The Oberlin Review

Integration of Athletics, Academics Benefits Community

Lilah Drafts-Johnson, Contributing Writer

September 8, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

After seeing yet another Facebook comment thread feud between student-athletes and non-student-athletes this summer, I felt that it might be prudent for me to take the conversation to a more productive space. The dispute was the same as it always seems to be: student-athletes were frustrated by the stereotypes placed upon them, while non-student-athletes were frustrated by the space taken up by student-athletes at Oberlin and the adverse side-effects that sports culture often perpetuates. As I enter my fourth year of collegiate track and field, I am well aware of the various issues with athletics on our campus. However, the apathetic and dismissive stances that many Obies take toward sport, both on our campus...

City of Oberlin Recognizes Indigenous People

Kate Fishman, Contributing Writer

September 8, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

When I was in elementary school, my teacher read us Jane Yolen’s Encounter, an illustrated book displaying a Native American child’s perspective on the arrival of the Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus. Even then, I remember feeling confused. I had learned about Columbus as a man who ventured across the ocean and discovered a new land, but Encounter did not have that familiar tone of joyful new beginnings. I have since come to realize that while Christopher Columbus brought Europeans to the Americas, to see this colonization as a discovery is to focus on a Eurocentric perspective — it ignores those who were here first. When Columbus and his men arrived, they did not bring an exciting new beginni...

Charlottesville Highlights Need for Bystander Intervention

Kira Findling, Contributing Writer

September 1, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

I went to high school with a girl who talked a lot about her interest in Hitler. Most of my friends thought it was weird; when she started talking about the Third Reich, we would try to change the subject. It wasn’t until I saw her reading Mein Kampf that I understood that it was not interest she felt, but admiration. As a Jew and granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, the situation made me uncomfortable. I remember feeling awkward and upset whenever she mentioned Hitler or made anti-Semitic jokes. But one of her best friends was Jewish, so it seemed impossible that she actually felt hatred towards Jews. I was fifteen and scared to draw attention to myself. I didn’t know what to do. Then she suddenly ann...

New Administration Gives Students Hope

Miyah Byers, Contributing Writer

September 1, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Life led me to Oberlin through an old and beat-up language composition book. I remember the very day I was wandering through the dog-eared pages of “The Bird and the Machine,” an essay written by a former Obie professor, Loren Eiseley, when I came across the name of the college for the first time. I was in the 11th grade then, and growing restless from the monotony and institutional red tape sometimes present in high school settings that can hinder students from pursuing social justice in their own hallways. As one of the few Black girls in my school, I was in serious need of a supportive community that was not tone-deaf to the struggles that people of color face on a daily basis; of an institution that w...

Amazon Threatens Future of Service Workers

Jordan Joseph, Contributing Writer

September 1, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

On Monday, Amazon finalized its acquisition of Whole Foods Market. Based on your viewpoint, you are now doing one of two things: you’re either excited about the new possibilities an automated future has to offer, or you’re worried about how service workers will fit into an automated model of business. I am currently doing both. Amazon’s new ownership of Whole Foods is certainly a step forward for consumer convenience, as well as a bold move toward Amazon’s quest to diversify its business portfolio. Since 1998, Amazon has acquired over 77 different companies through mergers, cash buyouts, and stock. In the age of a consumerist capitalistic culture, is it better to have one company that does not s...

Tobacco Ban Underscores College’s Flawed Governance

Jordan Ecker, Contributing Writer

May 5, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Oberlin students received an email Monday from Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo urging “members of the Oberlin community” to please respect the campus’ “tobacco-free” policy. The message wasn’t that there was a ban on cigarettes and that we would be punished for smoking. The message was that we ought to act as respectful members of a democratic community and practice civic virtue by respecting the norms we had all agreed upon. It’s a darkly ironic message. The tobacco ban — and make no mistake, if you are prohibiting members of a community from doing something, it is a ban — is representative of how distinctly undemocratic Oberlin’s campus governance is. As a me...

Environmental Studies Fails in Interdisciplinary Approach

Sami Mericle and Kiley Petersen

May 5, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

As graduating Environmental Studies majors, we want to address the elephant in the AJLC: Most majors are deeply dissatisfied with the Environmental Studies program. Environmental Studies is a huge draw to the College for potential Oberlin students who, like us, were wowed by the beauty and design of the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, the Living Machine and the Building Dashboard. We did not know that this is yet another example of the College investing more in buildings than the programs housed inside of them. We do not mean to critique the professors in the department or the classes they teach, but rather the structure of the program. We’ve had the privilege of being taught by man...

College Should Prioritize Healthy Working Environment Over Free Speech

Daniel Markus, Arts and Culture Editor

May 5, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Imagine the following scenario: You work in an office. One day at work, the company brings in a speaker to give a presentation about business development. Midway through, the presenter starts making incredibly disparaging comments about women. What would you do? Most likely, you would file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, because the presenter’s actions are prohibited under federal law. According to the EEOC, “The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.” If you were a member of this workplace, you wouldn’t expect coworkers to go about their bu...

Finding Social Footing at College Takes Time, Effort

Amber Scherer, Contributing Writer

May 5, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how fragile my friendships at Oberlin are. After a fairly solitary first semester, I was excited to develop a group of friends this spring. It was reassuring to have people I could geek out with over music or politics or just hang out with on weekends. That’s all I’ve ever wanted from friends: casual, easygoing relationships. In high school, at least, that’s all friends were for me. My real support came from my family, so I never sought it out at school. But now, away from my home and family, I’m realizing how much time it takes for people to get to know each other well enough to become the family we all need. I feel unsettled away from home. I’...

I Am a Low-Income Student in Favor of Dining Changes

Mia Bates, Contributing Writer

April 28, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

$500. That is what I owed the school for my entire first year at Oberlin. $500 and two weeks to pay it; otherwise, I could not enroll for my second year. I called my mom immediately and got a reply I had heard for 18 years: “I don’t know where the money is going to come from, lovey.” My parents made $15,000 dollars that year. Our furnace broke during that particularly bad upstate New York winter, and for two weeks my parents and little brother lived in a below-freezing house. The food stamps were nice though — at least they were eating. That is how my family’s life is. We have always lived paycheck to paycheck with sometimes months in between. I knew when I left for college that they would be unable to...

Removing OSCA Options for Low-Income Students Exclusionary, Not Equitable

Nick Rowan Bassman, Contributing Writer

April 21, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

If I were entering the Class of 2021, I would no longer be able to afford Oberlin College. It wouldn’t matter if the College met 100 percent of my demonstrated need. Without the money I’ve saved by living and dining in Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, I wouldn’t be able to afford to travel to and from Oberlin, adequately feed myself if I did somehow make it to campus or support my family with leftover funds if I somehow made it home. It angers me that departing Vice President of Finances and Administration Mike Frandsen has the audacity to claim proposed financial changes will “improve equity challenges” in the same email in which he announces that tuition is rising to make total costs for ...

Specific Administrator Could Aid Diversity

Kameron Dunbar, Contributing Writer

April 21, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Last week, the Review’s Editorial Board posited that the Stragetic Plan Implementation Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s suggestion to add a chief diversity officer as “a roundabout way of handling the College’s diversity issues that would ultimately prove ineffective.” As a former member of SPIDIE, I shared similar concerns at the time of  drafting, but my time working with the implementation group laid bare to me the necessity of someone with the dedication and administrative capacity to handle issues of diversity and inclusion. When I left SPIDIE, it was composed of high-level administrators, well-respected faculty members, College staff and students whose goal was to collect...

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