The Oberlin Review

New President Should Prioritize Communication

Editorial Board

February 17, 2017

Oberlin is undergoing an administrative makeover with President Marvin Krislov and Vice President for Finance and Administration Mike Frandsen both departing this spring. With these two major transitions, the College is approaching a decisive opportunity to address students’ major concerns with administrative shortcomings. The primary concern with the current administration is the opaque ways in which significant decisions are made. The College’s top-down decision-making process leaves students mostly out of the loop until it’s too late to voice dissent or offer valuable insight into how actions might impact day-to-day student life. One of the most viable ways this can improve is by opening up more channels of ...

College Must Engage Community on Cuts

Editorial Board

February 10, 2017

Administrators constantly state that the College’s current financial model is unsustainable. Expenses exceed revenue, mostly generated from an increasing tuition, and the situation will likely continue to worsen without concrete steps on both sides of the balance sheet. In part, structural reasons beyond the College’s control have worsened the financial situation. Health care costs continue to rise, and the endowment — smaller than many of our peer schools — took a big hit during the 2008 recession, a setback from which it only recently recovered. But this financial crunch is not just the result of bad luck. The College has spent and borrowed millions on projects such as The Hotel at Oberlin, a project seemingly...

Journalists Must Remain Adversarial

Editorial Board

February 3, 2017

“You’re not supposed to be sycophants,” Barack Obama told journalists in his final press conference as president. “You’re supposed to be skeptics; you’re supposed to ask me tough questions.” President Obama’s message could not be more timely for those covering President Trump’s administration, as now more than ever, journalists must remain vigilant in reporting on the facts — and no, not the alternative ones. With the day-to-day antics of the Trump administration — from perpetuating myths about the inauguration turnout to Kellyanne Conway’s ludicrous sound bites — it is pivotal that journalists commit themselves not only to producing holistic news stories, but to highlighting the stories that r...

Standing Rock Serves as Model for Future Protests

Editorial Board

December 9, 2016

In a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux, the Army Corps of Engineers announced Sunday that it would reroute the Dakota Access Pipeline away from native land. Though the Sioux’s success is still tentative — President-elect Donald Trump could pressure the Army to reverse the decision when he takes office — the announcement is a direct reflection of the power of public protest. The Standing Rock Sioux and their collaborators from other native tribes — “water protectors” — led a highly effective protest campaign against the construction of a pipeline that would have risked pollution of their water and destroyed sacred sites. They drew thousands of allies to the camp in frigid temperatures. They remai...

Zuckerberg Must Accept Responsibility for Hoax Stories

Editorial Board

December 2, 2016

Facebook’s responsibility to regulate fake news on its site, particularly the false stories that gained traction during the election cycle, has sparked national debate about what role the platform should play in politics. While the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has distanced himself from the popular theory that Facebook could have significantly swayed voters, the bottom line is that if his company profits from fake news sources, then it is also responsible for flagging them. A BuzzFeed News analysis shows that the “20 top-performing false election stories from hoax sites and hyper partisan blogs generated 8,711,000 shares, reactions and comments on Facebook.” Conversely, “within the same time period, the...

Administration Should Back Sanctuary Petition

Editorial Board

November 18, 2016

The symbolic solidarity of declaring Oberlin College a sanctuary campus for undocumented students is reason enough for President Marvin Krislov and his administration to take action, but the actual impact that creating such a policy could have is invaluable. Amid a growing national movement for colleges to become sanctuaries in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination last week, it is critical that Oberlin take the necessary steps to protect its undocumented students. There are three crucial questions that naturally follow requests to declare Oberlin’s campus a sanctuary: What does it mean to be a sanctuary for undocumented people? What kinds of policies can be enacted? And what are the effects of bec...

Oberlin Must Not Settle for Silence in Wake of Election

Editorial Board

November 11, 2016

Despite a commendable effort by Hillary Clinton supporters, Lorain County went red on Tuesday by fewer than 400 votes. Though many Oberlin students are devastated by the result, for many in nearby residences, President-elect Donald Trump was the clear choice. Now more than ever, we must take advantage of our own voices and campus resources to take a stand both on campus and in surrounding communities. Just because the election is over does not mean students should stop mobilizing against injustice, especially as hateful acts surge. No progress will be made by sitting back and hoping things will work out; the fear and hatred that has pervaded our country cannot be normalized or ignored. It is our responsibility to pea...

Republican Legislation Undermines Voting Rights

Editorial Board

November 4, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a final plea from the Ohio Democratic Party and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless on Monday for a stay on voting provisions that disproportionately disenfranchise low-income, racial minority and disabled voters. The laws, created by the state’s Republican-led legislature in 2014, come into effect for the first time in a presidential election this year. The legislation permits zero wiggle room for otherwise inconsequential mistakes, allowing battleground counties to discard provisional ballots if a voter fails to fill out the form perfectly. Disqualifying errors include writing a birthdate or Social Security number incorrectly, omitting a middle name or zip code or signing in ...

Freedom of Speech Threatened in Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

Editorial Board

October 28, 2016

When the Bundy Brothers were being acquitted for their January occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, several activists and journalists were getting thrown behind bars for protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172-mile long route that would transport 470,000 barrels of sweet crude oil daily across four states from North Dakota to Illinois. On Monday, Oct. 10, North Dakota’s Morton County police arrested the actress Shailene Woodley for live-streaming an Indigenous Peoples’ Day protest to her 40,000 Facebook followers. Following her release, Woodley penned an article titled “The Truth About My Arrest,” published Oct. 20 in TIME. “We grow up romanticizing native culture, n...

Student Representatives Mutually Beneficial for Board, Students

Editorial Board

October 7, 2016

During the Board of Trustees’ quarterly campus visit this week, Student Senate and former student members of the Steering Committee pushed for trustees to approve the addition of student representatives to the body. The Editorial Board endorses this effort and believes that including student voices will create a more meaningful and effective learning environment that will aid the administration in achieving its mission statement and better satisfy students’ needs. Student representation on college boards is not unprecedented. The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges reports that as of 2010, “50.3 percent of the public colleges and universities that responded and 8.5 percent of respondin...

Protest Votes Selfish With Trump at Stake

September 30, 2016

Ohio’s electoral votes have favored the winning candidate in 93 percent of presidential elections since 1900, and most polls currently show Republican nominee Donald Trump winning Ohio by a small margin this November. With so much at stake in the Buckeye state, now is not the time for a protest vote. While most Obies will likely not cast a ballot for Trump, they might commit an act just as dangerous by voting for a third-party candidate this election or deciding not to vote at all. Perhaps this decision is motivated by a desire to abstain from an election in which many feel like they must choose between “the lesser of two evils.” Or maybe some are still riding Senator Bernie Sanders’ momentum from the primary a...

Rankings Contribute to College Commodification

Editorial Board

September 23, 2016

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, ...

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