The Oberlin Review

‘Documentary’ Sheds Disturbing Light on Racial Perceptions of Obama

The Editorial Board

September 28, 2012

You didn’t watch Dreams From My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception so much as it washed over you in a wave of disbelief. A pseudo-documentary purporting to expose the “true origin of Obama’s life and politics,” Dreams From My Real Father tells the story of how President Obama’s father was a card-carrying member of Communist Party USA — not a goat herder from Kenya who came to America in search of an education. The film, copies of which have recently filled many of the OCMR’s mailboxes and trash bins, contains some familiar far-right tropes from the last few years: Obama’s friendship with Bill Ayers, his ties to Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his hidden socialist and Islamic beliefs. But it soon...

Angry Mob at Art Rental Reveals Oberlin’s Ugly Side

The Editorial Board

September 21, 2012

Art rental is one of the most treasured Oberlin traditions, not just for the opportunity it presents — priceless art spending a semester in your dorm or apartment — but for the event itself: renting a tent from the Outings Club and camping out in the courtyard, imbibing illegal substances on school property after dark and listening to classmates howl their favorite songs late into the night. It’s a fundamentally communal event, which is why last weekend was such an unfortunate sight. By 6:45 a.m., the sign-up list, a motley collection of papers scotch-taped to a pillar, was up to 220 people, and the lines of sleeping bodies filled the courtyard and several hallways. As 8 a.m. approached, a group gathered near...

Editorial: ObieTalk Useless If Obies Don’t Talk

The Editorial Board

May 4, 2012

Well, ObieTalk is all over the place. Where it used to exist mostly online and in the gossip-filled first-year dorm rooms, the anonymous forum has now been featured on the Oberlin blogs, on the front page of the Review, and was even the topic of a student forum facilitated by the Oberlin College Dialogue Center earlier today. After all this, it seems evident that the controversy swirling around the rise of bigoted posts on the site is sparking a long-overdue conversation about ObieTalk and the purpose of anonymous forums in general. Naturally, fingers have been pointed — at Will Adams-Keane, for creating ObieTalk and not monitoring it closely enough; at the administration, for not blocking the site; at the si...

Solar Array an Important Step Toward Sustainability

The Editorial Board

April 27, 2012

Environmentally conscious Obies can finally rejoice! This week, the Office of Communications announced plans to construct a 2.27 MW solar array on 10 acres of agricultural land adjacent to the Athletic Fields. As part of the College’s ongoing efforts to lower energy use and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, the array — built by national PV services provider SPG Solar, and operated and maintained by a Colorado- and Utah-based company called Spear Point Energy — will generate 12 percent of the College’s annual consumption and will be up and running by the start of fall semester. This is exciting news. Though the initiative might seem like a relatively small step compared to the work cut out for mank...

Editorial: High Expectations Make for Enlightened Campus Drug Culture

The Editorial Board

April 20, 2012

If you — student, professor, prospie or visiting parent — notice students greeting each other with calls of “Happy holidays” and sleepy grins today, don’t be surprised. But don’t be too quick to judge either. As much as Oberlin gets a rep as a hippie school, that is no longer the primary aspect of our culture. Sure, we were the first school to have co-ed dorms, and we swing pretty far left on the political spectrum, but it’s the rare Obie you’ll find these days naked in the woods playing the didgeridoo. For such a small school, we have a good variety of stereotypes roaming around campus — musicians, hipsters, athletes, nerds, and, yes, the occasional dirty hippie toking on a joint. While some...

Drag Ball Revamp Deviates from Tone of Event’s Past

The Editorial Board

April 6, 2012

By the way, Drag Ball is this weekend. You might have missed the Facebook reminders (because there really were none), the posters (also few and far between), and most unfortunately, if you just arrived on campus this September, you might not know the Ball is a thing at all. As seniors who remember the all-Wilder-consuming, Wizard-of-Oz-themed, end-of-an-era blowout Ball of 2009, we cannot help but lament the apparent demise of the great Oberlin get-together to celebrate the queerness in all of us. The cancellation of Drag Ball in 2010 due to a lack of student organizational support and funding spurred discussion about whether, in the almost two decades since its inauguration, the event had lost its focus. Some...

Seize Spring Days for New Oberlin Experiences

The Editorial Board

March 16, 2012

The days are full of sunshine, the grass is growing green, and when the balmy breezes start blowing over Plum Creek, it’s hard not to feel like Oberlin is letting out a contented sigh. (Especially since the weather around this time last year was a nonstop mix of snow and rain.) As your editorial staff ponder our last issue before spring break, in the final year many of us will be on this campus, we feel a good amount of nostalgia, and we would like to try to put it to productive use with a list of things we think everyone should do at Oberlin before they leave. Open observing on the roof of Peters the first and third Fridays of every month: Look at Jupiter, binary star systems and the craters of the moon from the...

Editorial: In Our Backyard? No Fracking Way!

The Editorial Board

March 9, 2012

One thing is on some restless students’ minds as springtime rolls in. By most accounts, it’s a dirty business. It seems like everywhere around us people are doing it — right in our own muddy Ohio backyard. Let’s talk about fracking. The process of induced hydraulic fracturing is getting energy companies increasingly hot and bothered about the prospect of untapped natural gas reserves, particularly in the Marcellus Shale that extends across a large portion of New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio. Despite what would seem like a love-at-first-sight relationship for anyone interested in cheap energy, questions about fracking’s safety, environmental impact and effect on the continuing U.S. reliance...

Accessibility of College One Cut We Can’t Afford

The Editorial Board

March 2, 2012

Thursday, Mar. 1 saw the shutdown of the University of California, Santa Cruz in the midst of a student-organized protest of the governor’s proposed state budget cuts for higher education that would bring drastic increases in tuition and fees for this year and the near future. All vehicle entrances to campus were blocked by groups of student protesters: some with tents, others with giant yellow tarps decorated to look like the school’s Banana Slug mascot. Four students now have minor injuries after a run-in with a determined car that drove away bearing the spilled paint and kick marks of the protesters’ retaliation. Classes were rescheduled beforehand or canceled as administrators tacitly showed their support for...

Coffee-Fetchers of the World, Unite!

The Editorial Board

February 24, 2012

Career Services is bogged down with appointments earlier than usual this year. Even as snow continues to fall on Tappan Square, Oberlin students are trying to secure their summer plans, which in many cases means an unpaid internship. Recently, however, that go-to answer for “What are you doing after May?” has started to be contested in courtrooms and commentary pages across the country. At the beginning of February, an Ohio State University alumna who served as an intern for over a year at Harper’s Bazaar filed a lawsuit accusing the Hearst Corporation of exploiting her full-time work doing various administrative tasks for the fashion magazine. Last year, two interns who had worked on the production of Fox Searchlight’s...

Obama Fails to Convince (Birth) Control Freaks

The Editorial Board

February 17, 2012

The recent controversy over federal health insurance law and contraception, with socially conservative institutions like the Catholic Church demanding the right to exclude contraceptive coverage from their employees’ insurance plans, gives us a number of promising editorial angles to pursue. We could highlight the fact that yet again, an Obama-approved policy endorsed a few short years ago by many moderate Republicans has been abruptly recast as a radical attack on American freedom. We could point out the absurdity of hearing lectures on victimless, consensual “sin” from an institution that has enabled and covered up mass-scale sexual abuse of children. We could simply dish out a righteous smackdown to the social-conservative...

Internet Defeats Piracy Bills

The Editorial Board

February 10, 2012

This Winter Term, you didn’t need to be on campus, in the country, or even tuned into the news to witness the beginnings of events that stand to have far-reaching implications for Oberlin students. You just needed to want to Google something or look up a Wikipedia article on Jan. 18. That day, several major websites “blacklisted” themselves to let their sentiments be known as Congress considered enacting stringent new online intellectual property protections, the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House of Representatives and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act in the Senate — otherwise known as SOPA and PIPA. Thanks to slick informational videos shared...

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