The Oberlin Review

Rankings Contribute to College Commodification

Editorial Board

September 23, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS, Recent Stories

U.S. News & World Report released its annual rankings of 1,374 colleges and universities in the United States on Sept. 13, amplifying the nightmare that is the college-application process. As if the pressure of getting accepted to college in general is not enough, the importance of an institution’s prestige and reputation — factors that carry increasing importance to matriculants in an already bleak job market — adds twofold anxiety. The ranking system does little but exacerbate stress and perpetuates classist and limited views about higher education in the United States. For the second year in a row, Princeton University claimed the list’s top spot. Rounding out the top five were Harvard University, ...

Students Must Re-examine Role of Presidency

Editorial Board

September 16, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS, Recent Stories

Marvin Krislov announced Sept. 6 that he will be stepping down as president of the College, effective June 30, 2017. The news has received mixed reactions from students, many of whom hope that a new president might allow the College to reaffirm its commitment to progressive activism and accessibility to all students. College sophomore Kameron Dunbar wrote for the Review last week on the qualities he hopes the next president will embody: “They must maneuver strategically while maintaining a level of ethics and decorum essential to running an institution heavily rooted in a commitment to social justice. … Oberlin’s next president should look like, think like and reflect the values of a changing America, a changing ...

Council Needs Quicker Decision on City Manager

Editorial Board

September 9, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The city manager search that has now stretched for nine months re­sembles an episode of Amy Poehler’s Parks and Recreation, except there’s no season finale in sight. Interim City Manager and Finance Director Sal Talarico has stepped up since former City Manager Eric Norenberg re­signed last December, but City Council seems at odds and unwilling to permanently appoint Talarico to the post. In a meeting on Aug. 15, the council had its search narrowed to two candidates: Talarico, who has worked as the finance director for nearly 16 years, and Navy veteran Lowell Crow, who has two years of experience as a city administrator in Monmouth, IL. But the council failed to reach a supermajority, which requires five of ...

Holistic Approach to Journalism Necessary for Campus Newspaper

Editorial Board

September 2, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Oberlin students likely spent the summer plagued by the question, “Is Oberlin really like that?” in reference to The New Yorker journalist Nathan Heller’s investigation of student activism on campus (“The Big Uneasy,” May 30, 2016). Though Heller faced backlash for supposedly favoring outspoken activists, the Review Editorial Board applauds the way he curated voices from all walks of life at Oberlin and allowed these accounts to drive the piece. Heller’s piece reflects what we hope to accomplish at the Review this year: to strive for a holistic narrative that gives agency to those involved in the story. Instead of reaching for an unachievable goal of pure objectivity, we want to let the voices of stude...

Campus Must Support OCOPE Negotiations

Editorial Board

May 6, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The remainder of this month is all about countdowns. Six hours until reading period begins. Six days until the first day of finals. Eleven days until the majority of our student body makes a break for it, and eighteen days until those graduating pack their things and hit the road that, for many, will not lead back to Oberlin. Once students leave, campus inevitably quiets. Not only do dorms and classrooms shut down, but dozens of faculty and staff head elsewhere for the summer, reducing Oberlin’s employee pool to a fraction of its calendar year size. For the employees who remain on campus, running the school is a year-round job. For one faction of those employees, the countdown continues. Thirty-eight days after Commencement, the un...

Communication, Cooperation Needed for Medical Leave Reform

Editorial Board

April 29, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

College fifth-year Libby Salemi went on medical leave during the second semester of her first year. After dealing with panic attacks that made it impossible to focus on her studies, she decided to take a break and try to diagnose her disorder. Upon returning to campus for her sophomore year, Salemi was required to attend weekly meetings with an assigned dean. Salemi found the dean apathetic and disinvested in Salemi’s reacclimation to campus. “I would like a person who can walk you through this process and be there for you,” Salemi said. “It’s confusing. It would have been nice to have someone when I returned to campus actually care, not someone who was just hired to do this job.” The end of the semes...

Police Department Should Assist, not Arrest, Addicts

Editorial Board

April 22, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The city of Amherst Police Department is the latest law enforcement agency to adopt a treatment-focused approach to low-level drug offences. As reported by the Oberlin News Tribune on April 8, Amherst Police Chief Joe Kucirek has instituted an informal policy whereby addicts who turn themselves in will be diverted to local rehabilitation programs rather than arrested on-scene (“Arrest or treat? Police say addicts need help,” Evan Goodenow). Though this is undoubtedly a valuable step toward becoming a community that values support over criminalization, it does not fully realize the opportunity to institutionalize a treatment-focused agenda. Indeed, a more formal policy step would be to join the Police Assisted Addiction and Rec...

ResEd Responsible for Students’ Sense of Safety in Living Spaces

Editorial Board

April 15, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

As in semesters past, the northeast wing of South Hall’s second floor — a space the Office of Residential Education has designated “all female” — is reserved for female students in search of peace of mind and a safe haven from a patriarchal campus and society. At the beginning of this module, without prior warning or a clear reason, ResEd decided to place four cis male students into a vacant quad on the same hall. While the men have been respectful of the shared space, they should have been placed in rooms elsewhere. College sophomore Alana Sheppard, along with her roommate and floormates who deliberately sought asylum on the floor for personal reasons, are now left feeling unsafe in their own livin...

Panama Papers Coverage Strengthened by Prioritizing Local Media

Editorial Board

April 8, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Over 11.5 million documents have been released since April 3 in what has become the largest leak of secret documents in history. Dubbed the “Panama Papers,” this 2.6 terabyte leak surpasses WikiLeaks’ 2010 Cablegate, which consisted of 250,000 cables from the U.S. State Department. The PDF documents, emails and photos in question were leaked by an anonymous source associated with the fourth-largest offshore law firm in the world, Panama-based Mossack Fonseca. The monumental scale of the project — 11.5 million documents, covered by approximately 400 journalists from 80 countries, speaking 25 languages, all sworn to secrecy for one year — points to a new model of investigative journalism, one that relies on ...

With Focus on Elite Schools, Media Ignores Disadvantaged Students

Editorial Board

April 1, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

April 1 is a long-awaited day for many high school students: the day colleges notify applicants of admission decisions. Yet the image of the anxious high school senior waiting by the mailbox or frantically refreshing their email fails to represent the reality for a majority of prospective and current U.S. college students. In a March 30 feature on the statistics-driven blog FiveThirtyEight titled “Shut Up About Harvard,” Ben Casselman lays out data from the U.S. Department of Education in an attempt to disprove a pervasive stereotype. Despite a widespread perception of college applicants as AP-taking, SAT-practicing students vying for spots at four-year Ivies or other elite private colleges, almost 75 percent of underg...

Athletics Department Must Address Accessibility Concerns

Editorial Board

March 11, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In an announcement to the student body on March 3, Director of Athletics and Physical Education Natalie Winkelfoos introduced “The Zen Zone” pilot program to Philips gym. From the hours of 9–11 a.m. and 1–3 p.m. every weekday, The Zen Zone will prohibit music filtered through speakers — only personal devices with headphones attached will be allowed. Additionally, no varsity team practices will occur during quiet hours. Winkelfoos explained that the changes to the gym’s schedule were intended to increase accessibility for patrons: “We are hopeful these piloted hours will offer a ‘zen-like zone’ for those who desire a quieter space as they seize their wellness aspirations,” she said. Having a quiete...

HB 48 Would Threaten Safety, Wellbeing on Campus

Editorial Board

March 4, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

“Guns Everywhere” is the apt nickname for the Ohio House Bill 48, which passed the House of Representatives on Nov. 17 and was introduced to the State Senate a day later. If passed, HB 48 would allow concealed-carry guns on college campuses and daycares, among other places like school safety zones and police stations. After a public meeting on Friday, Feb. 19 with Ohio Senator Gayle Manning, Oberlin City Council is in the process of drafting a resolution opposing the relaxed gun restrictions. At the meeting, which occurred in the Oberlin Public Library, City Council Vice President Linda Slocum responded to Sen. Manning: “We believe we have a right to define the tenor of our community.” Amid national debate about gun rights, mass ...

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