The Oberlin Review

Mathisson’s Course Registration Criticisms Lack Appreciation for Liberal Arts Education Benefits

Kushagra Kar, Production Editor

November 15, 2019

 I am both a first-year and an international student, which means that I am constantly wondering about the value of my Oberlin education. The value to my personal development, academic goals, co-curricular interests, and — most importantly — to my parents’ wallets. Course selection is, therefore, of the utmost importance, because the first metric in my understanding of the benefit I gain from attending Oberlin is my satisfaction with the classes I attend.  Last week, Student Senator and College second-year David Mathisson wrote about his “multifaceted policy package to fix course selection,” in an article titled “Course Registration Issues Remain Unaddressed” (The Oberlin Review, Nov. 8, 2019) and I co...

Cyclical Intervention Leaves Syria in Tatters

Leo Hochberg, Contributing Writer

November 8, 2019

 In mid-October, President Trump announced that he would withdraw all remaining U.S. troops from Syria, citing his desire to remove the U.S. from “endless wars” in the Middle East. The announcement was met with blistering protests from both sides of the congressional aisle. The decision’s impact has been immediate and catastrophic: Turkey has taken Trump’s announcement as an invitation to invade Northern Syria; Kurdish forces — once allied with the U.S. — now face a Turkish ethnic cleansing campaign in Syria; and Russian and Syrian government forces have rushed in to fill the void. With hundreds of civilians already dead amidst the violence and a new wave of internally displaced people now racing away from the ...

Universal Health Care Requires Universal Sacrifice

Leo Lasdun, Contributing Writer

November 1, 2019

 Near the end of his rally with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Queens, NY on Saturday, Nov. 19, presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders asked the crowd to look at the people standing near them and to consider how far they’d go to help a stranger: “Are you willing to fight for that person who you don’t even know as much as you’re willing to fight for yourself?” Bernie wondered if his supporters were ready to make sacrifices for their fellow Democrats and Americans. The sentiment was couched in a sort of polished, Twitter-ready catchphrase, but beyond that, I think Bernie was getting at something pretty basic that often gets overlooked in many liberal conversations: In order to ac...

Colonial Hangover, Right-Wing Populism Define Indian Democracy

Kushagra Kar, Production Editor

November 1, 2019

 History testifies that the single most influential construct in the postmodern world is imperialism. The remnants of colonial structures still loom over integral aspects of society in what we know today as ‘the third world’. India, for example, is still reeling from the consequences of the blind partition of the country that birthed modern-day Pakistan. Caught in the crosshairs of the newly-formed nations was the Kingdom of Kashmir. After a brief and bloody guerilla struggle between India and Pakistan, India absorbed the Kingdom on the condition that it be granted regional autonomy, provisional under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.  The partition began a 72-year-long tussle between India and Pakistan that — even after ...

Religious Beliefs Exploited for Personal Agendas

Kushagra Kar, Production Editor

October 4, 2019

 Religion is the oldest form of control. From the implicit consequences of pre-colonial missionary efforts to the tangible control over rhetoric shaped by King James’ Bible, the pervasiveness of religious institutions throughout history cannot be ignored. By placing themselves in positions of religious authority, individuals enable themselves to construct generalized structures of life that actively define community. Even today at Oberlin, we find organized religion influencing the periphery of our lives, both personally and over intangible distances. Faith is meant to be positive, both within individualistic moral contexts and in broader social implications. Corruption and informed cruelty manifest when bigoted...

One Oberlin Implementation Compromises Catholic Values

Claudia Baker, OC ’19 and Thomas Valle-Hoag, OC ’19

October 4, 2019

 Many voices have already spoken up regarding the austerity measures recommended by the Academic Advising Program Review steering committee, an effort now known as One Oberlin. In the interest of highlighting a plurality of views on the subject, we want to speak against the austerity measures as Catholic alumni and former community members of Oberlin College. We do not claim to have all the answers and we certainly don’t claim to be experts in economics. We want to speak out from a moral and ethical perspective, supported by the social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. It is a well-established axiom in the social teachings of the Church that the economically disadvantaged among us deserve, and are indeed entitled ...

Nuclear Power Requires Critical Analysis

Shogo Ishikawa, Contributing Writer

October 4, 2019

The dangerous narratives employed in the article “Ishikawa Employs Dangerous Nuclear Narratives, ” written by Production Editor Christo Hays, surprised me (Sept. 27, 2019). Hays claimed that most of nuclear power’s existing problems, such as issues of waste disposal and fuel rod cooling systems, can be improved and fixed through technological development. Hays stated that the Fukushima nuclear meltdown of 2011 was “the result of fuel rods overheating and reacting with water-based coolant to create explosive hydrogen,” and continued, “New fuels and coolants eradicate this possibility.”  First, it is difficult or even impossible to specify the cause of a nuclear meltdown. Hays has forgotten the simple fact that nuclear me...

Ishikawa Employs Dangerous Nuclear Narratives

Christo Hays, Production Editor

September 27, 2019

 For those who don’t keep up with the weekly jabs published in the Review’s Opinions section, here’s the short of the nuclear energy debate that has graced the past two editions: College third-year Leo Lasdun wrote a pro-nuclear energy article in which he cited a NASA study claiming that nuclear energy saved 1.8 million lives between 1971 and 2009; this was in support of his broader claim that “the future is nuclear” (“Nuclear Represents Best Option,” Sept. 13, 2019). The following week, College second-year Shogo Ishikawa penned a broadside in response, casting doubt on NASA’s analysis and aspersions on Lasdun (“Lasdun Overlooks Downsides of Nuclear,” Sept. 20, 2019). Not only are Ishikawa’s claims u...

Climate Activism Must Be Universal, Inclusive

Theo Canter, Contributing Writer

September 27, 2019

 Last Friday’s Climate Strike left me and many others who participated in it with a sense of rising optimism and hope. With participants numbering in the millions worldwide, it was one of the largest social protests in recent years.  Soon after students walked out of class Friday morning and gathered around the Tappan Square bandstand, a wide variety of powerful speakers — ranging from high school students, to college students, to adult community members — made their voices heard.  Having been to many political gatherings and protests, especially in the past few years, I felt that this one in particular was different. This was not like Matthew McConaughey’s 2003 Saturday Night Live sketch, “Protest...

Lasdun Overlooks Downsides of Nuclear

Shogo Ishikawa, Contributing Writer

September 20, 2019

 Many people have read the article “Nuclear Represents Best Option” by Leo Lasdun, which was published in the Review last Friday. This piece is a direct response to that article and an attempt to encourage further discussion regarding nuclear energy and U.S. energy policy in the future. Lasdun uses four main points to support his argument that nuclear energy is the most realistic option for energy production in the United States: nuclear power is emissions-free, which is pertinent given the rise of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere; is economically feasible due to the fixed cost of existing nuclear power plants; has high energy production efficiency compared to other energy sources, such as solar, wi...

Oberlin Should Pioneer Network Studies

Max Herman, OC ’89, Contributing Writer

September 20, 2019

 The recent One Oberlin report states that for Oberlin to flourish, it must “pioneer a new, more relevant curriculum and educational experience for our 21st-century students.”  To this end, Oberlin should seriously consider the academic field of Network Studies. It is not yet prevalent in higher education, but Oberlin could both lead and benefit from its development. Like any concentration, Network Studies would adhere to the traditional liberal arts disciplines, but engage with them from a unique perspective. The core content would, of course, include the impact of networks in society; recent advances in network science, theory, and technology; as well as address the constantly-evolving network structures...

Retribution, Restitution, and Race in Ohio

Ava Zuschlag, Contributing Writer

September 20, 2019

 Five years ago, Tamir Rice is shot and killed. In the aftermath, several things happen. The two officers who responded to the call, who fired the shots, are temporarily reassigned to more menial positions. Tamir’s family files a wrongful death suit against the officers and the city of Cleveland. Almost a year and a half later, “in an effort to reduce taxpayer liabilities,” the city agrees to pay the Rice family a six million dollar settlement.  This year, a thirty-minute drive away from Cleveland, Gibson’s Bakery wins damages for defamation. After a shoplifting incident ended in violence, student accusations of the shop owner’s racism negatively affected the business. In the judgement, the jury awards ...

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