The Oberlin Review

It Gets Better Promotes Hazardous Quietism Among At-Risk Population

Benjamin Morrison, Columnist

March 11, 2011

I should preface this article by saying that I think Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project, a suicide-prevention project for LGBTQ youth, is saving lives. I have no evidence for this except common sense and Savage’s anecdotes. Given how young It Gets Better is, such evidence will have to suffice. It Gets Better may also be killing people. Perhaps this language is too strong, but the implications of the project’s message and its very title are unacceptably dangerous to LGBTQ youth in situations of life-threatening violence. In his speech last Thursday, Savage said that It Gets Better grew out of a wish to speak to LGBTQ youth experiencing bullying and harassment in order to reduce suicide rates among that population....

Education Reform Focuses Solely on Schoolteachers: Social Services Determine Student Success

Monica Klein, Opinions Editor

March 11, 2011

Americans have always excelled at denial: I won’t gain weight if I eat this cheeseburger; my sneakers weren’t made by a child in China; this war in Afghanistan won’t go on for 10 more years. We dismiss the larger, looming reality of underage children sewing together our Nikes, because it is far too difficult to deal with the greater implications, and the possible life changes that we would have to make if we accepted these facts as truth. Today, the newest form of denial to sweep across America is the belief that schools are not affected by the social environment that surrounds them. In various states, governors, mayors, education chancellors and charter school advocates are perpetuating the myth of the isolated...

The Economics of Union Busting

George Berry, Columnist

March 11, 2011

The recent passage of SB5 in the Ohio State Senate marks another blow to the workers’ right to negotiate with large and often impersonal employers. If the bill passes the House, Ohio’s 350,000 public workers would be allowed only a certain type of arbitration, with ultimate power held by state and local governments. But Ohio’s budget problems are severe and require drastic changes — even if cutting compensation is the wrong change. Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker, who has emboldened the likes of John Kasich, faces far less severe budget problems. His insistence on “economic necessity,” however, has given union-busting proposals an air of legitimacy. It seems that Kasich, Florida’s Rick Scott and others...

Lena Taylor vs. Adrian Fenty: The Struggle for the Soul of the Demcratic Party

Shannon Ikebe, Staff Writer

March 11, 2011

“The day of infamy for Wisconsin workers.” This is how one of the Wisconsin’s 14 Democratic Senators described the Republicans’ illegal “passage” of the union-busting bill on Wednesday in a frontal, perverse assault upon the concept of democracy and the rule of law itself. The Republican victory in the Wisconsin struggles is still far from assured, thanks to the Wisconsin 14 and the protesters in Madison who have demonstrated courage and determination unprecedented in contemporary American politics. The Wisconsin 14 left the state for three weeks to defend the fundamental rights and dignity of public workers, fighting for Wisconsin workers in a way no one inside Wisconsin can; they were wholeheartedly backed...

Student Senate Sends Updates

Ilyssa Meyer

March 4, 2011

There were good vibes all around last Sunday night in Wilder 215 as we sat down to our first plenary with the new Senators. Senate now consists of eight students who have previously served and seven who are new to the job, creating a perfect blend of experience and fresh ideas. I truly believe last semester was somewhat of a transcendent time in the way Senate is perceived on campus. At our last plenary before the elections, we had more non-Senators than Senators in the room, speaking to the fact that people have begun to utilize Senate as a resource for activism and progress in Oberlin and beyond. As Liaison, I plan to continue on the progressive path that Senate set out on last semester, making the body not only an...

No Need to Agree with Me: Contextualizing Cap’n Crunch Prices

Lisa Mon'a Brown, Columnist

March 4, 2011

A 12 oz package of Chips Ahoy cookies: $4.77 A 14 oz package of Oreos: $6.75 A 16 oz box of Cap’n Crunch cereal: $7.02 The outraged look on my face: Priceless Perhaps you haven’t noticed yet, but DeCafé recently made a number of considerable price increases on grocery items. So before you buy that box of Cap’n Crunch, you may want to settle for a box of Honey Nut Cheerios or Frosted Flakes instead. You’ll save significant cash. Now, before you assume that this article will be one of many to criticize policies and seemingly discourteous actions made by Residential Education and Dining Services, you may want to think again. In reality, however, Residential Education might not be at blame at all...

Waiting For “Superman” Offers False Accusations, Faulty Solutions

Will Rubenstein, Columnist

February 18, 2011

This past Wednesday, Obies had the opportunity to view one of the latest fusillades in the public policy debate over education: Davis Guggenheim’s newest film, Waiting for “Superman.” Best known for his Oscar-winning 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, a call to save the earth’s climate from greenhouse gas emissions, Guggenheim uses his latest film as a call to save America’s schoolchildren from its public school systems. The screening in West Lecture Hall preceded a panel discussion with an array of educators from various corners of the profession — senior lecturer Malcolm Cash of Ohio State University’s Department of African American and African Studies department, Oberlin City Schools superinte...

No Need To Agree With Me: Thoughts on the Oberlin College Black History Celebration

Lisa Mon'a Brown, Columnist

February 18, 2011

Our generation seems to be completely disconnected to its history. Fewer than 50 years ago, several restrictive laws that had banned interracial marriages, segregated bus passengers and enforced residential segregation were still in effect. Despite the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the schools in my own hometown were not racially integrated until more than 10 years later when busing students became more common. Many of our very own parents could not even go to school with one another because of the color of their skin. In saying this, I am suggesting that we, as a generation, are not that far removed from the Civil Rights Movement, the era of women’s suffrage, and, dare I say it, slavery. History...

Paying The Rent With A Liberal Arts Degree

Beatrice Rothbaum, Editor-In-Chief

February 11, 2011

In times of economic uncertainty, it makes sense to question big investments, particularly those with no immediate benefit and dubious long-term returns. And so, once again, the debate over the value of a liberal arts education is now in style. Recent patterns in higher education indicate cause for alarm: In the last 20 years, the number of liberal arts colleges shrunk by nearly 40 percent and the portion of liberal arts majors nearly halved. During the same period, the popularity of professional programs like business and teaching has rapidly increased. “There’s no denying that the fight between the cerebral B.A. vs. the practical B.S. is heating up,” Newsweek writer Nancy Cook explained last April in an article...

No Teacher Left Behind

Monica Klein, Opinions Editor

February 11, 2011

In his State of the Union Speech on Jan. 27, President Obama asked us (or, those of us who are unemployed and currently searching for post-collegiate jobs) to enter the academic sector. “Become a teacher!” he bellowed, and the halls of Congress shook with thunderous applause. One might wonder whether this explosion of enthusiasm stemmed not from an appreciation for future teachers, but rather from the attendees’ inner thankfulness that they themselves were spared from the current academic job circuit. When Obama took office in 2008, he fortunately rid the country of Bush’s failed educational reform system, the No Child Left Behind Act — a program, ironically, in which undereducated students and underfunded...

The Pull of Passivity: Reconsidering the Rationality of Religion

Monica Klein, Opinions Editor

December 11, 2009

Religion is irrational. The religious adhere, after all, to unprovable theories that often stem from a fictional, outdated book. And yet those who scorn the religious are often oblivious to the literature that they themselves adhere to, often with an even more dogmatic reverence. The largest difference between Darwin’s Origin of Species and the Bible may be the attitudes of their readers. Both books offer explanations for human behavior. In admittedly oversimplified terms, one argues that human behavior stems from an inherent need to survive, while one implies that scientific explanation does not dictate human behavior. Yet adherents to the Bible see this explanation as acceptably incomplete. They acknowledge,...

Student Senate Sends Updates

Student Senate

December 11, 2009

Student Senate has been at work covering a wide array of issues this week, starting with a resolution to share its office space in Wilder 222 with the nascent Office of Student Communications, which should serve as an advertising and information hub for student groups and events. The compost working group, chaired by College junior and Senator Samantha Bass, is working through a 10-year plan for composting at Oberlin with facilities administrators, while the coal working group gathered 1,248 signatures from students that were presented to the trustees at Thursday’s forum voicing solidarity and urging quick action to get Oberlin off coal. The educational plans and policies committee is revisiting 9-9-9 requirements...

Established 1874.