The Oberlin Review

Departmental Consolidation Offers Opportunities for Increased Efficiency

Editorial Board

March 15, 2019

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In a series of campus-wide presentations earlier this week, the Academic and Administrative Program Review steering committee unveiled numerous areas of recommendation for program and financial changes that might secure Oberlin’s long-term financial sustainability. For the last year, senior administrators have made clear that Oberlin is facing a financial reality that simply does not permit stagnation. However, this week’s presentation put that urgency in starker terms than ever before for the larger Oberlin community. According to the AAPR data released this week, if no changes are made to Oberlin’s budget, over the next five years Oberlin would see our deficit balloon to an unprecedented $52 million — a...

Arabic Transition Offers Opportunity to Model Creative Collaboration

Editorial Board

March 8, 2019

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The recent decision to transition intermediate and advanced Arabic courses to a digital classroom platform known as the Shared Languages Program (covered in-depth in this week’s Review, “Arabic Courses to Be Offered Digitally”) has highlighted two truths about Oberlin’s current campus climate. The first, which has been obvious for quite some time, is that the time to make difficult decisions is here. Oberlin’s finances are at a point where, if action is not taken now, the institution will struggle to keep its doors open down the road. The second is that College administrators and students are getting better at coming together and discussing in good faith what those decisions are, and how they should be add...

Community Engagement Should Be Academic Priority

Editorial Board

March 1, 2019

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The City of Oberlin and Oberlin College have always been very closely connected, as can be expected of the relationship between a small liberal arts college and the small, rural community it shares a backyard with. Indeed, the two were founded together — the town and then-Oberlin Collegiate Institute were one and the same, reveling in shared triumphs and coming together in difficult times. However, in recent years that relationship has faltered, and interactions between the town and College have become strained. These divisions have doubtless come with heavy cost, and silos that seemed unimaginable early in Oberlin’s history now too often feel deeply entrenched. Clearly, work must be done to rebuild those bridges...

Club Sports Deserve More Recognition, Institutional Support

Editorial Board

February 22, 2019

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

One of the most exciting moments in Oberlin athletics last year was when both of the College’s ultimate Frisbee teams, the Flying Horsecows and the Preying Manti, qualified for the national Frisbee tournament. Their success allowed for some rare glimpses of school spirit as the campus came together to support both squads — in a way it rarely does around Oberlin’s varsity teams. This celebration was a reminder of the ways club sports can build community, even though they receive a fraction of the institutional support that varsity teams do. While that discrepancy is at least partially due to the inherent DIY nature of club sports, which many club athletes and supporters value, it can hinder the ability of club...

Students Should Support Neighbors Through Programs Like OCS

Editorial Board

February 15, 2019

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

America today is defined by skyrocketing economic inequality, broken social welfare systems, and politicians who seem apathetic about both. The political and social institutions that are supposed to ensure the health and safety of all citizens simply do not work, and the discrepancies in who benefits from them are only growing more extreme. These realities were painfully obvious during the recent federal government shutdown, which stretched from Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018 to Friday, Jan. 25 of this year — the longest in U.S. history. Almost immediately, stories of federal workers struggling to make ends meet while deprived of their normal paychecks began to flood national media. The shutdown had a huge impact, even...

Higher Education Shifts Spell Trouble for Small Liberal Arts Colleges

Editorial Board

February 8, 2019

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Editor's note: The original version of this editorial incorrectly stated that Antioch College would likely close if it could not merge with another institution. In fact, Hampshire College, not Antioch, is seeking a merger. The editorial has been updated and the Review regrets the error. Small liberal arts institutions like Oberlin are in trouble. This much has become clear in recent years, as many — not just Oberlin — have faced significant financial challenges, some even forced to close their doors. Earlham College, for instance, was forced to cut a staggering 12 percent of costs across all divisions in a single year and suspend its football program. Hampshire College recently announced that it's looking...

International Students Face Challenges Finding Internships, Health Care

Editorial Board

December 7, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In this time of financial instability, one of President Carmen Ambar’s charges to the broader Oberlin community has been to consider how Oberlin can boldly step into the future and live out what it means to be a liberal arts college in the 21st century. Part of that task will be finding ways to increase Oberlin’s global platform. We are fortunate to have a large population of international students who contribute significantly to our community, and while there are programs in place to help international students succeed at Oberlin and beyond, there are still steps this institution can take to further support and facilitate the students’ success. International students, who compose approximately 13 percent of...

CDS Should Keep Serving Up the Changes

Editorial Board

November 30, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Over the past year, Oberlin’s Campus Dining Services has faced significant criticism in the wake of changes caused by budgetary restrictions. Complaints have included accessibility issues, a lack of dietary options, dissatisfaction with the menu and food quality, labor issues with Bon Appétit, and the unpopular 300-meal plan that first- and second-years outside of OSCA are required to purchase. On top of these initial complaints, further issues included the closure of Dascomb Dining Hall; the removal of the made-to-order sandwich station in DeCafé; long, seemingly unmanageable lines in Stevenson Dining Hall; and the new meal swipe system in DeCafé which many students felt was confusing and disorganized at the start...

Students Should Prioritize Career Prep

Editorial Board

November 16, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Editor’s note: Editors-in-Chief Sydney Allen and Nathan Carpenter are both student leaders in the newly-created SOAR program, which is discussed in this editorial. An anecdote floating around campus recently tells the story of a Google executive who supposedly said that Oberlin students make for some of the best employees, but some of the worst interviewees. This story, whether true or not, reflects a kind of dual truth: Oberlin students are creative, innovative, and have a lot to offer, but often struggle to make themselves attractive to employers. Subsequently, Oberlin students lag behind students at comparable institutions in finding full-time work following graduation. This observation suggests a failure ...

MRC Deserves Better

Editorial Board

November 9, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Advocating for social justice is perhaps the Oberlin community’s most strongly-held value. We care deeply about equity, even though we’re far from perfect in achieving it. One of the most important resources on campus in our ongoing work to be better advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion is the Multicultural Resource Center. The MRC plays an invaluable role on campus through the support and programming it provides for marginalized communities at Oberlin. Further, the MRC does good work in educating and training other campus groups to be more sensitive to social power dynamics and their own biases. Because of the contributions that the MRC makes to our community, we have been alarmed to see the deterioration...

Vote Them Out

Editorial Board

November 2, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

It’s been nearly two years since the devastation of Election Day 2016, when the American public decided to elevate someone who represents the worst among us in almost every way to the country’s highest office. In that time, Republicans have been both busy and effective. They’ve laid out an alarming agenda and achieved much of it. The far-right has become emboldened. The cowards who disguised themselves as moderate conservatives throughout the Obama years have been empowered to let their true colors show. With Trump at the helm, the GOP has launched attacks on women, people of color, Jewish people, trans people, low-income communities, the press, and countless other constituencies that contribute greatly to...

Whose Land Are We On?

Editorial Board

October 12, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The City of Oberlin celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the second time ever this Monday, after officially changing the holiday’s name from Columbus Day in 2017. Oberlin joins a growing number of cities around the country in rejecting dominant narratives of colonial expansion, instead choosing to recognize and remember the violence that Columbus and other settlers inflicted — and continue to inflict — on Indigenous peoples across North and South America. We stand behind the City of Oberlin in changing the holiday’s name. We also view the change as an opportunity to further consider the histories of Indigenous communities who lived here before us. A land acknowledgement is a conscious, historically-grounded...

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