The Oberlin Review

In Hard Times, Moments of Celebration Must Be Tasteful

Editorial Board

October 11, 2019

 Watching the fireworks go off over the athletic fields Saturday night was a bit like listening to the band play aboard the sinking Titanic. The extravagant display marked the end of Homecoming Weekend, but also seemed to signify a larger dissonance for an institution currently grappling with existential questions about financial stability, how to treat community members with fairness and respect, and more.  The reality is that, in many ways, this is a difficult time for Oberlin. The College is staring down a $25 million dollar judgment resulting from a lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Bakery against the College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. Further, a structural budget deficit has already ...

Lever Press Represents Lever for Change

Editorial Board

October 4, 2019

 The current generation of college students faces many existential challenges. For good reason, the fight against climate change has recently received significant attention in the national media and in this publication, but it is not the sole crisis that we must contend with. Another fight that has intensified in recent years is the one over access to information, particularly as threats to net neutrality and sources of publicly available information have mounted. For many colleges and universities around the country, October is Open Access Month. In recognition of this occasion, the Review chose to spotlight Lever Press, an important digital scholarship initiative led by a consortium of liberal arts colleges, inc...

National Popular Vote Represents Opportunity for Ohio

Editorial Board

September 27, 2019

 This week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, a step that many felt she should have taken months ago. Calls for Trump’s impeachment date back to 2016, just after he became the second presidential candidate since 2000 to win the White House despite losing the popular vote. Trump’s popular vote loss also spurred a conversation that had nothing to do with the candidate himself, but everything to do with how he was elected. In a functional democracy, should elections regularly be won by candidates who lose the popular vote? It’s a question that many have asked themselves after November 2016 — and it’s the question that the National Popular Vot...

TimeClock Plus Implementation Requires Better Communication

Editorial Board

September 20, 2019

 This fall, returning students braced themselves for several changes in the way things are run at Oberlin. However, despite the good intentions and planning of the Human Resources and Student Employment offices, the unveiling of the new payment system for student and staff workers — TimeClock Plus — has been underwhelming, to say the least. Coverage of the new system is available on page 1 of this issue (“Oberlin’s Shift to Electronic Payment System Causes Controversy”). On the student and professional worker front, communication regarding TimeClock Plus has been negligible. The application was not mentioned, let alone demonstrated, during student treasurer training. Furthermore, no emails directly informing ...

In Face of Adversity, Obies Keep On Keepin’ On

Editorial Board

September 6, 2019

 Over the course of the summer, many people around the country seemed to suddenly be worried about Oberlin students. An explosion of media attention following an initial verdict in the lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Food Mart & Bakery against the College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo inspired people who have never set foot in Ohio to weigh in on whether we have our heads screwed on straight. The Review’s inboxes were flooded with messages written in varying degrees of hysteria. Some wanted to know if Oberlin students knew how stupid and short-sighted we are. Some accused us — both the Review staff specifically and the student body at large — of being sheep at the beck and call of...

Media Coverage of Gibson’s Verdict Misses the Mark

Editorial Board

June 18, 2019

Editor's note: Due to the scope of national media attention, the Review took the extraordinary step of covering the Gibson's verdict outside of normal publication dates. Because of limited staff capacity, the Review does not moderate comments during the summer, and letters to the editors in response to any article will be reviewed for publication in the fall. Please direct any questions to [email protected] Earlier this month, a jury awarded Gibson’s Bakery $11 million following a month-long trial stemming from the bakery’s lawsuit against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. Then, last Thursday, it added $33 million in punitive damages. This stunning decision ...

Solidarity Vital in Confronting Anti-Abortion Legislation

Editorial Board

May 24, 2019

 In recent weeks, reproductive rights have come under attack in numerous states across the country — most notably Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio. Ohio’s “heartbeat bill,” one of the first to be passed in 2019, bans abortion after six weeks into a pregnancy and makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Furthermore, doctors who do not test for a heartbeat or proceed with abortion procedures if a heartbeat is detected could be charged with a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Although Ohio’s is far from the most restrictive abortion law in the county — Alabama’s makes even fewer allowances — it still drastically limits abortion access.  Many of these bills ...

AAPR Must Address Living Wage

Editorial Board

May 10, 2019

 At their core, the recommendations that the Academic and Administrative Program Review’s steering committee will submit to President Carmen Twillie Ambar in just a few weeks are a vision of Oberlin’s future that is informed by its past and present values. Sure, it’s a vision developed by a 31-person steering committee, but that committee is broadly representative of many different parts of the Oberlin community, and the draft of the final recommendations they shared publicly last week highlight many values shared by all Obies.  It’s worth noting that nearly all of these value-driven proposals have received broad-based support from campus constituencies, including the offices and faculty governance comm...

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...

Reorganization Offers Opportunity to Build Residential Community

Editorial Board

April 26, 2019

There are few Oberlin departments that require as much love, attention, and resources as the Office of Residential Education. Oberlin’s residential facilities are perceived by students as generally subpar compared to our peer institutions. Many students don’t feel their residential spaces are meaningful sources of support or community, and the office seems to be perpetually understaffed — as evidenced by the pending search for a new director. Furthermore, the office itself is not widely held in high regard by students, who often talk publicly about negative experiences they’ve had with ResEd, both on social media and in the Review. Few students have personal relationships with ResEd staff, and even Resident...

Our Case For Oberlin

Editorial Board

April 19, 2019

 Today marks the end of a three-week-long campaign of All Roads Lead to Oberlin events, meant to encourage admitted high school students to enroll in Oberlin’s class of 2023. So far this month, over 660 high school students have visited campus to see if Oberlin is the right fit for them, according to the Office of Admissions. Prospective students have stayed overnight with current students in dorms, visited classes, and asked their most pressing questions at the All Roads Academic Department Fair. Although this Editorial Board has often been critical of decisions made by the administration and other campus leaders, we want to step back in this final week of admissions frenzy and make the case for attending Obe...

CDS Swipe Drive Represents Effective Community Activism

Editorial Board

April 12, 2019

 After many weeks of heated back-and-forth debate over the future of Campus Dining Services meal plans, student organizers have found an effective way to both make their voices heard and support existing community efforts. The “Spare Swipes: An Oberlin CDS Food Drive” initiative urged first-years and sophomores on the 300 meals-per-semester plan to use their spare swipes to purchase non-perishable items from Wilder DeCafé and donate them to Oberlin Community Services — a community organization dedicated to providing basic needs assistance to Lorain County residents. The drive, launched in response to the new meal plan options introduced April 1 by Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, ran th...

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