The Oberlin Review

Letter to the Editors: Student Challenges Free Speech Organization

Owen Henry

April 6, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: In last week's issue you had a letter lauding the efforts of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in promoting free speech on college campuses nationwide. Assuredly, the advancement of free speech is something close to, dare I say, every Obie's heart, even though our own College rulebook imposes extreme limits on it. But at the same time, let us not conflate the sanctity of the concept with FIRE itself. While its work is certainly invaluable in many cases, anyone willing to do a little digging will realize FIRE is not merely dedicated to preserving civil liberties; it also has a decidedly conservative interpretation of what requires defending as “free speech.” First, let us speak...

Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians to Host Free Speech Expert

James Kuntz

March 18, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: American colleges and universities have long been regarded as bastions of free speech and free thinking, Oberlin College included. Throughout the school’s almost 200-year history, Oberlin students have been celebrated for speaking against political, religious and cultural persecution, and to this day school administrators present the College as a stronghold of unrestricted inquiry that furthers core democratic values. Despite this reputation, America’s colleges and universities often maintain illiberal and unconstitutional policies that deny these same fundamental rights to students and faculty. To ensure that Oberlin College policies do not escape scrutiny and that students and faculty remain...

Ex-Obie Explains Alumni Association

Rick Pender

March 18, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Did you know that Oberlin College alumni established an association in 1839? That’s 172 years of grads who have loved Oberlin and how it shaped them as people who make a difference in the world. Seventeen decades of alumni have found ways to make a difference and to give back in support of future generations of students. I graduated from Oberlin in 1971 with a degree in English. I’ve worked in the communications field for many years, using many of the fundamental skills I learned during my four years in college. I could not have afforded those years were it not for generous alumni before me who supported the Alumni Fund. I benefited from their generosity, but I didn’t really start to think...

Professor Finds Math Description Problematic

Manish Mehta

March 18, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: In classical antiquity, a study of the artes liberales consisted of seven subjects. Grammar, logic and rhetoric comprised the core, the trivium, and arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music the remainder, the quadrivium. This framework still casts a shadow on modern higher learning, but sadly not the Review. While browsing the weekly calendar spread last week, I was startled to read your announcement for the Fuzzy Vance Lecture Series. Following the particulars, your annotation said, “If you’re one of those people who are actually into/excell at math, this is for you, you odd little demographic.” Can you imagine applying the same language to any other announcement in that spread? I challe...

Tony Screening Addresses Lord’s Resistance Army

Justin Halliwill

March 18, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: While most of the world focuses its attention on events in the Middle East, and even those who don't follow current events manage to catch a brief glimpse of the strikes against civil protesters through the tube, I would like to remind our campus of other events in the international arena that are maiming and displacing civilian populations. I am writing of a small department in the North of Uganda, and the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Joseph Kony operates a guerrilla insurgency out of Verunga National Park. For over two decades, the Lord's Resistance Army has led a violent insurgency against the Ugandan government. The LRA has mutilated remote communities and towns who are...

America in Midst of Class Warfare

Ben Master

March 18, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Pete Sabo correctly connects the dots between wealth stratification, the Republican-capital alliance and the recent attacks on public-sector unions (“America Approaching Class Warfare,” The Oberlin Review, March 11). But some further analysis and contextualization is necessary. America is not “approaching class warfare.” We have been in the midst of class warfare, or better put, a lopsided class drubbing, for the last 35 years. As Doug Fraser, former president of the United Auto Workers (’77–’83), wrote in 1978: “I believe leaders of the business community, with few exceptions, have chosen to wage a one-sided class war today in this country — a war against working people, the unem...

Letter to the Editor: Review Letter on Fenty Presents Faulty Premise

Paul Dawson

March 11, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: In a recent letter to the editor, (“Fenty Illegitimately Fired College Alumnus,” The Oberlin Review, March 4, 2011), Erich Martel, a Washington, D.C. Social Studies teacher, used a half-truth to leap, inductively and incorrectly, to a faulty premise. Upon this premise, Martel launched an ad hominem and slanderous attack upon a distinguished public servant, Adrian Fenty, OC ’92, the former Mayor of the District of Columbia. Martel simultaneously avoided the real issue: Namely, did the Fenty Administration help the public school children of the District or not? The half-truth: Mr. Martel left out one-half of the description of the course Mr. Fenty and I will co-teach in the fall semester: POLT...

The Incoherence of “Political Correctness”

Gil Spears

March 11, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Although the content of Dan Savage’s speech last week may not be worth in-depth reflection, I do think his visit is a good occasion for us to meditate on the prevailing political mood on campus these days. Savage is certainly an inflammatory and sometimes offensive public figure. But last week, his high-minded (and highly limited) project for "LGBTQ rights” against “bullying” was taken as symptomatic of nothing else but the entire architecture of political power itself — from race, class, gender and sexuality, all the way to union rights and the prison-industrial complex (the last two issues were raised during the Q & A). The controversy that appeared in The Oberlin Review last week...

Charge the Real Domestic Terrorists

David E. Sonner

March 11, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: What a joy it was to read that the state of West Virginia has enacted anti-domestic terrorism legislation (The Oberlin Review, Feb 11, 2011). To quote from the article, "Under West Virginia law, acts of terrorism are described as acts that are 'likely to result in serious bodily injury or damage to property or the environment,’" or influence the conduct or policy of government by 'intimidation or coercion.'" Clearly then, it is the duty of West Virginia law enforcement officers and of West Virginia's justice system to identify, track down, capture, indict, try, convict and imprison all the rotten bastards who are guilty of such crimes. What a joy to muse on this inspiring sequence of events a...

Peace and Conflict Studies Group Explains Goals

Allegra Fonda-Bonardi and Al Carroll

March 11, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Think the nonviolent revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, Bahrain, etc. are spontaneous? Think again! News sources as diverse as the New York Times, the BBC and Radio Free Europe have reported that not only were they several years in planning, but these revolutions also owe a debt of gratitude to a shy intellectual named Gene Sharp. Sharp has been publishing books on nonviolent social change for over 50 years, and his how-to manual, From Dictatorship to Democracy, is currently available in 24 languages, from Amharic to Vietnamese. The most potent vindication of Sharp’s political theories came in their adoption by a Serbian student and youth movement, Otpor!, which was instrumental...

Active Minds Explains Goals

Active Minds

March 4, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: It has been brought to the attention of Active Minds at Oberlin that some students have been worried about the nature of the posters around campus intended to raise awareness for National Eating Disorders Awareness week. Students expressed concern that some of the posters may, in fact, act as triggers and cause those suffering from eating disorders to relapse. We want to assure fellow students this was not the intention of the posters. Conversely, coupled with our tabling in the latter half of the week, our goal was to promote not only awareness, but also the resources available to those currently struggling with eating disorders. The National Eating Disorders Association hotline (1-800-931-2237)...

Oberlin Students for Israel Respond to Criticism

Oberlin Students for Israel

March 4, 2011

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Last week, Sgt. Benjamin Anthony said that real peace needs to be more than just a political agreement, a sentiment with which Oberlin Students for Israel wholeheartedly agrees. The beginning of such a peace is understanding each other and actively learning about the intricacies of the situation, rather than merely painting the circumstances in black and white. It is a conscious choice to ignore the shades of grey. Rejecting dialogue as a tool in promoting peace impedes mitigation of the conflict by narrowing our understanding of the full spectrum of narratives. As such, while we disagreed with some of Anthony’s opinions, we were disappointed, disheartened and at times appalled by the conduct of i...

Established 1874.