The Oberlin Review

Keeping Faith in Obies

Editorial Board

September 4, 2020

Life right now can feel like a big experiment. Certainly, life on campus does. Whether you’re standing six feet apart in the DeCafé line or sitting on the quad, distanced from your friends — it all seems a little dystopian.  It feels like a giant experiment because it is — no one knows what’s going to happen. So far, our version of the experiment is going rather well. At the time of publication, the initial and most recent data shows just 0.23 percent of Oberlin’s campus tested positive for COVID-19. We are grateful that the College has developed a plan that works to prioritize health and safety, and we trust that students are doing their part as well — making sacrifices and readjusting to the new campus...

Oberlin: We Are Still Your Concern

 Nico Vickers, This Week Editor

March 13, 2020

I am perfectly aware that this is an impossible situation. Oberlin College and the City of Oberlin do not have the infrastructure, facilities, staff, or resources to deal with an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and it is true that it is best to act quickly in unpredictable situations such as the spread of disease.  However, it’s impossible not to take into account how devastating these changes are for many students at this school given their personal circumstances. For some students, going home and completing remote education is an inconvenience. Their lives aren’t drastically changed. They will go home and do their coursework from bed in their pajamas. Maybe they’ll be relieved from some of t...

As COVID-19 Brings Fear, Disruption, Obies Rally to Support Community

Editorial Board

March 13, 2020

This is an uncertain, difficult, and frightening time. Every member of our community is scrambling to make sense of the necessary yet difficult decisions that have been made by College administrators. This is not easy, and it’s okay to be scared. At a time when many of the members of our community are sharing anxieties — and holding close their friends and family members — the most important thing that we can do is support and take care of one another. Much like our peer institutions, the College is following protocols and best practices that public health and other government officials have developed to mitigate the expansion of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in deciding to cancel classes, send students home, an...

Oberlin Must Be Sure to Take Care of Neighbors, Workers

Booker C. Peek, Professor Emeritus of Africana Studies

March 6, 2020

 Most of us agree that Oberlin College must pay all its workers a living wage. But perhaps not all support this view. There is no universally agreed-upon definition for what amount of dollars represents a “living wage” — a sum for one person or a family of four, for those living in the most expensive area of the country or the least expensive?  Let’s allow that the term lacks precision, but is a concept that must cover what we all think of as basic needs — food, housing, clothing, health insurance, etc. — with some notion of a barrier still, but hardly impossible to overcome. It is urgent for us to impress upon the College a sense of oneness as humans, caring and supporting each other in life’s jo...

Join OCSA in Coronavirus Support

Yan Jin and Rena Wang

February 28, 2020

 Editor’s Note: All interviews in this article were conducted in Chinese and have been translated into English by the writers.  Responding to the outbreak and spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus, the Oberlin Chinese Student Association started a fundraising campaign Jan. 27, seeking donations from Chinese students and parents. The goal was to purchase protective suits in the U.S. to be donated to hospitals in the Hubei province of China, where coronavirus is believed to have begun.  When OCSA first collaborated with Chinese student associations at universities on the east coast, it found its first potential suit supplier. A few days later, however, the supplier backed out, and the order was canceled. Soon...

Art Rental Program Has Students’ Best Interest At Heart

Andria Derstine, John G. W. Cowles Director Allen Memorial Art Museum

February 21, 2020

 The Art Rental program at the Allen Memorial Art Museum has, for the past 80 years, been an important aspect of the AMAM’s offerings and a cherished tradition. Hence, it was with great interest that I and other museum staff read the opinion piece “Art Rental Needs to Address Accessibility Concerns,” published in The Oberlin Review Feb. 14, while noting with dismay that many fewer students than normal took part in Art Rental on Feb. 15, leaving the museum with 86 unrented works out of 395. Last September, following advertising by the Art Students Committee, approximately 35 percent more students than average came to the event, with those at the end of the line going away empty-handed (“New Approach to Art Renta...

Winter Term Changes Prove Promising

Editorial Board

November 8, 2019

 Oberlin has long boasted about its Winter Term program and the opportunity it provides students to travel or explore new projects that they otherwise wouldn’t have time for. However, students have often criticized the program for its lack of structure and meaningful options available to make it worth their while.  It is, therefore, heartening to see that the Winter Term program is finally going through significant reforms that will allow students to use their time purposefully, rather than merely ticking off a graduation requirement. The changes are detailed in last week’s issue of the Review (“College Adds On-Campus Winter Term Projects” Nov. 1, 2019). Winter Term reforms propose to improve financial acce...

In Hard Times, Moments of Celebration Must Be Tasteful

Editorial Board

October 11, 2019

 Watching the fireworks go off over the athletic fields Saturday night was a bit like listening to the band play aboard the sinking Titanic. The extravagant display marked the end of Homecoming Weekend, but also seemed to signify a larger dissonance for an institution currently grappling with existential questions about financial stability, how to treat community members with fairness and respect, and more.  The reality is that, in many ways, this is a difficult time for Oberlin. The College is staring down a $25 million dollar judgment resulting from a lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Bakery against the College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. Further, a structural budget deficit has already ...

Climate Activism Must Be Universal, Inclusive

Theo Canter, Contributing Writer

September 27, 2019

 Last Friday’s Climate Strike left me and many others who participated in it with a sense of rising optimism and hope. With participants numbering in the millions worldwide, it was one of the largest social protests in recent years.  Soon after students walked out of class Friday morning and gathered around the Tappan Square bandstand, a wide variety of powerful speakers — ranging from high school students, to college students, to adult community members — made their voices heard.  Having been to many political gatherings and protests, especially in the past few years, I felt that this one in particular was different. This was not like Matthew McConaughey’s 2003 Saturday Night Live sketch, “Protest...

Community Healing More Important Now Than Ever

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Professor of Africana Studies

September 20, 2019

 Almost two years ago, in 2017, I wrote you pleading for Oberlin College to seek an out-of-court settlement with the Gibson family (“Gibson’s Links Black People to Anti-Semitism,” The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017). But nothing seemed to take place until it was announced in April that efforts had failed and that the case was going to trial this past May. It did, and the jury ruled in favor of the Gibson family. Last week, I wrote again hoping that Oberlin College would appeal the local jury’s decision to award millions of dollars to the Gibson family (“College Should Respect Any Future Appeal Decision,” The Oberlin Review, Sept. 13, 2019). But after receiving more information, I urge the College to tr...

Community Should Promote Oberlin’s Green Fire Station

Devlin O’Keefe, Julia McCormick, Bella Tuffias-Mora, and Clara Zucker

May 10, 2019

 Founded in 1853, Oberlin’s Fire Station has a long history of assisting its residents in times of need. However, many are unaware that the Oberlin Fire Department is dedicated to the Oberlin community in ways beyond protecting its citizens from fire and accidents. As the City of Oberlin planned for a new station, they pushed for this facility to become the first LEED certified fire station in Ohio.  LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a program that awards certifications to newer buildings that are especially environmentally conscious. The program uses a point system; the more points the building has based upon green initiatives, the higher their rating is. As of 2009, th...

One Song, One City Unites Community Around Music

Roman Broszkowski, Senior Staff Writer

April 26, 2019

In an effort to build stronger bonds between College and city communities, Oberlin’s Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue and the Office of the Ombudsperson have created a series of music listening and sharing sessions called One Song, One City.  The bi-monthly meetings, which began in March 2019, are held at the Oberlin Public Library and the Lewis House, bring community members together to discuss the historic and emotional contexts of songs that attendees care about.  Conservatory junior Griffin Woodard, who started the program through his work as a community relations intern for the Office of the Ombudsperson, explained that the purpose of the series is to facilitate interactions between Oberlin resident...

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