The Oberlin Review

EICD Act An Essential First Step In Climate Fight

Ray English, Director of Libraries Emeritus

September 20, 2019

 Many thanks to the Review for Alexa Stevens’ fine article and your good editorial about the Global Climate Strike (“Sunrise Strikes for Brighter Future” and “Oberlin Climate Strike Engages International Emergency,”, Sept. 13, 2019 ). Your editorial is absolutely right in stating that climate change is “a quickly-approaching emergency” and that “this is a fight of and for our lives.” It’s very heartening to see a worldwide movement of young people raising awareness of this issue and it’s exciting to see such engagement here in Oberlin. I’m looking forward to seeing what I hope will be massive global participation in the strike, accompanied by widespread media coverage.  I encourage everyone ...

Community Healing More Important Now Than Ever

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Professor of Africana Studies

September 20, 2019

 Almost two years ago, in 2017, I wrote you pleading for Oberlin College to seek an out-of-court settlement with the Gibson family (“Gibson’s Links Black People to Anti-Semitism,” The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017). But nothing seemed to take place until it was announced in April that efforts had failed and that the case was going to trial this past May. It did, and the jury ruled in favor of the Gibson family. Last week, I wrote again hoping that Oberlin College would appeal the local jury’s decision to award millions of dollars to the Gibson family (“College Should Respect Any Future Appeal Decision,” The Oberlin Review, Sept. 13, 2019). But after receiving more information, I urge the College to tr...

College Should Respect Any Future Appeal Decision

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Professor of Africana Studies

September 13, 2019

 Oberlin College should pay the Gibson family a lot more than the almost $25 million that the very fine Lorain County jury awarded if it is a fact that former President Marvin Krislov and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo aided and abetted the student demonstrators to engage in activities intended to bankrupt the Gibson family because the Gibsons are racist. Oberlin College should appeal this verdict. Replays in sports give officials a chance to make sure they made the right call. When the action is shown 10 or 20 times slower from every possible angle, sometimes the original decision is left to stand, and sometimes it is reversed. No matter the final call, some remain unhappy, while others ar...

Gibson’s Case Trivializes Actual Racism

Nicholas Isherwood, OC ’81

September 6, 2019

Like many alumni, I have followed the legal battle concerning Gibson’s Food Mart & Bakery with interest and horror. Decades of Oberlin students have enjoyed Gibson’s tasty doughnuts and other treats, and have come to know the family. I am not at all surprised that the jury ruled in favor of Gibson’s. Both the experience of Oberlin students and the facts of the case indicate that Gibson’s is not a racist business. Simply put, the shoplifters were caught and when the police arrived, they were assaulting Mr. Gibson.  Polarized race relations at Oberlin are not a new phenomenon. When I was a student in the late 1970s, my political organization, The Moderate Caucus, circulated a petition opposing the creatio...

Buffy Lukachko Excellent Bargaining Representative Candidate

Tracy Tucker, OCOPE Local 502 Administrative Assistant, Departments of Politics and Latin American Studies

May 10, 2019

UAW Local 2192 elections will be held Thursday, May 16. As a union member, I am writing to urge my UAW brothers and sisters to vote for Buffy Lukachko as your bargaining representative. Dedication, experience, knowledge, and determination are all qualities of a leader — all of which Buffy possesses, and then some. Buffy is someone who will protect and defend the rights of all UAW members and isn’t afraid to stand up to management. She is a force to be reckoned with.  Buffy has worked closely with the committee members of the We Are Oberlin Too campaign and the other unions on campus to reinforce our solidarity. She truly understands the importance of solidarity not only within the unions, but throughout the...

Erik Villar for UAW Chair

Buffy Lukachko, Member and Women’s Committee Co-Chair, UAW Local 2192

May 10, 2019

Brothers and Sisters of Oberlin College UAW Local 2192: I’m writing to you today to go on the record that I fully support Erik Villar’s candidacy for Chair of Oberlin College UAW Local 2192. Erik is uniquely qualified for this leadership position because he has worked in more than one department at Oberlin College, and therefore has a unique understanding of the school’s concerns. Erik began his career at Oberlin on the custodial staff as a part-time employee before securing a full-time position in Kitchen Maintenance. After five years, he transferred to the Transportation Department for a more stable work schedule. In 2016, Erik successfully bid on an open position in HVAC where he is currently a UAW Union...

Legion Field Garden Provides Vital Sense of Community

Peter Crowley, Coordinator South West Oberlin Residents Association

April 19, 2019

 On March 18, Oberlin City Council rejected Zion Community Development Corporation’s offer to donate garden tools, shed, and other materials used at Legion Field Community Garden to the City. The gardeners of Legion Field were told that managing community gardens would not be feasible with current City staff capacity. We then formed a new partnership with Our F.A.M.I.L.Y., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which already sponsors three gardens in Lorain County. We have also reached out to Madison Baker from the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Lorain County Community College to manage the garden.  This past week, Our F.A.M.I.L.Y. submitted a new draft of the user agreement to the City for council approval. The Cit...

AAPR Should Remove Unions From Recs

Chris Howell, James Monroe Professor of Politics

April 5, 2019

The Academic and Administrative Program Review Steering Committee has now made a series of public presentations and released a summary of its work to date. There is a lot to digest, but dotted throughout both the presentations and the summary report is information about employee costs — specifically those of the unionized hourly employees — and what appear to be implicit recommendations regarding the number of unionized employees, their wages and benefits, and the way the work they do is provided. It is not necessary to take a position on the information provided — whether our unionized workers are overpaid, or have benefits that are too generous, or should be eliminated, or have their jobs outsourced — in...

Oberlin Students Should Consider Decreasing Meat Consumption

Haven King-Nobles, College Senior

April 5, 2019

Imagine a world identical to ours, except for one aspect: No one eats meat. For whatever reason, however, billions of farm animals — many not unlike our pets — are still raised in horrific and unnatural conditions and then slaughtered after a few months. In this world, nothing is done with the meat these animals produce. It is simply thrown out. I think most of us have the intuition that such a world would be a moral atrocity. But how different is that world from our own, especially given that we waste roughly 40 percent of our food anyway? Does our demand for cheap meat — particularly from affluent households in affluent countries — justify the cruelty of factory farming? Roughly 70 billion land animals...

Faculty Letter to Save Arabic Language Program at Oberlin College

March 15, 2019

Arabic Studies Committee, the Middle East and North Africa Studies Program, and other language programs have read the statements of Acting Dean David Kamitsuka published in the Review last week (“Arabic Courses to Be Offered Digitally,” March 8, 2019). This letter responds to those statements. Additionally, it responds to other written correspondence between the Dean’s Office and faculty and students that occurred outside the above-mentioned article. 1. The acting dean stated that Arabic “enrollment levels have not been sustainable … in the last eight semesters of intermediate Arabic, course enrollment averaged four students per class.” As a matter of fact, between 2009 and 2019, Arabic language courses...

An Open Letter from Arabic 102

March 15, 2019

On Feb. 22, the Review published an article announcing that the Arabic teaching assistant position would be cut next year (“French and Arabic Teaching Assistant Programs Reduced”). This was quickly followed up with another article explaining that due to concerns over its long-term sustainability, Oberlin’s Arabic program would be cut and replaced with an online Shared Language Program (“Arabic Courses to Be Offered Digitally,” The Oberlin Review, March 8, 2019). As first-year Arabic language students, this decision saddens us. We strongly believe that this path will seriously harm Arabic study and related fields at Oberlin. However, as much as we have been upset by the decision to cut the Arabic program, we have ...

Students Should Rally in Support of Tom Reid

Jody Shanabrook, College Junior, Johnnie Kallas, and Erin Loschetter

March 1, 2019

In his 42 years as a student or staff member at Oberlin, former associate director of the Student Union Tom Reid, OC ’80, touched the lives of thousands of students and community members through his leadership at College Lanes, the Cat in the Cream, and the Wilder Hall Student Union Office. As current students, alumni, and members of the community, we are writing to voice our continued frustration with Oberlin College’s decision to eliminate Tom’s position. In September, we sent a petition to President Ambar calling for his reinstatement. The petition collected over 1,100 signatures and nearly 500 personal testimonials in less than a week. In November, a group of nearly 40 current students, alumni, staff, faculty,...

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