The Oberlin Review

Campus Housing Announcements Spark Student Confusion, Frustration

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

April 15, 2020

Students remaining in College-owned housing were left confused and frustrated last week after receiving a pair of email communications — the first from the Office of Residential Education and the second from President Carmen Twillie Ambar — regarding potential changes to their living situations. The emails came after most students were required to vacate campus housing last month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; students who stayed on campus went through a petition process in order to do so. On Tuesday, April 7, ResEd informed students in campus housing that they should start packing up their belongings in order to be “consolidated” into South, Langston, or Noah Halls beginning Friday, April 17. The ro...

A vacant lot on Elm Street. The College has completed demolitions of seven Village Housing Units since January after filing to do so in November.

Community Responds to College’s Demolition of Village Housing

February 28, 2020

Last month’s demolition of seven Village Houses has sparked conversation over whether the College should have been more intentional in consulting the surrounding community before making the decision to tear the houses down. The College currently has no plans to build on the vacant lots, and some residents are concerned about how the demolition could change the character of their neighborhoods. Carrie Handy, director of planning and development for the City of Oberlin, says her office has received a ...

Administrators Address Potential Impact of COVID-19

Carson Li, Staff Writer

February 28, 2020

As the newest iteration of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, continues to spread around the world, Oberlin — like other colleges and universities across the country — is preparing to address challenges that the virus may inflict on campus life. Administrators are taking steps to support current and prospective international students impacted by the viral outbreak, as well as to anticipate the potential financial impact of COVID-19 on Oberlin. According to President Carmen Twillie Ambar, some of the potential financial difficulties could stem from foregone tuition from students who would not be able to come to campus in the fall, should international travel restrictions remain in place until that time. “Most colle...

Hundreds of students protested President Carmen Twillie Ambar’s recent announcement that the College is “formally considering” contracting with outside vendors, potentially cutting 108 United Automobile Workers union jobs, in the King Building Wednesday.

College “Considering” Outsourcing Dining, Custodial Services

February 21, 2020

Employees in Oberlin’s chapter of the United Automobile Workers union are reeling after a Tuesday afternoon email from President Carmen Twillie Ambar to the campus community announced that the College is “formally considering” contracting with outside vendors to provide campus custodial and dining services. If the College ultimately chooses to outsource, more than 100 union employees could lose their jobs on June 30, when the transition would occur. According to President Ambar’s email, O...

Third World Co-op

Halted Survey Sparks OSCA Concerns

February 14, 2020

A proposed survey designed to assess the co-curricular value of the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association and other campus residential experiences was not sent out to students and alumni last July, as originally planned in collaboration with several campus offices. Instead, the College and OSCA will draw on existing institutional data to define their contractual relationship later this spring. Posters declaring “Save Our Beans!” put up this semester have ignited recent campus dialogue about th...

College’s OSCA Stance Inconsistent With One Oberlin Recommendations

Editorial Board

February 14, 2020

 When the Steering Committee of the Academic and Administrative Program Review released its final One Oberlin report in May 2019, a number of its recommendations concerned changes to the College’s relationship with the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association. This Editorial Board was reassured then, by what appeared to be a commitment from administrators, to engage in a process to learn more about the value OSCA brings to the institution. Now, nearly a year later, we’re not so sure that administrators are committed to such a process — and recent developments have troubling implications for the future of a transparent and good-faith One Oberlin implementation. The One Oberlin report recommended engaging “in ...

Students eat DeCafe meals in Rathskeller. Previously, Rathskeller was home to Oberlin’s Fourth Meal. Now, Fourth Meal is only available as premade to-go food purchased at DeCafe.

Fourth Meal Changes Greeted By Student Pushback

February 14, 2020

As of this semester, Fourth Meal — previously served buffet-style in the Rathskeller — is now being served in DeCafé in to-go boxes. Students can now purchase Fourth Meal the same way as all DeCafé meals: by choosing one entree, two sides, and a drink packaged in plastic containers. Many students have witnessed significant changes to the location and structure of Fourth Meal during their time at Oberlin and some have expressed disappointment at these changes. “It’s horrible,” said Joshua Rho...

College Increases ExCo Stipend, Committee Offers Full Courseload for Spring

Arman Luczkow, Staff Writer

December 6, 2019

The Experimental College Committee’s compensation was increased by the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences last month, from $6,000 to $7,000 for the 2019–2020 academic year. In October, the five-student committee announced that they would need to reduce the number of ExCo courses to 50, due to changes in the way committee members are paid. The increased finances will mean that ExCo will be able to maintain its typical offering of approximately 70 courses in the spring. Members of the ExCo Committee met with their advisor, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Elizabeth Hamilton, over the past month to discuss this. “The ExCo Committee met with Dean Hamilton and basically remade our case,” s...

Gibson’s Verdict Appeal Filed

Anisa Curry Vietze, News Editor

October 11, 2019

On Tuesday, Oberlin College announced it would appeal the June jury verdict that sided with Gibson’s Bakery and against the College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. The appeal comes after the College was denied a retrial at the county level last month. The College currently faces a $25 million judgment after a Lorain County jury found the College and Raimondo responsible for libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress following a student-led protest against the bakery in November 2016. To represent them at the appellate level, the College has hired a legal team that includes Washington, D.C. First Amendment attorneys Lee Levine and Seth Berlin, as well as Cleveland appellate a...

Exploring the Money Behind OC Athletics

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

October 11, 2019

In the midst of significant institutional change due to Oberlin’s mounting structural budget deficit, investments in spaces like the Shanks Health and Wellness Center and the Knowlton Athletics Complex have left some community members wondering where the money for such projects comes from. The answer, according to Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo and Delta Lodge Director of Athletics and Physical Education Natalie Winkelfoos, is complicated, and has to do with the specifics of fundraising strategies and logistics. “Athletics fundraising at a Division III school is like breathing — you need to do it and it’s always happening,” Winkelfoos wrote in an email to the Review. “I have regula...

Members of the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association prepare a meal in the kitchen of Keep co-op. Canceled meals due to a turbulent interim period have raised concerns for OSCA members over ongoing negotiations with the College administration.

OSCA Negotiations Stable Despite Confusion

October 4, 2019

Ongoing negotiations between the College and the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association have not been affected by recent meal cancellations, according to Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo and OSCA President and College third-year Gio Donovan. These negotiations were sparked by the Academic and Administrative Program Review, which recommended that the College and OSCA work together to craft a sustainable financial relationship. In an email to Keep co-op members, the Dining Loose...

Property Records Reveal Gibson Family Holdings

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

September 20, 2019

Property records obtained through the Lorain County Auditor’s office reveal that the Gibson family, who recently won a $25 million judgement in the lawsuit they filed against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, own property within Oberlin city limits worth approximately $1.7 million, a sum figure not previously discussed in the media. The value assessments are calculated by the auditor’s office using tax information and in-person assessments. The figure does not include properties owned outside of Oberlin or controlled through Off Street Parking, Inc. — a corporation in which David Gibson owns a majority stake. While the Gibson family’s property ownership was not a key element...

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