The Oberlin Review

Students Must Address Entitlement, Be More Respectful, Appreciative of Hourly Employees

Marisa Kim, Contributing Writer

April 19, 2019

 Dear Obies: I do not wake up at 6 a.m. every Wednesday to clean up your messes.  I have worked for Campus Dining Services in Wilder DeCafé since my second week on campus. During my first semester, I worked as a stocker, and this semester I work as a line clerk. In that time, I’ve witnessed a consistent trend at Oberlin, which can best be encompassed by a recent exchange.  The checkout line in DeCafé is always longest during the 10-minute transition periods between classes. Last Wednesday — with just a few minutes till 9 a.m. — the line wrapped around the store to the beverage fridges while I was manning the sole open register. Whilst trying to escape the line as quickly as possible, a student spilled h...

Our Case For Oberlin

Editorial Board

April 19, 2019

 Today marks the end of a three-week-long campaign of All Roads Lead to Oberlin events, meant to encourage admitted high school students to enroll in Oberlin’s class of 2023. So far this month, over 660 high school students have visited campus to see if Oberlin is the right fit for them, according to the Office of Admissions. Prospective students have stayed overnight with current students in dorms, visited classes, and asked their most pressing questions at the All Roads Academic Department Fair. Although this Editorial Board has often been critical of decisions made by the administration and other campus leaders, we want to step back in this final week of admissions frenzy and make the case for attending Obe...

Three Ways Every Student Can Contribute to the AAPR Process

Patrick Powers, Contributing Writer

April 19, 2019

 This article is part of the Review’s Student Senate column. In an effort to increase communication and transparency, student senators will provide personal perspectives on recent events on campus and in the community.  The ongoing Academic and Administrative Review process asks a great deal of Oberlin’s students. For a student body famous for its skepticism toward authority, President Carmen Twillie Ambar’s call to think institutionally is understandably difficult. We have to strike a balance between our sometimes-idealistic values and the always-brutal financial realities in which we find ourselves. As we search for this balance, anxiety abounds.  The student body has a wealth of opportunities to co...

Global Health, Business Concentrations Proposed

Global Health, Business Concentrations Proposed

April 12, 2019

An area of recommendation from the Academic and Administration Program Review steering committee has sparked a conversation about two potential new academic concentrations — one in Business and one in Global Health. The AAPR believes that adding these concentrations would both attract potential students to Oberlin and increase retention among current students. The AAPR’s Summary of Work to Date document, made public to students March 29, claims that more than a third of prospective students...

AAPR Prompts Concern Among Union Supporters

AAPR Prompts Concern Among Union Supporters

April 12, 2019

Oberlin is considering eliminating over 50 staff lines — a decision which could impact up to 40 current employees — as part of the Academic and Administrative Program Review. This is part of just one of the AAPR steering committee’s areas of recommendation meant to address Oberlin’s structural budget deficit. The steering committee referenced Oberlin’s exorbitant employee costs as a reason for the area of recommendation, claiming that 63 percent of Oberlin’s operating budget goes toward em...

AAPR Should Remove Unions From Recs

Chris Howell, James Monroe Professor of Politics

April 5, 2019

The Academic and Administrative Program Review Steering Committee has now made a series of public presentations and released a summary of its work to date. There is a lot to digest, but dotted throughout both the presentations and the summary report is information about employee costs — specifically those of the unionized hourly employees — and what appear to be implicit recommendations regarding the number of unionized employees, their wages and benefits, and the way the work they do is provided. It is not necessary to take a position on the information provided — whether our unionized workers are overpaid, or have benefits that are too generous, or should be eliminated, or have their jobs outsourced — in...

OSCA and College Discuss Future Partnership

OSCA and College Discuss Future Partnership

April 5, 2019

Oberlin College and the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association have begun the process of collaboratively discussing the terms of the financial relationship between the College and OSCA, which feeds 590 students and houses 180. These conversations were prompted by data revealed by the Academic and Administration Program Review steering committee, which identified that the College loses $1.9 million in annual revenue through its relationship with OSCA. While AAPR leadership has emphasized the $1.9 million...

Sustainability Crucial to AAPR Success

Johan Cavert and Brian James

April 5, 2019

This article is part of the Review’s Student Senate column. In an effort to increase communication and transparency, student senators will provide personal perspectives on recent events on campus and in the community. During the week preceding spring break, the Academic and Administrative Program Review released findings from its yearlong effort to document and propose solutions to Oberlin’s current financial predicament. Integral to that assessment was evaluating the College’s institutional sustainability and recognizing that Oberlin must improve both environmentally and financially in order to make its continued success possible. In their report from March 29, AAPR members wrote that their goal “is to help...

Students Need More Data

Editorial Board

April 5, 2019

Since the launch of the ongoing Academic and Administrative Program Review, transparency has been an oft-repeated concern of Oberlin community members — and for good reason. The AAPR is the first comprehensive analysis of Oberlin’s finances and was created to address the College’s structural budget deficit. As a recent report from the AAPR steering committee reminded us, their work “is an ambitious effort that touches almost every part of the institution.” This breadth of responsibility, understandably, comes with considerable apprehension. However, as the Review reported following the initial public rollout of the AAPR’s areas of recommendation on March 13, AAPR leadership has taken important steps toward...

Discussions Regarding Dining Changes Must Include Student Input, Voices

David Mathisson, Contributing Writer

April 5, 2019

The Office of Residential Education sent an email to all rising juniors March 19 notifying students that previously promised meal plan options would no longer be offered. Instead, the office planned to limit them to more expensive meal plans that provide fewer options to students. Concerned about the impact on low- and middle-income students, a small group of passionate student activists planned a boycott in response. Later that day, because of the accessibility concerns, I joined as an organizer. I created a food donation plan to ensure every participant would get enough to eat during the boycott, regardless of income. I’d like to thank Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo and the Dean of Students...

AAPR Process Must Value, Respect All College Employees

Jae Muth, Contributing Writer

April 5, 2019

The areas of recommendation first publicly presented by the Academic and Administrative Program Review steering committee on March 13 and 14 have exposed clear divisions between different parts of the Oberlin community. Students, faculty, staff, and administrators each face a challenging set of potential changes that, to this point, have only been offered to the campus community in blurry terms.  The vague statements — veiled in large part by the language of development, progress, and nominal references to Oberlin’s ethical standards — have incited confusion, misunderstandings, and difficult conversations among the people who attend and work at Oberlin. Yet, student discourse largely seems to ignore the most...

AAPR Announces Areas of Recommendation to Oberlin Community

AAPR Announces Areas of Recommendation to Oberlin Community

March 15, 2019

After months of research, data collection, and deliberation, members of the Academic and Administrative Program Review steering committee presented their proposed areas of recommendation to the Oberlin community in a series of three presentations for faculty, staff, and students this week. The presentations capped a year-long exploratory process during which a 31-person steering committee — composed of faculty, staff, students, trustees, and alumni — analyzed nearly every aspect of Oberlin...

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