The Oberlin Review

Event Ignored Discorse and Debate

Quinton Steele

February 25, 2011

To the Editors: When I entered Sgt. Benjamin Anthony’s talk, “Confessions of a Frontline IDF Soldier,” already prepared to protest, I was handed a leaflet from Students for Israel. It said, among other such sentiments, “You can be pro-Israel and be pro-Palestine; you can be pro-Israel and be anti-Occupation; you can be pro-Israel and be anti-Settlement; you can be pro-Israel and be pro-Peace.” I thought this a valid and comforting gesture — it showed a reasonable recognition of the failings and atrocities of the Israeli government. Sgt. Anthony showed absolutely none of the same. The talk was a moral crusade for the rightness of the occupation and subjugation of Palestine. I endured bitter minute...

Israeli Defense Sgt. to Speak

Hadas Binyamini, Leah Goldman, and Ari Feinberg

February 18, 2011

To the Editors: On Feb. 22, Oberlin Students for Israel is bringing Sgt. Benjamin Anthony to campus to speak about his experiences as a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces. Sgt. Anthony is a combat veteran and reservist in the IDF, and founder of the organization Our Soldiers Speak. The diversity of our student body exposes us to a variety of speakers and lectures throughout the year. As the student handbook says, “Oberlin College is committed to maintaining an environment where open, vigorous debate and speech can occur.” We believe that Sgt. Anthony brings a unique and controversial perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is not a representative of Oberlin Students for Israel’s opinions and vie...

Students Illegitimately Charged as Domestic Terrorists

Nathan Engstrom

February 18, 2011

To the Editors: In response to the recent article “Oberlin Student May Face Domestic Terrorism Charge” it is pretty amazing (in an awful way) that Big Coal would go after such well intentioned innocent people with so much venom and hatred. Very dehumanizing. Somewhere some lawyer, some CEO, some middle manager, some government stooge gets up and thinks about what he or she needs to do today and “prosecute activists as domestic terrorists” is on his or her list. What thoughts go through these people’s heads, and how do they live with themselves? It is profit, pure and simple, that is on their minds. They have all sold their souls to the $tockholder$, so if the bottom line is good, then they have done a...

Organizations Should Pay In Lieu of Taxes

Tony Mealy

February 18, 2011

To the Editors: Oberlin Schools and the city of Oberlin, like many other communities throughout Ohio, are experiencing budget shortfalls due to bad economic times. Payments in Lieu of Taxes is negotiated payments made by tax-exempt nonprofit organizations to the local government to help pay for local education and city services. Are we faced with the erosion of our local tax base when Oberlin College and Kendal purchase additional property? The rationale jurisdictions cite when soliciting contributions includes the loss of revenue from tax-exempt property, the cost of local services to the organization, budget shortfalls and a civic duty to be a “good neighbor” to the community. It is not fair to Oberlin resid...

Deans Address Recent YSU Shooting

Linda Gates, Molly Tyson, and Marjorie Burton

February 11, 2011

To the Editors: An Associated Press news story this past weekend reported a death and several injuries at Youngstown State University, a college community of less than 15,000 students in a city near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. This story reminds us all that things can go rapidly wrong from a seemingly ordinary situation — attendance at an off-campus party in a college-affiliated house. Two men who had been ejected from a party at the house were arrested in the fatal shooting that left one dead, one seriously injured, and a number of others who were treated for injuries and released. Six of the 10 less seriously injured were YSU students. The student who was fatally wounded, a well-respected student known in the...

Oberlin: A Spa for the Soul

Raquel Olivo

February 11, 2011

To the Editors: I attended my first Alumni Council Executive Board meeting in November, and was struck by a comment made by my colleague Cindy Brown, who chairs the Nominations Committee. Cindy described returning to Oberlin as a “spa for the soul” and I couldn’t agree more. For the past year and half I’ve returned to Oberlin on different occasions. First, I attended Alumni Council Weekend in September 2009, as a member of the Oberlin Latino/a Alumni Association. Next, I returned to celebrate my 10th reunion, during Commencement/Reunion Weekend in May 2010. Then, I attended another Alumni Council Weekend in September 2010. In the meantime, I was selected as an OLAA liaison to the Executive Board of the Alumni...

Celebrating Latino/a Heritage Month

Lorri Olan

December 11, 2009

To the Editors: Oberlin is a wonderful place to come of age. It attracts students and faculty with broad interests, strengths and gifts. Students grapple with issues of identity and purpose, explore life’s possibilities and their natural gifts, and learn to make their way in the world. As graduates, alumni commit themselves to advancing social justice, developing technology for science and health, serving the public, conscientiously managing businesses, reducing their carbon footprint, advancing educational opportunities for all, improving their communities and, in countless other ways, leaving their mark on the world, one step at a time. I have reached that certain age where you wonder if you have become who...

OSCA Policy Addresses ResEd Housing Issues

The OSCA Board of Directors

December 11, 2009

Last week the OSCA board passed a historic proposal affirming every student’s right to safe and comfortable housing. Transgender and gender-variant students who are having significant, unresolvable issues within ResEd are now able to jump the wait list into co-op housing. Why was this proposal necessary? ResEd’s current housing options for trans students often fail to meet their needs. All-gender housing is restricted to a few locations, it is not open to first-years, and trans students are not given priority to live there. Students may be placed in a room or hall based on their assigned sex rather than their gender identity, may not have access to an appropriate bathroom, and do not have sufficient institutional...

Famous for Being Famous: Considering the Celebutante

Alanna Bennett

December 11, 2009

It all began with Paris Hilton. With her inception into the Celebutante Hall of Fame in the early 2000s, Paris and her fellow socialites opened a door, spawning a sort of movement among the celebrity-wannabes of the world: if Paris and those chicks from The Hills can do it, so can you. These days, Andy Warhol’s predicttion that “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” rings truer than ever; the very concept of fame itself has these days become a relatively viable career option, with everything from tabloids, the Internet and the reality TV machine rallying behind it. The concept of being “famous for being famous” is not one American society has really ever been estranged from — in...

Palestine 101: Problematic and Polarizing

Zach Lewis, Eliana Golding, and Shoshana Silverman

December 11, 2009

To the Editors: Recently we attended Palestine 101. We write this as supporters of Israel and of a free Palestine. As potential allies, we are disappointed that the approach, content and language of this presentation were so alienating and polarizing. The method of this presentation included harmful generalizations and painted a black and white picture of history. Students spoke in great detail about the security wall that separates Israel and the Palestinian territory, while the Second Intifada, with its use of violence, which was central to the wall’s creation, was ignored and brushed aside as irrelevant to the discussion. Presenters also chose not to mention that since construction of the fence began, the number...

The Review Ineffectively Addresses AMP

David R. Ashenhurst

December 11, 2009

To the Editors: You could knock me over with a feather: The Oberlin News-Tribune, with far less time to put it together, actually presented the American Municipal Power Generating Station story better than The Oberlin Review did. That’s almost the first time in my memory, and certainly the first on a story with a significant environmental and policy dimension. Consider first that American Municipal Power issued a press release and held a press conference (though there is very little evidence the latter was anything more than the distribution of the press release) at noon the day before Thanksgiving. The hope is presumably that news coverage will be limited to a passing mention on the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Wedne...

Re-examining Safe Spaces

Avital Isaacs

December 4, 2009

To the Editors: William Elman’s letter to the editors in the last Review [“Safe Spaces Impede Interaction,” Nov. 20] seems to tread over familiar rhetorical territory, rather than address new “trends” in Oberlin’s culture. It may seem to him, and others, that Oberlin’s safe spaces exist as a politically correct inconvenience, an impediment in daily activities and to the pursuit of cultural knowledge. It may seem as though safe spaces promote “self-segregation,” which is antithetical to his understanding of Oberlin as a progressive community. My understanding of safe spaces is that they exist to address and provide a counterbalance to the daily discomfort and lack of access (not to mention increase...

Established 1874.