The Oberlin Review

Students: Think Before You (Register to) Vote

Kevin G. Gilfether

September 12, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

It seems as though it is easier than ever for an Oberlin College student to register to vote in Oberlin, due to the work of groups like OhioPIRG, Oberlin Young Voters, and the League of Women Voters. Similarly, it seems as though the calls for Oberlin College students to register here are getting more and more strident. I've heard people told that it's important that they register in Oberlin because their votes in Ohio "count" more than they do otherwise, that the local issues like school levies and county commissioner elections are important issues that Oberlin students might have insight into, and (somewhat more surreptitiously than the others) that it will help Barack Obama win the election. All of these are probably...

Phenology of Oberlin Springtime Reveals Changes for Wildlife, Graduates

Joshua Morse

April 27, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Phenology: the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life Faced with carpenter bees and daffodils in March, I figured climate change must be to blame. I know that a single, anomalous year can’t be solely attributed to global warming, but I was sure that this early spring was a harbinger of springs in coming years as the changes intensify. When the magnolias bloomed the week before spring break, I was particularly put out. I look forward to the magnolias every spring and had been hoping their blossoms would color my last few weeks of April, helping me through my Honors thesis as they’ve helped me through smaller end-of-the-year tasks before. I had no...

Alumni of Color Call for Action, Support

Oberlin Alumni of Color and Allies

April 27, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

It was early morning Friday, April 13 when the article in The Oberlin Review, “Afrikana Community Responds to Bigotry,” began to spread like wildfire on the Internet within Oberlin’s alumni of color community. Many of us were shocked beyond measure to learn what Afrikana students are facing every day now on Oberlin’s campus. Many of us cried. Oberlin’s Afrikana students are clearly “sick and tired,” as they stated in their powerful letter, of the blatant disrespect at Oberlin of Afrikana students, their culture and their history. The students’ faith in the institution of higher learning that they attend is being tested like never before. And we alumni of color and allies are gravely concerned — abou...

A Conversation wtih William Roth

Shahab Raza

April 13, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS, SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

I can think of few people in our community who would be more compelling subjects of an interview than William Roth. I have felt that way ever since my first interaction with the new athletic director, which was already one more than the sum of my interactions with the previous AD, Joe Karlgaard. It was during soccer preseason training this fall, and William Roth introduced himself to us by pointing out the intensity of the task we were collectively undertaking, and among other things, reminding us in a friendly way that we were representing more than just ourselves when wearing his Oberlin College shirts. His shirts. That struck me as odd, and somewhat discomforting. But these choice words were, over the course of...

Student Activism Lacks Cohesion, Unity

Max Zahn and Jake Streich-Kest

April 6, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The most disconcerting thing about former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton’s Feb. 29 speech in Craig Lecture Hall was the applause. It remained steady throughout his hawkish criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy, culminating in an all-out roar when Bolton defended the burning of Qur’ans by American soldiers in Afghanistan. It was sufficiently overwhelming to hear such crass conservative machismo in an Oberlin classroom usually devoted to the preservation of intellectual honesty and cultural sensitivity. Yet even more shocking was the enthusiastic audience response to rhetoric reminiscent of the lead up to the Iraq war. Shortly thereafter, a handful of Obies walked out in protest. In the hallway we expressed...

Lamenting Demise of Traditional Lacrosse Alumni Game

Michael Hankes

April 6, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Oberlin athletics has a rich and storied history. This article marks the passing of a nearly 50-year-old tradition that has been a unique part of the Oberlin lacrosse program since at least 1963: From that year through 2010, Oberlin’s alumni lacrosse players quietly returned to Oberlin every spring to face off against the current varsity team. There was never any fanfare, and no one ever knew who was coming; it was just something that we proudly did every spring. The alumni game started out as the varsity team’s first game each year, but due to considerations of inclement weather, was moved in the mid ’70s to become the final game of the season. Since 1977, the game has traditionally been held on Mother’s...

A Clarion Call to the West: Let’s Save Uganda!

Simba Runyowa

March 16, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Hey, you guys! Let’s all drop what we are doing and pay close attention to the newly installed authority on central African politics — Invisible Children of San Diego, CA — as they deliver a moving account of the senseless savagery that has pervaded every pore of Uganda thanks to that wretched devil called Joseph Kony. Uganda is a treacherous cesspool of violence and savagery, and it is up to us caring benevolent Westerners to press “like” buttons and change our profile pictures in order to finally put an end to this mess. By cleverly purchasing exorbitantly priced action kits and bracelets, we will easily achieve what those incompetent Africans with no sense of agency have failed to do in 25 years. Armed...

China Programs Suffer Narrow Focus

Caroline Hui

February 24, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Last week, I began looking into Oberlin-affiliated study abroad programs that fit my interests. As a Politics/East Asian Studies double major, I was looking for an interdisciplinary program in China, so that I could simultaneously take classes in Politics and attain fluency in Chinese. Given that Politics and East Asian Studies is a popular double major at Oberlin, I had hoped such a program would exist. However, the Oberlin-affiliated programs in China are solely culture- and language-based. I was surprised that Oberlin, a college with one of the nation’s oldest and most renowned East Asian Studies programs, offers such narrowly focused, language-only in-China study abroad opportunities. While attaining proficiency...

Shortage of African Students Threatens Diversity

Simba Runyowa

February 24, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

This academic year, Oberlin College enrolled a total of 63 first-year international students. Of those 63, exactly one student was from the African continent, specifically Zimbabwe — that African student was me. If this trend persists, by the time I am a graduating senior, Oberlin College will have a grand total of precisely four African students on the entire campus. Interestingly, the highest represented country was China, with the class of 2015 commanding a whopping 21 students from that country alone. This is obviously a suspicious and embarrassing statistic: How can students from one country alone so dramatically and conspicuously outnumber those from an entire continent? It is common knowledge that the primary...

Love of Stars and Stripes Far from Universal

Brooklyn Demme

February 10, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

In “Obies Should Rally to Restore Sanctity” [The Oberlin Review, Dec. 2, 2011], staff writer Andrew Lipian discusses the vandalism enacted against the Sept. 11 memorial erected by the Oberlin Republicans and Libertarians. First of all, I deeply sympathize with his belief that memorials are sacred and should not be muted, disabled or disrespected. Still, the article is embedded with ideological assumptions which make dissenting, patriotic citizens like me resent our flag and what it stands for. He expresses how this act of vandalism is “still fresh, just like the memory of the victims’ deaths at the hands of Islamic extremists” — but was the memorial meant to commemorate the 2,976 people killed in the a...

Remembering Review Alumnus Ross Drake

Nate Cavalieri

February 10, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

In March of 1999, a piece by then-Sports Editor Ross Drake, OC ’00, appeared in The Oberlin Review under the headline “Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?” — a touching if slightly awkward obituary for the heroic center fielder. In the piece, Ross’s affection for DiMaggio has the immediate, open-hearted earnestness of a lifelong sports fan. But the surprise is in the first line, where he makes a glancing reference to e. e. cummings’s “Buffalo Bill ’s.” It goes like this: Buffalo Bill 's defunct who used to ride a watersmooth-silver stallion and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat ...

Alum Describes Chaos at Occupy Oakland

Ben Master

November 11, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The massive day of action organized by Occupy Oakland on Nov. 2 both inspired and troubled me. As has been the case with most of my involvement with the Occupation, I left in awe of Oakland’s persistent and passionate mobilization against economic injustice. At the same time, I was dismayed by incidents of anti-worker and needlessly violent behavior. The black-masked radicals who perpetrated these actions endanger our movement by directing the public attention toward sensationalist stories about reckless kids, instead of the unifying theme of economic equality. If we do not develop an organizational structure that can help contain these elements, our claim to represent the 99 percent will lose credibility and our message...

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