The Oberlin Review

Constructive Institutionalism Includes Diverse Perspectives

Editorial Board

May 25, 2018

Oberlin has reached many milestones this year — some deserving of celebration. Among those was the beginning of Carmen Ambar’s presidency. Ambar has worked to be more transparent and communicative than former President Marvin Krislov, whose time at Oberlin was marked by campus tension and administrative opacity. Ambar’s presidency has begun at a time of great financial uncertainty for Oberlin. To her credit, Ambar has made an effort to be candid about those challenges, carrying out a series of campus presentations regarding the College’s financial outlook this winter. She has also called upon all of us — students, staff, faculty, and alums — to be Oberlin’s stewards, institutionalists concerned not only with Oberlin...

Bon Appétit Falls Short on Promises, Disrespects Workers

Caitlin Kelley, Michael Kennedy, Eliza Guinn, Dylan Palmer, and Mirella Gruesser-Smith

May 11, 2018

Editors Note: The following letter is a petition for Oberlin College to terminate its contract with Bon Appétit and to hire its own managers to run CDS. At the bottom of the letter, there will be a link to the petition and a link to personal accounts of current and former CDS workers. All of us at Oberlin, whether we are students, professors, staff, or administrators, have the same goal: making Oberlin College the best it can be. But the management of Oberlin dining services is not the best it can be. We call on Oberlin to adopt self-management to properly manage Campus Dining Services, improve the dining experience, and reduce wasteful spending. WHAT IS SELF-MANAGEMENT? Oberlin College followed a national trend...

CDS Self-Management Would Improve Accountability, Sustainability

Michael Kennedy

May 11, 2018

From a student perspective, it appears that Oberlin College’s Campus Dining Services model has been failing. The closure of the Rathskeller as a meal option in spring of 2017, the limitation of meal options for the class of 2021, the upcoming closure of Dascomb Dining Hall, and the planned closure of DeCafé’s popular sandwich deli line all support this conclusion. I believe that students have legitimate reasons to be upset by dining changes, but they are not the ones most impacted by these decisions. As a result of the planned changes, employees will be losing their jobs, and many others are considering quitting rather than working at Stevenson Dining Hall. Both Bon Appétit Management Company and the College h...

DeCafé employee Allison Trimble hands back a student’s ID after swiping at the cash register. Five CDS UAW employees will be let go at the end of the semester due to Dascomb Dining Hall’s closure and other changes in CDS.

Unionized Staff Cuts Follow Dascomb Closure

April 13, 2018

Campus dining staff first learned of Dascomb Dining Hall’s impending closure at President Carmen Ambar’s respective financial presentation. Currently, 19 members of the United Auto Workers — the union that represents Campus Dining Services, custodial, and facilities staff — work in Dascomb, in addition to between 50 and 75 non-union, non-student workers. Although workers had expressed anxiety over what Dascomb’s closure would mean for their job security, it wasn’t until a week ago th...

College Must Include Staff Input During Restructuring Process

Michael Kennedy

April 13, 2018

As co-chair and former treasurer of Oberlin’s Student Labor Action Coalition, I have met regularly with representatives from Oberlin’s United Auto Workers and Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees unions to learn about issues facing workers and college-union relations. Over the course of this school year, I have engaged in hours of conversations with many employees — from administrative assistants to Campus Dining Services workers to custodians. Every single discussion I have had with a staff member has greatly expanded my understanding of this institution and its faults. Ever since President Carmen Ambar announced to students that Dascomb Dining Hall was to close, I’ve been confronted with the questi...

Dascomb Staff Deserve Respect, Increased Transparency

Caitlin Kelley

April 6, 2018

I attended President Ambar’s talk on Feb. 28, 2018 in which she updated students on Oberlin’s financial situation and announced the closing of Dascomb Dining Hall. President Ambar addressed student concerns about food availability and quality of service on campus when Dascomb closes, but as a student, those are not my only concerns about the state of Campus Dining Services. As part of my work-study, I have washed dishes at Dascomb since the fall of my first year. I’m not a dishwasher because I couldn’t find a “better” job on campus; I wash dishes at Dascomb because I like to. Working with the Dascomb dining staff has honestly been one of the best experiences I’ve had at Oberlin. The staff at Dascomb a...

Students line up to get food at Fourth Meal, which will be moved to DeCafé and the Rathskeller next fall due to the closing of Dascomb Dining Hall.

Dascomb to Close, New CDS Options Introduced

March 30, 2018

Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo announced that Dascomb Dining Hall will close next semester in a March 12 campus-wide email. To offset the meals specific to Dascomb, both DeCafé and Lord-Saunders Dining Hall will offer breakfast, and DeCafé will host fourth meal. The administration is also looking to increase dining accessibility by extending Lord-Saunders hours and adding grab-and-go options, currently available in DeCafé, to Stevenson Dining Hall as well, which will ot...

Review Security Notebook

April 8, 2016

Thursday, March 31 12 p.m. A student reported the theft of their locked bicycle from the north side of Asia House. The bicycle is a black, 18-speed K2 Enemy. Friday, April 1
 9:58 p.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm on the second floor of Harkness House. Smoke from burning incense activated the alarm, which was then reset. 9:33 a.m. Facilities staff reported damage to the roof of Severance Hall. A roofing company discovered approximately 50 clay tiles damaged, estimating approximately $3,000 in repairs. Saturday, April 2
 11:22 a.m. Residents of Keep Cottage reported a break-in after an unknown person or persons broke a window and tore a screen on the east side of the ...

Editorial: Oberlin Community Deserved More Information

The Editorial Board

April 29, 2011

Last week, a combined racial and homophobic slur was spray-painted onto the side of Dascomb, an action that elicited an immediate reaction from the College and student body. The Editorial Board wholeheartedly supports the silent vigil and what it stood for; rather than embark on a witch hunt, those organizing the event sought to bring people together to symbolize the Oberlin community’s sentiment that the slurs were hurtful, regardless of their context. When a hateful message appears in our community, we must be able to show support in whatever way we can without fear of judgment, and it is important to remember that the best response to an incident such as this is to look for ways to improve our support netw...

Anonymous Author Offers Apology


April 29, 2011

To the Editors: I do not hate people of African descent, nor do I hate homosexuals. I realize how hurtful both terms that appeared on the south wall of Dascomb are to members of both of these groups and all people in between. A lapse in judgment and common sense led me to spraypaint those two epithets on that wall outside of Dascomb, a lapse informed by a lack of taste and a perverse self-destructive urge. I have rationalized the actions I took so many different ways that I’m not even sure why I did it anymore. I’ve told myself that it was an experiment in light of how readily some members of this community throw these two words around. I’ve told myself that it was a statement. I don’t think that that...

Op-Ed: Unaddressed Issues Require Equally Passionate Response

Alex LaFerla, Staff Writer

April 29, 2011

The response to the hateful and inflammatory graffiti found on the side of Dascomb Hall on April 17 was bold, powerful and extremely valuable. Immediately after the graffiti was discovered, a group of concerned students alerted the rest of the student body and swiftly organized in opposition. Further outraged by the College’s perceived lack of acknowledgment of the incident, concerned students arranged a protest, which drew large numbers of Oberlin students, faculty and staff. The event demonstrated just how quickly and effectively Oberlin students could stand together in solidarity when faced with such a violation. What the reaction to this incident has also made clear, however, is that Oberlin students and...

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