The Oberlin Review

Editorial: Mugging Shouldn’t Fray Town-Gown Connection

The Editorial Board

November 11, 2011

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The attack last Sunday on History Professor Gary Kornblith was bizarre and virtually unprecedented. A professor being mugged by what looked like two 15 year olds? In the middle of the day? In an academic building? It’s hard to imagine that something like this could happen on our campus, and even harder to wrap one’s mind around that fact that it did. The incident provokes one obvious question — how did this happen? — which leads to the next obvious question: What should be done to prevent violence of this nature in the future? The important thing about this particular attack is not necessarily what makes it so alarming (that it took place in broad daylight in a very public area) but that the divide between...

Editorial: Rushdie’s Comments Highlight Potential of Literary Thinking

The Editorial Board

October 14, 2011

Filed under Editorials, Literature & Poetry, OPINIONS

“How do you write about a world that makes no sense?” Sir Salman Rushdie’s question nearly faded into the fabric of his convocation speech — partly an account of literature’s functions through history, partly a commentary on modern politics and media from an internationally meta-renowned storyteller (excuse the cheesy literary joke: one of his novels, Midnight’s Children, won the Booker of Bookers). His is a question constantly faced by journalists, but also by all literate people in this sprawling, multifaceted, globalizing society of ours. Yes, Rushdie deserves his reputation as a great figure of our times, but for anyone who has read or heard him, it’s clear that this isn’t a function of his fame...

Editorial: Oberlin Journalism Lacks Academic Support

The Editorial Board

October 7, 2011

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The assertion in this week’s Diatribe that the Diatribe itself represents a “tasteless ornament to [this] publication’s already insubstantial content” leaves us feeling somewhat conflicted. While we as editors spend a substantial amount of time, energy and thought on the Review every week, we recognize that the paper’s overall quality waxes and wanes with each new issue. We can recall more mistakes and oversights this paper has made over the last few years than almost anybody on campus — and not only the larger ones that have inspired hurricanes of criticism (hint hint), but the little layout errors, typos and forgotten corrections that grate on nobody’s nerves so much as ours. On a less superficial level, A...

“It Takes Balls to Execute an Innocent Man”

The Editorial Board

September 23, 2011

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

On September 21, the state of Georgia executed Troy Anthony Davis for the murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. Davis’s story attracted worldwide scrutiny when the prosecution’s case against him unraveled after his conviction, with seemingly no acknowledgement from Georgia’s criminal justice system. Of the nine eyewitnesses whose testimony established that Davis had killed MacPhail, seven have since recanted, while one of the remaining two, Sylvester “Redd” Coles, has been heard by several witnesses admitting to the crime himself. One of the original jurors was quoted by CNN as stating flat out: “If I knew then what I know now, Troy Davis would not be on Death Row.” Georgia’s intransigence...

Sour Memories of 9/11

The Editorial Board

September 16, 2011

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Last Sunday, on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, New York Timescolumnist Paul Krugman decided to remember the occasion on his blog in a way that, shall we say, turned a few heads. In a post titled “The Years of Shame,” Krugman wrote that because of its exploitation for purposes of military adventurism abroad and Republican political advantage at home, “[t]he memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.” His post elicited a predictable flurry of outrage from the right, with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tweeting that he had cancelled his subscription to the Times after reading it. Such words...

Editorial: Oberlin’s Favorite Super Senior

The Editorial Board

May 13, 2011

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

When this year’s graduating class were first-years four years ago, we entered college alongside another first-year of sorts — when Marvin Krislov began as Oberlin’s 14th president in July of 2007, one month before the class of 2011 arrived on campus for Orientation. Being the president of Oberlin College is not an easy job. Ours is an academically accredited institution that caters to the most anti-institutional of students. In a school defined by its resistance to authority, being the authority requires one to walk a narrow line. President Krislov has done an excellent job in his own right, and his predecessors make him look even better. After all, who among us celebrates the exploits of Nancy Dye or S....

Editorial: New Name, Same Section

The Editorial Board

May 13, 2011

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

As some of our readers may have noticed, a few weeks ago The Oberlin Review rebranded our “Commentary” section with the moniker “Opinions.” Although the content of the section will remain the same, and the two words mean the same thing, the Review nevertheless decided that a name change would clear up confusion that apparently existed about the nature and purpose of Commentary. We came to this decision due to individuals repeatedly contacting the Review to express their concern over bias found in the letters, editorials and op-eds that made up the content of the Commentary section. While we strive to present news coverage as fairly and objectively as possible, bias can be detected in the editorial pages of...

The End of an Era

The Editorial Board

May 6, 2011

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Last Sunday, President Obama announced to the world that Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks of September 11, had been killed in an attack conducted by the United States. For the most part, current Oberlin students came of age in a time of fear and uncertainty created by bin Laden. Whether through the PATRIOT Act, Hollywood’s airbrushing of the Twin Towers, or the protracted wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the results of bin Laden’s actions significantly shaped daily life during our formative years. As time put us farther and farther from 9/11, however, it became easier and easier to start feeling as if the post-9/11 world had always existed, that there were always terrorists, that the...

Editorial: Oberlin Community Deserved More Information

The Editorial Board

April 29, 2011

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Last week, a combined racial and homophobic slur was spray-painted onto the side of Dascomb, an action that elicited an immediate reaction from the College and student body. The Editorial Board wholeheartedly supports the silent vigil and what it stood for; rather than embark on a witch hunt, those organizing the event sought to bring people together to symbolize the Oberlin community’s sentiment that the slurs were hurtful, regardless of their context. When a hateful message appears in our community, we must be able to show support in whatever way we can without fear of judgment, and it is important to remember that the best response to an incident such as this is to look for ways to improve our support netw...

Re-evaluating Evaluations

The Editorial Board

April 22, 2011

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Even at a school as academically outstanding as Oberlin, it’s not uncommon to hear students complaining about the ways in which their classes are taught. Often, the first thing a student will do after leaving a frustrating class is to vent to a friend about what exactly needs to be changed about a course; members of the Editorial Board have found themselves spending the length of an unbearable lecture making a mental laundry list of easy things the professor could do to turn a terrible class into a productive one. End-of-semester course evaluations become a fantasy of revenge, a sole outlet through which students can express frustration over a course to someone who has the power to change it. Why is the syst...

A Barbie-Free Response to Professor Mehta

The Editorial Board

April 16, 2011

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

First, the Editorial Board would like to thank Dr. Mehta for his well researched and thorough critique. Numbers speak louder than accusations, and his breakdown of the genre distribution of Review articles in the past volume was both accurate and eye-opening to the Editorial Board. Second: Dr. Mehta, you are correct in your underlying point. The recent letters to the editor we have received regarding the presence or lack of science coverage in our paper demonstrates a strong demand at Oberlin campus for such articles. That many of the authors of these letters are both science majors and, clearly, strong writers also show that there is no dearth of passionate, coherent science writers at Oberlin. There are, unfortunately,...

Which Barbie Are We, Really?

The Editorial Board

March 18, 2011

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Recently, The Oberlin Review received a harshly worded letter, condemning our This Week editor’s joke about the difficulty of mathematics. In 1992, the Mattel company debuted a Barbie that uttered, among a variety of other phrases, the succinct line “Math is Tough!” The Oberlin Review, this letter explained, is “still back there with Math Barbie.” Math Barbie!? This whole time we had been thinking of ourselves as Malibu Barbie, the most popular plastic blonde bombshell of all time. Suddenly, with this condemnation, we were relegated down to the realm of Math Barbie, who lived on the lowest rung of Barbiedom and mainly hung out with Canadian Mountie Barbie. Who’s ever heard of her? (No one, obviousl...

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