The Oberlin Review

Students Shouldn’t Bear All Cost of Incoming Financial Decisions

Duncan Reid, Contributing Writer

March 9, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

After listening to President Ambar’s presentation and going over the notes, one thing kept repeating itself in my head: That just doesn’t add up. President Ambar mentioned that our tuition is similar to our peer institutions, and thus a 3 percent increase is reasonable. While our tuition is roughly similar, what students pay, including fees, is not. The average net price that Obies pay, including financial and merit aid, is around $45,000 per year, according to College Factual. The average net price per student at Oberlin’s peer institutions is far less — anywhere from $21,841 at Amherst to $32,763 at Kenyon. That doesn’t add up. A year ago, incoming first-years were told that they had to buy into a more expens...

300-Meal Plan Scams First-Years Out of Tuition, Meals

Ilana Foggle, Contributing Writer

March 2, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

On April 21, 2017, I came to “All Roads Lead to Oberlin” after putting down my deposit for Oberlin a week earlier. I wanted to meet fellow incoming Obies, learn more about my home for the next four years, and convince my dad that, contrary to popular belief, going to Oberlin would not make me turn into an elitist hipster. After an early morning flight, my dad and I trudged onto campus. I was wide-eyed, excited, and eager to commence the next chapter of my life. We started the day with a speech from Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Tim Elgren. He talked about his hopes and dreams for our incoming class and what made Oberlin so unique. In the middle of his speech, at least a dozen Oberlin students barged throug...

ObieHub Rams Expectations Hard

Madisyn Mettenburg, Production Editor

March 2, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

To anyone disillusioned with democracy — which is to say, anyone who has been keeping up with even a fraction of the hellstorm coming out of Washington — the Oberlin College administration’s decision to let the people pick a name for the new student website may have seemed fraught. PRESTO, Oberlin’s beloved, clunky mess of a registration website, was certainly due for an upgrade. Its preferred browser was Internet Explorer, and without the student-made class directory called OPrestissmo, it was nearly impossible to navigate. In keeping with Oberlin aesthetics, PRESTO’s longevity may have stemmed from its cool factor of being so useless and obsolete — vintage, if you will — but regardless, it was time f...

Appeasement Policies Will Not Fix Doping

Duncan Reid, Contributing Writer

March 2, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Four years ago, in something out of an Ian Fleming novel, the Russian government engaged in a conspiracy to successfully facilitate Olympic athletes doping and cover evidence that makes what Lance Armstrong did at the Tour de France look like petty crime in comparison. The world was appalled when the operation was uncovered. Stories of KGB agents breaking into the Sochi Doping Control Center — the building where doping tests occur — to swap urine samples, whistleblowers seeking asylum, and a systematic doping program that involved the highest levels of the Russian government flooded the airwaves. The International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency quickly convened special commissions to investig...

Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Mark Key Step Forward

El Wilson, Opinions Editor

February 23, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The new gender-neutral bathrooms around campus are a triumph of student activism. Last semester, I was thrilled to receive an email from Title IX Coordinator and Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Rebecca Mosely asking if I would like to participate in a meeting about designating more bathrooms in academic buildings as gender neutral. For years, transgender students have protested the lack of accessible bathrooms around campus. There were many buildings on campus, including Stevenson Dining Hall and King Building, that didn’t have a single gender-neutral bathroom. Although Oberlin’s policy states that students can use whatever bathroom fits their gender identity best, this still makes many bathrooms inac...

Mass Shootings Prove More Complex Than Proposed Solutions

Lucille Eleanor Nguyen, Contributing Writer

February 23, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Like every other American, I was shocked and horrified to hear the news that 17 people had been killed in yet another mass shooting. The stories of the brave people at Marjory Stoneman High School who gave their lives to save others — like Peter Wang, only 15 years old, who was killed holding open the door so that his fellow students could escape to safety — are a testament to the indomitable human spirit that persists in even the worst of circumstances. They deserve our memory, our respect, and our action. Something should be done. Something needs to be done. Something has to be done. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that the legislative proposals that are being put forward today by our representatives would even b...

Students Against NEXUS Must Stay Active, Should Refocus

Patrick Wai, Contributing Writer

February 23, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

At the town hall meeting Tuesday, the turnout against City Council’s settlement with NEXUS was amazing; not only were all the chairs filled, but students lined the walls with signs in opposition to the settlement. After the Council opened the floor to anyone to speak, numerous townspeople and students lined up to speak against the settlement. Students spoke out against the fatalistic attitude of submitting to NEXUS and reminded the Council that the Oberlin Community Bill of Rights rejects a settlement of this type. I even spoke, which surprised me. After the public opinion section, the Council moved to the vote. Students began chanting, echoing the same sentiments of the public forum; this led councilmembers to leave the ...

Financial Solutions Require Active Participation from Students

Meg Parker, Contributing Writer

February 23, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Oberlin’s financial strife is not news. Enrollment in private liberal arts colleges is down across the nation, the financial crash of the late 2000s hit Oberlin hard, and we have been living beyond our means a for too long. The budget deficit was reduced to $3 million this year but is expected to increase to $9 million next year if the market behaves as predicted. Fretting, discussing, and occasionally ranting about the institution’s financial outlook and fiscal management has become nearly routine practice for students, faculty, and staff during my six semesters at Oberlin. We are quick to ask why some departments are more expensive than others and where funding for departments comes from and to question the validity ...

Repairs of Campus Crucial for Enrollment, Retention

El Wilson, Opinions Editor

February 16, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Among Oberlin’s new efforts to increase enrollment and retention rates are some much-needed renovations of Oberlin’s buildings. A key example of this is Wilder Hall lobby. The administration decided to begin these renovations after Student Senate conducted a survey that revealed that Oberlin students want far more accessible and communal spaces on campus. Oberlin is in desperate need of more communal spaces and major building renovations. However, the administration’s priorities are out of order. I am on the management team of SWAP: The Book Co-Op, which is located in the basement of Harkness House. SWAP is an amazing place where students can exchange textbooks without exchanging money. The co-op’s main goal ...

Opioid Epidemic Cannot Be Fought Through War on Drugs

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

February 16, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a piece for The Oberlin Review about the opioid epidemic, specifically in Ohio, and what could be done about it. Since then, there has been no significant reduction in opioid-related deaths in the state or in the nation. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio’s drug overdose rate increased to 39 percent from mid-2016 to mid-2017; the national average is 13.3 percent. Ohio’s 2017 opioid-related data looks bleak. The state had the third most opioid-related overdoses and the third highest overdose rate increase out of any other state in 2017, totaling 5,200 deaths. Montgomery County in southern Ohio reached 800 overdose deaths in 2017 and had to expand its morgue to accommodate t...

Students Must Take Initiative as Allies

Sadie Keller, Rowan Maher, and Jesus Martinez

February 9, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump’s racism and xenophobia did not take a winter break. When the president made disturbing comments about immigrants and the countries from which they hail, he insulted millions and negated ideas of respect, mobility, and equality — values fundamental to the Oberlin community. The president’s dangerous rhetoric and policies have made the past year and a half an escalating nightmare for many members of our community. Thousands of recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) live in Ohio, and Lorain County is home to a number of undocumented immigrants. Many of our neighbors live in precarious positions of safety and belonging due to their relationship with immigration — with Tempo...

Budget Resolution Must Come with Conditions

Chris Howell, Contributing Writer

February 9, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Oberlin College is once again in full budget crisis mode. For anyone who has been here a while, there is something wearily and depressingly familiar about these cycles of boom and bust. The crises always come out of nowhere, the result of some generalized affliction affecting higher education for which no one here is responsible. The process of budget cutting always has to take place at breakneck speed so that the normal governance structures can be by- passed and broader thinking about how to resolve the mess is impossible. And the overwhelming burden of the cutting always — but always — falls on the College’s employees, its unionized workers, staff, and faculty, though rarely the senior administration. This time around, th...

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