The Oberlin Review

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...

OCOPE Resolutions Indicate Larger Issues in Community

Tracy Tucker

April 13, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Many people have asked what caused Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees to file charges with the National Labor Relations Board and take grievances to arbitration. Simply put, these actions were taken to protect the contractual rights of administrative assistants on campus. Oberlin College refused to adhere to long-standing policies and practices that were agreed upon and included in the OCOPE-Oberlin College contract years ago. Some of the disputed matters include hiring procedures, assigning administrative assistant work to non-bargaining unit positions, and refusing to provide information necessary for OCOPE to properly administer the contract and represent members. Language in the contra...

American College System Destroys Real Liberalism

Howard Sachs

April 6, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: This letter contains mentions of violence. To the Editors: Nathan, thank you for your thoughtful piece on gun control. I respond with respect. I used to be Jewish and a Democrat. Unfortunately, the Democratic party has now almost completely abandoned liberalism and instead embraced the illiberal value system called leftism. I am still a passionate liberal. Now, they call us constitutional conservatives. I certainly understand your values regarding gun control. However, I consider them, in general, highly illiberal and very harmful to us all. Here is why. First, like or not, believe it or not, leftism is a child-like value system. It appeals to people because all of us have a deep and strong drive to be ...

Leona Grigsby Finds Excellent Candidate in Charlita Anderson White

Leona Grigsby

March 30, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Magistrate Charlita Anderson White is a glowing example of professionalism, intuition, and legal knowledge. She is the only candidate with 19 years as a domestic relations court jurist. I met her almost 20 years ago while I was assigned to her courtroom to interpret for Deaf participants. Her patience, fairness, knowledge of the law, and her compassion impressed me. I always felt privileged to be assigned to her courtroom. She has a wonderful way of reassuring Court participants. Children, parents, lawyers, and witnesses have been confident that they are safe and their rights have been being protected for over 19 years. She has presided over trials, pre-trials, motion hearings, and many other procee...

Communal Support Imperative in Fighting for Tolerance

David H. Finke

March 30, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: I was heartened to be able to join several hundred other Obies on March 14 at the bandstand in solidarity with school kids across the country walking out to protest gun violence. Hearing from the College’s dean and the city’s mayor added to the event. Later we learned of a walkout by Oberlin High School students — which was initially prohibited — adding their numbers to the over 3,000 such expressions of outrage and solidarity. This nationwide manifestation of youth activism will alter the political landscape. I’d like to share a statement adopted by our local Quaker Meeting that speaks to the immediate and underlying issues: Oberlin Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) share...

Alums Disrespected, Tricked By Oberlin Alumni Association

Stan Robinson

March 30, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: A word to the wise from a 1962 alumnus: After graduation, prepare for a lifetime of slick marketing and disingenuous representations by the Oberlin Alumni Association. I’m one of 1,720 alumni who just learned the hard way not to trust OAA’s promises. OAA has just reneged on a promise it made roughly 15 years ago, which 1,720 of us chose to rely on, and it’s hitting me like a ton of bricks. OAA’s promise was a permanent free email forwarding service. This is different from a normal email address. It invisibly forwards all messages it receives for you to your actual email address, which can, and often will, change from time to time. People change their email addresses, or adopt additional ones, ...

Comprehensive Evaluation Essential For Academic Success

Daphne John, Bill Quillen, and Ross Peacock

March 30, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Every 10 years, Oberlin College is formally reviewed by our accreditor, The Higher Learning Commission. A successful review is necessary to award accredited degrees, thereby demonstrating quality and maintaining good standing with the U.S. Department of Education and Oberlin’s eligibility for federal financial aid funds. The HLC reviews Oberlin as a single institution and assesses formal educational activities, governance and administration, financial integrity, student services and resources, academic achievement, organizational effectiveness, and relationships with outside constituencies. A team of faculty and administrators has been preparing for the actual site visit on Oct. 15, 2018 conducted by a...

Publication of Numerous Articles Attempts to Censor Conversation

Jonathan Karpatkin

March 30, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: By publishing no fewer than three responses to Jacob Britton’s letter on AR-15s, The Oberlin Review showed that its interest is not in dialogue but in punishment for holding dissenting opinions. The commentary by the two editors of the Review in particular is built on straw horses and unfinished arguments. When Roman Broszkowski and Julia Peterson write about grenades, they twist Britton’s argument. They jump from arguing about the individual right to bear arms as established by District of Columbia v. Heller to attacking the stance that all weapons should be legal, a stance which Britton does not take. Grenades aren’t firearms, nor AR-15s, nor have they been used prolifically in mass violence. Bri...

Britton’s Argument Collapses Under Scrutiny

Jade Schiff

March 9, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Editorial To the Editors: Jacob Britton’s argument about the Founding Fathers and AR-15s is bold and contrarian, and I admire him for having the courage of his convictions. However, his argument does not stand up logically or empirically. At a time when American politics is infected from the top down by disdain for truth and reason, such deficiencies cannot go unanswered. Britton writes: “The Supreme Court interprets original Constitutional amendments in the historical context of the Founders.” This statement conflates the two dominant modes of judicial interpretation: originalism and contextualism. According to the first, what matters is the intent the Founders. According to the second, interpretation is determi...

Founding Fathers Would Approve of AR-15 Sales

Jacob Britton

March 2, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: This letter is a response to the op-ed by Booker C. Peek regarding AR-15s and Constitutional law (“Constitution Does Not Automatically Permit AR-15s,” The Oberlin Review, Feb. 23, 2018). Toward the beginning of their case, Peek briefly reflects on the tragic mass shooting in Florida. As someone who was born and raised in Florida, I certainly share my condolences with the families of the victims, and I understand why many people are pushing for gun legislation and Constitutional amendments on assault weapons. As a person who shares Peek’s sympathy for the victims of mass shootings, I think it is important to also use those feelings to properly assess solutions while preserving Constitutional law. K...

Constitution Does Not Automatically Permit AR-15s

Booker C. Peek

February 23, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: The AR-15 must be banned. Like the M-16 used in Vietnam by our military, the AR-15 was designed to kill as many enemy soldiers as possible with the greatest ease and efficiency. Some argued fiercely in the ’60s that the AR-15 should have been our weapon of choice on the battlefield, not the M-16. Today, the M-16 is not available to the public, but the AR-15 is. It has been the ideal weapon for mass killings and was used in Florida a week ago to slaughter 17 of the brightest lights for our future: those high-school students and young teachers just moments before their school day was to end. Instead, their lives ended. In 2008, the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the most revered co...

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