, #Voting...

Halted Survey Sparks OSCA Concerns

Halted Survey Sparks OSCA Concerns

February 14, 2020

A proposed survey designed to assess the co-curricular value of the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association and other campus residential experiences was not sent out to students and alumni last July, as originally planned in collaboration with several campus offices. Instead, the College and OSCA will draw on existing institutional data to define their contractual relationship later this spring. Posters declaring “Save Our Beans!” put up this semester have ignited recent campus dialogue about th...

Karega Settles Lawsuit Against College

Katherine MacPhail, Editor-in-Chief

February 14, 2020

The 2018 lawsuit that Joy Karega, former assistant professor of Rhetoric and Composition, filed against Oberlin College was settled Jan. 31. Karega was dismissed after posts on her personal social media accounts were characterized as anti-Semitic by the Board of Trustees and others. The College fired Karega in November 2016, citing a failure to meet academic standards and demonstrate intellectual honesty. This decision sparked debates regarding Karega’s First Amendment rights and her position as the only Black tenure-track professor in her department. Her initial suspension began in August 2016 after her posts, including one which claimed that Israel was responsible for the terrorist bombings of 9/11, received wide...

Fourth Meal Changes Greeted By Student Pushback

Fourth Meal Changes Greeted By Student Pushback

February 14, 2020

As of this semester, Fourth Meal — previously served buffet-style in the Rathskeller — is now being served in DeCafé in to-go boxes. Students can now purchase Fourth Meal the same way as all DeCafé meals: by choosing one entree, two sides, and a drink packaged in plastic containers. Many students have witnessed significant changes to the location and structure of Fourth Meal during their time at Oberlin and some have expressed disappointment at these changes. “It’s horrible,” said Joshua Rho...

The 2010s: Moments That Defined a Decade

The 2010s: Moments That Defined a Decade

February 7, 2020

Ambar’s Appointment Following an extensive nationwide search, Carmen Twillie Ambar was introduced in May 2017 as the 15th president of Oberlin College and Conservatory. She is the institution’s first Black and second woman leader in its more than 180-year history. Ambar was selected to replace outgoing President Marvin Krislov, now president of Pace University, at a particularly challenging moment in Oberlin’s institutional history. Faced with a growing structural budget deficit as soon a...

College Tackles Coronavirus Concerns

Carson Li

February 7, 2020

As concern about a new coronavirus strain, 2019-nCoV, mounts globally, College administrators and other community members have adopted proactive communication and prevention strategies. The Office of Communications has sent out four emails to students and faculty providing updates on the new coronavirus strain, 2019-nCoV, over the past few weeks. According to Interim Chief of Staff David Hertz, none of the communications have been compelled by institutional policy; rather, they came from a desire to keep the community informed. “The point of providing the information is so that [people on campus] don’t invent scenarios and that we treat this situation with the gravity it deserves,” Hertz said, adding that he and ot...

College Faculty Approves New Business Concentration

Katie Lucey, News Editor

February 7, 2020

The College Faculty voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a new integrative concentration in Business. The concentration, first recommended in last spring’s One Oberlin report, a result of the yearlong Academic and Administrative Program Review, will enroll its first students during the Fall 2021 semester. It will join a new journalism concentration and several new arts-focused programs that will also be introduced in the fall. The AAPR process identified demonstrated student interest in learning core business skills — such as finance and accounting — in an academic setting, while also gaining meaningful work experience that could better prepare students for a career post-graduation. “I have seen more and more students ...

OSCA Appoints Interim President

Ella Moxley, Senior Staff Writer

February 7, 2020

In their final meeting of last semester, Oberlin Student Cooperative Association board members appointed Conservatory fourth-year Teagan Webb as interim president to fill the position left by College third-year Gio Donovan. Typically, the OSCA president serves a year-long term and is elected by the entire membership. “Due to unfortunate and unpredictable circumstances I’ve had to step down as President of OSCA for the 2019-2020 academic year,” Donovan wrote in a message to the Review. “I’m currently on medical leave and plan to return to Oberlin in the fall of 2020.” The OSCA board knew Donovan would be stepping down before the last board meeting of the fall semester. Due to OSCA policy, it was necessary t...

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