The Oberlin Review

From the Perspective of Non-binary Athletes

Abby Bellows and Leah Ross

December 7, 2018

Finding Solace Abby Bellows I used to look at my reflection in windows when I ran by, focusing on my stride — how my legs moved past one another, how my feet landed — but I could never bring myself to look up at the rest of my body, knowing I couldn’t look at my chest without sending myself into a mental spiral. It was already hard enough competing on a women’s varsity athletics team, showering in a women’s locker room, and being included in groups referred to as “ladies” and “women” when I was not a woman and was not comfortable with how my body looked. Existing in athletic spaces means choosing between a women’s space or a men’s space — there is no space for me. I am a non-bi...

Reflections of a Former Student-Athlete Rower

Christian Ikeokwu

December 7, 2018

In high school, I competed as a member of the rowing team. Unfortunately, as Oberlin doesn’t have a rowing team, I’ve retired my unisuit and taken up life as a non-athlete. Through that process, I’ve been surprised by which aspects of being an athlete I miss and which I don’t. The most striking thing I miss is the team dynamic. Your teammates see you at your lowest, when you’ve given up and are puking on the floor. But they’re also there to share your greatest triumphs and accomplishments. Going through those moments with others causes you to form a unique bond. There’s also the bond formed just by spending large amounts of time together. Rowing, as a team sport, demonstrates this clearly...

Hooliganism Spoils Soccer Match in Argentina

Julie Schreiber, Senior Staff Writer

November 30, 2018

Following weeks of hype and buildup, the highly-anticipated soccer game that was supposed to take place in Argentina Saturday, Nov. 24, was canceled after hooliganism took the stage. The two teams are the River Plate and Boca Juniors, and together they make up quite possibly the most divisive social force in all of Argentina — although both hail from Buenos Aires, approximately 70 percent of the entire nation supports either River or Boca. The two teams have competed against one another numerous times throughout their 105-year rivalry, but never in a championship match. Saturday was to be their first, as they battled for the trophy of the Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious club competition in South Ame...

Niñas Sin Miedo: Oberlin Athletes Partner with Colombian Organization to Empower Girls

Zoe Guiney

November 16, 2018

Oberlin students have recently partnered with Niñas Sin Miedo (Fearless Girls), an NGO that works to empower girls through education, sports, and psychosocial support in Soacha, Colombia. In providing these programs, Niñas Sin Miedo hopes to prevent adolescent pregnancy and sexual violence, while also working to challenge traditional gender norms. Many of Niñas Sin Miedo’s core values overlap with those of Stronger Together, Oberlin’s student organization that encourages solidarity among women and non-binary athletes. Recently, Stronger Together decided to partner with Niñas Sin Miedo to help them meet fundraising goals, which would allow the organization to grow and provide more resources for the comm...

Marketing the Athletic Experience Increases Donor Relations

Elijah Aladin

November 9, 2018

Over fall break, I was visiting a friend at Stanford University during their homecoming weekend. I saw droves of students and alumni flooding the campus with their Stanford Tree paraphernalia. This showout, however, didn’t compare to the scene I saw during the University of Michigan’s homecoming weekend, where the streets were lined with students and alumni covered head-to-toe in maize and blue. I saw enthusiasm and fellowship shared by so many people. Although my amazement at the sheer number of people present at each event may have simply been a result of the size difference between those schools and Oberlin — after all, each of those campuses do include graduate schools — I began to wonder, how much of an imp...

Changing Narratives in Women’s Basketball

Changing Narratives in Women’s Basketball

November 2, 2018

When I first stepped on Oberlin’s campus as a first-year last fall, I could feel the buzz of political activity. It was overwhelming yet thrilling to be a part of a group of students poised to change our social landscape. What I soon realized was that there are sections of Oberlin that are dogmatic in their liberal ideology. It is a dogmatism that forces political homogeneity without room for mistake or disagreement. This is fundamentally not what Oberlin stands for. As an institution with a deep ...

NCAC Athletes Must Increase Tolerance for Opponents

Jason Hewitt, Staff Writer

October 5, 2018

Oberlin is an institution composed mostly of students whose political views fall on the left side of the spectrum. Because of this, there are many stereotypes associated with the typical “Obie.” As a member of the Oberlin football team, I can personally say that my peers from other institutions have stereotyped me on multiple occasions. Bigotry is definitely a contributing factor to the stereotypes Oberlin student-athletes face. For instance, I have been called the N-word on the field before — and yes, the person was white. We shared a few choice words afterward and he tried to accuse me of being soft for being offended by his disrespectful word choice. At that moment, I felt that I would have been ...

The Brotherhood Needs to Step Up

Khalid McCalla

September 21, 2018

“Rub some dirt on it.” As a young football player, every bump, scrape, and bruise was met with this response or one similar to it. “Shake it off and get back out there,” was the message, and, in a sport like football, this sentiment is sometimes inevitable. You’re going to get hurt. It’s part of the game. You’re expected to take it in stride and continue to help the team. You’re expected to rub some dirt on it. But what happens when the pain you’re feeling can’t be reached by a handful of dirt or pushed aside for the sake of the team? Football finds pride in its masculinity. Every year, teams across the country are filled with only the biggest, strongest, and fastest young men i...

More Than Just ‘Sore’

More Than Just ‘Sore’

September 21, 2018

I have been dealing with chronic back pain since I was 12. It started as an annoying pinching feeling that I’d notice every once in a while. Eventually, this developed into a constant stabbing pain and extreme stiffness; it would wake me up at night and make sitting for long periods of time unbearable. Oddly enough, the pain was worse after long periods of inactivity — this often made sitting through class and getting up in the morning extremely painful. During this time, I continue...

SAAC to Connect Across the Divide

Hannah Rasmussen

September 21, 2018

Sitting down to a full room, I took a deep breath and welcomed faces old and new to the first Student-Athlete Advisory Committee meeting of the year. I was pleased to see so many student-athletes in one room, ready to listen, share ideas, and create a community. According to its website, SAAC is a national organization with a mission “to enhance the total student-athlete experience by promoting opportunity, protecting student-athlete welfare, and fostering a positive student-athlete image.” SAAC is the main athletics-focused student organization on Oberlin’s campus. I have attended the group’s monthly meetings since the beginning of my sophomore year. I can remember how my first filled me with a...

Standards Too High for Serena

Hannah Keidan

September 14, 2018

As a tennis player, I grew up watching the Williams sisters on television. They were — and still are — my heroes. I would sit criss-cross-applesauce on the family room floor, eyes glazed over, head bobbing back and forth to follow the ball, barely understanding what was happening on the screen. Back in those days, Venus and Serena often played one another in the finals of tournaments. I would root for Venus, since she was the big sister, and my little sister would cheer on Serena. While Venus has fallen out of the spotlight in recent years, Serena continues to dominate the sports page. Yet as I age, I’ve seen her reputation dragged through the mud time and time again. Whether it be positive or negat...

From the Bass to Baseball: Perfecting the Right Pitch

Luke Sprecher

September 14, 2018

Most Oberlin students arrive on campus at age 17 or 18, but Ian Ashby — first-year Conservatory student — familiarized himself with the College when he was 12 years old. He played baseball competitively in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA until he was in seventh grade, when his father accepted a position as a Jazz arranging professor in the Conservatory and his family moved to Oberlin. Every Wednesday, 12-year-old Ashby would practice his pitch on the red dirt of the old Dill Field while his dad, Jay Ashby, would teach a class. Dill Field has since been renovated — the classic dirt was switched out for a sleek turf diamond — but nowadays when he steps on the mound, he does so as an Oberlin varsity at...

Established 1874.