The Oberlin Review

College No Longer Employs ResEd Staff Member Following Offensive Facebook Comment

Gigi Ewing, Senior Associate Editor

July 18, 2020

After a contentious Facebook comment posted by a Residential Education staff member surfaced in early June, students, alumni, and others called for the employee’s termination through a petition to College administrators. Though the College cannot comment on the employment status of its staff, by mid-June the employee’s name no longer appeared on the Oberlin campus directory.  The Facebook comment was made by Administrative Assistant Norma Frasher in reference to  the May 25 murder of George Floyd.  “Yeah, & IF some people would SHUT their mouths & follow the RULES that EVERYONE else complies with they WOULDN’T get a Knee to the Neck,” the comment read.  Many of Frasher’s critics felt that ...

President Ambar Announces Presidential Initiative to Address Racial Injustice

Kushagra Kar, Senior Associate Editor

June 16, 2020

President Carmen Twillie Ambar sent an email to the Oberlin community announcing a new Presidential Initiative to educate and mobilize students against racial injustice. This announcement came six days after four Minneapolis police officers brutally murdered Floyd, setting in motion global protests against racial injustice. “I will establish a Presidential Initiative for faculty and students that seeks to address issues of violence, police-community relationships, and racial injustices,” President Ambar wrote in her May 31 email. “One could imagine courses, co-curricular initiatives, community engagements, and internships focused on the very issues that the death of George Floyd invokes. The primary goal of thi...

65 Foundational Works in the Field of Africana Studies

Department of Africana Studies

June 14, 2020

Editor’s Note: This list of resources was originally attached to ABUSUA’s Letter to the Administration and Board of Trustees.  This following selection of works (written, visual and aural texts) have been combined by the faculty and affiliate faculty of Oberlin College’s Department of Africana Studies, to provide for its major, minor and interested students a list of what members of the department see as foundational works in the field of Africana Studies. The interdisciplinary nature of the field and the multi-disciplinary range of the contributors to this collection provides a broad, deep, and complex interpretation of works fundamental to the description, study, and creative expression of Africana peoples (continental...

ABUSUA Demands Institutional Reform from Administrators, Board of Trustees

ABUSUA

June 14, 2020

To Oberlin College and Conservatory administration and Board of Trustees ABUSUA, Oberlin’s Black Student Union, would like to express our anger and dissatisfaction with Oberlin's administration. The recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless others have made the world take a hard look at all of the continually ignored racist practices and institutions embedded in our society. Their painful deaths serve as a reminder of the systematic oppression and racism that continue to affect Black people in America. Oberlin has a legacy of activism and supporting the advancement of Black people. We would like to see these values reflected in Oberlin's response to the current Bla...

Ohio Federation of Teachers Responds to UAW Controversy

Melissa Cropper, President, Ohio Federation of Teachers

April 24, 2020

To President Carmen Twillie Ambar, We, the more than 20,000 members of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, stand in solidarity with our United Auto Workers brothers and sisters targeted for outsourcing at Oberlin College. Outsourcing more than 100 union workers in order to avoid paying health benefits is morally bankrupt in the best of times, but to do so during a global pandemic is absolutely unconscionable. Furthermore, union busting is especially egregious for an institution that markets its progressive history to draw students. As teachers, we know that the working conditions of the employees who make our schools run, whether that be custodians or food service providers, directly influence the ability of stud...

Campus Housing Announcements Spark Student Confusion, Frustration

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

April 15, 2020

Students remaining in College-owned housing were left confused and frustrated last week after receiving a pair of email communications — the first from the Office of Residential Education and the second from President Carmen Twillie Ambar — regarding potential changes to their living situations. The emails came after most students were required to vacate campus housing last month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; students who stayed on campus went through a petition process in order to do so. On Tuesday, April 7, ResEd informed students in campus housing that they should start packing up their belongings in order to be “consolidated” into South, Langston, or Noah Halls beginning Friday, April 17. The ro...

President Carmen Twillie Ambar shakes a graduate's hand at Oberlin's 2019 commencement ceremony.

Commencement & Reunion Weekend Postponed, Digital Ceremony Announced

April 4, 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Commencement & Reunion Weekend has been postponed until the spring of 2021, when the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 will participate in a combined ceremony. A virtual celebration will replace this year’s in-person graduation ceremony that was originally scheduled for Monday, May 25. The 50-year reunion for the Class of 1970 will also be postponed until 2021. Members of the Oberlin campus and community were alerted to these updates via a Tue...

Hundreds of students protested President Carmen Twillie Ambar’s recent announcement that the College is “formally considering” contracting with outside vendors, potentially cutting 108 United Automobile Workers union jobs, in the King Building Wednesday.

College “Considering” Outsourcing Dining, Custodial Services

February 21, 2020

Employees in Oberlin’s chapter of the United Automobile Workers union are reeling after a Tuesday afternoon email from President Carmen Twillie Ambar to the campus community announced that the College is “formally considering” contracting with outside vendors to provide campus custodial and dining services. If the College ultimately chooses to outsource, more than 100 union employees could lose their jobs on June 30, when the transition would occur. According to President Ambar’s email, O...

William Quillen Named Dean of Conservatory

Anisa Curry Vietze, News Editor

December 13, 2019

William Quillen has been hired as dean of the Conservatory after serving in the position on an interim basis since June 2018. In May, Oberlin launched a confidential national search for the position. Quillen was vice-chair of the Academic and Administrative Program Review’s Steering Committee, alongside Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences David Kamitsuka. The Committee led the institution-wide evaluation and made recommendations to address the College’s financial issues. “I am excited that Bill will continue to provide thoughtful guidance and leadership as dean of the Conservatory,” President Carmen Twillie Ambar said according to a Dec. 10 College press release. “He has demonstrated a vision fo...

YeoFit Undergoes Schedule Changes

Alexis Dill and Alexa Stevens

December 13, 2019

The now three-semester-old YeoFit program is being assessed by program leadership to determine the best model to both encourage attendance and minimize cost moving forward. The program offers a variety of free fitness classes — including yoga, cardio boxing, spinning, and more — throughout the week at the Shanks Health and Wellness Center. These offerings are prone to change, though. YeoFit classes have led to structural changes evaluated by attendance and advertising initiatives throughout the Athletics department in an attempt to better establish the program on campus. One such advertising initiative occurred throughout the first module: Students who attended a specified number of YeoFit classes wer...

Michael Grzesiak

College Announces VP for Advancement

November 22, 2019

Last Friday, the Office of Communications announced via email Michael Grzesiak’s appointment to the vice president for advancement position. The position is currently held in an interim capacity by Rachel Smith Silver, who stepped in following Bill Barlow’s retirement in June. The search committee — led by President Carmen Twillie Ambar and consisting of faculty, staff, and a student senator — conducted a nationwide search for the position. “We are excited about Mike because of the experience ...

Report Showcases Economic Impact of College on Local Community

Katie Lucey, News Editor

October 11, 2019

According to an economic impact report released by Oberlin College on Sept. 25, the College “has a significant economic influence” on the greater Oberlin and Lorain County community and will contribute an estimated $143 million in direct and indirect spending in the region throughout 2019. The release of the report, titled “Our Community: 2019 Oberlin College Community Impact Report,” preceded last week’s Board of Trustees meeting and Tuesday’s announcement of the board’s decision to appeal the $25 million judgment against the College in the lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Bakery Oberlin contracted IMPLAN, an economic impact analysis firm, to produce the report. IMPLAN used 2018 inflation-adjusted institutional...

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