The Oberlin Review

Alumni Claim Censorship on Facebook

Gabby Greene, News Editor

September 21, 2018

Content Warning: This article contains brief mention of sexual assault. Administrators of the “Oberlin Alumni Digital Community” Facebook group removed five alumni from the group last week for “abusive language” following the establishment of new community guidelines ratified Sept. 12. “When the Alumni Association took over the Digital Community group last week, a number of alumni, myself included, began criticizing the move,” Robert Hayes, a former Oberlin student, said in an email to the Review. Hayes is the creator of an alternative to the Facebook group, the “Uncensored Unofficial Oberlin Alumni Discussion Group,” and was one of five members banned the day the new guidelines were established. ...

Karpatkin’s Letter Maintains Hypocrisies, False Accusations

Daniel Markus, Managing Editor

April 6, 2018

In recent weeks, the Review has published numerous pieces regarding gun control in the wake of the murder of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, by Nikolas Cruz. Initially, we published “Founding Fathers Would Approve of AR-15 Sales,” (The Oberlin Review, March 2, 2018) by Jacob Britton. Briefly, his piece argues that the AR-15, used in the Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Santa Barbara mass shootings, among others, would have been right at home in the 18th century when there were “guns even more dangerous around.” Unsurprisingly, this argument elicited several responses, including “Current Gun Control Debates Give Inadequate, Ineffective Solutions” (The Oberlin Review, March 9, 20...

College Should Prioritize Healthy Working Environment Over Free Speech

Daniel Markus, Arts and Culture Editor

May 5, 2017

Imagine the following scenario: You work in an office. One day at work, the company brings in a speaker to give a presentation about business development. Midway through, the presenter starts making incredibly disparaging comments about women. What would you do? Most likely, you would file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, because the presenter’s actions are prohibited under federal law. According to the EEOC, “The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.” If you were a member of this workplace, you wouldn’t expect coworkers to go about their bu...

Classroom Censorship Does Not Protect Against Real World Experiences

Roger Copeland, Professor of Theater and Dance

November 20, 2015

To the Editors: In a feisty essay published in last week’s Review, columnist Cyrus Eosphoros delivers the following ultimatum to Oberlin’s faculty: “If a professor feels like putting their students — over whom they have substantial power — in danger, the least they could do is prove it’s necessary to their course. If hurting people is vital to the professor’s pedagogy, the proof should be obvious” (“Classroom Censorship Can Improve Learning Environment,” Nov. 13, 2015). I would go considerably further and declare that there is no pedagogical imperative that could ever — under any circumstances — justify putting a student “in danger.” Similarly, any educator who believes that “hurtin...

Classroom Censorship Can Improve Learning Environment

Cyrus Eosphoros, Online Editor

November 13, 2015

Content Warning: This article contains discussion of common triggers (rape, violence, abuse), as well as suicide and hostility to consent. I am sick of appearing reasonable to people who believe common courtesy is a civil rights violation. When we talk about social change, conservative positions have a basic advantage: Their wishes have already been granted. Progressives approach conservatives with preemptive appeasement: “No, look, I don’t believe the stereotypical things that progressives are supposed to believe. I’m perfectly normal; I want just this little thing. Won’t you let me have it?” The marriage-equality version of the “See, we’re reasonable” tactic was “We’re not threatening your...

Privilege Means Choosing Silence

Chloe Vassot, Contributing Writer

September 25, 2015

To speak has always been a political act. The urge to protect one’s right to speak, the most basic method of communication — in a way the most intimate, most direct route from your mind to another’s — is inherently understandable and incontestable. The unwavering belief in this right is part of what has been driving the ever-growing number of think-pieces criticizing colleges and students for the “policing” of free speech and the prevalence of “politically correct” speech that is beginning to dominate certain campuses. This examination of the politics of speech is needed, but not when the goal is exclusively to find the weaknesses in our liberal arts schooling. The politics of speech, of who gets to ...

Censorship Perpetuates Misogynistic Ideals

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

April 3, 2015

Trigger Warning: The following op-ed contains a mention of blood and derogatory language referring to women. When Toronto-based spoken-word poet and author Rupi Kaur posted a photo of herself on Instagram with period-stained sweatpants, Instagram’s decision to remove the image and the resulting uproar was a bloody mess — pun intended. Since the photo did not violate any of Instagram’s terms and conditions or community guidelines, Kaur and supporters claimed it was misogynistic and an erasure of experience to delete the image. Kaur posted on her Tumblr, “I will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in ... underwear but not be okay with a small leak. ...

TIME Misses Point with Poll, Apology

Taylor Field, Staff Writer

November 21, 2014

TIME magazine announced its fourth annual poll on Nov. 12 in order to determine “Which Word Should Be Banned in 2015?” The poll lists 15 options for words to be banished, and beneath the poll, TIME elaborates on “the type of person who would like to see each nominee launched into the deepest, darkest, most hopeless eternity from whence there is no salvation nor return.” Included in this year’s poll were expressions deemed tired or overused, such as “bae,” “kale” and “said no one ever”; those considered grammatically incorrect, such as “I can’t even,” “literally” and “obvi”; and, finally, the most disturbing category: miscalculated attempts at social justice via censorship. This year, TI...

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