The Oberlin Review

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...

Student Accessibility Advocates Warrant More Credit

Elizabeth C. Hamilton, Associate Professor of German

October 7, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Sydney Allen’s article, “Report Unpacks Campus Climate on Disability,” (The Oberlin Review, Sept. 16, 2016) gives the Working Group on Disability and Access too much credit for a unique and successful peer-mentoring program. I write to correct the notion that we founded Student Accessibility Advocates, or SAAs. We did not. Sponsored by the Office of Disability Services, the SAAs were well-established by the time our working group first convened. If our work was at all successful, it is due in no small measure to the input of student member and SAA Rebecca Klein, as well as the SAAs’ leader, Associate Director of Disability Services Isabella Moreno. As an Oberlin press release in 2012 and a 2016 artic...

Symposium Features Constructive Dialogue

Melissa Landa, President, Oberlin Alums for Campus Fairness

September 30, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS, Recent Stories

To the Editors: On behalf of the Oberlin Chapter of Alums for Campus Fairness, I want to thank all who attended our symposium, “Building a Hate-Free Campus Through Civil Discourse.” More than 60 people participated in the event, including students, faculty, administrators, clergy and town residents. Despite some pre-event concerns voiced by students, the symposium was productive. For 45 minutes before the symposium began and during the 45-minute question-and-answer session, interactions occurred among students, alumni and the speakers — Kenneth L. Marcus, Chloe Simone Valdary and Stacey Aviva Flint. In spite of difficult questions, student criticism of ACF and complex and sensitive topics, the tone remained ...

Alumni Misrepresent Student Experiences

J Street U Oberlin Board

September 30, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: In light of the recent [Oberlin Alums for Campus Fairness] symposium, “Building a Hate-Free Campus through Civil Discourse,” it is important for students to come together and engage with the complicated dynamics of anti-Semitism, Israel-Palestine politics on campus and alumni involvement in the narratives portrayed about Oberlin. Student Senate wrote a letter with the intent to engage with these topics (“Student Senate Condemns OCACF Actions,” Sept. 23, 2016, The Oberlin Review). J Street U’s lack of involvement in the letter was due to numerous circumstances, including differences of opinion with some of its content and limited time to contribute effectively. While individuals associated ...

Committees Allow for More Student Input

Rachel Mead, College senior

September 23, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS, Recent Stories

To the Editors: Students at Oberlin seem to feel that they are in the dark about how the institution functions, and rightly so. There is very little information readily available for us to answer questions like those posed in last week’s article, “Program Cuts Leave Film Students with Questions,” involving how departments grow and shrink (The Oberlin Review, Sept. 16, 2016). This doesn’t have to be the case. For the third year in a row, I am sitting on the College Educational Plans and Policies Committee, the group charged with, among other things, doing program reviews of every department and program every few years; discussing and making recommendations for other short and long term curricular directions...

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