The Oberlin Review

Gender Segregation in Sports Should Be Reconsidered

Brittany Mendez, Contributing Writer

September 22, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Last week, at the recommendation of my Philosophy professor, I attended a lecture by Dr. Rachel McKinnon titled “Including Trans Athletes in Sports.” I’m glad I went, because it challenged me to think more deeply about why we segregate sports by gender. Historically, Black athletes have performed better in sports, but if we split sports by race, most would consider this to be absurd. If this is true, why do we accept segregation of sports by gender? McKinnon is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy department at the College of Charleston and an international cyclist hoping to compete in the next Olympic Games. As a trans female athlete, she has faced many challenges in competing in organized athl...

Finding Community Reduces Stress, Improves Mental Health

Melissa Harris, Editor-in-Chief

September 15, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

One endemic problem I see constantly in college students — a problem I’m guilty of feeding into myself — is the pressure to push yourself everyday, treating each semester like a marathon that you have to run on your own. Some lock themselves in their rooms, spending hours on endless problem sets while others find themselves buried in Mudd’s eerily silent corners, reading stacks of assigned articles and books. This experience has been all too familiar to me throughout my time at Oberlin and, as I kick off my senior year with a capstone and honors project to tackle this semester, I’ve been isolating myself more than I would like. In getting wrapped up in my research and personal stress, I sometimes forg...

Oberlin Makes Progress in Diversifying Community

Brittany Mendez, Contributing Writer

September 15, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Have you ever been lured by statistics claiming that an institution is significantly more diverse than its competitors? If you attend Oberlin or any other college, you likely have. Many workplaces advertise themselves in a similar manner, which I experienced first-hand at an internship this past summer. For my senior project last year, I interned in the Office of the Attorney General in Washington, D.C., shadowing attorneys in the public interest division. As a student considering a career in law, I hoped the internship would give me an accurate understanding of what life as an attorney would be like. After my project officially ended, I was asked to continue interning over the summer and I happily accep...

Oberlin Must Protect Diverse Opinions

Duncan Reid, Contributing Writer

September 15, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Across college campuses nationwide, the right to free expression is endangered. In the past three years alone, one lawmaker in Wisconsin threatened to withhold funding from University of Wisconsin Madison because they were offended by a course dealing with race and ethnicity, Tennessee passed a law prohibiting universities from using public funds for a “sex week,” or to “promote the use of gender neutral pronouns,” South Carolina lawmakers voted to cut funding to two colleges that assigned LGBTQ-themed books as required reading for first-year students, and a Michigan Senate subcommittee threatened to fine universities for “any instructional activity that encourages or discourages union organizin...

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...

Established 1874.