The Oberlin Review

Oberlin Students’ Volunteering Crucial for Environmental Success

Kate Pilacky, Associate Field Director, Western Reserve Land Conservancy Oberlin Field Office

September 14, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

I want to express my sincere thanks to the Bonner Center for Service and Learning, Oberlin College Grounds, and the first-year students and their supervisors for the hard work they put forth for the Day of Service on Sept. 1. Western Reserve Land Conservancy, with assistance from Oberlin College, has been working on the Kahn Woods and, more recently, the Keep Cottage Meadow for several years, restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat and creating an area for students to observe and enjoy nature on campus grounds. On Sept. 1, students and community members planted over 70 native flowering plants to provide habitat for pollinators and add beauty. If you are looking for a nice place to enjoy nature on campus, I encourage y...

College Owes Christie’s Victims Compensation

David Booth Beers, P ’11, West Hartford, CT

September 14, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Regarding The Boston Globe article about the resignation of Organ Department Chair James David Christie from Oberlin and at the College of the Holy Cross: As the parent of a gifted organist who studied with David Boe, Jack Mitchener, and others at Oberlin, I had several occasions to interact with Christie; the first when we looked at Holy Cross and he gave us the brush off — I saw and heard from many students that “the great man” was domineering, imperious, and narcissistic — all the qualities of a Harvey Weinstein. The fear and dread he instilled in his students was an open secret and obviously contrary to the tenets of a liberal arts institution like Oberlin. I have NO doubt that everyone knew of this alle...

Written Student Commentary Provides Important Feedback

Ross Peacock, Assistant Vice President, Institutional Research and Planning

September 14, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Oberlin College is seeking comments from the public about the College in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The College will host a visit Oct. 15–16 from a team of peer reviewers representing the Higher Learning Commission. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. Oberlin College has been accredited by HLC since 1913. Comments must be in writing and must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Submit comments to HLC at hlcommission.org/comment or mail them to the address below. All comments must be received by Sept. 18, 2018. Public Comment on Oberlin College High...

NFL Protest Debates Distract from Purpose

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

September 7, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Last week, America paid tribute to Aretha Franklin and John McCain, who both strove to make America greater than ever by unceasingly underscoring the need for us to embrace differences and engage with those whose views differ from our own. We are one people, one nation, and one world, in spite of the fights we may have on any given day. This Thursday, a new National Football League season starts. Many players want to bring an end to police brutality against blacks, and last year many did not stand for our National Anthem as a sign of protesting this violence. They have a right to do as they please, but there are consequences. One has been that their action has taken most of the attention off their go...

28th Amendment Would Separate Money, Politics

Ellen Greene Bush, American Promise Ohio

September 7, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Many Americans feel strongly about getting big and dark money out of politics. A recent survey by The Democracy Project found that 77 percent agreed that “the laws enacted by our national government these days mostly reflect what powerful special interests and their lobbyists want.” Only 17 percent chose the alternative statement: “The laws enacted by our national government these days mostly reflect what the people want.” The American Promise Ohio group asked the two candidates for the U.S. House, Ohio District 4, to support the goal of a 28th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution to “1) secure fair, free elections by limiting the undue influence of money in politics; 2) protect the rights of al...

Bon Appétit Falls Short on Promises, Disrespects Workers

Caitlin Kelley, Michael Kennedy, Eliza Guinn, Dylan Palmer, and Mirella Gruesser-Smith

May 11, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Editors Note: The following letter is a petition for Oberlin College to terminate its contract with Bon Appétit and to hire its own managers to run CDS. At the bottom of the letter, there will be a link to the petition and a link to personal accounts of current and former CDS workers. All of us at Oberlin, whether we are students, professors, staff, or administrators, have the same goal: making Oberlin College the best it can be. But the management of Oberlin dining services is not the best it can be. We call on Oberlin to adopt self-management to properly manage Campus Dining Services, improve the dining experience, and reduce wasteful spending. WHAT IS SELF-MANAGEMENT? Oberlin College followed a national trend...

Oberlin Students Must Re-Envision College Slogan

Donn Ginoza

May 4, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Oberlin students are familiar with the poster featuring the slogan: “Think One Person Can Change the World? So do we.” Changing the world is on the minds of the current generation of students. A recent Pacific Standard survey found that two-thirds of college students intend to change the world, and more than one-third think they will have an impact within five years. The slogan speaks to the idealism and energy that incoming students now bring to Oberlin. The survey researchers also note that liberal arts colleges produce a disproportionate number of leaders because they produce inquiring, less self-certain, and more concerned citizens. Admittedly, one person changing the world seems presumptuous. A vide...

Oberlin Must Present True Facts About Hotel

John H Scofield

May 4, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: I write to express my concern about the misleading and false claims being made by Oberlin College with regard to The Hotel at Oberlin. I understand that our nation has a President who lies on a regular basis and the public is apparently unwilling to hold him accountable. But is the College no different? A recent article in the Spring 2018 issue of the Oberlin College Alumni Magazine claims that “The hotel … is one of only five U.S. hotels to have qualified for the rigorous LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Its heating and cooling systems rely on a geothermal well field …” These claims are also posted on the Hotel’s website, www.thehotelatoberlin.com. Nearly...

College Should Have Avoided Union Violations

Phyllis J. Jones

April 20, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Nearly 50 years ago, a group of Oberlin office and library workers showed the courage and foresight to organize a new labor union on campus, Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees, to address the glaring inequities they faced as employees. Today, OCOPE continues to play an essential role in bringing economic justice to its 164 members. In early 2017, OCOPE filed charges on the basis of unfair labor practice with the National Labor Relations Board, whose recently-issued decision ruled in favor of the union. Furthermore, an arbitration heard this past December also found that the College had violated its contract with OCOPE. Labor disputes are costly for both sides, and the College has undoub...

Nation Would Benefit More From Political Unity Than Division

Booker C. Peek

April 20, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Most of us in this part of Ohio root for the Cavs, Browns, or the Cleveland baseball team. Most people in New York, California, Texas, Boston, etc. root for their local teams. All year long there is a healthy exchange among sports fans from various parts of our nation. Occasionally, each area has its moments to brag, though some areas seem to be a lot more favored than others. The division of opinions or the rooting for this or that team has many advantages to a thriving nation. However, there should never be any division among us as a people, a nation, as far as ensuring that the poor, especially, and others receive excellent healthcare, get a fine education, have good jobs, decent homes, feel saf...

Stevens Strategy Poses Potential Threat to Job Security, Program Funding

Matthew Senior and Marc Blecher

April 13, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: The following is a version of a letter posted to the faculty listserv and sent to President Ambar and faculty by Professor of Politics and East Asian Studies Marc Blecher in collaboration with Professor of French Matthew Senior. This revised version was provided to the Review by Blecher at the Review’s request. Because of the content’s potential impact on Oberlin students and faculty, we felt it appropriate to publish the text in full. Dear Colleagues: When Stevens Strategy was named to consult in our Academic and Administrative Program Review, many of us had immediate concerns and reservations. One look at the Stevens website raises suspicions that they hew to a corporate model of career-oriente...

Union Victory Provides Dignity to All Workers

Chris Howell

April 13, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: One of the dispiriting things about Oberlin College is the disjunction between the analytical tools and burning social justice values that we teach and discuss in class, and the application of those same tools and values when it comes to the largely invisible labor performed by workers at the College. This is an institution that would collapse without its custodians, administrative assistants, dining hall workers, librarians, and the myriad other workers who allow the school to function. We are attuned to manifestations of power in its most fine, capillary forms, to privilege and microaggression in language and glance, as we should be. But when it comes to these workers, we are all suddenly neoliberals...

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