The Oberlin Review

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...

Ambar Provides Opportunity for Needed Change

Editorial Board

September 1, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Each new academic year offers an opportunity to turn a new leaf. With the end of former President Marvin Krislov’s decade-long tenure this summer, that opportunity has perhaps never been greater at Oberlin. Simultaneously, however, the institution has never seemed to be in a more precarious position in recent memory than it does now. Just within the last year, Oberlin has seen cuts to administrative assistant and custodial positions, threats to eliminate programs like faculty research status, yet another tuition increase accompanied by an overhaul in room and board requirements, and the resumption of business with Gibson’s Bakery after controversy that sparked massive student protests. Together, these choi...

College Newspapers Best Illustrate Campus Life

Editorial Board

May 19, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Oberlin students are often presented as coddled, spoiled and so obsessed with political correctness that we have lost touch with reality, choosing to embrace a liberal utopia instead of facing the “real world.” If four years working at The Oberlin Review have taught us anything, it is that this portrayal could not be further from the truth. Stories like alleged cultural appropriation in dining halls have been lifted by national media outlets in a way that grossly misrepresents reality on campus. Major news organizations would have most believe that protests wildly erupted in food fights, with students quivering in dorm rooms for shelter. In reality, students were proactive. They identified a problem, initiated d...

Bon Voyage, Bon Appétit

Editorial Board

May 5, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Chronic understaffing, overworked staff members, disgruntled employees and complaints about mismanagement. These are some of the issues that Campus Dining Service workers decried more than two years ago, as covered in the Review at the time (“CDS Workers: We’re Overworked, Disrespected,” The Oberlin Review, Oct. 2, 2015). And yet seemingly nothing was fixed in the last two years, as the same set of issues were the central focus of a campus protest Monday. In collaboration with CDS employees, Student Labor Action Coalition coordinated a boycott of dining halls. Members of the organization took to social media and other platforms to encourage students to eat in co-ops or join a picnic in Wilder Hall for...

Student Input Necessary to Avoid Finger Pointing

Editorial Board

April 28, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Following last week’s tuition hikes, the sentiment bears repeating: The administration needs to include students in conversations about major institutional decisions, financial or otherwise. The scenario played out much like similar situations often have in the past. Behind closed doors, administrators privately pivoted in favor of a 2.8-percent tuition hike and higher flat-rate housing and dining costs under the guise of “improving equity.” Students protested, organized events and held meetings about where to go from here as constituents in an institution without adequate representation. Administrators sent emails. And more emails. The justifications for these hikes have largely fallen flat on a student...

Stop Raising Tuition

Editorial Board

April 21, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The administration’s announcement to raise tuition to a whopping $69,372 by overhauling the College’s housing and dining systems is a perfect example of everything wrong with how this school is run. Administrators confidentially concocted major policy changes with no student involvement or consent, ultimately continuing its grotesque experiment of pushing tuition to the absolute limit with a 2.8-percent increase. Yes, the increase is lower than the already absurd 4-percent increases of previous years and matches the increase from last year. But “freezing” the rate of growth at 2.8 percent is not actually freezing anything, since the increase in absolute terms will continue growing annually. The principle of comp...

Administrative Bloat Evades Real Issue

Editorial Board

April 14, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The General Faculty Committee considered recommendations for implementation from the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion working group today, including a suggestion to create a new “Chief Diversity Officer” administrative position. Though well intentioned, adding yet another six-figure administrative job seems like a roundabout way of handling the College’s diversity issues that would ultimately prove ineffective. SPIDIE’s logic follows that Oberlin has previously experimented with creating leadership roles that address compositional diversity like a special assistant to the president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and should continue to do so. Seeking to expand...

Ohio Must End Death Penalty, Torture

Editorial Board

April 7, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: This article discusses the death penalty, rape, and murder. The last time the state of Ohio ended a life with capital punishment, Dennis McGuire choked, gasped for air and writhed in agony for 26 minutes before finally dying. Unable to procure reliable lethal execution drugs — the Danish company that produces them now refuses to sell to the U.S. government — Ohio decided to experiment with an untested drug cocktail that had never been used in an execution. Doctors told state officials that McGuire might suffocate to death; they decided to run the risk and suffocated him anyway. As the old adage goes, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” McGuire’s crime — raping and murdering a pregna...

GOP Places Partisanship Over Protection

Editorial Board

March 31, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: This article discusses rape and sexual assault. Ohio is one of eight states that still includes marital exceptions to its felony rape laws, and it may very well stay that way. The state’s current policy creates a loophole that allows a lesser penalty to be imposed on a spouse who drugs and assaults their partner. In a repugnant display of partisanship, a Democratic bill that would eliminate this exemption has gained no support from the GOP. This is politics at its worst. Democratic Representatives Greta Johnson and Kristen Boggs introduced House Bill 97 last month in an effort to rephrase the current provision’s language, which requires that a person prove “force or threat of force” in ...

Students Neglect Existing Communication Channels

Editorial Board

March 10, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The trustees’ decision to create a task force to investigate adding student representation to the board is a credit to everyone involved. Student Senate deserves praise for creating the initial proposal and building a relationship with the board, as do student activists for adding pressure at a key moment and the board for showing flexibility and vision. This is an example of what college governance should look like: an active student body and a responsive administration. Still students must continue pushing for a student representative. Creating a task force is an important victory, but by no means is it the same as actually adding a representative. Students must also be made aware of the fact that student repres...

Student Senate Needs to Clarify SBCP Relationship

Editorial Board

March 3, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In one of the most competitive races for Student Senate in recent history, a group called Students Building Community Power emerged through individuals running on a collective activist platform this spring. Of the SBCP candidates, College sophomores Kai Joy and Dani Pacheco won two of eight available seats, joining an increasingly influential Student Senate. Concurrent with Joy and Pacheco’s campaigns, SBCP released a list of demands, including calls for six student representatives to the Board of Trustees, student liaisons to administrators, the creation of a student council to meet weekly with the College president and for Senate to act as a centralizing platform for student activism. Since elections, Senate has se...

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