The Oberlin Review

Lever Press Represents Lever for Change

Editorial Board

October 4, 2019

 The current generation of college students faces many existential challenges. For good reason, the fight against climate change has recently received significant attention in the national media and in this publication, but it is not the sole crisis that we must contend with. Another fight that has intensified in recent years is the one over access to information, particularly as threats to net neutrality and sources of publicly available information have mounted. For many colleges and universities around the country, October is Open Access Month. In recognition of this occasion, the Review chose to spotlight Lever Press, an important digital scholarship initiative led by a consortium of liberal arts colleges, inc...

Oberlin Should Pioneer Network Studies

Max Herman, OC ’89, Contributing Writer

September 20, 2019

 The recent One Oberlin report states that for Oberlin to flourish, it must “pioneer a new, more relevant curriculum and educational experience for our 21st-century students.”  To this end, Oberlin should seriously consider the academic field of Network Studies. It is not yet prevalent in higher education, but Oberlin could both lead and benefit from its development. Like any concentration, Network Studies would adhere to the traditional liberal arts disciplines, but engage with them from a unique perspective. The core content would, of course, include the impact of networks in society; recent advances in network science, theory, and technology; as well as address the constantly-evolving network structures...

Liberal Arts Education Still Has Plenty To Offer Students

Donn Ginoza, OC ’74, Member, Alumni Leadership Council

March 1, 2019

If you are an administrator at a liberal arts college, the news is mostly ominous and foreboding. Colleges that are highly dependent on tuition revenue and possess small endowments are reducing their faculty to cut costs, and in some cases even closing. In the 1960s and 1970s, my parents had but a fraction of my current income and were able to put both my sister and me through Oberlin with no loans to repay after graduation. My parents were also the offspring of immigrants from Asia. I experienced the subtle pressure to seek out a “safe” career path guaranteed through higher education; in those days, this translated to doctor or lawyer. Today, the emphasis is more on seeking schools that prioritize engineering...

Higher Education Shifts Spell Trouble for Small Liberal Arts Colleges

Editorial Board

February 8, 2019

Editor's note: The original version of this editorial incorrectly stated that Antioch College would likely close if it could not merge with another institution. In fact, Hampshire College, not Antioch, is seeking a merger. The editorial has been updated and the Review regrets the error. Small liberal arts institutions like Oberlin are in trouble. This much has become clear in recent years, as many — not just Oberlin — have faced significant financial challenges, some even forced to close their doors. Earlham College, for instance, was forced to cut a staggering 12 percent of costs across all divisions in a single year and suspend its football program. Hampshire College recently announced that it's looking...

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...

Hobbies Unveil Interconnection of Various Disciplines

CJ Blair, Columnist

April 3, 2015

As students at a liberal arts college, we should be familiar with what a liberal arts education is supposed to entail. Rather than admitting students who specialize in a single area of study, colleges like Oberlin seek out applicants with a broad range of knowledge and skills that span various disciplines. While this aim certainly sounds noble, it’s easy, in a time where progress is equated to making the next best cell phone or curing major diseases, to question the value of this approach. While it’s hard to argue that a broad base of knowledge won’t benefit you as a worker, it seems like the people who make the greatest impact on the world are those with a single focus they pursue wholeheartedly. Instead of...

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