The Oberlin Review

Opportunities for Input Ignored by Students

Meg Parker, Contributing Writer

October 7, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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...

College senior Kaela Sanborn-Hum leads the Prison Justice Workshop on Saturday during the Weekend of Action. Led by the Student Labor Action Coalition, several campus groups collaborated to host the Weekend of Action, a space for workshops and discussions about economic justice.

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...

Exploring Nuances: A Column on Columns

CJ Blair, Columnist

March 6, 2015

When you sign on to write a weekly column for your college’s newspaper, it’s all but guaranteed that you’ll occasionally struggle to think of topics. When that happens, you can either sit out for a week, or you can write something no one would really expect, like a column about writing columns. That’s what I’ve done here. As I thought about writing this piece, I realized it didn’t have to be an inaccessible look at my writing process. I hadn’t really noticed along the way, but column-writing necessitates inductive reasoning and a search for new perspectives. This is essential to developing an influential voice and sense of self. I’m sure this sounds like a lofty skill to gain from a mere 700 words...

Talk Underscores Intersection of Political Activism, World Music

Talk Underscores Intersection of Political Activism, World Music

February 20, 2015

Aviva Blonder Staff Writer Rebekah Moore was still getting used to speaking in English again at her talk this past Monday, “Music and Activism and Ethnomusicology in Action: Lessons from the Field.” At the talk, Moore discussed her work in Indonesia over the past six years and delineated connections between music and activism. “[Music] can help us to understand a lot about what it is to be human,” she said. Moore first visited Indonesia while completing her master’s degree. “I was...

Student Hypocrisy Part of Problem, Contributes to Injustice

James Tanford, Contributing Writer

February 13, 2015

I hate receipts. Pure, unadulterated hate. Every year, 250 gallons of oil, 10 million trees and 1 billion gallons of water are wasted in the United States alone to remind people that at 3 a.m. they bought a pack of Skittles and a six-month-old issue of People magazine. I daydream about ways to torture receipts, like holding them dangerously close to a candle until the flames swallow them up. Nothing is more frustrating than the slow degradation of our planet by paper receipts — except that I do nothing about it. Rather than try to incite change, I merely crumple up my receipts and pretend they don’t exist. In fact, I do this with lots of things in my life: I crumple up my problems and throw them away, angry ...

Oberlin, Be That Safe Haven Again for Black Students

Carolyn (Cunningham) Ash, OC '91 and Cornelius Graves, OC '14

February 6, 2015

To the Editors: This year represents 180 years of black students at Oberlin. As African-American alumni, we carry that distinction in our hearts and minds every day. We are proud “descendants,” for example, of George B. Vashon, OC 1844, Oberlin’s first black graduate. We are also descendants of our shero Mary Jane Patterson, the first black woman to receive a B.A. degree when she graduated from Oberlin in 1862. However, after reading a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education by Professor of History Steven Volk, we found ourselves asking the question, “Do we need to remind Oberlin of its historic commitment to black students and the struggle for social justice?” In his Jan. 8 article, “A S...

College Must Uphold Academic Excellence

Moeketsi Mosola, OC '91

February 6, 2015

To the Editors: At Oberlin, we learn and we labor. I graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in May 1993. I was a double major in Neuroscience and Human Bio-Psychology, and I was a member of the Oberlin Yeomen soccer team from 1991– 1993 and played for the first team. I was the chairman of the Coalition against Apartheid and White Supremacy with Moshe Thomas, OC ’93, Nducu Wa Ngugi, OC ’94, and Julie Chambers, OC ’93. I was an active member of ABUSUA, a black student movement on campus. I became an editor of the ABUSUA newsletter for two years with Amanda Beth Zola-Mosola, OC ’92. I was involved in the annual Kuumba Celebrations, ably put together by our leader, Sister Athena Moore, OC ’93. While...

Established 1874.