The Oberlin Review

On Addressing Student Stress, Oberlin Must Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

David Mathisson, Columnist

December 17, 2019

Recently, Student Senate presented findings on mental health to the Board of Trustees. I’d like to thank fellow Senators, including College third-year Emma Edney and College second-years Raavi Asdar and Kofi Asare, for leading Senate’s efforts in this area. They identified a distinct connection between the mental health of students and investment in student happiness. Their presentation made it clear that Oberlin must expand resources available in times of crisis; invest in areas that impact Oberlin students’ day-to-day happiness — i.e. housing and dining; invest in adding more events to the community social scene; and eventually upgrade Wilder Hall so it can justifiably be called a student union. Investments...

Hong Kong Protesters Hold Tight to ‘One Country, Two Systems’

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

December 13, 2019

 The youngest generation of Hong Kong’s citizens has never seen anything like the summer and fall of 2019. Protests that broke out in March of this year in response to a controversial criminal extradition bill have since morphed into a massive, complex, and well-organized civil uprising. Looming over Hong Kong’s civilian protest movement is the specter of mainland China, to which Hong Kong was repatriated in 1997 after a century and a half of British colonial rule. Hong Kong has since received special status within China — commonly referred to as “one country, two systems” — allowing the city to maintain a liberal economy, protection from the Chinese Communist Party’s influence, and limited participatory democ...

Statute of Limitations Harms Victims, Should Be Repealed

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

December 6, 2019

 Democrats in the Ohio General Assembly have recently introduced a bill to the state legislature that would abolish the statute of limitations for sex crimes in the state. This same bill would also eliminate exemptions for sex crimes including spousal rape and sexual battery.  The introduction of the bill comes in response to Governor Mike Dewine’s comments following the exposure of previous sex crimes committed at The Ohio State University. Richard Strauss, a former athletic trainer at OSU, was found to have committed at least 177 separate cases of sexual abuse during his time at the university between 1979 and 1996. Strauss committed suicide in 2005.  Despite the number and severity of these cases, it is...

Land Mines Remain a Global Security Issue, Must Be Addressed

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

December 6, 2019

 In the canon of weaponry often involved in crimes against humanity, what comes to mind for most people is a realm of technology including biological weapons, chemical gas, and drones. However, in recent decades, land mines have risen to prominence as a grave security threat for civilian populations in war-torn countries and disputed territories. This is because landmines are an indiscriminate weapon; because they are triggered by the victim instead of the attacker, there is no assurance that a buried mine will not take the life of a child, civilian, medic, or aid worker. Some land mines will stay active for decades after the conflict for which the mine was laid has come to a close and can be triggered in unrelated ...

Outward-Facing Philosophy Deeply Rooted in Oberlin’s History

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

November 22, 2019

 Editor’s note: This column is part of a series that will focus on Oberlin’s history as a town and an institution. The series will be published regularly throughout the fall semester. When then-First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at Oberlin’s commencement ceremonies in 2015, she had the institution’s social justice reputation in mind. “If you truly wish to carry on the Oberlin legacy of service and social justice, then you need to run to, and not away from, the noise,” Obama said. “Today, I want to urge you to actively seek out the most contentious, polarized, gridlocked places you can find. Because so often, throughout our history, those have been the places where progress really happens — the pl...

Ethnic Cleansing Threatens Uighurs

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

November 22, 2019

 In mid-November, The New York Times released a trove of leaked Chinese Communist Party files detailing a massive government crackdown in the northwestern Chinese state of Xinjiang. The leaked pages make a clear statement: China has systematically targeted, imprisoned, and mistreated members of the Uighur ethnic minority who have traditionally called Xinjiang home.  Several of the leaked documents detail a private speech by President Xi Jinping to party officials in which he argues that the Uighurs, a Muslim religious minority, are Islamic extremists whose dangerous ideologies must be vigorously suppressed. In the leaked pages, Jinping asserts that “the struggle against terrorism, infiltration and separatism...

Ohio Legislature Gun Control Debate Reveals Poor Priorities

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

November 15, 2019

 Just over three months ago, a mass shooting at Ned Peppers — a local bar in Dayton, OH — left 27 injured, 17 from gunshot wounds. Ultimately, nine people died as a result of the shooting on Aug. 4, 2019. When the shooter fired into a large crowd at the bar, he was carrying an automatic rifle that held 100 rounds, which he had previously ordered online from a Texas distributor. He also had numerous ammunition magazines with him, along with body armor, a mask, and hearing protection. Until the time of the shooting, he had been hiding the gun and the ammunition magazines at a friend’s apartment. Aside from a few traffic violations, Betts had no prior criminal record — although he had allegedly been suspend...

What Can We Do About Foreign ISIL Fighters?

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

November 15, 2019

 After eight years of bloody conflict in Syria, numerous brutal and horrific urban battles, and the slaughter of thousands of members of Iraq and Syria’s religious and ethnic minorities, the infamously brutal Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant finally appears to be subdued. The terrorist group once controlled territory spanning from the rich oil fields of Northern Iraq to the urban and rural heartlands of Eastern Syria. Now, most of ISIL’s living fighters sit captive in holding camps throughout the Syrian northeast — an area that’s controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces — and in the prison cells of the Iraqi judicial system. Now that major campaigns against the terrorist organization have concluded,...

Oberlin in Late ’60s, Early ’70s Leaves Lessons for Today

Oberlin in Late ’60s, Early ’70s Leaves Lessons for Today

November 8, 2019

 Editor’s note: This column is part of a series that will focus on Oberlin’s history as a town and an institution. The series will be published regularly throughout the fall semester. Over the course of just a couple weeks in the spring of 1970, Oberlin students heralded the first Earth Day with a series of campus speakers and workshops, held an anti-war protest following a national address by President Richard Nixon, and mourned the traumatic deaths of four Kent State University students at ...

Course Registration Issues Remain Unaddressed

David Mathisson, Columnist

November 8, 2019

 The student community elected me to Student Senate so that I could push a three-point policy plan. You’ve probably heard about the first point: improving the variety, quality, and value of goods at DeCafé. While there’s plenty to be done, we’ve made substantial progress since the beginning of the semester. We’ve also been working hard at the second point, which is improving transparency in the Office of Residential Education. The third point is pushing a multifaceted policy package to fix course selection. With course selection for the spring semester coming up, there’s no better time to share my policy package than now. While I was campaigning, several first-year students asked me why my course registrati...

Campus Cornerstones: The History Buried in Our Walls

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

October 11, 2019

 Editor’s note: This column is part of a series that will focus on Oberlin’s history as a town and an institution. The series will be published regularly throughout the fall semester.  In January 1886, just over two decades after it was built, Oberlin’s second Ladies’ Hall burned down. After the smoke of Oberlin’s first major fire cleared, the building’s cornerstone was opened, revealing a collection of documents placed inside when it was originally laid in 1861. It was common practice in early Oberlin to fill cornerstones with mementos of the time, not to be viewed again until the building they supported came down. Among the second Ladies’ Hall collection was the town’s charter; Oberlin Colleg...

LGBTQ+ Solidarity More Important Now Than Ever

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

October 11, 2019

 The Supreme Court is in the process of hearing three different cases from New York, Georgia, and Michigan that will decide the future of LGBTQ+ rights in the workplace. Two of the three cases have been combined because both plaintiffs were fired immediately after coming out as gay in their workplace; the third case involves a transgender woman who was fired immediately after coming out to her superiors and informing them that she would be transitioning in the future.  Despite the differences in the cases, all three claim that being fired on the basis of sexuality or gender identity violates the rights guaranteed to the plaintiffs by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and constitutes discrimination on the ba...

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