The Oberlin Review

The Conservatory recently announced new initiatives to increase diversity and equity within the music curriculum, repertoire, and Conservatory community.

Conservatory Announces New Goals to Increase Racial Equity and Belonging

September 18, 2020

Oberlin Conservatory faculty released an action plan last week for increasing the diversity and equity of Oberlin’s music education as part of the Presidential Initiative. Over the past several months, Conservatory faculty and staff have worked with student and alumni leaders to develop the commitments that will begin this semester.  “I want to offer my personal thanks to the student and alumni leaders — in particular members of the Oberlin College Black Musicians Guild — and to the Conservatory fac...

Beethoven’s Dead — Can We Move on Now?

Clayton Luckadoo, Contributing Writer

February 28, 2020

 With Beethoven’s 250th birthday coming up, there are innumerable plans to celebrate the prolific composer worldwide. Among other activities, Oberlin Conservatory students will perform the legend’s complete symphonies and string quartets in his honor. While this is a grand undertaking, and the intentions are noble, the result is exclusionary for many. At an institution known for progressive programming and an awareness of exclusionary power structures in the classical music world, this is rather disheartening. I write this not to undermine the impact Beethoven has had on classical music. Thanks to his music and his influence with an avid Beethoven fan in the administration of the Paris Conservatoire, orchestra rehe...

One Oberlin Fails to Address Race, Diversity Issues

Pablo Mitchell, Professor of History and Comparative American Studies

February 7, 2020

 Beyond the hype and anti-union fist-banging of the Academic and Administrative Program Review and One Oberlin report was a distressing silence around diversity. Do a word search of “diversity” in the glitzy 42-page One Oberlin final report. It appears three times. The administration has made admirable progress on diversifying its senior staff. However, where is a comparable commitment to diversifying the tenure-line faculty at Oberlin? Faculty diversity efforts seem to have languished, and tenure-line faculty of color appear to be fleeing the College. There are still large departments and offices in the College and Conservatory that are virtually all white, yet racial diversity barely merits a mention in One O...

International Programming Needs Greater Support

Editorial Board

May 3, 2019

 The last decade has seen the population of international students attending Oberlin nearly double, stabilizing at an average of 11 percent per year. The profile of the class of 2022 includes 13 percent international students from 35 different countries. However, despite this population growth, resources for international students on this campus seem to remain relatively stagnant.  While the current resources available to international students, primarily through the International Student Resource Center and student groups, deserve credit for the phenomenal support they provide, they are spread thin relative to the size of the community they serve. The ISRC has a single full-time staff member, and while Assista...

Members of the women’s basketball team take pride in their geographical, racial, ethnic, sexual, and spiritual diversity, but put their differences aside when they step on the court, uniting behind their desire to win. The team looks to repeat as North Coast Athletic Conference champions this year, with their first game scheduled for Nov. 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...

R&B singer Courtnie opened the Cat in the Cream’s fall performance schedule Saturday night with warm, ethereal vocals and uplifting lyrics.

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...

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