The Oberlin Review

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...

Legion Field Garden Provides Vital Sense of Community

Peter Crowley, Coordinator South West Oberlin Residents Association

April 19, 2019

 On March 18, Oberlin City Council rejected Zion Community Development Corporation’s offer to donate garden tools, shed, and other materials used at Legion Field Community Garden to the City. The gardeners of Legion Field were told that managing community gardens would not be feasible with current City staff capacity. We then formed a new partnership with Our F.A.M.I.L.Y., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which already sponsors three gardens in Lorain County. We have also reached out to Madison Baker from the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Lorain County Community College to manage the garden.  This past week, Our F.A.M.I.L.Y. submitted a new draft of the user agreement to the City for council approval. The Cit...

CDS Swipe Drive Represents Effective Community Activism

Editorial Board

April 12, 2019

 After many weeks of heated back-and-forth debate over the future of Campus Dining Services meal plans, student organizers have found an effective way to both make their voices heard and support existing community efforts. The “Spare Swipes: An Oberlin CDS Food Drive” initiative urged first-years and sophomores on the 300 meals-per-semester plan to use their spare swipes to purchase non-perishable items from Wilder DeCafé and donate them to Oberlin Community Services — a community organization dedicated to providing basic needs assistance to Lorain County residents. The drive, launched in response to the new meal plan options introduced April 1 by Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, ran th...

Community Engagement Should Be Academic Priority

Editorial Board

March 1, 2019

The City of Oberlin and Oberlin College have always been very closely connected, as can be expected of the relationship between a small liberal arts college and the small, rural community it shares a backyard with. Indeed, the two were founded together — the town and then-Oberlin Collegiate Institute were one and the same, reveling in shared triumphs and coming together in difficult times. However, in recent years that relationship has faltered, and interactions between the town and College have become strained. These divisions have doubtless come with heavy cost, and silos that seemed unimaginable early in Oberlin’s history now too often feel deeply entrenched. Clearly, work must be done to rebuild those bridges...

Club Sports Deserve More Recognition, Institutional Support

Editorial Board

February 22, 2019

One of the most exciting moments in Oberlin athletics last year was when both of the College’s ultimate Frisbee teams, the Flying Horsecows and the Preying Manti, qualified for the national Frisbee tournament. Their success allowed for some rare glimpses of school spirit as the campus came together to support both squads — in a way it rarely does around Oberlin’s varsity teams. This celebration was a reminder of the ways club sports can build community, even though they receive a fraction of the institutional support that varsity teams do. While that discrepancy is at least partially due to the inherent DIY nature of club sports, which many club athletes and supporters value, it can hinder the ability of club...

Students Should Support Neighbors Through Programs Like OCS

Editorial Board

February 15, 2019

America today is defined by skyrocketing economic inequality, broken social welfare systems, and politicians who seem apathetic about both. The political and social institutions that are supposed to ensure the health and safety of all citizens simply do not work, and the discrepancies in who benefits from them are only growing more extreme. These realities were painfully obvious during the recent federal government shutdown, which stretched from Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018 to Friday, Jan. 25 of this year — the longest in U.S. history. Almost immediately, stories of federal workers struggling to make ends meet while deprived of their normal paychecks began to flood national media. The shutdown had a huge impact, even...

Local Candidates Meet with Oberlin Voters

Local Candidates Meet with Oberlin Voters

October 12, 2018

Ten local candidates answered questions from community members at Community Candidate Night on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The event was organized by Oberlin’s League of Women Voters chapter, and encouraged residents to interact with candidates and learn about their platforms. Candidates for Ohio State Senate, Ohio House of Representatives, local judges, county commissioners office, and the county auditor’s office were in attendance. Republican State Senator Gayle L. Manning currently repres...

On the Record with Oberlin Center for the Arts Executive Director Darren Hamm

On the Record with Oberlin Center for the Arts Executive Director Darren Hamm

September 28, 2018

Darren Hamm currently serves as the executive director of the Oberlin Center for the Arts. The not-for-profit organization was founded in July 2016, with help from both College students and community members. Hamm has been executive director since March 2017. The organization seeks to connect students and community members to different opportunities in the arts around Lorain County. With the mission of cultivating lifelong creativity and engagement with the arts, OCA leadership has spent the last tw...

Established 1874.