The Oberlin Review

Mercy Endangers Patients with Religious Ideals

Cyrus Eosphoros, Contributing Writer

May 6, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: This op-ed contains discussion of medical malpractice, ableism, transphobia and homophobia. In February of this year, The Guardian acquired a leaked report describing how a single Mercy Health Partners hospital in Muskegon, MI, endangered the lives of five pregnant women in 17 months (“Abortion ban linked to dangerous miscarriages at Catholic hospitals, report claims,” Feb. 18) when its healthcare providers refused to induce labor in women who were going through a miscarriage on the grounds that it would be tantamount to abortion. These five women almost died. Our closest local hospital system, Mercy Health — unrelated to the one in Michigan — is comprised of Catholic hospitals. It takes s...

Not All Dissent Stems from Cognitive Dissonance

Cyrus Eosphoros, Contributing Writer

April 23, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

It’s human nature to believe that one’s opinions are factually correct. After all, why would you believe something that isn’t true? Unless we get into the messy philosophical debate about whether reality can be proven at all, some things are provable: the earth is round and bacteria exist. Most things are subjective. The current 2016 presidential election is proof enough that politics falls under that category. It’s still tempting — reassuring even — to believe that our opinions in subjective cases are the right ones, no matter what. That’s a problem, because the easiest shortcut to justify why your opinions are good or morally correct and someone else’s are wrong or immoral is to simply blame their though...

For-Profit Healthcare Not the Fault of Disabled People

Cyrus Eosphoros, Contributing Writer

April 8, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s staff tweeted against the Affordable Care Act Wednesday: “Obamacare guarantees $400bn in profits for insurance companies by creating a captured market. A profiteering, private system isn’t reform.” A statement claiming that 17 million people gaining insurance after the ACA makes a bad policy wouldn’t be amiss from one of the Bernie Sanders-supporting social scientists I follow, like Michael Oman-Reagan (“The thing I disliked the most about ACA is that it forces Americans to prop up the for-profit healthcare industry”) or Holly Wood (“Great, [the ACA] made it that much harder to defeat for-profit healthcare”). The first sentence of Stein’s tweet even ...

Intro Courses Place Marginalized Students at Disadvantage

Cyrus Eosphoros, Contributing Writer

March 11, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

This is the second part in a series on the negative effects of assumptions underlying “elite” higher education, at Oberlin and in general. At the start of my fifth semester at Oberlin, my history professor began our class by saying, “I hope you remember your APUSH.” For those of you anywhere near as lost as I was, that’s AP U.S. History. My history class was the first half of a yearlong series and the closest Oberlin gets to an introductory American history course. Created by the College Board, AP courses are high school classes modeled after college courses that have become a way for students to prove their worthiness to potential colleges. They can also provide college course credit for students who score ...

Oberlin Mistakes Quantity for Quality

Cyrus Eosphoros, Contributing Writer

February 26, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

The last time the anti-affirmative-action Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas hit the news, it was because former Justice Antonin Scalia had put his foot in his mouth about it again. “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well,” Scalia said. “One of the briefs pointed out that most of the Black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.” Multip...

Broken ExCo System Disrespectful to Students

Cyrus Eosphoros, Columnist

February 5, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Columnist Note: Some ExCos are taught by community members or College staff and faculty, but the vast majority are both attended and taught by students. I’m addressing the effect that the current ExCo system has on students. I’m also largely writing from the point of view of someone who’s been a student but not a teacher. Oberlin College officially admits that the ExCo system works to fulfill gaps in the College’s curriculum. “ExCo supplements the regular curriculum by offering classes not typically available in traditional courses of study,” the College website says — the page on ExCos, by the way, is listed under “Student Life: Student Organizations,” not academics — but those classes include l...

Classroom Censorship Can Improve Learning Environment

Cyrus Eosphoros, Online Editor

November 13, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

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...

Can I Appropriate My Own Culture?

Cyrus Eosphoros, Online Editor

November 6, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Día de los Muertos has been a culturally important feature of my life for as long as I can remember. My first grade class wandered off to the neighboring cemetery to see the wreaths, photographs and stuffed animals people laid out on family graves. Afterward, I’d accompany my dad to take photos of them. Every year, my community center in Todos Santos, Mexico, had the biggest altar I’d ever seen, which stayed up long past the day itself because the people who’d built the huge, room-size display were that proud of it. During my junior year of high school, a fellow student and I built an altar for the murdered women of Juárez, a city across the border from El Paso, where young women — mostly poor and working...

Mental Illness Comprises Part of My Personality

Cyrus Eosphoros, Online Editor

October 9, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Erin Jones sparked the #MedicatedAndMighty hashtag after she decided to resume psychiatric treatment and posted a photo on Facebook: The selfie of her with her new prescriptions spread to Twitter and the phrase took on a life of its own. The hashtag has expanded beyond people taking photos with blue slips and pill bottles to become a space for people to talk about their experiences with psychiatric medication, their current situations and their illnesses. People daring enough to talk about their experiences with mental illness in public have, of course, drawn others who are angry at this trend. Some criticisms are obvious: telling people who’ve been on psychiatric medication for years that they’ll soon get sick...

California Verdict Legitimizes Suicidal Ideation

Cyrus Eosphoros, Online Editor

September 25, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Content Warning: This column contains discussion of suicide, assisted suicide and ableism. September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, the World Health Organization and the World Federation for Mental Health, the main purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the number of people for whom suicide is a risk and the importance of keeping them from the literal or figurative ledge. A press release by the three organizations notes that “having access to means to kill oneself — most typically firearms, medicines and poisons — is also a risk factor” in who successfully commits suicide. Success is an important metric; for every person who kills t...

Radical Activism Divides LGBTQ+ Community

Cyrus Eosphoros, Columnist

September 18, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Even more than the average Obie, I hang around a lot of radical queer activists, online and off. It means I get to live with the weird duality of often being the furthest left in a physical room while being the closest to a thing to a conservative as soon as I open Twitter. I have noticed a trend in the people avowedly left of me toward queer separatism with a twist. Unlike the lesbian separatists of the ’70s and their otherwise queer ilk, no one seems to be able to get away with demanding a literal, physical isolation in 2015. Instead, there’s an implicit requirement that to be actually, legitimately queer, one must withdraw monastically from society. A queer person can be accused of being complicit in their own...

Domestic Partnership Policy Invasive, Exclusive

Cyrus Eosphoros, Columnist

September 4, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Two things happened in my life last May, within weeks of each other: I proposed, and my fiancée graduated. She decided to live in Oberlin. I decided to live with her. Technically, we could have gotten married already. We might have even been able to manage it the day I proposed if we had borrowed a car. But we’d decided to wait until after I got out of college in spring 2018. We were engaged, anyway, ring and all; we’d made our intention to marry as clear as possible. How hard could convincing the school of that fact be? I want to note that every person I interacted with from ResEd was absolutely lovely. Over the course of the summer I got polite responses to my panicked and probably incoherent emails at...

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