The Oberlin Review

Bill Combats Imaginary Voter Fraud

Nathan Carpenter, Contributing Opinions Editor

April 28, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

In December, I wrote in the Review that the election of President Donald Trump and Republicans nationwide signaled an impending battle for voting rights across the country (“Voting by Mail Removes Barriers to Polls,” Dec. 2). Now, that fight has come to Ohio. The 12 members of the Ohio House’s Government Accountability and Oversight Committee voted House Bill 41 out of committee along partisan lines Wednesday. It will now go to a vote of the entire State House, where Republicans hold an overwhelming majority. The intent of HB 41 is to restrict the ease of in-person early voting in Ohio, ostensibly with the goal of reducing voter fraud. The state’s current early voting policy is that photo ID is not requ...

Oberlin Should Seek Out Local Apparel Suppliers

Jackie Brant, Columnist

April 28, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

As the Review reported last week, an investigation by the Worker Rights Consortium released last December revealed that Nike had been using a sweatshop as a supplier for its collegiate clothing, violating its anti-sweatshop agreement with the College. As a college dedicated to social justice, Oberlin has a Sweatshop-Free Apparel Code of Purchasing, meaning that the College refuses to buy from businesses that use sweatshops in their production process. Sweatshops are wildly unjust to workers, as they may force employees to work unreasonable hours in unfit conditions, pay less than minimum wage with no benefits and may use child labor. Unfortunately, most major sports apparel brands have been tainted by labor malpract...

Trump Reverts to Republican Orthodoxy

Ben Silverman, Columnist

April 28, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Former Breitbart News editor and President Donald Trump’s right-hand man Steve Bannon was ousted from his role on the National Security Council on April 5 and has continued to fall in standing in Trump’s inner circle since then, according to reports from The Hill and Vanity Fair, among others. Recent events have large implications for the remainder of the Trump presidency, as Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and other establishment Republicans have replaced Bannon at the president’s side. This changing of the guard has influenced Donald’s recent budget proposals, which include a tax cut disproportionately benefiting the wealthy and a lack of funding for his proposed border wall. The divides within Donald’s circle o...

Limited Number of Humanities Classes Pigeonholes Students

Jackie Brant, Columnist

April 21, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Registration season is a stressful time for many students. We worry about when our registration slot will be, if we will get into the classes we need and, if we don’t, if we will be able to successfully navigate add/drop period. As a first-year this spring, I had the second-to-last registration window. By the time I got to pick my classes, there was only one class with spots available in each of my majors, Philosophy and Politics, one of which required a prerequisite that I did not have. Though everyone reassures students that we can fix our schedules during add/drop, that consolation does not save us the stress of waiting months for add/drop over the summer. It also never guarantees that we will get our...

Trump Recklessly Tempts War

Russell Jaffe, Columnist

April 21, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

International tensions are on the rise as North Korea and the United States trade increasingly threatening demonstrations of military power. In one deliberate provocation, President Donald Trump supposedly sent an aircraft carrier to the Korean peninsula in a move that North Korea condemned as “reckless.” However, on Saturday’s “Day of the Sun,” a festival celebrating the birthday of Kim Il-Sung, North Korea’s founder, Kim Jong Un responded by publicly flaunting his military arsenal, and is currently rumored to be planning further nuclear tests to advance North Korea’s place in the arms race. For the first time since the Cold War, World War III looms as a serious threat on the horizon. It is difficult...

PRSM Workshops Exacerbate Hierarchy

Jackie Brant, Columnist

April 14, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

It has become common practice for colleges and universities across the U.S. to mandate sexual misconduct workshops for incoming students. At Oberlin, all new students are required to attend the first round of Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct workshops, and all athletes are required to attend the second, which is also open to the entire community. The mandatory first workshop is called The Essentials, and the second workshop is called Bystander Intervention. Together, these two workshops are meant to inform students about the importance and language of consent. Overall, the PRSM workshops are crucial to the social atmosphere at Oberlin. I have heard stories and personally experienced instances in which...

LA Legislature Misses Mark on HIV

Jackie Brant, Columnist

April 7, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

In a fight to end the stigmatization of HIV and AIDS, Democratic lawmakers in Los Angeles are seeking to pass legislation that would reduce the charge for not telling your partner that you have HIV before engaging in unprotected sex from a felony to a misdemeanor. This law would also apply to situations in which HIV positive individuals donate blood or semen. While the stigmatization of HIV and AIDS is an issue that needs to be addressed, the lawmakers’ proposal is not a suitable answer to the problem. Proponents of the bill argue that with the advancements of modern medicine, HIV is treatable. Currently, there are 18.2 million people worldwide on medications for the illness. These medications are generally effective,...

Congress Votes to Invade Privacy

Russell Jaffe, Columnist

April 7, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

In a frightening shift toward the dystopian, Congress recently voted to kill vital protections for internet privacy, with President Donald Trump officially approving the bill Monday. These protections, approved at the end of Obama’s term but not yet enacted, would have been the only line of defense against those who wished to keep their personal information classified. Now, internet providers will not need our consent before collecting and sharing our data, including browsing histories, geo-locations and even the contents of our online identities. This data will be sold in aggregate to advertisers, who will use it to target ads more specifically to internet users. This effectively puts our personal information up for...

Drop in International Applications Reflects Political Shift

Nathan Carpenter, Contributing Opinions Editor

March 31, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

One of the harsh realities faced by many in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election is that the United States is not a friendly country. Until Election Day, political rhetoric about the U.S. being a country of immigrants, a cultural “melting pot” was common. Ostensibly, a lot of people — particularly white people — bought into that narrative of the U.S. as a welcoming place. Now, as national immigration and travel policy shifts drastically, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to argue that the U.S. is truly open to all. Xenophobia has come to dominate political discourse in both Washington and in our local communities. Trump is moving to close our borders and increasingly isolate the U.S. from ...

Red Tent Chapter Reaches Beyond Name

Jackie Brant, Columnist

March 31, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Many students around the country are facing increased levels of political and social distress in the wake of the tumultuous presidential election and subsequent increase in hate crimes. In response to this, juniors Hannah Cook and Caitlin McCuskey are seeking to build a safe space for women and nonbinary people on campus through their efforts to officially charter Oberlin’s Red Tent Foundation chapter at the College. The Red Tent Foundation is a national organization named for the tradition of requiring women to gather in red tents during menstruation in certain early Jewish customs. During these times of exclusion, women developed strong bonds of friendship, support and unity among themselves. The Red Tent Founda...

Activists Must Tackle Bigotry on Local Level

Nathan Carpenter, Contributing Opinions Editor

March 10, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Donald Trump’s presidency endangers many people in the United States, citizens and non-citizens alike. Over the past week and a half, this threat has materialized in a very real way for the Oberlin and greater Lorain County communities. Earlier this month, a swastika and hate speech were carved into the door of a synagogue in Lorain. A Facebook page called Oberlin Illegal Immigrant Tipline began encouraging people to report undocumented immigrants in our community. These dehumanizing acts of hate are local, immediate examples of how Trump’s rhetoric is inciting violence in increasingly personal and intense ways. We as a country put a virulent racist in the White House, and now we’re seeing the impact of that...

Global Redistribution of Wealth Could End Poverty

Russell Jaffe, Columnist

March 10, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

The futurists once had a dream: Through technological advancement, all of humanity’s needs would someday be provided for automatically, leaving us free to pursue our passions and aspirations. In the 1930s, for example, economist John Keynes predicted that his grandchildren — now the people of today’s workforce — would need to work a mere 15 hours a week, and their descendents would work even less. Someday, according to this dream, everyone would have a home, enough food to eat and the resources to cultivate ourselves into the very best people we could be, unhindered by a rat race for basic necessities. And then, miraculously, technology surpassed these expectations. In the United States alone, empty homes...

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