The Oberlin Review

Suicide Continues to Present Real Danger to Trans People

El Wilson, Opinions Editor

May 11, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: This article discusses transphobia and suicide. According to a national survey conducted by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Williams Institute, 40 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide compared to 4.6 percent of the general population. As someone who identifies as non-binary, these numbers make me sick. Forty percent is merely an average. The survey also asked respondents about their experiences with discrimination, rejection, and violence. Suicide attempt rates varied depending on how many of these a trans person experienced. For example, the rate was far higher for those who endured family rejection (57 percent), homelessness (69 percent), or sexual assault while atten...

Oberlin Students Must Re-Envision College Slogan

Donn Ginoza

May 4, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Oberlin students are familiar with the poster featuring the slogan: “Think One Person Can Change the World? So do we.” Changing the world is on the minds of the current generation of students. A recent Pacific Standard survey found that two-thirds of college students intend to change the world, and more than one-third think they will have an impact within five years. The slogan speaks to the idealism and energy that incoming students now bring to Oberlin. The survey researchers also note that liberal arts colleges produce a disproportionate number of leaders because they produce inquiring, less self-certain, and more concerned citizens. Admittedly, one person changing the world seems presumptuous. A vide...

Ableism Displayed Through Paralympics’ Lack of Attention

El Wilson, Opinions Editor

March 30, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

On March 18, 2018, the U.S. Paralympic sled hockey team won an unprecedented third-straight gold medal in the Winter Paralympics after beating Canada in overtime 2–1. This was after creaming Japan (10–0), the Czech Republic (10–0), South Korea (8–0), and Italy (10–1). Yet, the historic win didn’t make front page news. In fact, many people don’t even know what sled hockey is. To clarify, it’s hockey played on very small sleds that sit on top of two ice hockey blades. The players navigate the ice using two small hockey sticks with metal picks on the end of them. The rules are essentially the same as typical hockey. Even though the Paralympic Games have been around since 1948, they’ve only recently s...

Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Mark Key Step Forward

El Wilson, Opinions Editor

February 23, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The new gender-neutral bathrooms around campus are a triumph of student activism. Last semester, I was thrilled to receive an email from Title IX Coordinator and Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Rebecca Mosely asking if I would like to participate in a meeting about designating more bathrooms in academic buildings as gender neutral. For years, transgender students have protested the lack of accessible bathrooms around campus. There were many buildings on campus, including Stevenson Dining Hall and King Building, that didn’t have a single gender-neutral bathroom. Although Oberlin’s policy states that students can use whatever bathroom fits their gender identity best, this still makes many bathrooms inac...

Repairs of Campus Crucial for Enrollment, Retention

El Wilson, Opinions Editor

February 16, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Among Oberlin’s new efforts to increase enrollment and retention rates are some much-needed renovations of Oberlin’s buildings. A key example of this is Wilder Hall lobby. The administration decided to begin these renovations after Student Senate conducted a survey that revealed that Oberlin students want far more accessible and communal spaces on campus. Oberlin is in desperate need of more communal spaces and major building renovations. However, the administration’s priorities are out of order. I am on the management team of SWAP: The Book Co-Op, which is located in the basement of Harkness House. SWAP is an amazing place where students can exchange textbooks without exchanging money. The co-op’s main goal ...

Oberlin Must Embrace Disabled Students Without “Despites”

El Wilson, Contributing Writer

October 27, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

I don’t accept “despites.” They lead me to build walls between myself and my family. My best friends forcefully dismantle them. And I see their presence in romantic relationships as potentially abusive. I grew up with the idea that I would succeed, despite my disability. I spent hours in physical, occupational, and speech therapy in an attempt to “fix” me. Some of these hours were worthwhile because they made my body healthier and more mobile. Others — especially those spent in speech therapy — contributed to a negative body image and made me ashamed of my existence. Yet the adults in my life took every opportunity to tell me that I was smart, funny, and beautiful. I would be successful despite my disabi...

Kylie Jenner’s Photoshoot Undermines Experiences of Disabled People

El Wilson, Contributing Writer

December 4, 2015

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Dear Kylie Jenner, I don’t care if you’re a trendy fashion model. I don’t care if you’re rich and famous. I don’t care that the photo shot by Steven Klein was well-composed. I don’t care that it symbolized how your fame limits you. Posing in a golden wheelchair in a photoshoot for Interview magazine was wrong. It was far more than politically incorrect. It was more than insulting. It was unethical. As someone without a visually apparent disability, you have no right to appropriate my identity for your photo spread. You didn’t grow up being constantly told that the way your body was created is inherently inferior to everyone else’s. If you go out alone in public, you don’t have to worry about ...

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