The Oberlin Review

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...

Identity Does Not Define Experiences

Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura, College senior

April 24, 2015

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: My name is Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura. I take he, him and his. I am a mixed-race Japanese American. I am cisgender and heterosexual; I am from Ohio and a strictly middle-class background. (I received a federal Pell Grant one year and not others because my family is right on the cusp of certain federal guidelines.) My father is an immigrant with no college degree, while my mother has a Master’s degree. (You might be surprised at who makes more money.) I am the oldest and only son of four children. I am graduating in May and have gained tremendously from my Oberlin education. This introduction is meant to highlight both my social privileges and challenges. (These are in fact relative terms, which means...

OCRL Lecture Series Fosters Diverse Opinions

OCRL Presidents

April 18, 2015

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editor: The Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians are proud to host Christina Hoff Sommers as part of the Ronald Reagan Political Lectureship Series. Since its beginnings in 2006, the Reagan Series has brought many distinguished scholars and commentators to our campus. As the Series’ organizers, we have endeavored to bring speakers who articulate the value of political and economic liberty, freedom of speech and thought, respect for individuals, national defense or voluntary association. We have aimed to offer views that we believe are underrepresented at Oberlin. We have also worked to promote the exchange of reasons, rather than recourse to rhetoric, on controversial topics. We look forward...

Jewish Community Must Include Diverse Politics

Oberlin College Hillel

April 10, 2015

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editor: We, the undersigned members of the Oberlin Jewish community and of Oberlin College Hillel, publicly announce our support of the Freedom Summer Veterans panel held on April 8, 2015. Inspired by their deep-seated Jewish values, these three activists have devoted their lives to social justice. We are grateful to have had them come speak on Oberlin’s campus and had a moving experience listening and learning from Dorothy Zellner, Ira Grupper and Larry Rubin, as well as Professor Pam Brooks, chair of the Africana Studies department here at Oberlin. Some of us disagree with their stated stances on Israel-Palestine, and some of us agree with them. But all of us feel that their voices must be welcome in our...

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