The Oberlin Review

Without Breaks, Students Struggle to Sustain Engaged Learning

Editorial Board

October 23, 2020

Current students have never before experienced an Oberlin October without a fall break — and we don’t want to whine, but it’s harder than we expected. While normally midterms would be followed by a week-long chance to relax and regroup, this year we moved right along to another week of classes. If Oberlin Twitter these past few days is any indication, student burnout is a mounting concern.  Students enrolled this fall won’t catch a break until Thanksgiving, at which point many of us will need to pack up our rooms and travel elsewhere — in a pandemic — before getting a few brief days off from courses. While we’re all capable of continuing on without a fall break, the encroaching fatigue of this semester indi...

Conservatory Commitments Hearken Back to a Decade of Student Advocacy

Editorial Board

September 25, 2020

Oberlin College and Conservatory is known for its history of progressivism, although the record shows that this institution has not always lived up to its promises of inclusivity. A commitment like the Presidential Initiative on Racial Equity and Diversity has been a long time coming. In recent months, campus leaders have written to Oberlin calling for change, and their words have echoed years of student demands — now, they are starting to be heard. The Conservatory’s plans, released earlier this month, are the first action steps to come from the Presidential Initiative. As we celebrate and look forward to future progress, we want to recognize the generations of students that have worked to make this happen.  ...

73 Percent Obie Voter Turnout in 2018 — We Can Do Better

Editorial Board

September 11, 2020

Many of us have been waiting for this election for a long, long time — but the moment is finally here. This editorial is coming early this year because voting needs to happen early this year. We know you’ve probably seen dozens of Instagram graphics and Twitter threads, but here we’re going to provide a few more reasons why Oberlin must vote.  At this time we’re approaching not just the presidential election, but also seeing a pivotal congressional race play out in our district and casting our ballots to choose the College’s newest student senators. In the first two of those three ongoing races, 2020 boasts some truly terrifying incumbents. On the national level, we’re reaching the end of Donald Trump’s el...

Keeping Faith in Obies

Editorial Board

September 4, 2020

Life right now can feel like a big experiment. Certainly, life on campus does. Whether you’re standing six feet apart in the DeCafé line or sitting on the quad, distanced from your friends — it all seems a little dystopian.  It feels like a giant experiment because it is — no one knows what’s going to happen. So far, our version of the experiment is going rather well. At the time of publication, the initial and most recent data shows just 0.23 percent of Oberlin’s campus tested positive for COVID-19. We are grateful that the College has developed a plan that works to prioritize health and safety, and we trust that students are doing their part as well — making sacrifices and readjusting to the new campus...

To the Class of 2020

Editorial Board

May 25, 2020

This past week, graduating Obies received their caps and various parting mementos in a box — commencement on delivery. Parents are taking photographs in living rooms and on front lawns across the country and around the world, while friends organize celebrations over Zoom. Today is not the Commencement Day that anyone expected. Where alumni, family, and friends of graduates would usually flood Oberlin, we now gather in front of our computer screens while storefronts slowly begin to reopen in Ohio. While this editorial would typically appear in the Review’s annual commencement issue, this year’s reflections have transitioned to an online platform.  It is hard to process the end of one’s college career when college i...

As COVID-19 Brings Fear, Disruption, Obies Rally to Support Community

Editorial Board

March 13, 2020

This is an uncertain, difficult, and frightening time. Every member of our community is scrambling to make sense of the necessary yet difficult decisions that have been made by College administrators. This is not easy, and it’s okay to be scared. At a time when many of the members of our community are sharing anxieties — and holding close their friends and family members — the most important thing that we can do is support and take care of one another. Much like our peer institutions, the College is following protocols and best practices that public health and other government officials have developed to mitigate the expansion of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in deciding to cancel classes, send students home, an...

In Congressional Race, Third-Party Candidate Could Split Vote, Take Down Jim Jordan

Editorial Board

March 6, 2020

 With Ohio’s March 17 primary elections rapidly approaching, the Editorial Board anticipates that many students are well-prepared to make a selection in the presidential race — especially given that the Democratic campaign has narrowed to two viable challengers, Senator Bernie Sanders and Former Vice President Joe Biden. However, many voters remain less informed about the developments in local races.  In particular, we are tracking the race to nominate a Democratic congressional candidate for this fall’s general election. Currently, three Democrats are competing for the nomination: moderates Shannon Freshour and Jeff Sites, and self-described progressive Mike Larsen. All three hope to beat Congressperson ...

Pro-UAW Activism Shows Best of Obies

Editorial Board

February 28, 2020

 With only one day’s notice after President Carmen Twillie Ambar announced the College’s plan to formally consider outsourcing 108 United Automobile Workers jobs, over 600 students and other community members assembled outside of the General Faculty meeting on Feb. 19 to voice their support of unionized employees. As Oberlin students, we are proud of the scale of the protest, the speed and skill with which it was organized, and the commitment that pro-union organizers have demonstrated to continue making their work more open to and inclusive of students and other community members of color. As outlined in our previous editorial, we believe that the College should not move forward with its proposal to outsourc...

Outsourcing Proposal Creates Unfair Burden; Cuts Must Come From Elsewhere

Editorial Board

February 21, 2020

 After reading Tuesday afternoon’s announcement from President Carmen Twillie Ambar and engaging in conversation with many campus stakeholders, we firmly oppose the College’s proposal to contract with outside vendors to provide campus dining and custodial services. We support the 108 unionized United Automobile Workers employees who could lose their jobs as a result of this proposal and strongly advocate for Oberlin’s administration to identify another area in which to find the approximate $2 million in annual savings that this decision is expected to bring in.  It is important to remember that the financial imperative driving the administration’s proposal to outsource more than 100 jobs is indisputable and i...

College’s OSCA Stance Inconsistent With One Oberlin Recommendations

Editorial Board

February 14, 2020

 When the Steering Committee of the Academic and Administrative Program Review released its final One Oberlin report in May 2019, a number of its recommendations concerned changes to the College’s relationship with the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association. This Editorial Board was reassured then, by what appeared to be a commitment from administrators, to engage in a process to learn more about the value OSCA brings to the institution. Now, nearly a year later, we’re not so sure that administrators are committed to such a process — and recent developments have troubling implications for the future of a transparent and good-faith One Oberlin implementation. The One Oberlin report recommended engaging “in ...

In Democratic Primary, Progressive Vision Provides Strongest Path

Editorial Board

February 7, 2020

 With the explosively disastrous advent of the Iowa caucuses, the Democratic presidential primary season is officially in full swing. Still, the field has yet to narrow in any meaningful way, and Democratic voters still have plenty of White House hopefuls to throw their support behind — 11, to be exact. Within that broad field, two primary camps of candidates have emerged — a progressive wing, creating something of a challenge to the status quo within the Democratic Party, and the moderate core. Notable progressives are Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; closer to the middle are former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klo...

Following Quillen’s Appointment, College Must Pursue Similar Stability

Editorial Board

December 13, 2019

 At this crucial moment in Oberlin’s history, we need a seasoned captain at the helm of the ship. Particularly, at a time when significant changes are being instituted to improve the functioning of the College, we need all the stability we can get.  Until recently, both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory have been entrenched in a hiring search for their respective deans. The hiring committee for the Dean of the Conservatory concluded its national search for a suitable candidate, which began in May of this year. The hiring committee for the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences also began earlier this semester and is currently on-going.  The Conservatory has proven that promoting stability ...

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