The Oberlin Review

Student Engagement in Elections Must Be Well-Informed

Editorial Board

November 3, 2017

One of the first questions many Obies are asked upon arriving on campus for their first-year orientation is whether they would like to register to vote in Ohio. Several groups — student and community, partisan and nonpartisan — descend on Oberlin with voter registration forms and voter information packets. In some years, this is an easier question to answer than others. First-years arriving on campus in fall 2016, for example, were given the opportunity to register in a swing state for one of the most heated and divisive presidential campaigns in history. This year, however, is a different story. The local elections that will occur this Tuesday, Nov. 7 — which some students likely do not even know about — w...

Oberlin Must Embrace Disabled Students Without “Despites”

El Wilson, Contributing Writer

October 27, 2017

I don’t accept “despites.” They lead me to build walls between myself and my family. My best friends forcefully dismantle them. And I see their presence in romantic relationships as potentially abusive. I grew up with the idea that I would succeed, despite my disability. I spent hours in physical, occupational, and speech therapy in an attempt to “fix” me. Some of these hours were worthwhile because they made my body healthier and more mobile. Others — especially those spent in speech therapy — contributed to a negative body image and made me ashamed of my existence. Yet the adults in my life took every opportunity to tell me that I was smart, funny, and beautiful. I would be successful despite my disabi...

Athletics Encourages Toxic Belief Systems

Marissa Maxfield, Contributing Writer

October 27, 2017

Editors’ Note: This article contains mention of unwilling ingestion of consciousness-altering drugs. I am a former athlete who played lacrosse at Oberlin for three years. From my first to fifth years here, my identity, perspective, and culture — specifically in relation to my sport — have significantly shifted. I have seen the best and worst of what athletics can encompass and witnessed its polarizing effects. Like many former student-athletes, I have undergone a sharp transition away from sports-centric culture, rejecting the structures — like aggression is ability and pack mentality is power — that once governed my belief system. As a result of this awareness, I am a traitor to teams but an outsider to ...

Citizens Must Engage in All Levels of Elections

Cindy Frantz, Professor of Psychology

September 29, 2017

To the Editors: Are you happy with how things are going in our country? If not, what are you doing to change things? The strength of our democracy rests on the engagement of its citizens. One of the most important things we do as citizens is vote. We need active citizen participation on ballot issues at every level of government. We need strong, ethical candidates at every level of government. We need to vote in every election for which we are eligible. This November, Oberlin residents will vote on important local and state issues and they will elect a new city council. Oberlin students are eligible to vote here. If you love this community, cast your vote here. You can register to vote until Oct. 10 ...

Voters Can Correct City Council’s Mistakes

Steve Hammond and John Elder

September 22, 2017

To the Editors: Two issues related to the use of Oberlin’s renewable energy credits (RECs) will be on the ballot this November. Why? Because voters need the opportunity to correct two Oberlin City Council actions. In 2004 Oberlin College began seeking renewable energy, and in 2007 the City Council established by ordinance, with the College’s encouragement, a Sustainable Reserve Program “for the sole purpose” of depositing the revenue from the sale of what are now known as RECs for a Sustainable Reserve Fund “to provide funding opportunities for community-based, utility-related, environmentally-friendly initiatives demonstrating energy efficiency, energy conservation, greenhouse gas reductions and/or dev...

Finding Community Reduces Stress, Improves Mental Health

Melissa Harris, Editor-in-Chief

September 15, 2017

One endemic problem I see constantly in college students — a problem I’m guilty of feeding into myself — is the pressure to push yourself everyday, treating each semester like a marathon that you have to run on your own. Some lock themselves in their rooms, spending hours on endless problem sets while others find themselves buried in Mudd’s eerily silent corners, reading stacks of assigned articles and books. This experience has been all too familiar to me throughout my time at Oberlin and, as I kick off my senior year with a capstone and honors project to tackle this semester, I’ve been isolating myself more than I would like. In getting wrapped up in my research and personal stress, I sometimes forg...

Oberlin Makes Progress in Diversifying Community

Brittany Mendez, Contributing Writer

September 15, 2017

Have you ever been lured by statistics claiming that an institution is significantly more diverse than its competitors? If you attend Oberlin or any other college, you likely have. Many workplaces advertise themselves in a similar manner, which I experienced first-hand at an internship this past summer. For my senior project last year, I interned in the Office of the Attorney General in Washington, D.C., shadowing attorneys in the public interest division. As a student considering a career in law, I hoped the internship would give me an accurate understanding of what life as an attorney would be like. After my project officially ended, I was asked to continue interning over the summer and I happily accep...

Oberlin Must Protect Diverse Opinions

Duncan Reid, Contributing Writer

September 15, 2017

Across college campuses nationwide, the right to free expression is endangered. In the past three years alone, one lawmaker in Wisconsin threatened to withhold funding from University of Wisconsin Madison because they were offended by a course dealing with race and ethnicity, Tennessee passed a law prohibiting universities from using public funds for a “sex week,” or to “promote the use of gender neutral pronouns,” South Carolina lawmakers voted to cut funding to two colleges that assigned LGBTQ-themed books as required reading for first-year students, and a Michigan Senate subcommittee threatened to fine universities for “any instructional activity that encourages or discourages union organizin...

“Financial Update From Chris Canavan ’84, Chair-elect, Board of Trustees”

Chris Canavan, OC ’84

September 8, 2017

Editor’s Note: The following is an email sent June 14, 2017 to the Oberlin College faculty and staff by the chair of the Board of Trustees. This was not submitted to the Review as a Letter to the Editors, but as it is addressed to the Oberlin community, we feel it appropriate to publish the text in full. To the Oberlin community: Oberlin’s Board of Trustees met last week. It was a bittersweet meeting because Oberlin is going through so many transitions. President Marvin Krislov will soon depart for Pace University. We bid farewell to Mike Frandsen, Sandhya Subramanian, and Debra Chermonte. But we also welcomed Oberlin’s 15th president, Carmen Ambar, and we’re lucky to have Alan Norton, Donica Varner...

Integration of Athletics, Academics Benefits Community

Lilah Drafts-Johnson, Contributing Writer

September 8, 2017

After seeing yet another Facebook comment thread feud between student-athletes and non-student-athletes this summer, I felt that it might be prudent for me to take the conversation to a more productive space. The dispute was the same as it always seems to be: student-athletes were frustrated by the stereotypes placed upon them, while non-student-athletes were frustrated by the space taken up by student-athletes at Oberlin and the adverse side-effects that sports culture often perpetuates. As I enter my fourth year of collegiate track and field, I am well aware of the various issues with athletics on our campus. However, the apathetic and dismissive stances that many Obies take toward sport, both on our campus...

Community Must Come Together in Difficult Times

Charles Newman, OC ’65

September 1, 2017

To the Editors: Here are some ways the Oberlin community of students, faculty, administrators, and alumni might function as a special social resource in these terrible times. Oberlin must always nourish and celebrate the arts. The Allen Memorial Art Museum could exhibit the works of refugee artists, the Conservatory could put on concerts where refugee musicians would perform, and art students could make and sell posters to publicize local job fairs and donate the proceeds to programs that support residents of Lorain County facing hard times. Students and faculty members must always meet the highest academic standards. A topic can be relevant to both scholarly debates and social, political, or economic c...

On the Record with Ben Sinclair, High Maintenance

On the Record with Ben Sinclair, High Maintenance

November 11, 2016

Ben Sinclair, OC ’06, co-created the hit web and television series High Maintenance with spouse Katja Blichfeld. The show revolves around the experiences of New Yorkers connected by their shared transactions with a pot dealer known as The Guy. Meant to tell subtle truths about the human experience while de-stigmatizing marijuana use, the series focuses on different characters and stories with each episode. After two seasons on Vimeo featuring mini-episodes, HBO picked up the show. The new season, com...

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