The Oberlin Review

Ambar, Students Must Share Vision of Oberlin’s Future

Editorial Board

February 9, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS, Recent Stories

Halfway through this academic year, Oberlin has already confronted many institutional challenges. Structural and infrastructural changes have transformed last year’s dining system, admissions, advising, academic resource offices, the Office of Disability Resources, and faculty and staff salaries, among others. President Carmen Ambar’s new role as Oberlin’s leader has certainly been a major shift as well. Her understanding of and plans for Oberlin will greatly determine the course this institution takes in the years to come — including, but not nearly limited to, the areas listed above. Ambar’s email to the campus community this Monday bluntly detailed the challenges we face as an institution. But she also...

Oberlin Faculty, Administration Must Be Active in Preventing Sexual Misconduct

Editorial Board

December 8, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: Language in this editorial has been updated to clarify the sources used in its writing and more explicitly express the views of the Editorial Board. Some of the most important relationships at Oberlin are those between students and members of the faculty and staff. Faculty, advisors, and deans all take meaningful roles in the lives of students that they work with — which is how it should be. After all, students come to small liberal arts schools like Oberlin for the accessibility of mentorship and guidance, as well as research opportunities predicated on working closely with faculty members that are not readily available to undergraduates at large universities. With these relationships comes...

Students Must Defend Net Neutrality

Editorial Board

December 1, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai declared last Tuesday that the FCC expected to repeal net neutrality at their upcoming Dec. 14 meeting. Net neutrality was established by the Obama administration to ensure equal access to the internet by preventing leaders of the telecommunications industry from commercializing media platforms, thereby shaping users’ internet access. While grappling with larger national stories about the tax overhaul and sexual assault allegations, we — as students — must recognize that paying attention to and advocating for the future of net neutrality is equally dire. The FCC’s new plan allows for future commercial influence over web usage, which will let broadband companies bl...

Discussion of Enrollment, Retention Must Include Dorms

Editorial Board

November 17, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Enrollment and retention are two of the most immediate issues that Oberlin College must address. That much has become clear over the last few years, as the College has seen its Moody’s credit rating drop and budget deficit soar due in large part to unexpected enrollment shortfalls. Naturally, the College’s administration is looking to address these problems that have a significant impact on College finances — the PAL program is a prime example. Created by Associate Dean of Students Dana Hamdan, PAL seeks to address feelings of discontent and isolation among first-year students that have negatively impacted retention. One aspect of student life that has been overlooked in discussions of how to address student unhappin...

Students Should Not Engage Gibson’s as Lawsuit Ensues

Editorial Board

November 10, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

“When they go low, we go high.” This quote by Michelle Obama became an overused and often cringe-inducing centerpiece of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. But there is a lot of truth and power in Obama’s words, which can serve as a meaningful guide for the Oberlin College community now searching for a response to news of a lawsuit recently filed by Gibson’s Bakery against the College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. News of the lawsuit — which is meant to bully and intimidate College students, faculty, and staff, and can be read in full on the Review’s website — was relayed to the College community almost exactly one year after students initiated a protest agai...

Student Engagement in Elections Must Be Well-Informed

Editorial Board

November 3, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

One of the first questions many Obies are asked upon arriving on campus for their first-year orientation is whether they would like to register to vote in Ohio. Several groups — student and community, partisan and nonpartisan — descend on Oberlin with voter registration forms and voter information packets. In some years, this is an easier question to answer than others. First-years arriving on campus in fall 2016, for example, were given the opportunity to register in a swing state for one of the most heated and divisive presidential campaigns in history. This year, however, is a different story. The local elections that will occur this Tuesday, Nov. 7 — which some students likely do not even know about — w...

Policy of Silence Threatens Students

Editorial Board

October 27, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In the wake of anti-Semitic flyers being discovered by Safety and Security on Warner Center and Peters Hall early in the morning Oct. 13, President Ambar announced in an email to the students, faculty, and staff that the College would stop notifying the community of discriminatory postings “unless there is clear evidence of an ongoing pattern or a serious threat to campus safety.” As a group that includes multiple marginalized identities, including Judaism, the Editorial Board is surprised, confused, and frightened about the implications of such a sudden sweeping decision. First and foremost, we believe that marginalized students have a right to be informed about any all possible statements of hate and threats ...

Office of Disability Resources Vital to Community, Institution

Editorial Board

October 6, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

As significant budget constraints threaten to jeopardize everyday aspects of campus life, the Oberlin community has rallied around the Office of Disability Resources — an office that a large number of students regularly depend on for support. Neglected over the course of the past few semesters, the ODR is a perfect example of the kind of resource that is so vital to Oberlin’s core values that members of our community must make sacrifices to keep it afloat. The departure of former Interim Director Isabella Moreno is — and should be — a wake-up call for students and administrators alike, as it represents the latest debacle in a history of inadequate service for those who need it. The ODR must be staffed to full stren...

Congress Must Repeal Jones Act, Aid Puerto Rico

Editorial Board

September 29, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Hurricane Maria wrought destruction on Puerto Rico last week in the most disastrous storm the island has encountered in more than 80 years, leaving 3.5 million people without power. Large swathes of the country continue to lack sufficient drinking water and food in what is becoming an increasingly severe humanitarian crisis. At a time when the world should have been coming to Puerto Rico’s aid, the Jones Act, a nearly century-old shipping law in the United States, prevented Puerto Ricans from receiving additional foreign assistance to tackle the post-Maria destruction. The act was passed in 1920, ostensibly to ensure that the U.S. could maintain a robust shipbuilding and shipping industry following th...

Sensationalist Media Compromises Credibility for Click Bait

Editorial Board

September 22, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In the past, the College has been a target for outside news sources that cherry-pick the Review’s pieces on topics ranging from the cultural appropriation of food in the dining halls to the contentious dismissal of former professor Joy Karega. Their goal is to malign the credibility of colleges like ours. Last week, The Washington Times marked another chapter in the on- going manipulation of our reporting by twisting our story on Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan’s email revealing the deficit and consequent declaration of financial cuts (“Enrollment Drop Creates Financial Shortfall,” Sept. 8, 2017) to argue that the College’s underenrollment results from a reputation fostered by its studen...

Students Must Advocate for Departments, Programs

Editorial Board

September 15, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In the throes of a budgetary crisis, it’s time for Oberlin students to rally behind their academic departments. With some tenure-track positions only temporarily replaced by visiting faculty, facilities set for understaffing, and the threat of more cuts in the future, it is vital that students voice which positions and programs matter to them. We have the ability to hold Oberlin accountable to its values by reinforcing what the College means to us, but we can only define our experience if we take the initiative to do so. Last September, the Review published the article “Program Cuts Leave Film Students With Questions,” (Sept. 16, 2016), concerning the woeful understaffing of the Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman C...

Exclusive Governance Fails Students

Editorial Board

September 8, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In an email from this past summer announcing to faculty and staff that Oberlin’s revenues would fall well short of targets and create a deficit of $5 million, incoming Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan, OC ’84, began with the salutation “To the Oberlin community.” It was a stroke of profound irony. For all that it contained — including discussion of decreased enrollment, sub-par student retention, a projected five percent budget shortfall over the next decade, and a salary freeze for the second consecutive year — the letter was most significant in what, or rather who, it omitted. Despite the grave financial implications for current and future students, we were never informed, and Ca...

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