Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

DeCafé Employee Expresses Gratitude, Bids Farewell

Kathy Baker, DeCafé Grill Cook/Counter Cook/Cashier

December 9, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: My name is Kathy. I work in Wilder Hall in DeCafé. Most of you see me when I’m working on the cash register. Some of you may know I’m retiring this December. I want to say a few things to you, the students, before I go. Thank you. You cannot know how much you have enriched my life over the years. Thank you for your energy and your humor. They have sustained me. Thank you for the conversations we’ve had — wonderful conversations about your families, your travels, your studies, your plans for the future. I have so enjoyed these interactions with you. Thank you for the invitations to your recitals and performances. I have thoroughly enjoyed attending and have been amazed by your talents! Thank you ...

Trump Aspires to Greatness

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Professor of Africana Studies

December 9, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: President-elect Donald Trump wants to be a transformational president, honored just like Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln. But because of his ego, he wants to be elevated above them, to occupy the pantheon of greatness envied by all gods. In his first month as President-elect, he might have done a little more to unite the country. His march toward eternal greatness could have already begun had he first spoken to the nation with an undiluted message of unity, comfort and specific reassurances to those who felt most threatened and unsafe, followed by any number of rallies in stadiums to which all were invited, especially those who did not vote for him — not rallies designed for him to thank...

Rosenfeld Misrepresented

Sidney Rosenfeld, Professor Emeritus of German

December 2, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: In his Review report on Dr. Karega’s dismissal (“Karega Fired After Split Faculty Recommendations,” Nov. 18, 2016), Oliver Bok misrepresented what I had written in my April 23 letter to the Review (“College Fails to Address Antisemitism on Campus,” 2016). Nowhere in the letter did I “criticiz[e] the College’s failure to fire Karega last spring,” nor did I imply such criticism. Rather, I focused solely on the College’s failure to call antisemitism by its name. To forestall more confusion, I’ll add that my one-sentence email letter cited in the Review Nov. 18 was written at Oliver’s request after Dr. Karega’s dismissal had been announced. I stick to the content of both letters. ...

Cohesion Critical for Oberlin Community

Officers of the Oberlin Alumni Association

November 18, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: This has been a difficult week on the Oberlin campus and for the alumni community, specifically because of the election results and the process itself, the student arrests arising from an incident at Gibson’s and now the dismissal of Dr. Joy Karega. As the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association, and given the quick turnaround required to get this to press, we feel individually compelled to respond to the community. People are divided in their opinions, reactions and feelings, all of which are valid, important and deserve to be heard. The outcomes of existing laws, structures and governance processes do not necessarily yield results with which everyone can feel happy and supportive. We diffe...

Cooperative Eating Offers Solace

Members of the OSCA Board of Directors

November 18, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: The events of this past week, both national and local, have unsettled members of the Oberlin community and specifically those of us in the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association. We, as members of the OSCA Board of Directors, support those who fear for their safety and personhood in the wake of these events. We recognize that the recent decisions made on the national level and the local incident of racial profiling are symptomatic of institutionalized oppression. As an organization that considers social justice as central to our mission, we denounce the recent attacks against marginalized communities and offer them our undivided support. In this period of intense activism, the time we take to cook and...

Local Businesses Fill Community Needs

Lynn Haessly, OC ’79

November 18, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: There is a sentiment among certain Oberlinians — both town and college — that it’s OK to steal from Gibson’s Bakery and other stores downtown, so says my 17-year-old Oberlin High School son. My thought is that love and compassion can go a long way toward mending these issues. I call on students and shoppers to develop relationships with workers at local stores. Interact with them as human beings. Look them in the eye as you conduct transactions. Be honest and above-board. I can tell you that, as an Oberlin resident, I have done this and the results are amazing. With some workers, who can be sullen and disinterested, it has taken sometimes years to develop positive relationships, but it has...

Protest Suggests Misplaced Outrage

Roger Copeland, Professor of Theater and Dance

November 18, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: I’ve known the Gibson family for many years and find it very difficult to believe that any of them would engage in the odious practice of racial profiling. I also know that their family-owned business has been hit hard by shoplifters in recent months, and based on newspaper accounts of the Oberlin Police Department’s investigation of this incident, I see no reason to suspect that Allyn Gibson is guilty of anything other than forcefully confronting a shoplifter. Furthermore, the timing of the protest (which began within 48 hours of Tuesday night’s disastrous election returns) suggests a classic case of misplaced outrage. As in: “The realization that Donald J. Trump will become our next President ...

Obamacare Needs Clinton’s Reforms

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

November 4, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: As decent as Barack Obama was, most white Americans did not vote for him even though they had two chances — first in 2008 and again in 2012. The reason that they did not vote for the first black president was, arguably, possibly due more to their disagreement with his policies than with the fact that he was black. Hillary Clinton, the first female to be a major party’s top nominee for the presidency, may get close to 90 percent of the black vote. Her policies are much closer to Obama’s than to Donald Trump’s. But they are quite different. On the one hand, she definitely intends to support the concept of Obamacare, that rather unbelievable notion that all Americans should have access to good med...

Alumni Can Provide Support for Students

William Yon, OC '10

November 4, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Did you know that every current student is an Oberlin alumnus already? It’s true. By merely attending Oberlin for a single semester, you are officially a member of the alumni community (check out Section 2 of the Alumni Association Bylaws). And since you are a member of the alumni community, you have as much of a stake as anyone in Oberlin’s reputation in the world beyond it. The “alumni” label, when used on social media, or in letters to the editors for the Review, describes a broad community of diverse thought, because not all groups with “alum” in their names really represent all of the alumni community. Here’s another thing about the Oberlin alumni community. You have agency in it. Wha...

College Must Protect Academic Freedom

Anh Lê, Parent of an Oberlin alumnus

November 4, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS, Uncategorized

To the Editors: I recently learned of Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition Joy Karega being put on leave of absence. Oberlin is renowned for its tradition of intellectual inquiry, free thought, rigorous debate and exchange of ideas. I call on Oberlin College to protect the College’s adherence and commitment to the values of academic freedom, free speech and intellectual inquiry. I urge Oberlin to deliberate this matter with rational discourse, integrity and fairness. One doesn’t have to necessarily agree or disagree with some of the Facebook contents that Professor Karega posted. Discussions of different social and political issues are vital to the Oberlin College community, including topics such as divestment ...

Alumni Association Values Inclusivity

Wendell P. Russell, Jr., Alumni Leadership Council member

October 28, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: During the weekend of October 7–9, members of the leadership body of the Oberlin Alumni Association — the Alumni Leadership Council — were in Oberlin for meetings, to participate in the dedication of the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center and to attend the celebration of the conclusion of the Oberlin Illuminate campaign. As a current member of the ALC, who is serving as the representative of the chartered group the Oberlin Alumni Association of African Ancestry, and who had the privilege of serving as president of the [Alumni] Association during 2005–2007, I thought it might be helpful for the current student body to be provided a brief overview of the Association and the ALC. This overview is importan...

Student Feedback Crucial for Change

Tim Elgren, Andrea Kalyn, Meredith Raimondo

October 7, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS, Recent Stories

To the Editors: At a time when higher education faces significant pressure to make good on its promises of equity and inclusion, and in light of debates on our own campus about the impact of discrimination and bigotry — including anti-Black racism and anti-Semitism — we ask that all members of the Oberlin community contribute to institutional change by sharing any information about experiences of bias in our educational environment. Oberlin is committed to addressing any discrimination and bigotry on campus, using processes designed to protect the rights of affected individuals and the intellectual integrity of the academic program. We encourage individuals who may have questions or be concerned with participatin...

Established 1874.