Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Progressives Should Focus on Local Activism

Editorial Board

February 24, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Members of Congress returned to their districts this week for Congressional recess met by hordes of angry constituents. Of Oberlin’s three representatives, only Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown made it through the week relatively unscathed. Protesters accosted 4th District Representative Jim Jordan at a public event in Marion, Ohio, Monday, turning a routine appearance into an impromptu town hall. More Ohioans lined the streets outside a private Republican fundraiser featuring Senator Rob Portman as a keynote speaker Wednesday night in Fremont, Ohio. Yesterday, hundreds of constituents in Cleveland held a mock town hall in Portman’s name, since he failed to schedule one for the week. These actions are one prong of local ...

Student Senate Strives to Centralize Activism

Meg Parker, Contributing Writer

February 17, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS, Student Senate

This op-ed is part of the Review’s Student Senate column. In an effort to increase communication and transparency, Student Senators provide personal perspectives on recent events on campus and in the community. Student Senate is an inherently political body. Former Student Senator and College sophomore Kameron Dunbar wrote an op-ed for the Review last December about Senate’s role as a political actor, including its freedom to take preemptive action and stances on contentious issues on and off campus (“Senate Activism Vital to Political Resistance,” Dec. 2, 2016). Now, almost three months later, it has become obvious that Student Senate has embraced that role and will continue moving forward as a political b...

Corporate Activism Undermines People’s Power

Sami Mericle, Opinions Editor

February 10, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Joining the rush of activism that has greeted President Donald Trump’s first few weeks in office, corporations — particularly those that cater to liberal millennials — have been eager to prove that they, too, support human rights. Perhaps the most commendable of these has been Starbucks, which recently promised to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide. While I am grateful for any action that slows the Trump administration’s agenda or supports the people its executive order is actively harming, I am wary of activism that allows corporations to flex their political power. Uber recently attracted mass criticism for undermining a strike protesting Trump’s immigration ban by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance by droppi...

Activism Limited by Disregard for Disability

Auden Granger, Production Editor

December 9, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Engagement in activism is a key facet of life and education for many Oberlin students. But what does it mean when you can’t access these types of activism? What does it mean when you’re excluded by default from the performances, speeches and workshops that define most students’ social and political work? Oberlin has a massive issue with accessibility. To put it more explicitly, Oberlin has a massive issue with acknowledging and incorporating disability at all. Disability is rarely considered in student activism and in the work that Oberlin student organizations do, despite the fact that disability intersects with every social inequality we work toward addressing. Ability status intersects with race, class, ge...

Liberal Activism Limited by Narrow Scope

CJ Blair, Columnist

December 9, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

As soon as I arrived at Oberlin my first year, I knew I had entered somewhere special. I was drawn to this school largely because of its activist culture and willingness to challenge the status quo. After three years, though, I’ve realized that while Oberlin students are earnest social activists, we still fall victim to hypocritical tendencies that keep us from extending our campaigns beyond campus. This liberal trend has been observed across the country, and has been the subject of recent media scrutiny. By no means should liberal activists give up their campaigns, but if we reframe our rhetoric to become more inclusive, we will be better prepared to promote change in spite of the challenges that will come with an emerging...

Opportunities for Input Ignored by Students

Meg Parker, Contributing Writer

October 7, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS, Recent Stories, Student Senate

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. On a campus characterized by political activism, we seem to be lacking in action. There are a multitude of things students wish would be changed, from transportation needs to racial equity to increased funding for Title IX and the Sexual Information Center. All that wishing culminates in just that: a wish. Obies, if we’re going to talk the talk, we need to walk the walk. There are so many ways students can get involved at varying levels of commitment. Oberlin’s governance requires students, faculty an...

Symbolic Movements Need Active Participation

Ariana Enzerink, Contributing Writer

October 7, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS, Recent Stories

There’s been a lot of buzz within the Oberlin College athletics community recently about the seemingly unanimous, teamwide decision for the Oberlin College varsity field hockey team to kneel during the national anthem, following the highly publicized lead of Colin Kaepernick and other Black athletes protesting police violence. As a member of the team, which I’m proud to say is comprised of passionate, vocal and hardworking young women, this act of protest motivated me to think more about the ways individuals participate in allyship and activism. To me, the power of being a part of a symbolic movement comes from understanding the issue and actively making the informed choice to join the larger, united group prote...

Lack of Hands-On Experience Stifles Activism

CJ Blair, Contributing Writer

September 2, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

When I landed a job catching butterflies with the Forest Service, I didn’t expect to fall in love with toads. Yet as I worked all summer to restore a butterfly habitat in Michigan, I found myself looking for them under every rock and at the bases of trees during long days in the field. While this summer deepened my fascination with butterflies, the challenge of learning when and where to find toads was so engrossing that I couldn’t stop. I realized that catching toads forced me to reconcile my preconceived ideas with what I learned through practice, and that this type of thinking could be valuable to Oberlin students whose activism and ideals can stray out of touch with reality. When I started my internship, I...

Beyond Solidarity: Linking Campus Movements, Not Moments

Megs Gisela Bautista, College fifth-year and Student Senate Liaison

November 13, 2015

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: To the Black students here at Oberlin College, as well as at the University of Missouri, Yale University, Claremont McKenna College, Howard University, Ithaca College and college campuses around the country, let me be clear: This is not simply an expression of solidarity. After hearing one hair-raising story after another accounting the casual, interpersonal, implicit, deliberate and institutional erasure and dehumanization of Black culture, Black power and Black lives, we are here to say: We are with you; you have nothing to lose but your chains. I cannot begin to speak for the experiences of Black students confronting anti-Blackness on college campuses; that would facilitate the erasure of the nu...

Boycotts Result in Obsolete Forms of Activism

Cyrus Eosphoros, Columnist

April 24, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

This is the third and final part in a series on consumption-centered activism in the U.S. The previous two entries in this series were about the pitfalls of boycotts as they happen today: how the idea of boycotting the entire state of Indiana punishes authorities via publicity and actual Indiana residents — especially poor and queer people — via real-life deprivation, while boycotts focused on multinational corporations either succeed as a PR smear or fail to make a dent in their profits large enough to justify layoffs. Despite this, boycotts are still one of the first tactics activists, who are high-profile enough to have their suggestions matter, promote. So why do we keep thinking they’re a good idea, even w...

Greater Focus Required for Oberlin Activism

CJ Blair, Columnist

April 18, 2015

Filed under Columns

If there’s one thing Oberlin students know how to do, it’s to ensure that their political beliefs are heard. The truth is that Obies are known in and out of academia as the college students who hurl their most radical politics in the face of whoever’s in throwing distance, without restraint or willingness to compromise. Anyone who goes to Oberlin knows that this fervor can get very annoying, but they also know that it is what helps Oberlin move toward its progressive goals so much faster than other colleges. For this reason, it’s worth considering how our strong political beliefs are articulated to ensure that they expedite the advancement of the issues we really care about, and so that we don’t get lost discussing...

Student Activists Host Weekend of Action

Student Activists Host Weekend of Action

March 13, 2015

The Student Labor Action Coalition collaborated with numerous student groups last Friday, Saturday and Sunday to host a Weekend of Action. Organizers put on more than 30 workshops pertaining to social justice, creative expression and technology over the three-day event in Wilder Hall, providing an opportunity for students to discuss and learn about economic justice. College senior and SLAC member Dan Quigley said conversations about hosting the event were initially born from the negative responses...

Established 1874.