The Oberlin Review

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...

Ambar Must Address AAPR Faculty Concerns

Editorial Board

April 13, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

For the third time this academic year, the Review is publishing in full a letter originally sent to faculty and staff with grave concerns about Oberlin’s financial situation and how to respond to it — something that, as far as the Editorial Board is aware, has never occured in the history of this publication. It is a significant decision, one that we do not take lightly. In September, we printed a message from Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan, OC ’84, that outlined Oberlin’s long-term and short-term budget deficits to faculty and staff. These were never acknowledged in any official communication to students. In December, we published a letter to Canavan from two faculty members, James Monroe Prof...

Students Nominated For AAPR Steering Committee

Duncan Reid, Staff Writer

April 6, 2018

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Recent Stories

Student Senate announced the students nominated to serve on the Academic Administrative Program Review Steering Committee in an email Tuesday. College juniors Sadie Keller and Faith Shaeffer, sophomores Nae Mclain and Janet Wu, and first-year Ilana Foggle were nominated to the General Faculty Council, which will choose three of the five to serve on the committee. Senate Vice-Chair and College junior Cecilia Wallace said that Senate received a qualified pool of applicants for the AAPR Steering Committee, which will engage closely with the coming external financial review. “Senate was not picking and choosing between opinions, but rather seeking clear dedication to current and future peers’ wellbeing,” Wallace...

Dascomb Staff Deserve Respect, Increased Transparency

Caitlin Kelley

April 6, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

I attended President Ambar’s talk on Feb. 28, 2018 in which she updated students on Oberlin’s financial situation and announced the closing of Dascomb Dining Hall. President Ambar addressed student concerns about food availability and quality of service on campus when Dascomb closes, but as a student, those are not my only concerns about the state of Campus Dining Services. As part of my work-study, I have washed dishes at Dascomb since the fall of my first year. I’m not a dishwasher because I couldn’t find a “better” job on campus; I wash dishes at Dascomb because I like to. Working with the Dascomb dining staff has honestly been one of the best experiences I’ve had at Oberlin. The staff at Dascomb a...

Dascomb to Close, New CDS Options Introduced

Dascomb to Close, New CDS Options Introduced

March 30, 2018

Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo announced that Dascomb Dining Hall will close next semester in a March 12 campus-wide email. To offset the meals specific to Dascomb, both DeCafé and Lord-Saunders Dining Hall will offer breakfast, and DeCafé will host fourth meal. The administration is also looking to increase dining accessibility by extending Lord-Saunders hours and adding grab-and-go options, currently available in DeCafé, to Stevenson Dining Hall as well, which will ot...

Board of Trustees Approves External Financial Review

Lila Michaels, Staff Writer

March 30, 2018

Filed under Campus News, Features, NEWS, Recent Stories

The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to proceed with the Academic and Administrative Program Review during the March 9 board meeting, instructing President Carmen Ambar to put together a 30-person Steering Committee that will oversee the review, which will be led by educational consulting firm Stevens Strategy. This Steering Committee will be made up of 15 faculty members and 15 board members, students, administrative and professional staff, and union members, and it will be chaired by Ambar. “[The Board of Trustees indicated] that I should convene a cross-functional team that includes representation from important faculty committees and faculty leaders as well as other stakeholders,” Ambar wrote in an email...

Closing Dascomb Dining Presents As Many Problems As It Solves

Editorial Board

March 9, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

While the administration’s potential decision to shut down Dascomb Dining Hall may reduce costs during a time of financial stringency, the decision has far-reaching implications that jeopardize the already-delicate balance of Campus Dining Services. Despite President Carmen Ambar’s transparency in announcing the possible change at her recent budget presentation, there are numerous logistical concerns that the administration has yet to adequately answer. First, Ambar did not sufficiently address how the school plans to disperse Dascomb diners to other dining facilities. To compensate for the closure of Dascomb, the administration plans to expand DeCafé and Lord-Saunders Dining Hall hours, as if Lord-Saunders and ...

Students Shouldn’t Bear All Cost of Incoming Financial Decisions

Duncan Reid, Contributing Writer

March 9, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

After listening to President Ambar’s presentation and going over the notes, one thing kept repeating itself in my head: That just doesn’t add up. President Ambar mentioned that our tuition is similar to our peer institutions, and thus a 3 percent increase is reasonable. While our tuition is roughly similar, what students pay, including fees, is not. The average net price that Obies pay, including financial and merit aid, is around $45,000 per year, according to College Factual. The average net price per student at Oberlin’s peer institutions is far less — anywhere from $21,841 at Amherst to $32,763 at Kenyon. That doesn’t add up. A year ago, incoming first-years were told that they had to buy into a more expens...

Students Must Protect Entirety of Oberlin, Not Just Specific Parts

Kameron Dunbar, Columnist

March 2, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

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. President Carmen Ambar delivered her 10th comprehensive presentation on Oberlin’s financial futures on Wednesday, particularly the challenges and opportunities therein. King 306 was packed with students, with audible laughs and sighs throughout the event’s duration. Personally, I was extremely excited to see such an awesome turnout. Years of frustration, coupled with an inclination to interrogate institutions, have left the student body suspicious of practically anything that involves administra...

Ambar Details Finances, Solutions to Students

Ambar Details Finances, Solutions to Students

March 2, 2018

President Carmen Ambar presented to students about Oberlin’s current budgetary state and answered subsequent questions Wednesday evening in King Building. Ambar mentioned how she intends to answer the financial deficit in student-specific ways, including the eventual closing of Dascomb Hall’s cafeteria and older Village Housing Units. The presentation is the 10th in a series of 11 that Ambar has been giving to different groups on campus. The president said that financial decisions made over t...

Financial Solutions Require Active Participation from Students

Meg Parker, Contributing Writer

February 23, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Oberlin’s financial strife is not news. Enrollment in private liberal arts colleges is down across the nation, the financial crash of the late 2000s hit Oberlin hard, and we have been living beyond our means a for too long. The budget deficit was reduced to $3 million this year but is expected to increase to $9 million next year if the market behaves as predicted. Fretting, discussing, and occasionally ranting about the institution’s financial outlook and fiscal management has become nearly routine practice for students, faculty, and staff during my six semesters at Oberlin. We are quick to ask why some departments are more expensive than others and where funding for departments comes from and to question the validity ...

Ambar Announces Budget Plans to Faculty, Staff

Ambar Announces Budget Plans to Faculty, Staff

February 16, 2018

President Carmen Ambar and other senior administrators have launched an 11-day presentation campaign in which all College and Conservatory faculty, administrative and professional staff, Student Senate, student media, and other constituencies will see the largest overview of Oberlin’s financial situation to date, along with Ambar’s proposed plan to rectify Oberlin’s ever-worsening deficit. The College managed to reduce its deficit from $5 million to $3 million this year, largely due to a las...

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