The Oberlin Review

Cleveland Orchestra Fails to Provide Diversity in Repertoire

Matthew Bickett, Contributing Writer

September 21, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

James Oestreich of The New York Times says the Cleveland Orchestra “may (quietly) be America’s best.” But what does it mean to be one of the best orchestras? For the players on stage, it means performing with exquisite sensitivity and responding to the scores and conductors in front of them with unparalleled skill. For the artistic direction, it means leading the ensemble down the path to irrelevance and eventual obscurity. Oestreich is wrong; the Cleveland Orchestra is not one of the best. In fact, they’re hardly an orchestra at all. Rather than an orchestra, I’d say they’re an ensemble specializing in the performance of music by European men. In much the same way that eighth blackbird plays only contemp...

Low-Income Students Tokenized for Oberlin Students’ Benefits

Laura Franco Zapata, Contributing Writer

September 21, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

As my fourth and final year of college starts, I’ve been thinking about my time at Oberlin and how blessed I am to have made it this far, as what academia deems an “at-risk” student. Being a low-income and first-generation college student has made my experience at Oberlin differ hugely from that of my affluent peers. Sadly, identities such as low-income are not often talked about, leaving students like myself feeling lonely and misunderstood in a school known to have a generally close-knit community. Perhaps we don’t talk about these issues because the number of low-income students at Oberlin is ridiculously small, or maybe most students just don’t understand what it is like to go through life with worries...

Think One Vote Can Change The World? So Do I.

Ilana Foggle, Columnist

September 21, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Leading up to the midterm election, Ilana Foggle will be writing articles for The Oberlin Review about the different candidates on the ballot to increase awareness of surrounding local and state politics. When I first came to Oberlin more than one year ago, I made three assumptions about Oberlin’s politics. First, because the town of Oberlin is majority liberal, I thought that we would have liberal representatives. Second, I assumed that being on a politically active campus would mean that every student who was capable of voting would do so. Third, I knew that being in a swing state like Ohio put me in a unique position to directly affect representation. I was wrong about my first two assumptions. To understand Ober...

“Grape”’s Editorial Reflects Dogmatism, Outrage Politics of Oberlin Students

Jackson Zinn-Rowthorn, Contributing Writer

September 21, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Oberlin students, I’m glad to say, have retreated a few steps in recent years from the sort of divisive, outrage-fueled politics that would routinely erupt into conflagrations of bad discourse and unsolvable conflict on campus. This paradigm of activism flourished under Obama, but it doesn’t play as well in the current political era. The 2016 election offered something of a reality check. Suddenly our righteousness didn’t look so noble; our dogmatism didn’t look so pure. We are a little more open-minded now, and a little less reactionary. The campus feels calmer and more welcoming. It’s been a gratifying transformation to watch. So, I was disheartened when last week The Grape chose to publish a flippant and br...

“Review” Fails To Report Sexual Misconduct in Socially Responsible Manner

Olive Hwang, Production Editor

September 14, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Editor’s note: This article contains discussion of sexual misconduct and rape culture. Last week, the Review reported on the resignation of two Conservatory professors in the midst of sexual misconduct complaints (“Oberlin Professors Resign After Sexual Misconduct” The Oberlin Review, Sept. 7, 2018). Among the accused is James David Christie, former chair of the Organ department and world-famous musician. The allegations, however, are obscured by the article’s insensitive and dismissive tone. As a new member of the Review team, I am deeply disappointed by the way this story was covered. It is our job to present the news in a manner that is both factual and socially responsible. The topic of sexual miscondu...

Anonymous Official’s Opinion Piece Raises Questions, Concerns

Luce Nguyen, Contributing Opinions Editor

September 14, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The New York Times recently published a now-infamous opinion piece titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” Sept. 5. In the essay, an anonymous senior official of the Trump administration alleges that they, along with other senior officials within the Trump administration, “are working diligently to frustrate parts of Trump’s agenda and his worst inclinations.” While claiming that “the root of the problem is the president’s amorality” and that “President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic,” the writer claims that members of the Executive Office and agencies have moved to operate independently of the president. Another anonymous article, “The Flight 93 El...

Oberlin Dining Forum Highlights Issues With Sensationalist Activism

Patrick Powers, Contributing Writer

September 14, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Oberlin students identify as activists. That activism must reach beyond a Google Doc. In the wake of the implementation of the 300 meal-per-semester plan for first-years and sophomores, Dascomb Dining Hall’s closure, and this year’s changes to DeCafé, Campus Dining Services has become one of the first major flashpoints for the anxieties and fears of the student body as our school changes. In the past few weeks, outraged Facebook posts and Google Doc activists have brought dining changes to the forefront of campus chatter. With that in mind, I find myself coming away from the recent forum on the state of campus dining with a lot of mixed feelings about student activism as I’ve seen it on this campus. The anger a...

Reaction to Tibbetts’ Death Reveals Toxic Culture of Politicization

Katie Friedemann, Contributing Writer

September 7, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: This article discusses physical violence. Politics permeate everything we do and say, from deciding which candidates or issues we support to our everyday interactions with other people. Our political alignments even seem to guide how we cope with both everyday and abnormal circumstances and events, such as major tragedies. This constant and inescapable politicalization is especially clear when observing reactions to the recent death of Mollie Tibbetts. Tibbetts, an Iowa college student, was going for a run in her hometown when a man named Cristhian Bahena Rivera began to pursue her. According to what Rivera later told law enforcement, Tibbetts threatened to call the police, and Rivera panicked. What h...

Dining Changes Represent Concerning Future

Daniel Markus, Contributing Writer

September 7, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

If you had been a miner in the United States, Canada, or Britain for most of the 20th century, it’s a good bet that you might bring a small caged bird, often a canary, down into the shaft along with you. If you didn’t, a buddy probably did. Mining could release trapped pockets of carbon monoxide gas, which has no scent or color and can suffocate a person before they even realize it’s happening. The canaries were a simple, albeit cruel, warning system. Their biology makes them more sensitive to poison gases like carbon monoxide than humans — if your canary died, it was time to go. Immediately. If your canary died, one thing you definitely wouldn’t do was wonder why it was dead, and you wouldn’t stay in the m...

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...

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