The Oberlin Review

Oberlin Must Embrace New Era of Divestment

Cecilia Wallace, Naomi Roswell, Hayden Arp, Jasper Clarkberg, and Ellie Lezak

March 4, 2016

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: It is remarkable to be on a college campus that has three simultaneous divestment campaigns. Students at Oberlin are encouraging the administration to sell its stock holdings in three harmful, unjust industries: fossil fuel extraction and combustion, private prisons and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Divestment is a tactic designed to publicly stigmatize profiting corporations; it has limited economic impact on the targets, but its power comes from the statement made by severing ties with condemnable business. At the Board of Trustees’ March 4 meeting, trustees can discuss once again whether the College is willing to make those statements. Divestment is not new to Oberlin’s campus. A ge...

Free Speech Still in Student Body’s Best Interest

Aaron Pressman, Columnist

December 11, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

On Dec. 4, College junior Jasper Clarkberg wrote a response titled “Non-Black Allies Must Engage With Protest Critics” to my Nov. 6 column in the Review, “Discouraging Dissent Stifles Intellectual Growth.” I appreciate Clarkberg taking the time to respond to such an important issue and would like to rebut some of his concerns. First off, Clarkberg makes the argument that “nobody is punishing dissenters legally, financially or academically,” and that “Obies are not responsible for actively engaging with minority opinions.” While I concede that the administration does not usually punish dissenters for protected speech, my argument has nothing to do with legal protections and everything to do with effe...

Non-Black Allies Must Engage With Protest Critics

Jasper Clarkberg, Contributing Writer

December 4, 2015

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

On Nov. 6, Aaron Pressman wrote a column accusing “students who make up the majority opinion” of stifling dissent on campus (“Discouraging Dissent Stifles Intellectual Growth,” The Oberlin Review). I have heard this “millennial college students don’t want to debate” criticism from many places recently, including friends and family. While I understand the reasoning behind this claim, I believe that it is misguided and worth responding to. Pressman claims that Oberlin culture precludes the possibility of debate on social justice topics, particularly about Black Lives Matter, and that this culture hampers our Oberlin education. Purportedly, because Oberlin culture is not open to debate on certain topics...

Capitalist Demands Limit Growth

Jasper Clarkberg, Contributing Writer

October 9, 2015

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Last week Student Senate Liaisons College fifth-year Megs Bautista and double-degree junior Jeremy Poe announced the possibility of the Board of Trustees reducing the College’s endowment payout. This move would solidify Oberlin’s overall long-term financial position while gutting its short-term budget. By opting to save more and spend less, Oberlin would be cutting its operating budget by millions of dollars. It’s no secret that Oberlin cannot sustain its current path. Colleges and universities across the country are struggling with rising costs and an increasing need for financial aid. I understand that the demands pouring in from all sides are likely making the administration feel claustrophobic. Making more...

Board of Trustees Crucial in Next Step for Divestment

Naomi Roswell, Jasper Clarkberg, Ellie Lezak, and Hayden Arp

September 11, 2015

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: The opening sentence of the Oberlin College Wikipedia article remarks that we were the first American college to regularly admit black students and women. The words “activism” or “advocacy” appear nine other times on the page in relation to student-led anti-war, civil rights and environmental efforts. These progressive actions have both defined us and galvanized other higher-ed institutions to follow in our footsteps. In contrast, the Wikipedia pages of Wesleyan, Haverford and Pitzer have either zero or one mention of the words “advocacy” and “activism.” However, those schools are each a part of a social justice movement that Oberlin isn’t: the fossil fuel divestment movement. Ov...

Established 1874.