The Oberlin Review

Changing Narratives in Women’s Basketball

Changing Narratives in Women’s Basketball

November 2, 2018

When I first stepped on Oberlin’s campus as a first-year last fall, I could feel the buzz of political activity. It was overwhelming yet thrilling to be a part of a group of students poised to change our social landscape. What I soon realized was that there are sections of Oberlin that are dogmatic in their liberal ideology. It is a dogmatism that forces political homogeneity without room for mistake or disagreement. This is fundamentally not what Oberlin stands for. As an institution with a deep ...

Cleveland Orchestra Fails to Provide Diversity in Repertoire

Matthew Bickett, Contributing Writer

September 21, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

James Oestreich of The New York Times says the Cleveland Orchestra “may (quietly) be America’s best.” But what does it mean to be one of the best orchestras? For the players on stage, it means performing with exquisite sensitivity and responding to the scores and conductors in front of them with unparalleled skill. For the artistic direction, it means leading the ensemble down the path to irrelevance and eventual obscurity. Oestreich is wrong; the Cleveland Orchestra is not one of the best. In fact, they’re hardly an orchestra at all. Rather than an orchestra, I’d say they’re an ensemble specializing in the performance of music by European men. In much the same way that eighth blackbird plays only contemp...

MENA Students Seek Space, Recognition on Campus Dual-degree

Roman Broszkowski, Senior Staff Writer

September 14, 2018

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Uncategorized

Amid potential budget cutbacks, students are joining together to create a union that both supports students of Middle Eastern and North African descent and advocates for the expansion of MENA studies at Oberlin. Two groups of students, one geared toward creating a space for people of MENA descent and another aimed at developing the MENA Studies department, are taking action to make the region more visible on campus. College senior Aatifah George is the co-chair of the new Middle Eastern and North African Students Association. “It’s needed for a lot of reasons,” she said. “We are a community of color, but we’re not treated that way; we’re basically invisible.” In the United States, the government’s classification ...

Paying Columnists Will Increase Accessibility

Nathan Carpenter, Columnist

February 23, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

In recent weeks, my fellow Review columnist Kameron Dunbar has published two pieces that succinctly and cogently identified instances in which Oberlin campus publications — namely, the Review and The Grape — have failed to assemble editorial staffs that reflect our community’s diversity and, as a result, have published pieces that fall short of the standards of rigorous inquiry and commitment to social justice that our community holds itself to. As a former Review opinions editor who is studying abroad this semester, I certainly understand the intensity of working for a campus publication. It can be a relatively thankless, if personally fulfilling job — the hours are long and come in addition to normal acade...

“Mexicocoa” Shows Need for Journalistic Diversity

Kameron Dunbar, Columnist

February 16, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

My mom taught me never to say “I told you so.” But, if there was ever a time to say it, that time would be now. Just two weeks after I called for greater diversity in campus journalism, The Grape, Oberlin’s edgiest news magazine, published a piece titled “Spicy Mexicocoa.” In short, the article was a disaster. It centered around a recipe for a “spicy” mixed drink composed of only hot cocoa, milk, a shot of tequila, and a half shot of honey or maple syrup. Though the ingredients list was brief, there’s nothing on the list that would make the beverage “spicy” to anyone with a palate that can handle even the weakest chai tea brew. Beyond the absence of spice, the beverage referenced was a “Mexic...

Whiteness of Student Publications Threatens Integrity

Kameron Dunbar, Columnist

December 1, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

When’s the last time you saw a Nazi at the grocery store? If not yesterday, maybe you saw a picture of one in The New York Times’ profile of Tony Hovater — bonafide and self-avowed white nationalist. In their article “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” originally titled “In America’s Heartland, Nazi Sympathizer Next Door,” the Times willingly gave a white supremacist an uncontested platform for his unabashedly racist views. When faced with criticism over the style of reporting and lapses made in nearly all respects, the Times defended their coverage of bigoted Hovater in “Readers Accuse Us of Normalizing Nazi Sympathizer, We Respond.” They responded, and responded poorly. “Our reporter and hi...

Oberlin Makes Progress in Diversifying Community

Brittany Mendez, Contributing Writer

September 15, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Have you ever been lured by statistics claiming that an institution is significantly more diverse than its competitors? If you attend Oberlin or any other college, you likely have. Many workplaces advertise themselves in a similar manner, which I experienced first-hand at an internship this past summer. For my senior project last year, I interned in the Office of the Attorney General in Washington, D.C., shadowing attorneys in the public interest division. As a student considering a career in law, I hoped the internship would give me an accurate understanding of what life as an attorney would be like. After my project officially ended, I was asked to continue interning over the summer and I happily accep...

Courtnie Brings Welcome Warmth to Cat

Courtnie Brings Welcome Warmth to Cat

September 1, 2017

Courtnie, a neo-soul R&B artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY, showcased her alluring, sensational vocals Sunday evening. Performing onstage at the Cat in the Cream, Courtnie sang about love — not just love for a partner or a friend, but also the “love experienced in passion and simply loving life.” While she treated the audience to a few numbers from her upcoming album I Feel Like Color, scheduled to be released later this month, the audience was particularly delighted with some of her mor...

Administrative Bloat Evades Real Issue

Editorial Board

April 14, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The General Faculty Committee considered recommendations for implementation from the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion working group today, including a suggestion to create a new “Chief Diversity Officer” administrative position. Though well intentioned, adding yet another six-figure administrative job seems like a roundabout way of handling the College’s diversity issues that would ultimately prove ineffective. SPIDIE’s logic follows that Oberlin has previously experimented with creating leadership roles that address compositional diversity like a special assistant to the president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and should continue to do so. Seeking to expand...

Philosophy Department Responds to Gender Disparities

Jackie Brant, Contributing Writer

March 10, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

As I argued in the Review several weeks ago, women are underrepresented in philosophy, both in Oberlin’s department and the field as a whole (“Philosophy Departments Lack Diversity,” Feb. 10, 2017). Since then, I had the opportunity to meet with Professor Katherine Thomson-Jones, chair of Oberlin’s Philosophy department, to discuss Oberlin’s efforts to diversify the department. I see three main causes for the lack of women in the field: underrepresentation of women philosophers in syllabuses, women being less likely to participate in class and a misunderstanding of what philosophy truly is as a discipline. Oberlin is addressing each of these components with specific strategies. A study conducted by NPR f...

Paris Attacks Target Multiculturalism

Josh Ashkinaze, Columnist

November 20, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

The Paris terrorist attacks were shocking, but one particular detail was especially surprising: One of the suicide bombers who attacked the Stade de France was a Syrian refugee, according to his passport. The document lay next to him, suspiciously intact, despite the condition of his body. This led some French officials to suspect that the passport was planted by a member of the operation. Furthermore, it’s unlikely that a jihadi carrying out the last action of his life would simply forget that he had his passport on him. If the passport that identified the terrorist as a Syrian refugee was deliberately planted, which it seems to have been, this gives insight into the goal of the act: to shake France’s values of d...

Students Must Allow Dissent, Avoid Admonition in Classroom

Robert Bonfiglio, Contributing Writer

September 11, 2015

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Students at Oberlin College have a diverse array of interests and passions, resulting in an intersectionality often mentioned as a selling point on admissions tours. One common anecdote we share with prospective students is how chemistry students participate in guided research about the erosion of organ pipes. It is not difficult to find similarly collaborative efforts across the disciplines studied at Oberlin, whether it’s chemists working with organists, artists working with historians or dancers workings with Africana Studies scholars. Many students come to Oberlin because they can see that their interests will be nurtured in this environment. However, during my brief time at Oberlin, I have identified a difficul...

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