The Oberlin Review

A “Mono-racial” Perspective on Junior Practicum

Nasirah Fair

September 18, 2020

“Pls, Ain’t nobody reading all that,” I typed with tired fingers gliding across my keyboard. A white person had typed a whole thesis on why my opinions on gentrification and racism were wrong. We were a week into Junior Practicum and this was the first of many exhausting interactions I was to have with white students through a digital wall, and I am officially done. As someone who grew up in Southeast Washington, D.C., I have not only read about social justice issues such as racism and gentrification but also experienced them firsthand. I sat in complete rage as I watched the chat fill with arguments about whether gentrification was a class or race issue — or both. Someone even went so far as to say racism is...

AVI Fresh has opened a variety of new dining locations including Umami at Fairchild, which specializes in East Asian food.

After Bon Appétit’s Negligence, AVI Fresh Off to a Promising Start with South Asian Cuisine

September 16, 2020

After a year of college life in the U.S., making do with Bon Appétit’s occasional and mortifying excuse for Indian food, it was a breath of fresh air to walk into Stevie and find a genuinely tasty preparation of cauliflower and potatoes, with a side of chickpea curry (gobhi aloo ki sabzi and chole). AVI Fresh has swooped in to redeem my impression of college dining options. The problem with Bon Appétit was never simply the lack of “good Indian food.” I do understand that the manner in whic...

Tips for Effective Communication During the Pandemic

Sophia Garcia

September 16, 2020

Attending on-campus classes and maintaining a sense of community — all while staying safe — is a complicated endeavor. We are learning to live, socialize, and communicate in our beloved Obieland in a new and potentially-uncomfortable way. This begs the question: How do we approach talking about safety on campus during COVID-19? While it is necessary to have these conversations about community care and responsibility, we must also be careful to facilitate a supportive and inclusive environment where all student voices are heard. According to techniques from a counselling method called motivational interviewing, open communication is more powerful for inducing behavioral changes than shaming, yelling, or lecturing. ...

Working From Home During COVID

Donnie Harris

September 9, 2020

It’s Saturday, September 5, 2020. Picture me in all my glory, wearing yesterday’s scruffy clothes, not-so-elegantly sprawled across a too-small yoga mat trying to maintain my balance. My eyes are glued to the screen as I study the instructor’s highly coordinated, swan-like movements. I try to match her pacing and technique, but of course, I flounder (as yoga is suited best for those who actually have a sense of equilibrium). “How in the world did I get here?” No, you aren’t reading the story of a washed-up man enduring a mid-life crisis, you’re reading about an 18-year-old man-child’s experience of working from home during COVID-19.  As someone who thrives off of face-to-face interaction, I have t...

Despite Troubling Times, Obies Can Thrive

Chang Ya-Kun

September 4, 2020

This has been a year full of unforeseen challenges — at Oberlin and beyond. As an international student, I have been stuck in the United States, away from my family and “remote” from my professors and peers. Fortunately, I somehow managed to maintain my unconditional optimism. With a new school term underway, I have had the chance to reconnect (with safety measures) with some of my fellow Obies, and I’m happy to discover that the Dementors have not yet sucked the courage and hope out of our community. I recall a conversation I had with a fourth-year last October. “Obies always seem concerned,” they said. “Like walking The Thinkers?” We laughed. Indeed, Oberlin has had a long history of nurturing criti...

The Preying Manti Let Me Down

Natalie Soord

August 17, 2020

On June 26, I posted an Instagram story detailing racism I experienced on Oberlin’s women and trans Ultimate Frisbee team, the Preying Manti. I spoke about racist comments made by teammates and about the lack of support for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color on the team. My post started with the following: “I’ve been on the Manti for 2 seasons now and in just those 2 seasons, I have experienced racism from multiple teammates on multiple occasions. In a lot of these instances, other teammates were present. Their silence was deafening. I would wait and wait for someone to say something but that never came.”  The aggressions didn’t just come from white teammates; non-Black POC were also perpetrators. Other teammates...

College’s Final UAW Offer Contradicted Union’s Purpose

James Monroe Professor of Politics Chris Howell

July 30, 2020

Editor’s Note: This statement was originally sent in an email from James Monroe Professor of Politics Chris Howell to faculty on July 3, before it was posted on the Oberlin Beyond Austerity’s Facebook page on July 6. Trustee Charles S. Birenbaum, OC ’79, wrote a response to this letter which can be read here. Read more of the Review’s coverage of the plan to outsource UAW employees here.    Colleagues, In a book that I assign in one of my labor classes, Thomas Geoghagen, a Chicago-based labor lawyer, argues that trade unions and collective bargaining are more alien to most Americans than Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies. Unions operate by seemingly arcane rules, are heavily regulated by law, priv...

Howell Draws Improper Conclusion in UAW Statement

Trustee Charles S. Birenbaum, OC ’79

July 30, 2020

Editor’s Note: A longer version of this analysis appeared on the Alumni Facebook page on July 9 in response to James Monroe Professor of Politics Chris Howell’s statement. Read more of the Review’s coverage of UAW outsourcing here.    When I reviewed a commentary from James Monroe Professor of Politics Chris Howell on Oberlin College’s collective bargaining with United Auto Workers-represented dining and custodial employees, I admired how the intellectual curtain could be drawn over the complex area of labor-management relations to fuzz the realities. He conflates subcontracting and outsourcing with being anti-union with no evidence of union animus, and he holds the parties to a view of collecti...

Paire: Making Dating A Little Less Horrible

Kabir Karamchandani

July 3, 2020

Editor’s Note: This piece was written on behalf of the Paire team, which also includes Ishaan Thota and Parker Swanson. Dating is such a mess. Purely from a logical standpoint, it’s just so inefficient. To start with, you have to find someone. Often we look within our immediate circles, which means friends of friends, and people we meet during the course of our regular activities. People are restricted to a small group within which they’re far from guaranteed to find a match. If you are interested in someone within this group, the troubles have only begun. This person needs to be looking for a relationship, they need to be interested in people of your gender, they need to have compatible expectations on the role...

Oberlin’s Response to Fall Opening Fails to Meet Students’ Needs

Annabel Mott

June 22, 2020

As the Oberlin College administration reminds us in every email it sends, these are “unprecedented times.” In such times, there is no perfect solution of how to go through with the 2020–21 academic year. We know that a normal return to campus in the fall is extremely unlikely, and rightfully so.  However, Oberlin’s plan for reopening neglects to meet the needs of many of its students. As of right now, Oberlin’s plan for the coming academic year is to operate over three semesters that will take place in the fall, spring, and summer. First- and fourth-years will attend in the fall and spring, second-years in the fall and summer, and third-years in the spring and summer. While this plan does help to reduce class s...

College fourth-year and Opinions Editor Jackie Brant posing with her completed philosophy thesis.

Opinions: A Year In “Review”

May 25, 2020

Editor’s note: This article appears as part of a series in which the Review’s graduating editors reflect on how their sections have evolved, the biggest stories of the year, and their time at the paper as a whole. The rest of this series can be found here.  This has been a major year for Oberlin and Ohio. National and local elections, the outcome of the Gibson’s case, the implementation of One Oberlin, the College’s plan to outsource 108 United Auto Worker jobs, and the spread of COVID-19 hav...

Students and Faculty hold a symposium in Finney Chapel titled

50th Anniversary of Kent State Shootings Demonstrate How Obies Step Up in Crisis

May 4, 2020

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the violent confrontation between antiwar college students and the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University in 1970, which left four dead and nine injured. The iconic photographs that emerged in the immediate aftermath of this event — as well as the infamous Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young protest song “Ohio” — immortalized the conflict and its role in heightening national conversation not only about that spring’s invasion of Cambodia, but also ...

Established 1874.