The Oberlin Review

Paying Columnists Will Increase Accessibility

Nathan Carpenter, Columnist

February 23, 2018

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

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...

Wilder Hall lobby was renovated over Winter Term. The space had numerous walls knocked down in an effort to give students more community spaces to engage with.

Wilder Hall Renovation Begins, Citing Student Surveys

February 9, 2018

Students returning to campus this week have been greeted with a revamped Wilder Hall lobby, which will undergo further changes as renovations continue. The lobby was enlarged and, according to a letter sent out by President Carmen Ambar and Student Senator and College junior Kameron Dunbar, “This area will be fitted with a new TV, speakers, and other entertainment options that will allow open music and entertainment streaming.” Additionally, a competition will be held to select some new icon...

Journalism Must Acknowledge Hate

Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura, OC ’15

December 8, 2017

To the Editors: College junior Kameron Dunbar recently wrote an impassioned criticism of disproportionate whiteness within media publications, which he argues leads to “uncontested platforms” promoting whitewashed perspectives (“Whiteness of Student Publications Threatens Integrity”, The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017.) In reference to The New York Times article “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” he writes, “It allows the bias of sectarianism and segregation to freely enter the American subconscious without opposition, priming us to respond to these irrational and abhorrent ideologies not with alarm, but with dereliction and indifference.” While I fully support greater diversification of loca...

Whiteness of Student Publications Threatens Integrity

Kameron Dunbar, Columnist

December 1, 2017

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...

College senior Paddy McCabe discusses a survey he took on his desired campus improvements with Student Senate Vice Chair Kameron Dunbar and President Carmen Ambar. Students who participated received a free Krispy Kreme donut.

Student Senate Holds First Annual Constituents’ Week

November 17, 2017

Members of Student Senate spent every night in Mudd library this week — known as Constituents’ Week — handing out Feve tots and Krispy Kreme donuts to every student who filled out a short questionnaire. The surveys, which were anonymous, asked students to provide feedback about academic programs, mental health and disability resources, athletics, and housing — ultimately geared toward retention, which decreased in the 2017–18 academic year and has contributed to the $5-million deficit...

Winter Term Changes Infantilize Students

Kameron Dunbar, Columnist

November 17, 2017

Many students have not yet started the registration process for Winter Term, but many will find themselves amazed by the dramatic new changes implemented by the Winter Term Committee. Winter Term is one of the most unique facets of the Oberlin experience — a program that certainly attracts students to the College. Students can research, play, work, or pursue other activities to extend their learning outside of the academic course-load. Everyone around here knows that Obies run the gamut in terms of projects. From learning how to cook to surveying the Nile River in Cairo, Obies do it all. And we’re thoughtful about it. While some students use Winter Term as a time to recoup from the stress of college life, many of...

PAL Represents Best, Worst of Oberlin

Kameron Dunbar, Columnist

November 10, 2017

I never had a PAL, but I certainly could have used one as a fledgling first-year. Oberlin has a lot of resources available for students, many of which are difficult to access if you don’t know they exist. Fortunately, I had the iconic Alex Cunningham as a mentor to lead me in the right direction and keep me on my path. Not everyone has such a positive experience — students are often left to fend for themselves without guidance from peers. One positive thing that came out of the College’s recent Strategic Plan was an acknowledgement of the need for reform in Oberlin’s advising system. Putting it bluntly, students shared a common feeling of disappointment in Oberlin’s pre-major advising mechanisms. This is ho...

Student Representation Imperative for Long-Term Change

Kameron Dunbar, Contributing Writer

September 22, 2017

This article is part of the Review’s Student Senate column. In an effort to increase communication and transparency, Student Senators will provide personal perspectives on recent events on campus and in the community. “What does Student Senate even do?” is a question I am asked quite frequently. In short, we do a lot, but much of our work is behind the scenes. We appoint students to institutional committees and act as an official liaison between students and the general administration, among other responsibilities. We even feed students over fall break — a task the administration never took up as its responsibility. While most of our work is done outside of the spotlight, we’ve been engaged in a very public figh...

Specific Administrator Could Aid Diversity

Kameron Dunbar, Contributing Writer

April 21, 2017

Last week, the Review’s Editorial Board posited that the Stragetic Plan Implementation Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s suggestion to add a chief diversity officer as “a roundabout way of handling the College’s diversity issues that would ultimately prove ineffective.” As a former member of SPIDIE, I shared similar concerns at the time of  drafting, but my time working with the implementation group laid bare to me the necessity of someone with the dedication and administrative capacity to handle issues of diversity and inclusion. When I left SPIDIE, it was composed of high-level administrators, well-respected faculty members, College staff and students whose goal was to collect...

Student Senate Strives to Centralize Activism

Meg Parker, Contributing Writer

February 17, 2017

This op-ed is part of the Review’s Student Senate column. In an effort to increase communication and transparency, Student Senators provide personal perspectives on recent events on campus and in the community. Student Senate is an inherently political body. Former Student Senator and College sophomore Kameron Dunbar wrote an op-ed for the Review last December about Senate’s role as a political actor, including its freedom to take preemptive action and stances on contentious issues on and off campus (“Senate Activism Vital to Political Resistance,” Dec. 2, 2016). Now, almost three months later, it has become obvious that Student Senate has embraced that role and will continue moving forward as a political b...

Senate Activism Vital to Political Resistance

Kameron Dunbar, Contributing Writer

December 2, 2016

This op-ed is part of the Review’s Student Senate column. In an effort to increase communication and transparency, Student Senators will provide personal perspectives on recent events on campus and in the community. Student Senate passed a resolution on March 18, 2007 in support of U.S. Senate Bill 2695: a federal bill allowing taxpayer access to federally funded research introduced by then-Senator Joe Lieberman and Senator John Cornyn. I came across this resolution a few months ago while doing some independent research on the history of Oberlin’s Student Senate. Last year, I didn’t think of Senate as a political actor. Recently, many have been fed the idea that Senate is supposed to be an apolitical body...

Established 1874.