The Oberlin Review

Oberlin Dining Forum Highlights Issues With Sensationalist Activism

Patrick Powers, Contributing Writer

September 14, 2018

Oberlin students identify as activists. That activism must reach beyond a Google Doc. In the wake of the implementation of the 300 meal-per-semester plan for first-years and sophomores, Dascomb Dining Hall’s closure, and this year’s changes to DeCafé, Campus Dining Services has become one of the first major flashpoints for the anxieties and fears of the student body as our school changes. In the past few weeks, outraged Facebook posts and Google Doc activists have brought dining changes to the forefront of campus chatter. With that in mind, I find myself coming away from the recent forum on the state of campus dining with a lot of mixed feelings about student activism as I’ve seen it on this campus. The anger a...

Student Activism Must Work Toward Solutions

Editorial Board

April 20, 2018

After entering this academic year with significant under-enrollment contributing to a $5 million deficit, the Admissions Office has emphasized the importance of ensuring that Oberlin hits its enrollment goals. A large part of that effort, as President Ambar highlighted in a campus-wide email in February, has been in emphasizing the persuasive power of All Roads Lead to Oberlin — a program in which admitted students visit campus. This weekend is the third and final All Roads event, and compared to last year’s All Roads, which was littered with student protests against the 2017–2018 tuition hike and room and board changes, this year was significantly more successful. However, we must remain cognizant of our action...

“What’s My Name, Fool?” Creates Dialogue Around Race, Activism

Jason Hewitt, Columnist

March 2, 2018

English Professor Yago Colás hosted a discussion Wednesday in Dye Lecture Hall between the ESPN Around the Horn co-host and University of Maryland professor Kevin Blackistone, Grand Valley State University professor Louis Moore, Northeastern University professor Sarah Jackson, and University of Michigan’s prominent Fab Five member Jimmy King. The four panelists are all influential Black individuals who are deeply connected to the overlapping realms of sports and activism. The talk opened with Colás’ introduction of the speakers. He then gave each speaker 10 minutes to share their thoughts on the overall topic. The first to speak was Blackistone, who came to Oberlin for the second time to discuss his ideas after...

Sara Hlupekile Longe, activist

OFF THE CUFF: Sara Hlupekile Longwe, Feminist Activist

February 23, 2018

Sara Hlupekile Longwe is an internationally renowned feminist activist from Zambia. She visited Oberlin Feb. 16 to give a talk titled, “Organizing to Tackle Women’s Issues in Lusaka Zambia,” which detailed her experience with gender disparities in Zambia as well as her experiences creating and organizing women’s collective action groups there. She is known as one of the foremost figures in Zambian activism, often referred to as the founder of the women’s movement in Zambia. She is the autho...

Students Must Defend Net Neutrality

Editorial Board

December 1, 2017

Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai declared last Tuesday that the FCC expected to repeal net neutrality at their upcoming Dec. 14 meeting. Net neutrality was established by the Obama administration to ensure equal access to the internet by preventing leaders of the telecommunications industry from commercializing media platforms, thereby shaping users’ internet access. While grappling with larger national stories about the tax overhaul and sexual assault allegations, we — as students — must recognize that paying attention to and advocating for the future of net neutrality is equally dire. The FCC’s new plan allows for future commercial influence over web usage, which will let broadband companies bl...

Chicago Boricua Resistance Presents Puerto Rico Teach-In

Julia Peterson, Arts & Culture Editor

November 17, 2017

Largely due to the damage wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Puerto Rico has been frequently featured in the news this year — in fact, according to the data that Google Trends has collected since 2004, searches about Puerto Rico peaked this October by a wide margin. However, hurricanes are not the only crisis that are affecting Puerto Ricans on the island and throughout the diaspora; Puerto Rico has a high unemployment rate and debt that has been increasing throughout a decade-long recession. These economic and humanitarian conditions inspired the creation of the Chicago Boricua Resistance, a group of individuals and organizations that came together last August to advocate for Puerto Ricans and their diaspora. Two...

Palestinian field researcher and spokesperson Nasser Nawaj’ah shared his personal experiences and promoted student activism in Craig Lecture Hall Wednesday.

Palestinian Activist Calls For Student Engagement

November 10, 2017

Palestinian activist Nasser Nawaj’ah came to Oberlin Wednesday to share his personal experiences with students and educate them on the demolition of villages in the occupied West Bank. His visit was sponsored by J Street U, an organization that is active at at least 70 campuses nationwide. Oberlin was one of two schools chosen to host Nawaj’ah. Nawaj’ah was born in the small village of Susya, Palestine, which has been wrecked seven times since 1985 and is currently being demolished. Families...

Progressives Should Focus on Local Activism

Editorial Board

February 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

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...

Established 1874.