The Oberlin Review

“Review” Fails To Report Sexual Misconduct in Socially Responsible Manner

Olive Hwang, Production Editor

September 14, 2018

Editor’s note: This article contains discussion of sexual misconduct and rape culture. Last week, the Review reported on the resignation of two Conservatory professors in the midst of sexual misconduct complaints (“Oberlin Professors Resign After Sexual Misconduct” The Oberlin Review, Sept. 7, 2018). Among the accused is James David Christie, former chair of the Organ department and world-famous musician. The allegations, however, are obscured by the article’s insensitive and dismissive tone. As a new member of the Review team, I am deeply disappointed by the way this story was covered. It is our job to present the news in a manner that is both factual and socially responsible. The topic of sexual miscondu...

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...

Word Choice Vital in Discussions of Misconduct

Lilah Drafts-Johnson, College Senior

December 8, 2017

To the Editors: As an avid reader of the Review, I was concerned by last week’s headline for the Dec. 1 story covering former Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Bernard Matambo’s resignation. It was not the first page headline, “Matambo Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations,” but the second page headline, which read, “Creative Writing Department Loses Tenure Track Professor” that troubled me. While this headline is factual, I feel it deliberately capitalizes on a fear that is deeply felt by many students and faculty about the futures of various majors and departments: that we are losing tenure-track professors at an alarming rate, and that under the current financial climate, these positions wil...

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...

Sensationalist Media Compromises Credibility for Click Bait

Editorial Board

September 22, 2017

In the past, the College has been a target for outside news sources that cherry-pick the Review’s pieces on topics ranging from the cultural appropriation of food in the dining halls to the contentious dismissal of former professor Joy Karega. Their goal is to malign the credibility of colleges like ours. Last week, The Washington Times marked another chapter in the on- going manipulation of our reporting by twisting our story on Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan’s email revealing the deficit and consequent declaration of financial cuts (“Enrollment Drop Creates Financial Shortfall,” Sept. 8, 2017) to argue that the College’s underenrollment results from a reputation fostered by its studen...

Review Comes to Senses on Oxford Comma

Victoria Garber, OC ’17

September 15, 2017

To the Editors: Let me begin by admitting that, like my esteemed former colleague Sami Mericle, I harbor a certain amount of resentment that the Oxford comma was implemented only after I was forced to remove it from countless articles during my time at the Review. This objectionable comma convention was indeed a favorite target for complaint, but still I rejoice at its end despite the long-standing nature of the tradition. On the matter of such breaks with Review tradition being inherently negative developments, I would also remind everyone that my own Arts and Culture section used to rate the films it reviewed not in stars or on a scale but with distinctly rabid-looking white squirrel icons. The tradition was th...

Review Breaks Tradition with Oxford Comma

Sami Mericle, OC ’17

September 8, 2017

To the Editors: While I was impressed by the reporting in the semester’s first issue of the Review, I was jolted by the use of the Oxford comma, a stylistic change that has evidently been implemented since I left staff at the end of last year. I consider myself a dedicated fan of the Oxford comma in most situations. It provides rhythm, clarity, and fairness to lists. But this change in the style guide is objectionable for two reasons: First, it breaks with years of Review tradition. The paper has a continual problem with a short institutional memory, which is inevitable for a student newspaper with a transient staff. But should the staff toss aside old conventions at the whim of each new production edit...

Alum Demands Respect for Dye

Michael H. Lubas, OC ’69

September 1, 2017

To the Editors: I am enraged, and The Oberlin Review should be ashamed! The May 5 edition with its front page lead-in on Marvin Krislov’s legacy is an abomination! While I was never a Nancy Dye cheerleader, the article demonstrates the cloudy presuppositions and misinformed arrogant assumptions posturing as reporting while a love-fest for Krislov is mirrored against a less than compassionate understanding of Dye’s progressive illness, which she chose not to parade in the manner that seems to be Oberlin’s motto these days; essentially, “I am a victim!” She chose to do the best she could with what she had. I and others may not always have agreed with her thinking or manner, but I can only hope to have...

College Newspapers Best Illustrate Campus Life

Editorial Board

May 19, 2017

Oberlin students are often presented as coddled, spoiled and so obsessed with political correctness that we have lost touch with reality, choosing to embrace a liberal utopia instead of facing the “real world.” If four years working at The Oberlin Review have taught us anything, it is that this portrayal could not be further from the truth. Stories like alleged cultural appropriation in dining halls have been lifted by national media outlets in a way that grossly misrepresents reality on campus. Major news organizations would have most believe that protests wildly erupted in food fights, with students quivering in dorm rooms for shelter. In reality, students were proactive. They identified a problem, initiated d...

Review Fails to Live Up to Promise

Manish A. Mehta, Donald R. Longman '32 Professor of Chemistry

May 5, 2017

To the Editors: Since 1874, The Oberlin Review has been the sole campus publication to bear the label “Publication of Record of Oberlin College.” Every year, I read with great patience to see if you will live up to the solemn duty that title places on you, and every year I am left sorely disappointed. A publication of record should document, in a reasonably faithful way, the life of the College. By many measures, you have failed in that special responsibility. I note that the “Publication of Record” light has been flickering on your masthead marquis. It was absent in the mastheads to issues 8, 10, 14, 22 and 23 this year (Volume 145). While it makes me sad, I recommend that you scrap that...

IYS Kentucky Article Misrepresented Organization

Max Coleman, Rachel Manning, Hillary Neff, and Megan O'Brien

November 9, 2012

Last week’s issue of The Oberlin Review thoroughly misrepresented the IYS Kentucky Fall Break trip and the Immerse Yourself in Service organization as a whole (“IYS KY Trip Challenges, Educates Volunteers,” Nov. 2, 2012). As IYS Kentucky trip leaders and participants, we were shocked and dismayed at the portrayal of this part of the country and the nature of our work there. This article paints a picture of Appalachia as being generally pathetic, lacking agency and desperately in need. While this part of the country is known for its high levels of poverty, we do not wish to further these stereotypes or spread misconceptions that were present in last week’s article. We have spent much time and effort attempting...

Established 1874.