The Oberlin Review



May 4, 2019

Private Grades, Transcripts Accessible to ExCo Instructors

Private Grades, Transcripts Accessible to ExCo Instructors

April 26, 2019

Some students were upset to hear that — through a technological error — anyone who teaches or has previously taught an ExCo was able to access the private transcript of every current Oberlin student. These transcripts include all of the grades students have received during their time at Oberlin, every class taken, and in some cases even past AP test scores. This exclusive access has left some with questions about privacy. “I feel like it’s fair to call it a breach in security,” Colleg...

A New Type of ExCo: Reading Oberlin’s Landscape

A New Type of ExCo: Reading Oberlin’s Landscape

March 15, 2019

A new ExCo called Reading the Oberlin Landscape is helping students cultivate a stronger sense of place and connection to Oberlin. Will Wickham, a College senior, is the course’s creator and sole instructor. He is using this ExCo as the base of his Environmental Studies capstone project, and he aims to bridge the gap between the sciences and humanities by providing an in-depth introduction to the field of natural history in Oberlin. The class is interdisciplinary in nature, and has been designe...

Oberlin Community News Bulletin

February 22, 2019

Debra Rose Honors Black Female Artists at Ben Franklin Local singer-songwriter Debra Rose will perform her original show Legendary Ladies, a tribute honoring five historical African-American women, at Ben Franklin this Saturday at 4 p.m. The tribute will focus on iconic figures Marion Anderson, Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Aretha Franklin. Rose is the founder of a musical ministry in Oberlin called Healing Melodies, which uses music therapy to stimulate memory and coordination for elderly patients. Learn to Plan for Success in Business CoWork Oberlin, a coworking community and office space, is hosting a workshop Feb. 26 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. to teach community members how to create business...

A Little Bit is Better Than None: Teaching Self-Care in Ella Causer’s ExCo, “How to Be David Sedaris Himself”

A Little Bit is Better Than None: Teaching Self-Care in Ella Causer’s ExCo, “How to Be David Sedaris Himself”

September 21, 2018

A love of barn owls shared with a well-known humorist led College sophomore Ella Causer to develop and teach the ExCo “How to Be David Sedaris Himself.” “He’s one of the authors that can make me laugh out loud,” said Causer. She became exposed to Sedaris’ work relatively recently and has developed a strong appreciation for it. Causer once sent Sedaris fan mail, and he responded by complimenting the collage she’d sent along with her letter, as well as providing her with a list of...

ExCo Fair Showcases Community Interests

ExCo Fair Showcases Community Interests

February 9, 2018

Students attend the ExCo Fair in the Root Room of Carnegie Building on Wednesday night. ExCos, or Experimental College courses, are taught by students, community members, and faculty, providing the campus the opportunity to teach, explore, and learn about areas of interest beyond the college classroom. Students signed up for a variety of classes, ranging from “Alternative Schools of Economic Thought” and “Black Lives Matter: In the Sciences” to “ArmokCo: Dwarf Fortress,” “DisCo: A D...

ExCos Showcase Best in Liberal Arts Education

Emily Peterson

September 1, 2017

You might expect to find some of the ExCo classes on offer this fall semester at any liberal arts college in America: “Understanding the Contemporary Politics of Palestine,” “Alternative Schools of Economic Thought,” “Debate and Public Speaking,” and a variety of language and dance classes. And then there is “DisCo: A Disney History ExCo,” “Spongebobology,” and, of course, “Beginning Dungeons and Dragons.” All these courses and more were on offer Wednesday night, when a steady stream of students milled around tables set up around the perimeter of the Root Room, talking to teachers and signing up for classes about everything from longboarding to Cyberbunk to representations of oppression in science fictio...

Broken ExCo System Disrespectful to Students

Cyrus Eosphoros, Columnist

February 5, 2016

Columnist Note: Some ExCos are taught by community members or College staff and faculty, but the vast majority are both attended and taught by students. I’m addressing the effect that the current ExCo system has on students. I’m also largely writing from the point of view of someone who’s been a student but not a teacher. Oberlin College officially admits that the ExCo system works to fulfill gaps in the College’s curriculum. “ExCo supplements the regular curriculum by offering classes not typically available in traditional courses of study,” the College website says — the page on ExCos, by the way, is listed under “Student Life: Student Organizations,” not academics — but those classes include l...

Songwriters Benefit from New Exco, Club

Songwriters Benefit from New Exco, Club

September 25, 2015

College sophomore Lilah Drafts-Johnson cradled her guitar as she prepared to perform for an audience at the Cat in the Cream last Friday. Before singing, she told the crowd she’d be performing her favorite original song, but that it was unlike many of her other pieces, which share similarities with Taylor Swift’s nostalgic love songs. Draft-Johnson’s song “Compliment” addressed the problem of street harassment, including lyrics like “With your legs you know you look fine,” and “Didn’t...

Student ExCo Teachers Aim to Fill Academic Voids

Rebecca Cohen

September 11, 2015

Talented Obies are gearing up to lead their peers through the discovery of art forms and media genres in several new ExCos offered this semester. Several teachers — or facilitators, as some preferred to be called — expressed a desire not only to share their passion and knowledge with classmates but also to foster communities surrounding their topics of interest. Strong quee rand feminist-oriented themes connect several new courses, including Women and Television; GraphEx: An Exploration of Graphic Narratives (with a focus on artists and creators who are women and/or trans); Experimental Feminist Film; and Queer Women OnScreen. College senior Anne Buckwalter wants to expose her peers to comic books written by women...

Kid Business Struggles to Keep Up with ExCo Cast

Kid Business Struggles to Keep Up with ExCo Cast

December 12, 2014

Last Saturday night at the Cat in the Cream, members of the short-form improvisational comedy troupe Kid Business struggled to achieve the same level of humor as the up-and-coming talent of the 2014 improv ExCo class. Shortform improv requires audience input to guide the direction of each short improv game. Audience members seemed to revel in their ability to influence the direction of each improv game; each time the audience was given the green light, loud cries for different character roles or...

Student Takes Initiative on Legal Rights Education

Elizabeth Kuhr, Staff Writer

March 1, 2013

Standing in front of 50 Oberlin students in Craig Lecture Hall on Thursday, Feb. 21, College sophomore Katie Thornton gave an hour-and-a-half lecture titled “Knowing Your Rights.” An extension of her Experimental College class, the Power Point presentation reviewed people’s legal rights during run-ins with police in the United States. According to the ExCo’s syllabus, Thornton aims “to give people a comprehensive understanding of our legal rights in the United States of America.” In the simplest terms, her series of lessons and lectures hopes to educate people about remaining safe and distinguishing between fair and unfair legal treatment. “I’ve seen a lot of friends get into trouble with the cops,”...

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