The Oberlin Review

It’s Time for Amy Klobuchar to Drop Out

David Mathisson, Columnist

February 7, 2020

 Amy Klobuchar just finished fifth in the Iowa caucuses with 12.3 percent of the vote. A near nonfactor in the presidential race until December, Klobuchar could certainly spin such a performance as a victory. But a more apt term for her performance would be pre-defeat. She’s spent more time in Iowa — her downstairs neighbor — than in every other state combined. That’s left little time for campaigning anywhere else. The next primaries will take place in the notably more progressive New Hampshire and Nevada, then South Carolina, where Joe Biden’s dominance over the moderate lane will likely block her. After that comes the 46 states where only Michael Bloomberg — another moderate in the race — has advertised. T...

On Addressing Student Stress, Oberlin Must Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

David Mathisson, Columnist

December 17, 2019

Recently, Student Senate presented findings on mental health to the Board of Trustees. I’d like to thank fellow Senators, including College third-year Emma Edney and College second-years Raavi Asdar and Kofi Asare, for leading Senate’s efforts in this area. They identified a distinct connection between the mental health of students and investment in student happiness. Their presentation made it clear that Oberlin must expand resources available in times of crisis; invest in areas that impact Oberlin students’ day-to-day happiness — i.e. housing and dining; invest in adding more events to the community social scene; and eventually upgrade Wilder Hall so it can justifiably be called a student union. Investments...

Course Registration Issues Remain Unaddressed

David Mathisson, Columnist

November 8, 2019

 The student community elected me to Student Senate so that I could push a three-point policy plan. You’ve probably heard about the first point: improving the variety, quality, and value of goods at DeCafé. While there’s plenty to be done, we’ve made substantial progress since the beginning of the semester. We’ve also been working hard at the second point, which is improving transparency in the Office of Residential Education. The third point is pushing a multifaceted policy package to fix course selection. With course selection for the spring semester coming up, there’s no better time to share my policy package than now. While I was campaigning, several first-year students asked me why my course registrati...

Senate Progress On Transparency Sets Example For Administration

David Mathisson, Columnist

October 11, 2019

 This semester, Senate has made transparency a priority in order to bring together our community and foster cooperation between students and the administration. Senate is working to release more information to students this year than at any time in the recent past, improving the student body’s access to policies that work for us all. I’m optimistic about Senate’s work this semester, and believe that Senate’s work will set an example on transparency for the administration to follow. With that in mind, the severity of Oberlin’s transparency crisis means it must remain in the public dialogue until transparency and access become cultural norms of our community. In my recent campaign for Senate, I engaged h...

Good Riddance, Bill De Blasio

David Mathisson, Columnist

September 27, 2019

 Last Friday, Sept. 20, Bill De Blasio, mayor of New York City, dropped out of the 2020 presidential race. Millions of his own constituents, including even his fellow gym members, rejoiced. Most New Yorkers agree that his presidential ambitions, as pathetic as they were strange, were quelled 127 days too late. Especially with many successful, high-profile candidates floundering in the polls, De Blasio — who has a much weaker performance record — shocked folks when he decided to run. People including his staff, his friends, three out of four New York voters, and even his wife agreed De Blasio’s candidacy was never a good idea. It’s a testament to De Blasio’s ego that he still entered the race. De Blasio,...

Student Life Leaves Student Priorities, Voices Behind

David Mathisson, Columnist

September 13, 2019

 Last Friday, when the police were patrolling campus and handing students jaywalking tickets in excess of $100, student voices called for a better solution. At the time, Campus Safety largely dismissed those voices. It took over a hundred people speaking up to gain administrative support for a solution that focused on the students. The fact that we need numbers like that to enact win-win policies is demonstrative of a problem bigger than just the crosswalk: the administration’s chronic refusal to involve students in policymaking is leading to bad policies in many areas of student life. On Monday, after a protest planned in response to the tickets received over 120 responses on Facebook in less than 48 hours, I began...

Administration Must Return Our Eggs

David Mathisson, Columnist

September 6, 2019

 Following student-organized CDS boycotts this past April, the administration offered several changes to available meal plans: $200 in Flex Points tacked onto the first-year and sophomore meal plan, reinstatement of the 200- and 100-meals-per-semester plans available to juniors and seniors, and promises to increase quality, variety, and value at DeCafé. I am proud to have been an organizer in the movement, to have arranged the protest that preceded many of these concessions, and proud of our community for standing up for low-income students and their families. I am disappointed by our administration’s failure to deliver on many of the commitments it made following the boycott, as well as its neglect of the qua...

Protest Uses Extra Meal Swipes to Donate Food

Keifer Ludwig

April 12, 2019

On the heels of last Tuesday’s 24-hour boycott of Campus Dining Services, Oberlin students are protesting the meal plan changes again this week by using extra meal swipes to donate to the local safety net and food assistance organization: Oberlin Community Services. In contrast to the CDS boycott last week — which was criticised by some because the unused meal swipes had already been paid for — the food drive has the potential to affect CDS financially as many claim that CDS relies on students not using all of their daily meal swipes. “The swipes at the end of the day don’t carry over to the next day,” said event organizer and Conservatory first-year Emmy Hensley. “So I felt obligated to use everything. And I...

We Need To Fix Course Registration — Here’s How

David Mathisson, Contributing Writer

April 12, 2019

 Course registration is obviously not the highlight of anybody’s college experience — and it’s especially bad at Oberlin. Course selection starts with a mess of overloaded but mandatory courses thanks to a large number of highly specific requirements. Faculty replace prerequisites with consent barriers so that qualified students are held at the mercy of overworked professors’ ability to respond to emails.  Then, when students are unable to get into the courses they want because of consent barriers, they are forced to enroll in courses they aren’t actually going to take. That forces students with later registration times to enroll in classes they don’t plan to take, ultimately occupying spots in classes...

Students Organize CDS Boycott

Keifer Ludwig

April 5, 2019

Oberlin students staged a boycott last Tuesday to protest Campus Dining Services after receiving two emails from the Office of Residential Education and Dean of Students Office regarding meal plan changes. Leaders of the boycott encouraged students to abstain from attending any of the CDS dining halls or DeCafé for 24 hours, and the boycott’s Facebook event received over 200 student responses. To increase accessibility, food donation boxes were set up in Langston Hall, South Hall, and Dascomb Hall — and many co-ops welcomed visitors for the day. The protests were influenced partly by an error in which administrators had students register online for meal plans that will no longer be offered in the 2019–20 sch...

Discussions Regarding Dining Changes Must Include Student Input, Voices

David Mathisson, Contributing Writer

April 5, 2019

The Office of Residential Education sent an email to all rising juniors March 19 notifying students that previously promised meal plan options would no longer be offered. Instead, the office planned to limit them to more expensive meal plans that provide fewer options to students. Concerned about the impact on low- and middle-income students, a small group of passionate student activists planned a boycott in response. Later that day, because of the accessibility concerns, I joined as an organizer. I created a food donation plan to ensure every participant would get enough to eat during the boycott, regardless of income. I’d like to thank Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo and the Dean of Students...

The Catholic Church Doesn’t Deserve an Apology

David Mathisson, Contributing Writer

March 15, 2019

After Pete Davidson compared the Catholic Church to R. Kelly on last week’s Saturday Night Live, Church leaders — including Pope Francis — demanded a public apology. “Apparently, the only acceptable bias these days is against the Catholic Church,” they said in a statement. It’s ironic that the Church — which has long opposed liberal policies like promoting LGBTQ rights and a woman’s right to choose — is suddenly up in arms over Pete Davidson’s use of free speech. They had no problem with free speech when the Pope claimed the institution of the family was under attack by marriage equality advocates, for which the LGBTQ community never got an apology. In its overblown response, the Church tries ...

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