Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Students Demand Role on Board of Trustees

Alexis Dill and Sydney Allen

October 6, 2017

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

The Board of Trustees held its tri-annual student forum last night, giving students the chance to voice their opinions and concerns to the trustees before they enter their quarterly executive session. Though students raised a number of issues during the forum, discussions regarding the potential of adding a student representative to the board dominated the evening. For many students, the forum — which was held in four classrooms in the King building — marks the culmination of years of work, as the board is projected to vote on whether to include some type of student representation. Although the board was originally set to vote on the issue at their June meeting, it delayed the decision to this fall session. Chair of...

Student Representation Essential, Not Radical

Thobeka Mnisi, Contributing Writer

October 6, 2017

Filed under OPINIONS, 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. If you Google “How Oberlin Works,” the unfortunately dated but still highly informative site that explains Oberlin’s governmental structure, you’ll learn that the Board of Trustees is the primary and only legally authorized governing body of Oberlin College. Quite simply, the board is responsible for the College’s longevity and wellness. For practicality and in the spirit of shared governance, the board then delegates responsibility to the administration via the President, and to the facul...

Student Representation Imperative for Long-Term Change

Kameron Dunbar, Contributing Writer

September 22, 2017

Filed under OPINIONS, 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. “What does Student Senate even do?” is a question I am asked quite frequently. In short, we do a lot, but much of our work is behind the scenes. We appoint students to institutional committees and act as an official liaison between students and the general administration, among other responsibilities. We even feed students over fall break — a task the administration never took up as its responsibility. While most of our work is done outside of the spotlight, we’ve been engaged in a very public figh...

Trustees Postpone Student Rep. Vote

Trustees Postpone Student Rep. Vote

September 15, 2017

Student senators are facing an uncertain start to the fall semester as they persist in their battle to get a student representative on the Board of Trustees. The board tabled the vote over potential student trustees during their June quarterly board meeting, postponing the vote to their Oct. 5–7 meeting period. Last March, Senate submitted a proposal asking the board to create a task force to look into the possibility of adding a student to the Board of Trustees. This was the second proposal Se...

Exclusive Governance Fails Students

Editorial Board

September 8, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In an email from this past summer announcing to faculty and staff that Oberlin’s revenues would fall well short of targets and create a deficit of $5 million, incoming Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan, OC ’84, began with the salutation “To the Oberlin community.” It was a stroke of profound irony. For all that it contained — including discussion of decreased enrollment, sub-par student retention, a projected five percent budget shortfall over the next decade, and a salary freeze for the second consecutive year — the letter was most significant in what, or rather who, it omitted. Despite the grave financial implications for current and future students, we were never informed, and Ca...

“Financial Update From Chris Canavan ’84, Chair-elect, Board of Trustees”

Chris Canavan, OC ’84

September 8, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: The following is an email sent June 14, 2017 to the Oberlin College faculty and staff by the chair of the Board of Trustees. This was not submitted to the Review as a Letter to the Editors, but as it is addressed to the Oberlin community, we feel it appropriate to publish the text in full. To the Oberlin community: Oberlin’s Board of Trustees met last week. It was a bittersweet meeting because Oberlin is going through so many transitions. President Marvin Krislov will soon depart for Pace University. We bid farewell to Mike Frandsen, Sandhya Subramanian, and Debra Chermonte. But we also welcomed Oberlin’s 15th president, Carmen Ambar, and we’re lucky to have Alan Norton, Donica Varner...

Ambar Provides Opportunity for Needed Change

Editorial Board

September 1, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Each new academic year offers an opportunity to turn a new leaf. With the end of former President Marvin Krislov’s decade-long tenure this summer, that opportunity has perhaps never been greater at Oberlin. Simultaneously, however, the institution has never seemed to be in a more precarious position in recent memory than it does now. Just within the last year, Oberlin has seen cuts to administrative assistant and custodial positions, threats to eliminate programs like faculty research status, yet another tuition increase accompanied by an overhaul in room and board requirements, and the resumption of business with Gibson’s Bakery after controversy that sparked massive student protests. Together, these choi...

Students, Senate Must Work Together

Meg Parker, Contributing Writer

September 1, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS, 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. This week at my hall meeting, my RA asked what mattered to us. My response was, “Change, and the ability of people to make change together.” I’m currently a member of Oberlin’s interim Student Senate. As I shared during my hall meeting, I thought about how collaboration is an integral part of Senate’s work. As Vice Chair, I spent the past two semesters learning about Oberlin through my work, and I want to share reflections with you from my first term on Senate. Collective chang...

Trustees to Investigate Adding Student Rep

Trustees to Investigate Adding Student Rep

March 10, 2017

After months of pushing from student senators and activists, the Board of Trustees agreed to cre­ate a task force that will investigate adding student representatives to the board. The breakthrough results from a proposal sena­tors sent the board last Wednesday asking for the creation of a task force. The board then held its ex­ecutive session Friday afternoon, after which sena­tors received email confirmation that their propos­al had been accepted — a drastic change from the seven-month...

Students Neglect Existing Communication Channels

Editorial Board

March 10, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The trustees’ decision to create a task force to investigate adding student representation to the board is a credit to everyone involved. Student Senate deserves praise for creating the initial proposal and building a relationship with the board, as do student activists for adding pressure at a key moment and the board for showing flexibility and vision. This is an example of what college governance should look like: an active student body and a responsive administration. Still students must continue pushing for a student representative. Creating a task force is an important victory, but by no means is it the same as actually adding a representative. Students must also be made aware of the fact that student repres...

Senate Calls for Student-Rep Task Force

Senate Calls for Student-Rep Task Force

March 3, 2017

Upon entering the Wright Laboratory of Physics hallway, trustees appeared stunned at the sight of over 150 students silently protesting the Board of Trustees’ initial rejection of Student Senate’s request for student representation on the board. Most trustees declined to comment upon entering the meeting with Student Senate last night, but many other administrators and staff in attendance said they were impressed with the protest organized by Students Building Community Power — a recently...

Class Trustees Must Consider Student Needs

Cory Ventresca, College senior

March 3, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Executive Assistant to the General Counsel and Secretary Pam Pierron’s email sent Saturday, Feb. 25 stating the “regularly scheduled forum time will be used for a trustee–Student Senate mini-retreat” was incredibly disappointing to me as a former student senator. While it is important for Student Senate and the Board of Trustees to develop a strong working relationship so that Senate may better leverage its power, the development of that relationship should not preclude meeting with the student body. The idea that Student Senate can take on the Sisyphean task of representing all students to the board is absurd. In order for students to be fully represented, we need truly open fora. The clas...

Established 1874.