The Oberlin Review

The Role of Religion in a Secular Bubble: Part 2

Julia Herbst

April 22, 2011

While the specifics of each student’s situation vary, being religious at Oberlin can be a challenging and even isolating experience for many. Presidential scholar of Islam Jafar Mahallati has seen this isolation manifest in Muslim students soon after their arrival on campus. “In my conversations with Muslim students, one of the religious minorities on campus, I have realized that upon their arrival, some of them feel very isolated and homesick,” he said. “With the Muslim Student Association and courses offered on Islam, however, they become self-confident… They learn, again in a new way, that the religious ‘others’ are not a threat, but in fact a blessing.” Another challenge for some reli...

Student Senate Discusses Plans for Community in 2025

Erica Reyes, Staff Writer

April 15, 2011

On Monday, Student Senate met with Cheri Ryan and Lizette Torres of the Public Services Institute to discuss the city of Oberlin’s 2025 Strategic Plan, which is made up of the city’s ideas for improvements for matters ranging from energy efficiency to storm water management. Ryan and Torres, Field Coordinator and Administrative Associate for PSI, respectively, asked the students their opinions about the positive aspects of Oberlin, the aspects that could be improved upon and, overall, what the students hoped Oberlin would be like in the next 10 to 15 years. This workshop is part of an ongoing effort, which began in late March, to ensure that the city, its residents and its businesses are set for the future. In...

In Their Own Words: Experiences of Obies in Japan

Liv Combe, News Editor

April 15, 2011

When the magnitude nine earthquake struck Japan on March 11, the ensuing tsunami and disasters brought international attention to the country. As the death toll continued to rise, Dean of Study Away Ellen Sayles had to decide whether or not Oberlin students in Japan would have to cut short their time abroad. With students on three different programs and in three different locations, Sayles worked on contacting the students and their families to ascertain their safety immediately after the tsunami, and then set to work deciding if the students could stay in Japan. The Office of Study Away’s policy on bringing students back from overseas is generally only applicable for countries in which the U.S. Department of...

Friendship Day Held to Promote Global Peace

Julia Herbst

April 6, 2011

This Friday marks Oberlin’s second annual Friendship Day, a festival developed through collaboration between the Religion department and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. “Basically, the idea of Friendship Day is to create a kind of ritual for looking at friendship,” said the Director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and co-leader of the Friendship Initiative Reverend Greg McGonigle. “When we talk about friendship, we don’t really mean it in a sentimental way, or certainly not in a Facebook way, in which you friend all these different people but it really doesn’t mean anything. It’s really about thinking about being intentional about building friendships where there’s conf...

Community Rallies Against Senate Bill 5 in Tappan Square

Community Rallies Against Senate Bill 5 in Tappan Square

March 18, 2011

On Tuesday afternoon at the bandstand in Tappan Square, over 100 members of Oberlin College and the Lorain County community gathered outside in the rain to rally against Senate Bill 5, which would eliminate all of Ohio public employees’ right to collectively bargain for adequate benefits, fair wages and safe working conditions. Governor John Kasich and Republicans in the Ohio House and Senate introduced the bill, which affects public school teachers, police officers, firefighters and librarians....

Off the Cuff: Anthony C. Zinni, Retired Four-Star General, Author

Ian Seeley, Managing Editor

March 11, 2011

What is the greatest military threat to the United States today and how should the U.S. address this threat? Well, I think there may be a couple. I would still say, despite the end of the Cold War and the belief that maybe we were reversing weapons of mass destruction, I still think proliferation is probably the most significant threat and poses an existential threat. In addition to that, obviously extremism, the terrorist attacks we have suffered, although I think that that’s beginning to wane. … I’m increasingly worried about instability in parts of the world that would draw us in; we can see what’s going on in the Middle East now. But even south of our border, states that are under pressure, for whatever rea...

Workshop as Forum for DREAM Act Activists

Jessica Lam

March 11, 2011

As a part of Immigration Action Now week, the Asian American Alliance hosted a workshop on civil disobedience with two immigration reform activists, Adam Kuranishi of the Immigrant Youth Justice League in Chicago and Mohammad Abdollahi of DreamActivist.org. Abdollahi began by sharing his story of being an undocumented immigrant in the United States and how his undocumented status affected everything from his family to his ability to receive a college education. Abdollahi is best known for his civil disobedience actions that were directed at the senators and representatives whose support was needed for the passage of the DREAM Act. For him, the defining moment was when he attempted to transfer to Eastern Michigan...

Savage Refutes Accusations of Prejudice

Rosemary Boeglin, News Editor

March 4, 2011

Dan Savage, founder of the It Gets Better Project and author of sex column “Savage Love,” gave what he referred to as the “spacey Theraflu version of his speech” to a crowd of students Thursday in Finney Chapel amidst concern from some student LGBTQ activists. The It Gets Better Project began as a YouTube video of Savage and his husband telling their story to LGBT youth. After posting their video, they waited. The response was, according to Savage, overwhelming. By the fourth day, there were 500 video responses. Since then, over 10,000 videos have been linked to the YouTube site. According to the campaign website, the aim of the project is to reach out to queer youth and show them what the future may ...

Students Rally in Columbus in Support of Union Rights

Elise Shulman-Reed, News Editor

February 25, 2011

Thousands gathered on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, to support public-sector union employees’ right to collective bargaining. Fifty-five Oberlin students made the trek to the state house to join in the protest. Protesters marched to the state capitol where the Legislature held hearings on Senate Bill 5 — a proposal that would eliminate almost all collective bargaining and prohibit negotiating over health care benefits, among other changes. Ohio’s bill comes on the heels of mass protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to strip workers of their bargaining power. In an interview with CNN, Ohio Governor John Kasich said that public employees should have the ability to negotiate on some matters,...

Non-Profits, College, Local Businesses, History Contribute to Downtown Growth

Rosemary Boeglin, News Editor

February 25, 2011

The East College Street Project has become home to several new businesses in recent months. Although Gary Boyle, City of Oberlin Planning Director, said the city does what it can to make Oberlin attractive to businesses, growth is ultimately in the hands of the private sector. “We set sort of a policy framework and a zoning framework and put the utilities in place to allow certain things to happen, but the private marketplace, the building or property owners and investors, they are the ones that actually do things. It really comes at the initiative of individuals that own property to submit project proposals and have them reviewed by the planning commission, or if need be, city council.” The East College Street...

SURF: Pence and Heartbeat Attack Abortion and Womens’ Healthcare Access

Carmelita Rosner

February 25, 2011

Three pieces of legislation have attacked abortion in the past two months. Ohio’s “Heartbeat” Bill, which significantly limits the time frame in which a woman can get an abortion, was introduced by Republican state legislators in February. The Pence Amendment, a national bill which cuts Planned Parenthood funding, was passed though the House last weekend. If passed, January’s House Resolution 3 would prohibit the use of government money for health benefit coverage that includes abortion. Some of these bills, according to Oberlin College Students United for Reproductive Freedom, don’t just attack abortion — they attack all womens’ “right to quality health care.” The “Heartbeat” Bill, introduced...

AMP Ohio Scraps Plans to Build Meigs County Gas Plant

Lila Leatherman, News Editor

February 18, 2011

After years of planning and discussion, American Municipal Power–Ohio has decided not to build its gas-powered power plant in Meigs County, Ohio, choosing instead to buy a gas plant that is currently in construction outside Fremont, Ohio. The city of Oberlin, though a member of AMP, was not scheduled to receive power from the proposed Meigs County Plant. Oberlin withdrew its support from the plant in February 2008 following student protests and a lengthy City Council meeting. The Council made its decision because of environmental and financial concerns. Elisa Young, an anti-coal activist who has spoken at Oberlin several times, addressed environmental and social concerns about a coal-fired power plant during...

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