The Oberlin Review

Environmental Studies Fails in Interdisciplinary Approach

Sami Mericle and Kiley Petersen

May 5, 2017

As graduating Environmental Studies majors, we want to address the elephant in the AJLC: Most majors are deeply dissatisfied with the Environmental Studies program. Environmental Studies is a huge draw to the College for potential Oberlin students who, like us, were wowed by the beauty and design of the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, the Living Machine and the Building Dashboard. We did not know that this is yet another example of the College investing more in buildings than the programs housed inside of them. We do not mean to critique the professors in the department or the classes they teach, but rather the structure of the program. We’ve had the privilege of being taught by man...

Conservatory senior Jared Hochberg, double-degree sophomore Ari Smith and Conservatory senior Orion Krause perform at Jazz Night last Saturday.

Lorenzo’s Jazz Night Connects Conservatory, City

April 7, 2017

When Conservatory senior Jared Hochberg arrived in Oberlin from Chicago and realized there were few outlets in town for jazz jam sessions, he decided to create one. Jazz Night, now a monthly event at Lorenzo’s Pizzeria, was born. Hochberg plays a 90-minute set with double-degree sophomore Ari Smith and Conservatory sophomore Matthew Frerck to start each show, followed by an improv jam session open to musicians of all skill levels. Four years after establishing the series, Hochberg will perform ...

Since 2002, the College and Conservatory, faculty members and the Oberlin community have received more than $3 million in federal funds from
the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, as well as
funds from state affiliates, the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Humanities Council.

Trump Administration Threatens Oberlin Arts Funding

March 10, 2017

Before President Trump took office in late January, multiple publications reported that his transition team had begun compiling a list of federal programs to eliminate in an effort to trim domestic spending. According to The New York Times, that list is expected to be finalized by the Office of Management and Budget next week as part of the President’s first federal budget proposal. According to ABC News, the forthcoming budget draws heavily on budget outlines produced by the Heritage Foundation,...

Gaining Accessibility: Weight Room Causes Anxiety for Many

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

February 19, 2016

Anyone who has met me knows I’m all about feminism and dismantling the gender binary. Also, anyone who has met me knows I really, really hate working out. My hatred of the gym probably stems from years of dancing, playing soccer and running varsity track — activities that are generally relegated to the grassy outdoors or a bright mirrored studio. I never felt comfortable in the gym spaces in my high school — the weight room was dark, humid and loud. There were a lot of bodily fluids coating every surface (hopefully only sweat). There were a lot of bulging muscles and men attached to those muscles, and with those men came their toxic masculinity. I felt weak and small and judged if I wandered into the weight room; I...

Media Outlets Highlight Trump’s Hypocrisy

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

December 11, 2015

I think it’s no surprise to anyone at Oberlin that Donald Trump is, in no particular order, racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, a xenophobic bigot, a white supremacist, a man with atrocious hair and an absolutely terrible Republican candidate for the 2016 presidency. A list of his actions in the past 177 days since he announced his candidacy reads like a badly-written joke: Ban all Muslims from the U.S.; Mexican immigrants are all drug dealers, criminals and rapists; Megyn Kelly has blood coming out of her “wherever.” One of my favorite tweets about Trump, posted on Nov. 22, is from user @mamasnark and reads: “Basically, Trump is what would happen if the comments section became a human and ran for president....

Including Marginalized Authors in English Classes Expands Canon

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

September 11, 2015

A recent discussion in my Women and Politics course got me thinking about the intricacies of accessibility and oppression in academia. When asked about potential concerns for the course, a student commented on the whiteness of our class. Someone else suggested that our demographics might be the result of a conflicting African American Studies class, African American Women’s History, which also meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This might cause some students to prioritize an aspect of their education or identity — race, gender or class, for example — when choosing between two courses they might be interested in. While not an intentional transgression on the professors’ parts — class time slots are chos...

Corporate Appropriation Delegitimizes Youth Culture, Slang

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

May 8, 2015

There’s a hilarious scene in the first season of Portlandia where one of Fred Armisen’s characters, a bearded, hipster biker with gauges, cycles past a grocery store. He yells from his bike, “Whole Foods is corporate!” and rides away, shouting random “radical” phrases like “Go vegan!” and “Bike lanes!” until he finally rides his bike into his house, getting his door chain caught in his earring. The whole show is a hysterical parody of white, middle-class, urban-hipster progressivism, and I highly suggest spending some quality time during finals binge-watching it on Netflix. So, Whole Foods Market is corporate. Surprise, surprise. Basically everything we consume, whether it’s food, clothes or med...

Conservative Rural Stereotype Diverts Attention from Urban, Liberal Racism

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

May 1, 2015

“White people are racist. Not all of them. But white culture is. Our white country is. Our nation is. Our American culture is full of white supremacy. We live in a white supremacist culture that caters to white people, [where everything from] the media to education to art to culture to politics is white-washed. What is not white-washed? ... This country was built for white people.” You might expect the above quote to have come from an article on the basics of white supremacy from the blog Black Girl Dangerous, or from a short on the Baltimore uprising from The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central. So the face of white, middle-aged, self-described “fat redneck” Dixon White, staring out from an Apr...

Clinton’s Benefits Outweigh Her Problems

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

April 24, 2015

In case you live under a rock, Hillary Clinton is running for President of the United States. After Clinton announced her bid for the Oval Office on April 12, Jada Pinkett Smith, the successful actress, musical artist, businesswoman and mother of three kids — two with their own social-media empires, Willow, Jaden and the oft-forgotten Trey — discussed her feelings on Clinton in a thoughtful Facebook post. On April 18, Pinkett Smith discussed her apprehensions about voting for a white woman for President. “Her announcement conjured many old hurts and scars,” she wrote. “Hillary’s announcement reminded me that the relationship between black and white women on the political platform has been deeply complicated,...

Mainstream LGBTQ Movement Must Accept All Sexual Identities

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

April 18, 2015

Growing up in private Catholic schools from elementary until high school was full of both challenges and rewards. I was lucky enough to receive an excellent education that prepared me for college. I was unlucky enough, however, to receive inaccurate sex ed in both my health and religion classes. As the archdiocese controls the curriculum taught by religious schools, even if the teachers had wanted to teach proper sex ed instead of abstinence-only classes, they couldn’t. So I grew up not only afraid of sexual contact with anyone but also confused and unsure of my sexual identity. I was supposed to like boys, find a nice one, marry him, then have sex, make cute babies and raise them Catholic. The circle of life. ...

Censorship Perpetuates Misogynistic Ideals

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

April 3, 2015

Trigger Warning: The following op-ed contains a mention of blood and derogatory language referring to women. When Toronto-based spoken-word poet and author Rupi Kaur posted a photo of herself on Instagram with period-stained sweatpants, Instagram’s decision to remove the image and the resulting uproar was a bloody mess — pun intended. Since the photo did not violate any of Instagram’s terms and conditions or community guidelines, Kaur and supporters claimed it was misogynistic and an erasure of experience to delete the image. Kaur posted on her Tumblr, “I will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in ... underwear but not be okay with a small leak. ...

KXL Gives Hope for Further Legislation

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

February 27, 2015

Although I’m not usually a fan of dramatic and symbolic political acts, I couldn’t help but feel pleased on Tuesday night when President Obama kept to his word and vetoed the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would bring oil from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, NE. Despite the expected outcome, the news still left me feeling cheerful. After just a few months of the new Republican-majority Congress, I was already down in the dumps about the state of our nation and its grave problems of social and environmental justice. The vetoing of the pipeline is a symbolic rallying point for moderate Democrats and extreme environmentalists alike, and possibly the first in a wave of environmental reforms that have been lacking...

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