The Oberlin Review

Free Speech Still in Student Body’s Best Interest

Aaron Pressman, Columnist

December 11, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

On Dec. 4, College junior Jasper Clarkberg wrote a response titled “Non-Black Allies Must Engage With Protest Critics” to my Nov. 6 column in the Review, “Discouraging Dissent Stifles Intellectual Growth.” I appreciate Clarkberg taking the time to respond to such an important issue and would like to rebut some of his concerns. First off, Clarkberg makes the argument that “nobody is punishing dissenters legally, financially or academically,” and that “Obies are not responsible for actively engaging with minority opinions.” While I concede that the administration does not usually punish dissenters for protected speech, my argument has nothing to do with legal protections and everything to do with effe...

Non-Black Allies Must Engage With Protest Critics

Jasper Clarkberg, Contributing Writer

December 4, 2015

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

On Nov. 6, Aaron Pressman wrote a column accusing “students who make up the majority opinion” of stifling dissent on campus (“Discouraging Dissent Stifles Intellectual Growth,” The Oberlin Review). I have heard this “millennial college students don’t want to debate” criticism from many places recently, including friends and family. While I understand the reasoning behind this claim, I believe that it is misguided and worth responding to. Pressman claims that Oberlin culture precludes the possibility of debate on social justice topics, particularly about Black Lives Matter, and that this culture hampers our Oberlin education. Purportedly, because Oberlin culture is not open to debate on certain topics...

Discouraging Dissent Stifles Intellectual Growth

Aaron Pressman, Columnist

November 6, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

The first tenet listed in Oberlin College’s mission statement is to “graduate ... students who have learned to think with intellectual rigor, creativity, and independence.” Yet it seems to be increasingly common on campus for students who make up the majority opinion to stifle dissent. We must allow for a free flow of ideas, and students must exhibit the intellectual capability to respect dissent. I have been disappointed with the frequency with which students holding popular beliefs on campus immediately dismiss the views of those who disagree. I find this especially problematic at a school that so strongly prides itself on tolerance, acceptance and diversity. All too often, students dismiss dissenting views as “violent...

Nemtsov Killing Should Prompt Introspection Alongside Condemnation

Editorial Board

March 6, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

When prominent Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot dead on a Moscow street last Friday, days before he was slated to lead a major anti-government protest, global leaders rallied behind familiar cries. Nemtsov, an ardent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had been well known since Boris Yeltsin’s presidency for his liberal politics and calls for democratic reform. Just hours before his assassination, Nemtsov gave an interview calling for honest elections and an end to the Kremlin’s “censorship [and] propaganda.” It was no surprise, then, when world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, called for transparency as Putin announced that he would...

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