The Oberlin Review

Flint Crisis Demands Reflection on Campus, Community Relationship

Editorial Board

February 12, 2016

With his approval rating plummeting and amid public calls for his resignation, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder addressed lawmakers on Wednesday to propose a $54.9 billion budget for the state, the majority of which would go to reversing the lead contamination in Flint’s water and repairing Detroit’s public schools. Varying levels of blame have been assigned to former Mayor Dayne Walling, former Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, the Flint City Council and scientists at the University of Michigan– Flint. Despite the federal state of emergency declared by President Obama, state-issued Brita filters do not seem to be working. The NSF-certified filters claim to treat water with up to 150 parts per billion of lead,...

Black Representation in the Arts Crucial to Dismantling Racism

Editorial Board

February 5, 2016

Black entertainers will abound at the 88th Academy Awards in February. Comedian and actor Chris Rock will host alongside presenters and performers including Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Hart, The Weeknd and Pharrell Williams. But with the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations on Jan. 14, media erupted with indignation. For the second year in a row, no actors or actresses of color were nominated for awards, sparking the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. Arriving at the tail end of Black History Month, the ceremony itself will be snubbed by many Black actors and actresses. The Academy has scrambled to find more faces of color to fill the seats and stage before Feb. 28 and has announced “dramatic steps to alter the ...

Winter Term Committee Must Revise Grant Policy

Editorial Board

December 11, 2015

With the end of the semester fast approaching, many students are organizing housing and transportation funds for Winter Term. While some students can afford to front the costs of living and dining for the month of January, many require funding or scholarships to supplement projects that do not receive payment, as per College policy. That’s where the Winter Term Committee comes in. The committee, a group composed of nine faculty and staff members and two students who sit on the Student Finance Committee, awards group and individual grants to approximately 250 students every year. The committee’s grant allocation budget stays relatively consistent from year to year, totaling around $35,000 with fixed contributions fr...

City Council Should Focus on Abolishing, Not Rerouting, NEXUS Pipeline

Editorial Board

December 4, 2015

In a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 30, City Council decided to hire the law offices of D.C.-based Carolyn Elefant to represent the city of Oberlin in a lawsuit aimed at rerouting the NEXUS pipeline. The proposed 250-mile pipeline, to be constructed and operated by Houston-based Spectra Energy, is slated to run from Ontario, Canada to Kensington, Ohio — a town just 76 miles southeast of Oberlin. Based on the intended route, the pipeline will run as close as 95 feet from residences on Reserve Avenue as well as near the Welcome Nursing Home and the fire station, among other city buildings. The Medina County-based Coalition to Reroute Nexus, along with the city officials of Green, Ohio, devised a rerouting plan that ...

REC Reinvestment Upholds Oberlin’s Commitment to Sustainability

Editorial Board

November 20, 2015

The most pressing issue facing newly-elected City Council members is the allocation of Renewable Energy Certificates, a benefit of Oberlin’s EPA Green Power Partnership. RECs were originally intended to be reinvested in renewable energy and carbon reduction initiatives for communities to expand their green energy portfolio and abandon fossil fuels as energy sources. In 2007, the city decided to sell RECs to expand sustainable initiatives as part of its involvement with the Clinton Climate Initiative. According to the minutes from the Oct. 19 Council Work Session, City Council expects 2015 REC proceeds to total $776,000, bringing the full sum to $1.76 million. By the end of the 2016 calendar year, the projected net total o...

Boynton, Mizzou Scandals Reveal Growing Dispute over Journalistic Ethics

Editorial Board

November 13, 2015

Journalistic ethics have been under close examination this past week. It seems like everyone has something to say about activists at the University of Missouri calling for privacy in the face of national media coverage as racial tensions forced the resignation of the University’s president and chancellor of the Columbia campus. In Oberlin, the scandal surrounding Angela Boynton and conservative media organization Project Veritas has prompted similar conversations about press freedom and ethical boundaries. In a video released by Project Veritas on Nov. 3, undercover reporter “Angela Boynton” poses as an Oberlin student triggered by the U.S. Constitution and secretly films Professors Carol Lasser and Wendy Kozo...

Marijuana Legislation Must Account for Racial Injustice

Editorial Board

November 6, 2015

With an almost two-to-one ratio vote on Issue 3, Ohio did not legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday. By a much smaller margin, Issue 2 passed. The state-sponsored Issue 2 was a direct response to ResponsibleOhio’s marijuana legalization proposal, which would have created an oligopoly of 25 total investors in 10 proposed growing plots, concentrating the revenue from legalization in their already-wealthy hands. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University showed a 53 percent approval rate for recreational marijuana and a 90 percent approval rate for medicinal marijuana. Yet Issue 3 may not have passed because many voters were concerned that Black and other minority communities affected most by the drug war and criminalization...

Administration’s Silence on Cosby Suggests Apathy

Editorial Board

October 30, 2015

Bill Cosby still holds an honorary degree of humanities from Oberlin College, bestowed on him and his wife Camille at the grand opening of the Kohl Jazz Building in April 2010. Since 2000, Cosby has been accused of raping, assaulting or drugging a total of 57 women. In light of the allegations which surfaced this past year, some colleges — Fordham University and Brown University, to name a few — have rescinded Cosby’s honorary degrees. A recent Vulture article questioned why the remaining approximately 40 colleges — of which Oberlin is one — have not revoked his honorary degrees. An Oberlin spokesperson is quoted in the article as saying: “The matter is under consideration.” Revoking Cosby’s degree would seem...

BuzzFeed, Startups Leading Shift Toward Curated Journalism

Editorial Board

October 9, 2015

Scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, you might find a BuzzFeed article about kittens above an update on Shaun King and racial injustice — two posts that are seemingly unrelated. But as social media has helped bring millennial culture to the forefront, journalism itself has begun to change in both definition and function. In her keynote speech last Friday during the Review’s journalism symposium “Breaking News: Reimagining Journalism for a Digital Age,” Fusion Pop and Culture Director and former Jezebel Deputy Editor Dodai Stewart claimed that consumers of online journalism are exhibiting an unprecedented shift away from traditional news outlets like The New York Times and toward a curated feed of indi...

Hampshire’s Holistic Admissions Evaluates What Matters

Editorial Board

October 2, 2015

Admission to Hampshire College got a little simpler, a bit harder and a whole lot more innovative last year — and it has the results to prove it. The private liberal arts college in Amherst, MA, decided not to accept SAT and ACT scores from applicants for the class of 2019, pushing past the “test-optional” policy many similar schools have adopted. Hampshire’s decision has disqualified it from inclusion in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the U.S.’s “Best Colleges,” as standardized test scores account for just over eight percent of a school’s ranking. Two weeks ago, the Editorial Board wrote about the benefits of a numbers-based approach to evaluating colleges (“College Scorecard Can Disrupt High...

In Planned Parenthood Debate, Local Inaccessibility Overlooked

Editorial Board

September 25, 2015

As House and Senate leaders traverse the caustic battleground that is this year’s federal appropriations bill, it’s evident that the future of Planned Parenthood’s funding has been precarious. But last night marked a possible turn in the road for the reproductive health organization, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed a bipartisan stopgap spending bill that effectively strikes the Planned Parenthood argument from the overall appropriations legislation. It’s expected to clear the Senate, and if it does, it’s smooth sailing for Planned Parenthood — for now. As with many other targeted spending cuts, the mounting opposition against the organization’s possible defunding has been palpable. Man...

College Scorecard Can Disrupt Higher Ed’s Prestige Economy

Editorial Board

September 18, 2015

One of the Obama administration’s goals was to rank every college and university — all 7,000-odd private and public institutions of higher education in the nation — by their comparative student debt and earning potential. College administrators nationwide opposed the initiative, fearing such a ranking system would favor institutions with robust STEM or vocational programs. The answer to the controversy was a compromise: On Saturday, the U.S. Department of Education revealed a website called College Scorecard, which consolidates average annual cost, graduation rate and salary post-graduation for each institution. No rankings are assigned; the scorecard is just an easy-to-navigate treasure trove of financial fac...

Established 1874.