The Oberlin Review

Alumni Network Offers Students Great Benefits

Carol Levine

May 13, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

We are so close to the end of the semester. Some are closing in on graduation. This is a time for institutional change, yet it is also a time for immense personal growth, exploration, and trying to make sense of one’s place in the world. How will we make our mark, our difference? Will it be on an individual or local level, or widespread and global? Will we help a friend or community? Will we make an imprint on our environment, for better or for worse? At a more personal level, how will we make friends once we are out of the Oberlin cocoon? How will we introduce ourselves in this fluid yet rigid world? How will we continue to support ourselves? How will we remain a part of Oberlin, and Oberlin remain a part of us?...

Oberlin Must Always Hold Sexual Assaulters Accountable

Mara Delta

May 11, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: This piece contains mention of sexual assault. Do you remember the moment you received your Oberlin College acceptance letter? I was on the train back home when I saw the notification appear in my inbox. I had been anxiously refreshing my email every day for the entire week hoping to get this very alert, and it was finally here. I was so giddy that I began jumping up and down in the middle of the crowded Metro car. I knew Oberlin was the perfect choice for me, and I felt ready to begin a new, exciting chapter of my life. That excitement transferred over to the late days of August when move-in day was finally upon me. I could not wait to start classes, meet new people, and explore my newfound indepe...

Suicide Continues to Present Real Danger to Trans People

El Wilson, Opinions Editor

May 11, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: This article discusses transphobia and suicide. According to a national survey conducted by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Williams Institute, 40 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide compared to 4.6 percent of the general population. As someone who identifies as non-binary, these numbers make me sick. Forty percent is merely an average. The survey also asked respondents about their experiences with discrimination, rejection, and violence. Suicide attempt rates varied depending on how many of these a trans person experienced. For example, the rate was far higher for those who endured family rejection (57 percent), homelessness (69 percent), or sexual assault while atten...

Oberlin Students Fail to Actually Engage Communities, Show Solidarity

Melissa Harris, Editor-In-Chief

May 11, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

As my final weeks at Oberlin approach, I’ve felt blessed to be surrounded by many incredibly dedicated, inspiring individuals who genuinely work toward change and actively support the efforts of others. But I also feel jaded by the many faults of this institution, with which I’ve become familiar throughout my time here. Among them, I’ve realized that performative allyship is one of the most off-putting yet definitive flaws of this school’s culture — and it needs to stop. In a nutshell, performative allyship is when one acts minimally to earn approval, creating a façade of detachment from a status quo that systemically keeps marginalized folks oppressed. We see this frequently; people are quick to retweet or ...

CDS Self-Management Would Improve Accountability, Sustainability

Michael Kennedy

May 11, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

From a student perspective, it appears that Oberlin College’s Campus Dining Services model has been failing. The closure of the Rathskeller as a meal option in spring of 2017, the limitation of meal options for the class of 2021, the upcoming closure of Dascomb Dining Hall, and the planned closure of DeCafé’s popular sandwich deli line all support this conclusion. I believe that students have legitimate reasons to be upset by dining changes, but they are not the ones most impacted by these decisions. As a result of the planned changes, employees will be losing their jobs, and many others are considering quitting rather than working at Stevenson Dining Hall. Both Bon Appétit Management Company and the College h...

Student Finance System Limits Efficacy of Committee

Kameron Dunbar and Elijah Aladin

May 4, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Students here each pay $428 in tuition costs toward a communal pot of money valued at near $1.3 million. This fund, the Student Activities Fund, is allocated by the Student Finance Committee and distributed by the Office of the Student Treasurer. As two students who have been members of both Student Senate and the OST, we’ve observed some serious issues with Oberlin’s system of student financing. Fortunately, these are problems we can fix. As it currently stands, SFC allocates around 85–90 percent of the Student Activity Fund. The vast majority of this goes to individual student organizations, while a much smaller portion is used to support student life through other areas like Winter Term grants. In theory, ...

GOP Cannot Rely on Celebrity Buzz to Gain Gen Z Vote

Duncan Reid

May 4, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

After Kanye West started tweeting last week that he and the president share “dragon energy,” and that “the thought police want to suppress freedom of thought,” some conservative pundits were quick to welcome West to the right. Ben Shapiro and Alex Jones, for example, tweeted back their praises, with Jones going so far as to extend Yeezy an invitation onto his infamous radio show. Other conservatives remarked that West was making conservatism hip again, and that his endorsement of “Make America Great Again” politics would somehow attract young voters familiar with the artist to the GOP. But is the Chicagoland rapper even on the right, or does he merely agree with the President that some on the left sometimes...

Oberlin Must Improve Arabic Program

Sophie Drukman-Feldstein

May 4, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

I have wanted to study Arabic since middle school. When I came to Oberlin, I was thrilled to finally get the opportunity. Two years in, it feels like the work my classmates and I put in is finally paying off. In this past semester, we have expanded our vocabularies to move beyond our initial discussions of menus, taxicabs, and passports and are finally making our first, clumsy steps into meaningful conversation. I was therefore deeply disappointed when I found out that no Arabic classes would be offered beyond the 200-level. Oberlin only employs one Arabic instructor — Basem Al-Raba’a, a visiting assistant professor — and a 300-level class would exceed his course load. Last semester, he suggested that we might cont...

All Roads Weed to Oberlin

Madisyn Mettenburg, Production Editor

April 27, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

As we spend more time at this institution, the memory of why we chose Oberlin in the first place can fade. Our collective apathy, resentment toward authority, and a weaponized sense of self-deprecation make it easy to forget that perhaps there was a time when we would have sworn by the lanyards hanging around our young necks that this was the place for us. Because of this memory, I was heartened to see the Oberlin administration recognize and celebrate one of our school’s greatest strengths: choosing April 20 — more commonly known as 4/20 — as one of the days for its admissions event “All Roads Lead to Oberlin.” This kind of event comes at a time when reaching admissions goals is no less than vital. The unde...

AccessCo Position Must Have More Job Transparency

Carson Li

April 27, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Even an organization like the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, where students handle most of the management and regulation, still reflects many of our social and societal problems. One of them is about challenging authority. OSCA has at least one Accessibility Coordinator per co-op. Although AccessCos are all students, they establish their authority in a way that is completely mysterious to most OSCA members. Most people have no idea what specific work they are doing, and I found it extremely complicated and burdensome to challenge their authority because of this. Last fall, I was one of the Keep Cottage Dining Loose End Coordinators — someone who facilitates discussions and answers questions involving ele...

Cosby Cases Represent Problems With Justice System

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

April 27, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: This article contains discussion of sexual assault. Allegations against Bill Cosby first emerged in 2005 after Andrea Constand filed a lawsuit against him. Thirteen years later, on April 26, 2018, Bill Cosby was convicted of sexual assault. The time gap between these events is simply unacceptable. Since the first report, there are now over 60 women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, including accusations of drugging, raping, and offering to pay women for sex acts. This misconduct allegedly began in the 1960s and has continued into the present. Yesterday, Cosby was convicted of three counts of aggravated, indecent assault against Andrea Constand that occured 14 years ago — one of the only c...

ODR Reform, Obility Strengthens Dis/Ability Justice at Oberlin

Paige Reinstein

April 27, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

When talking about dis/ability justice on this campus, it is so easy to focus on everything that is not working. It is so easy to focus on the classmates who will not join us next year due to the institution’s failure to accommodate them. Yet for the first time, I also feel an overwhelming amount of support and optimism for dis/ability justice at Oberlin College. I am thankful for all of the students for organizing. While there is still much more work to do on the administrative end, I am grateful for all of the support that is emerging. Also, I am thankful for the administration, the Office of Disability Resources, and these students for all working toward making Oberlin accessible — or at least closer to it. Everyo...

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