The Oberlin Review

Alumni Call for OSCA Survey Dissemination

Erika Brandt, OC ’13, Shane Clark, OC ’14, Jake Grossman, OC ’08, Casey Lee, OC ’12, and Nathaniel Meyer, OC ’09

February 21, 2020

 As alumni working in the sciences, we are concerned over Oberlin College’s recent withdrawal from a collaborative research project designed by College third-year Bhairavi Mehra and Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies John Petersen, OC ’88.  This project, a survey, sought to gather information on student housing and dining experiences to facilitate thoughtful, data-driven decision-making in a time of cultural and financial sensitivity. Facing tough choices, the College previously expressed in the One Oberlin report a desire to determine, through self-assessment, what is essential and unique to Oberlin College — its vital nature and experience for students.  As scientis...

Rani Molla, OC ’08, Vox and Recode Data Journalist

Rani Molla, OC ’08, Vox and Recode Data Journalist

February 21, 2020

Rani Molla, OC ’08, is senior data reporter for Vox and Recode. Her work involves using data, charts, and figures to explain complex tech stories in simple terms. Next week, Molla will visit campus as part of “A Disrupted Media Landscape: Skills, Perspectives, Solutions,” a journalism and media symposium co-hosted by the Review and The Grape. Alongside Aaron Zitner, OC ’84, and news editor for The Wall Street Journal, Molla will present a collaborative data journalism workshop entitled “...

In Hard Times, Moments of Celebration Must Be Tasteful

Editorial Board

October 11, 2019

 Watching the fireworks go off over the athletic fields Saturday night was a bit like listening to the band play aboard the sinking Titanic. The extravagant display marked the end of Homecoming Weekend, but also seemed to signify a larger dissonance for an institution currently grappling with existential questions about financial stability, how to treat community members with fairness and respect, and more.  The reality is that, in many ways, this is a difficult time for Oberlin. The College is staring down a $25 million dollar judgment resulting from a lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Bakery against the College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. Further, a structural budget deficit has already ...

Neva Cockrell and Raphael Sacks, OC ’09

Neva Cockrell and Raphael Sacks, OC ’09

October 4, 2019

Raphael Sacks and Neva Cockrell, two Oberlin alumni, performed their dance-theater work Prime in the Warner Main Space this past Wednesday. The two created their own ensemble company, Loom Ensemble, and have also worked with the Art Monastery Project, which they now run out of a communal living farm in Vermont. Cockrell also dances with the renowned company Pilobolus. They spoke to the Review about their focus on collaborative art making, and the paths they have taken building careers in a creative fi...

Danny Prikazsky, OC ’14, “Are You the One?” Cast Member

Danny Prikazsky, OC ’14, “Are You the One?” Cast Member

September 27, 2019

Danny Prikazsky, OC ’14, was a cast member on the most recent season of Are You the One?, a reality dating show in which 16 cast members attempt to find their “perfect match.” In Prikazsky’s season, which was filmed in Hawaii, the show broke tradition by featuring 16 sexually-fluid cast members and matching many of them with same-sex partners. Since the show’s conclusion, Prikazsky has started a YouTube channel, and he has a platform on the gaming network Twitch. This interview has be...

Oberlin Should Pioneer Network Studies

Max Herman, OC ’89, Contributing Writer

September 20, 2019

 The recent One Oberlin report states that for Oberlin to flourish, it must “pioneer a new, more relevant curriculum and educational experience for our 21st-century students.”  To this end, Oberlin should seriously consider the academic field of Network Studies. It is not yet prevalent in higher education, but Oberlin could both lead and benefit from its development. Like any concentration, Network Studies would adhere to the traditional liberal arts disciplines, but engage with them from a unique perspective. The core content would, of course, include the impact of networks in society; recent advances in network science, theory, and technology; as well as address the constantly-evolving network structures...

Opinions Section Should Reflect Entire Community

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

September 13, 2019

 Last May, I finally had the opportunity to stay on campus during Commencement week working as opinions editor for the Review’s Commencement issue. Admittedly, I was most excited to spend time with my friends who would be graduating and take part in all the Commencement week festivities. However, one of the coolest things that happened that week was also very unexpected. During Commencement week, alumni are invited back for class reunions to connect with other Oberlin alumni and current students, reconvene with old professors, reminisce on old Oberlin memories, and help celebrate the newest class of alumni. Many of the alumni stay in old dormitories and relive their old Oberlin experiences. The Review hosted an...

Gibson’s Case Trivializes Actual Racism

Nicholas Isherwood, OC ’81

September 6, 2019

Like many alumni, I have followed the legal battle concerning Gibson’s Food Mart & Bakery with interest and horror. Decades of Oberlin students have enjoyed Gibson’s tasty doughnuts and other treats, and have come to know the family. I am not at all surprised that the jury ruled in favor of Gibson’s. Both the experience of Oberlin students and the facts of the case indicate that Gibson’s is not a racist business. Simply put, the shoplifters were caught and when the police arrived, they were assaulting Mr. Gibson.  Polarized race relations at Oberlin are not a new phenomenon. When I was a student in the late 1970s, my political organization, The Moderate Caucus, circulated a petition opposing the creatio...

OSCA: The Problem and Opportunity

John Petersen, Contributing Writer

May 10, 2019

 “Oberlin’s relevance as an institution is more important today than it’s ever been.” So said President Carmen Twillie Ambar in the pages of the Review at the time she became our 15th President (“Off the Cuff: Carmen Ambar, President of Oberlin College,” Sept. 1, 2017). I think just about every student, alumnum, and faculty member strongly agrees with her on this point.  And at the same time, I think most of us have also been convinced that Oberlin College needs to tighten its belt in order to achieve financial sustainability so that we retain our ability to positively impact the world well into the future. So the question that the Academic and Administrative Program Review steering committee members and th...

Ed Helms, OC ’96, Comedian, Actor, Trustee

Ed Helms, OC ’96, Comedian, Actor, Trustee

March 15, 2019

Ed Helms, OC ’96, is a renowned comedian and actor, and is a member of Oberlin’s Board of Trustees. He is best known for his work on the American hit TV show The Office, his recurring roles on The Daily Show, his role in The Hangover trilogy, and his voiceover work in films like The Lorax and Captain Underpants. Helms visited Oberlin last weekend for the board’s quarterly meeting and took some time out of his schedule to speak with students in the Arts and Creative Professions Career Commu...

Liberal Arts Education Still Has Plenty To Offer Students

Donn Ginoza, OC ’74, Member, Alumni Leadership Council

March 1, 2019

If you are an administrator at a liberal arts college, the news is mostly ominous and foreboding. Colleges that are highly dependent on tuition revenue and possess small endowments are reducing their faculty to cut costs, and in some cases even closing. In the 1960s and 1970s, my parents had but a fraction of my current income and were able to put both my sister and me through Oberlin with no loans to repay after graduation. My parents were also the offspring of immigrants from Asia. I experienced the subtle pressure to seek out a “safe” career path guaranteed through higher education; in those days, this translated to doctor or lawyer. Today, the emphasis is more on seeking schools that prioritize engineering...

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