The Oberlin Review

Drag Ball Attendees Must Prioritize Trans, Queer Identities

Editorial Board

April 27, 2018

Hundreds of students will flood Wilder Hall Saturday night dressed in gender non-conforming clothing and ready to have the time of their lives. Drag Ball is one of the highlights of the school year for many students. It is a time when both LGBTQ and non-queer students can come together, celebrate queer culture, and enjoy an abundance of glitter. When Drag Ball goes well, it gives LGBTQ students — especially transgender and gender-nonconforming students — a chance to celebrate their identities without fear of judgement. The evening should also serve as a way for non-queer students to respectfully explore gender nonconformity and express appreciation for their queer friends. The workshops individuals are required ...

Student Activism Must Work Toward Solutions

Editorial Board

April 20, 2018

After entering this academic year with significant under-enrollment contributing to a $5 million deficit, the Admissions Office has emphasized the importance of ensuring that Oberlin hits its enrollment goals. A large part of that effort, as President Ambar highlighted in a campus-wide email in February, has been in emphasizing the persuasive power of All Roads Lead to Oberlin — a program in which admitted students visit campus. This weekend is the third and final All Roads event, and compared to last year’s All Roads, which was littered with student protests against the 2017–2018 tuition hike and room and board changes, this year was significantly more successful. However, we must remain cognizant of our action...

Ambar Must Address AAPR Faculty Concerns

Editorial Board

April 13, 2018

For the third time this academic year, the Review is publishing in full a letter originally sent to faculty and staff with grave concerns about Oberlin’s financial situation and how to respond to it — something that, as far as the Editorial Board is aware, has never occured in the history of this publication. It is a significant decision, one that we do not take lightly. In September, we printed a message from Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan, OC ’84, that outlined Oberlin’s long-term and short-term budget deficits to faculty and staff. These were never acknowledged in any official communication to students. In December, we published a letter to Canavan from two faculty members, James Monroe Prof...

Increasing Medical Marijuana Accessibility Would Help Fight Opioid Epidemic

Editorial Board

April 6, 2018

President Trump gave a speech on March 29 in Richfield, Ohio, that, among other topics, tapped into a conversation which hits home for many Ohioans: opioid addiction. As of December 2016, Ohio’s opioid-related death rate of 39 percent was second only to that of West Virginia. Out of the 4,329 general drug overdose deaths in Ohio in 2016, 83 percent of these deaths were opioid-related. Despite numerous attempts at lowering this death rate through policy, nothing seems to work. Trump’s audience, mainly union engineers and maintenance workers, and the setting, an industrial barn, were carefully chosen; his words, less so. One topic that he failed to mention — as most legislators have failed to as well — is the po...

Falsely Equating Gun Control With Abortion Restrictions Prevents Productive Reform

Editorial Board

March 30, 2018

While the student-led movement to tackle gun reform has spread across the country, culminating in hundreds of thousands participating in the March for Our Lives throughout the U.S. on Saturday, many Americans still want to protect the status quo of gun accessibility. Pro-gun advocates often argue that people kill people, not guns; point out cases of armed officers in schools foiling the attempts of shooters — whether true or not; or express fear that a restriction on legal circulation of guns will endanger people who relinquish their arms to the government from criminals. As frustrating as these excuses are for failing to address how absurdly easy it is to obtain firearms in this country — especially the AR-15, which...

Closing Dascomb Dining Presents As Many Problems As It Solves

Editorial Board

March 9, 2018

While the administration’s potential decision to shut down Dascomb Dining Hall may reduce costs during a time of financial stringency, the decision has far-reaching implications that jeopardize the already-delicate balance of Campus Dining Services. Despite President Carmen Ambar’s transparency in announcing the possible change at her recent budget presentation, there are numerous logistical concerns that the administration has yet to adequately answer. First, Ambar did not sufficiently address how the school plans to disperse Dascomb diners to other dining facilities. To compensate for the closure of Dascomb, the administration plans to expand DeCafé and Lord-Saunders Dining Hall hours, as if Lord-Saunders and ...

Journalism Program Would Revitalize Academics

Editorial Board

March 2, 2018

President Carmen Ambar is future-oriented. She thinks, as she says, in a “doubly futurist” way, in that Oberlin needs to reconfigure its coursework and infrastructure to not only serve children being born today who will be applying for college 18 years down the road, but also to equip them with tools that will allow them to thrive for the decades to come after they graduate from Oberlin. High school students today are questioning the value of a liberal arts education, and we’ve seen the consequences of that doubt in this year’s drop in admissions and retention. In short, we need to redefine the liberal arts education to keep it viable for students’ futures today and in the generations to come. Although Oberlin cer...

Americans Must Resist Russian Influence

Editorial Board

February 23, 2018

In May 2016, as Donald Trump’s campaign snowballed into a force of nature, a quiet conversation at the Kensington Wine Rooms between George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor to the campaign, and Australian diplomat Alexander Downer took on the distinct scent of a smoking gun. Having overindulged in the establishment’s titular offering, Papadopoulos mentioned to Downer that Joseph Mifsud — a professor with connections to Russia — had indicated that the foreign government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, instigating a push to connect Trump to Russian efforts to discredit the Democratic candidate. Downer was not the confidant Papadopoulos may have expected, and provided the tip that would kick off a clandes...

City Must Improve Traffic Safety

Editorial Board

February 16, 2018

As the snow and ice that has covered city streets and sidewalks this winter begins to melt away and Oberlin experiences its first real doses of warmth in 2018, it’s a sure bet that bicycles will soon begin clogging those same areas, much to the chagrin of drivers. For many, the thought of getting on a bike again after a long winter is delightful. But after the deaths of Oberlin resident Kyle Gutierrez, 22, last week and Jason Baird, 26, last semester, the Editorial Board is gravely concerned about pedestrian safety in the coming warmer months. Though those two incidents ended in tragedy, near-misses with pedestrians and vehicles are a frequent sight, occurring all over Oberlin. Every morning, droves of students cros...

Ambar, Students Must Share Vision of Oberlin’s Future

Editorial Board

February 9, 2018

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

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

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...

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