The Oberlin Review

Dining Changes Represent Concerning Future

Daniel Markus, Contributing Writer

September 7, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

If you had been a miner in the United States, Canada, or Britain for most of the 20th century, it’s a good bet that you might bring a small caged bird, often a canary, down into the shaft along with you. If you didn’t, a buddy probably did. Mining could release trapped pockets of carbon monoxide gas, which has no scent or color and can suffocate a person before they even realize it’s happening. The canaries were a simple, albeit cruel, warning system. Their biology makes them more sensitive to poison gases like carbon monoxide than humans — if your canary died, it was time to go. Immediately. If your canary died, one thing you definitely wouldn’t do was wonder why it was dead, and you wouldn’t stay in the m...

Constructive Institutionalism Includes Diverse Perspectives

Editorial Board

May 25, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Oberlin has reached many milestones this year — some deserving of celebration. Among those was the beginning of Carmen Ambar’s presidency. Ambar has worked to be more transparent and communicative than former President Marvin Krislov, whose time at Oberlin was marked by campus tension and administrative opacity. Ambar’s presidency has begun at a time of great financial uncertainty for Oberlin. To her credit, Ambar has made an effort to be candid about those challenges, carrying out a series of campus presentations regarding the College’s financial outlook this winter. She has also called upon all of us — students, staff, faculty, and alums — to be Oberlin’s stewards, institutionalists concerned not only with Oberlin...

Oberlin Must Present True Facts About Hotel

John H Scofield

May 4, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: I write to express my concern about the misleading and false claims being made by Oberlin College with regard to The Hotel at Oberlin. I understand that our nation has a President who lies on a regular basis and the public is apparently unwilling to hold him accountable. But is the College no different? A recent article in the Spring 2018 issue of the Oberlin College Alumni Magazine claims that “The hotel … is one of only five U.S. hotels to have qualified for the rigorous LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Its heating and cooling systems rely on a geothermal well field …” These claims are also posted on the Hotel’s website, www.thehotelatoberlin.com. Nearly...

GFC, President Announce Final AAPR Steering Committee Members

Roman Broszkowski, News Editor

April 27, 2018

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Recent Stories

The General Faculty Council and Office of the President announced the final 32 members of the Academic and Administrative Program Review Steering Committee — which will handle the external review process with the consulting firm Stevens Strategy — by email Wednesday. The committee includes Student Senate Chair and College junior Kameron Dunbar, who was appointed in spite of an informal agreement among student senators to not nominate any sitting senators. The selection process also faced opposition from some faculty members who wanted half of faculty representatives to be elected rather than appointed by the administration. The GFC, the group responsible for selecting the AAPR Steering Committee appointments, receive...

College Goes All In For Oberlin

College Goes All In For Oberlin

April 27, 2018

President Carmen Ambar and Associate Vice President for Athletics Advancement and Delta Lodge Director of Athletics and Physical Education Natalie Winkelfoos pose on a golf cart for yesterday’s All In For Oberlin fundraiser. Ambar and Winkelfoos cruised around campus yesterday asking students and community members to go “All In” for Oberlin and donate toward the fundraising challenge. Organizers sought 1,500 donors, and every dollar donated up to that point was matched with a $100 contribu...

Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings Named VP Finance, Administration

Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings Named VP Finance, Administration

April 20, 2018

Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings, the current vice president of Business Affairs at Otterbein University, was named Oberlin’s new vice president of Finance and Administration last week, pending the approval of the Board of Trustees during their June meeting. If the board approves, she will officially take over July 1. Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration Alan Norton came out of retirement last May after Vice President of Finance Mike Frandsen’s departure last year. A 10-person search c...

NLRB Sides With OCOPE in Suit Against College

NLRB Sides With OCOPE in Suit Against College

April 20, 2018

The Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees union recently won a suit against the College with the National Labor Relations Board. The charges, filed in January, claimed that the College violated their mutually agreed-upon collective bargaining agreement by placing temporary workers, who make $14 an hour and receive no employment benefits or insurance, in OCOPE positions longer than is stipulated in the contract. The NLRB found the College in violation of the contract during arbitration. ...

Oberlin Should Focus on Sustainability in Future Legacy

Johan Cavert

April 20, 2018

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. The General Faculty Council has decided who will serve on the Academic Administrative Program Review Steering Committee, which will soon be announced to the rest of the campus. At such a critical moment, it is important to make time for nuanced reflection about the trajectory, values, and vision of our institution — something Student Senate has focused on this semester. During the student-trustee forums last month, one trustee convincingly asserted that Oberlin was not facing anything as dramatic as ba...

Stevens Strategy Poses Potential Threat to Job Security, Program Funding

Matthew Senior and Marc Blecher

April 13, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: The following is a version of a letter posted to the faculty listserv and sent to President Ambar and faculty by Professor of Politics and East Asian Studies Marc Blecher in collaboration with Professor of French Matthew Senior. This revised version was provided to the Review by Blecher at the Review’s request. Because of the content’s potential impact on Oberlin students and faculty, we felt it appropriate to publish the text in full. Dear Colleagues: When Stevens Strategy was named to consult in our Academic and Administrative Program Review, many of us had immediate concerns and reservations. One look at the Stevens website raises suspicions that they hew to a corporate model of career-oriente...

Unionized Staff Cuts Follow Dascomb Closure

Unionized Staff Cuts Follow Dascomb Closure

April 13, 2018

Campus dining staff first learned of Dascomb Dining Hall’s impending closure at President Carmen Ambar’s respective financial presentation. Currently, 19 members of the United Auto Workers — the union that represents Campus Dining Services, custodial, and facilities staff — work in Dascomb, in addition to between 50 and 75 non-union, non-student workers. Although workers had expressed anxiety over what Dascomb’s closure would mean for their job security, it wasn’t until a week ago th...

Stevens Strategy Presents to General Faculty Amid Controversy

Sydney Allen, News Editor

April 13, 2018

Filed under Campus News, Features, NEWS, Recent Stories

Editor’s Note: A revised version of the letter mentioned in this article is filed under Letters to the Editors. It can be found online at the following link: https://wp.me/p4BnSC-4ak Stevens Strategy, the academic consulting firm President Carmen Ambar tapped to lead the upcoming Administrative and Academic Professional Review, presented its intended strategy to the General Faculty Council Monday. Amid pre-existing skepticism from faculty members, many who attended the meeting felt the firm came across as unprepared, further heightening concerns. The firm describes itself as “a full-service consulting firm specializing in managing the process of strategic change in colleges, universities, and schools.” Stevens Strat...

College Must Include Staff Input During Restructuring Process

Michael Kennedy

April 13, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

As co-chair and former treasurer of Oberlin’s Student Labor Action Coalition, I have met regularly with representatives from Oberlin’s United Auto Workers and Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees unions to learn about issues facing workers and college-union relations. Over the course of this school year, I have engaged in hours of conversations with many employees — from administrative assistants to Campus Dining Services workers to custodians. Every single discussion I have had with a staff member has greatly expanded my understanding of this institution and its faults. Ever since President Carmen Ambar announced to students that Dascomb Dining Hall was to close, I’ve been confronted with the questi...

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