The Oberlin Review

SOAR Program to Benefit Sophomores

Meg Parker, Contributing Writer

November 16, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The brainchild of Associate Dean of Students and Interim Director of the Career Development Center Dana Hamdan, the Sophomore Opportunities and Advising Resources program is one of the most exciting things to come to fruition at Oberlin this year. When Dana called me into her office to discuss the then-unnamed initiative, I had the same thought as when I first learned about the Peer Advising Leaders Program: “I wish I had had this!” There are some challenging parts of my college experience I would never want to redo (Intro to Computer Programming and off-season lifting with former Strength and Conditioning Coach Grant Butler included), but if I had the opportunity to go back and enroll in SOAR, I would do so in...

Unity, Cooperation, Community this Voting Season

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

October 12, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

A week ago we celebrated the inauguration of Oberlin College’s 15th president, Carmen Twillie Ambar, the first Black and second female president. She wasted little time in her acceptance speech to remind us that over 180 years ago when it was legal to own slaves, Oberlin College’s founding fathers voted to be the first college to admit both women and Blacks. While today we might think that the vote was an easy unanimous one just for men to do the right thing, President Ambar underscored the fact that the Board of Trustees was actually split, requiring the chairman — Finney at the time — to break the tie. Nevertheless, Oberlin College did do what history commanded, and we can boast of our College’s long and...

President Ambar: We’re Still With You

Editorial Board

October 5, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Today’s inauguration of Carmen Twillie Ambar as Oberlin College’s 15thpresident gives our community a moment to reflect both on the first year of Ambar’s presidency and the collective challenges and opportunities now in front of us. In some ways, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year. Ambar has assumed the reins at a time of great turbulence, true; but she has stepped fully into the moment, and her commitment to tackling the challenges Oberlin faces has not wavered. She’s become an integral part of this campus— certainly to the point where it feels like she’s been here for a while. Be it conducting the Oberlin orchestra, being a regular face around Philips gym, sharing her playlist with the...

Constructive Institutionalism Includes Diverse Perspectives

Editorial Board

May 25, 2018

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Oberlin has reached many milestones this year — some deserving of celebration. Among those was the beginning of Carmen Ambar’s presidency. Ambar has worked to be more transparent and communicative than former President Marvin Krislov, whose time at Oberlin was marked by campus tension and administrative opacity. Ambar’s presidency has begun at a time of great financial uncertainty for Oberlin. To her credit, Ambar has made an effort to be candid about those challenges, carrying out a series of campus presentations regarding the College’s financial outlook this winter. She has also called upon all of us — students, staff, faculty, and alums — to be Oberlin’s stewards, institutionalists concerned not only with Oberlin...

Oberlin Pays Tribute to Austin Bombing Victim Draylen Mason

Oberlin Pays Tribute to Austin Bombing Victim Draylen Mason

April 6, 2018

The murder of 17-year-old Draylen Mason by the Austin, TX, serial mail bomber has received attention from communities nationwide, but particularly at Oberlin College and Conservatory, the latter of which had accepted Mason around the time of his death. The College, now grappling with how to honor Draylen’s memory, has encouraged community members to donate to two funds associated with his family and life. The College released a statement announcing its support for Mason titled “Honoring Drayle...

Perspective Important in Gibson’s Case

Kevin Adler, OC ’84

December 8, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: I’m writing to disagree with almost everything in Booker C. Peek’s recent opinion column, “Oberlin, Gibson’s Should Settle Out-of-Court” (The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017). I laughed at Peek’s opening comment that the lawsuit “has the potential to be earth-shattering.” Really? Let’s maintain some perspective here. This is a tempest in a teapot, a tiny incident at a small college. Potentially earth-shattering would be President Trump’s brinksmanship with North Korea, or the increasing severity of tropical storms fueled by global climate change. Those are earth-shattering issues that Oberlin and its students should be addressing. Peek also writes about the damage of a financial settlement. Ma...

Gibson’s Links Black People to Anti-Semitism

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

December 1, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: As the founding fathers of Oberlin College and Arthur Tappan, whose name Tappan Square bears because of his much-needed financial support of the College, would have wanted, Oberlin remains America’s most luminous beacon for a more just, peaceful, and humane world. As much as the Founding Fathers of our nation will always have our admiration, they showed a serious human weakness in their subjugation of women and willingness to enslave Blacks. As women throughout America need us all to step up to fight against sexism, so do Blacks need all Americans to help us fight against racism. But the middle-aged white men who feel hurt and abandoned — a disproportionate number of whom commit suicide — also need our f...

Oberlin Prepares Students for Real World

Donn Ginoza, OC ’74; At-Large Member, Alumni Leadership Council

December 1, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Are you a newly arrived freshman or a senior about to graduate without a clear plan for Year One after college? If you are, or you are simply wondering if Oberlin was the best school for you, take it from someone who is nearing the end of his working career that nothing is more valuable for an engaged and satisfying life than an Oberlin education. When I graduated from high school, I chose Oberlin over two large public universities. I was a strong student in all subjects, but I did not have a “passion.” Luckily, it wasn’t really important to have one back then. It was a few years after Woodstock and the Vietnam War protests, and I remember a lot of students were critical of higher education not...

Discussion of Enrollment, Retention Must Include Dorms

Editorial Board

November 17, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Enrollment and retention are two of the most immediate issues that Oberlin College must address. That much has become clear over the last few years, as the College has seen its Moody’s credit rating drop and budget deficit soar due in large part to unexpected enrollment shortfalls. Naturally, the College’s administration is looking to address these problems that have a significant impact on College finances — the PAL program is a prime example. Created by Associate Dean of Students Dana Hamdan, PAL seeks to address feelings of discontent and isolation among first-year students that have negatively impacted retention. One aspect of student life that has been overlooked in discussions of how to address student unhappin...

Oberlin, Gibson’s Should Settle Out-of-Court

Booker C. Peek, Contributing Writer

November 17, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

We should all root for a quick out-of-court resolution between Gibson’s Bakery and Oberlin College. It can be exciting for us to root for our favorite teams; that is what sports are all about. We may debate who the greatest composer is, the finest painter, or the best dancer. Having all those options is what we enjoy in America, along with the right not to take part at all. But there are times when the outcome of a matter affects us quite profoundly. This lawsuit is not a sporting event; its outcome has the potential to be earth-shattering. The founders of the College settled in a wilderness in the 19th century, a site where there were no humans at all. In the intervening period — more than 150 years — we have...

Students Should Not Engage Gibson’s as Lawsuit Ensues

Editorial Board

November 10, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

“When they go low, we go high.” This quote by Michelle Obama became an overused and often cringe-inducing centerpiece of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. But there is a lot of truth and power in Obama’s words, which can serve as a meaningful guide for the Oberlin College community now searching for a response to news of a lawsuit recently filed by Gibson’s Bakery against the College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. News of the lawsuit — which is meant to bully and intimidate College students, faculty, and staff, and can be read in full on the Review’s website — was relayed to the College community almost exactly one year after students initiated a protest agai...

Students Have Right to Vote in Oberlin Elections

John Petersen, Contributing Writer

November 3, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

“Think One Person Can Change The World? So Do We.” This is one of the most successful promotional campaigns Oberlin College has ever run, because the desire to bring about positive change by engaging with the world around us resonates so strongly in our campus community. Students at Oberlin today are part of a proud history of civic engagement. Campus issues, local community issues — not to mention regional, national, and global issues — are among the ways that Oberlin students have made and continue to make a difference. Exercising your right — and I would say responsibility — to vote this coming Tuesday, Nov. 7, is one of the most direct ways students can enact positive change. For those of you who are r...

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