The Oberlin Review

Christina Hoff Sommers leans over the podium during her lecture. Protesters hung posters at the event venue, listened to the talk with their mouths covered with tape and hosted an alternate event.

Students Protest Sommers’ Lecture

April 24, 2015

From her podium in Dye Lecture Hall, Christina Hoff Sommers, an author, former philosophy professor and self-proclaimed “freedom feminist,” attempted, amid protesters and dissenting audience members, to persuade Oberlin students that feminism has become too radicalized. She was invited to campus on Monday night by the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians and is the most recent speaker in the Ronald Reagan Lectureship series, which is devoted to bringing views that members of OCRL “believe...

Liberal Professors Promote Anti-Right Propaganda

Wayne Lela, Concerned citizen

April 24, 2015

To the Editors: The controversy surrounding the appearance by speaker Christina Hoff Sommers brought to mind a relatively old (1991) quote from a well-known liberal attorney, author and professor named Alan Dershowitz, who back then was so disturbed by the lack of respect for free speech in certain liberal circles he’s on record as saying: “Political correctness is the most serious issue on college campuses. We are tolerating, and teaching, intolerance and hypocrisy” ( James Warren, “Drawing Laughs,” Chicago Tribune, April 14, 1991). Things didn’t change much from 1991 by 2005. Indeed, the intolerance of the ever-so-trendy “politically correct” crowd just seemed to have gotten worse (power may ha...

Free Speech Not Equivalent to Violence

Roger Copeland, Professor of Theater and Dance

April 24, 2015

To the Editors: I was appalled by last week’s letter to the editor, titled “In Response to Sommers’ Talk: A Love Letter to Ourselves” (The Oberlin Review, April 17, 2015). Published three days in advance of Christina Hoff Sommers’ public lecture at Oberlin, it read in part: “By bringing her to a college campus laden with trauma and sexualized violence and full of victims/survivors, the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians is choosing to reinforce this climate of denial/blame/ shame that ultimately has real life consequences on the well-being of people who have experienced sexualized violence.” Presumably, the signatories to this letter would have preferred that OCRL rescind their invitation to...

In Response to Sommers’ Talk: A Love Letter to Ourselves

Oberlin community members

April 18, 2015

Content Warning: This letter contains discussion of rape culture, online harassment, victim blaming and rape apologism/denialism. Dear community members: The Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians are bringing Christina Hoff Sommers to speak on Monday, April 20. This Monday happens to be a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which makes the timing of this talk particularly objectionable. Though OCRL advertised Christina Hoff Sommers as a feminist with a “perspective that differs from the general Oberlin population,” they failed to mention that she is a rape denialist. A rape denialist is someone who denies the prevalence of rape and denies known causes of it. Christina Hoff Sommers believes that r...

OCRL Lecture Series Fosters Diverse Opinions

OCRL Presidents

April 18, 2015

To the Editor: The Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians are proud to host Christina Hoff Sommers as part of the Ronald Reagan Political Lectureship Series. Since its beginnings in 2006, the Reagan Series has brought many distinguished scholars and commentators to our campus. As the Series’ organizers, we have endeavored to bring speakers who articulate the value of political and economic liberty, freedom of speech and thought, respect for individuals, national defense or voluntary association. We have aimed to offer views that we believe are underrepresented at Oberlin. We have also worked to promote the exchange of reasons, rather than recourse to rhetoric, on controversial topics. We look forward...

OCRL Encourages Respect, Tolerance

Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians

November 21, 2014

To the Editors: Oberlin preaches tolerance of individuals and groups, but recently, we, the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians, as a club have seriously had to question the true tolerance of the Oberlin community. Responses to the climate debate and other recent demonstrations have shown a lack of respect for other people’s beliefs and rights. First, we would like to recognize and thank the administration of Oberlin for allowing speakers such as Dr. Patrick Michaels and Dr. Judith Curry, who do not hold the same views as the majority of the Oberlin community, the opportunity to speak. It shows that the administration is confident enough in its own beliefs and is thus willing to entertain arguments from...

Economists Debate Policy, Put Aside Partisanship

Rosemary Boeglin and Kate Gill

October 11, 2013

Before economists Arthur Laffer and Jared Bernstein began to debate on Tuesday evening, they amicably shook hands. Laffer and Bernstein, who share a long friendship, sat atop a small stage in West Lecture Hall and engaged students, faculty and community members in a dialogue about economic policy. After a long-winded introduction by College President Marvin Krislov — which detailed the economists’ credentials and career highs — the debate commenced, moderated by Department Chair and Professor of Economics Barbara Craig. Craig launched the discussion, asking each economist about the role of government in ameliorating weak economies. Bernstein and Laffer took fundamentally different tacks: Bernstein framed...

Ron Paul Promotes Libertarian Ideals

Julia Herbst, News Editor

April 12, 2013

Ron Paul, former Congressman and three-time presidential candidate, spoke to a packed house in Finney Chapel on Sunday night, the first of two speakers hosted this week by the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians. He covered a range of topics in his address, titled “Liberty, Defined,” including his views on the economy, foreign policy and personal freedom. Paul, who was introduced by Nick Miller, College senior and president of the OCRL, received a standing ovation by much of the crowd as he walked onstage. He began by directly addressing the college students in the audience. “All the young people and all the young at heart who love liberty, thank you for inviting me,” said Paul. “It is great...

One-Way Views of Town-Gown Relationship Will Never Resolve Issues of Inequality

Will Rubenstein, Contributing Writer

February 22, 2013

The One Town Campaign’s community forum at the Oberlin Public Library on Feb. 13 was ostensibly a discussion of the so-called No Trespass list, an opaque and capricious College policy that bars certain Oberlin residents from entering much of the core of their hometown under threat of arrest — but with the regrettably rare occasion of extended and public dialogue between town and gown, other long-simmering issues were plainly visible under the surface. Applause crescendoed at the mention of topics like the College’s non-payment of city property taxes, the less-than-visible transformation of off-campus rental properties into College-owned Village housing, the paucity of public services outside the College and even...

Free Speech At Stake

Tim Hall

December 14, 2012

Since the Ronald Reagan Political Lectureship Series began in 2005, it has not surprised me that comments offered by some of the speakers have been controversial. What is surprising is the extent to which a minority of Oberlin students and, I am sorry to say, a minority of the faculty have complained that the College should not allow the Series at all. My colleague, Marc Blecher, continues this tradition, arguing in a series of letters this semester that it is inappropriate that the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians receive the donations they use to sponsor the Series. The problem, as Marc sees it, is that the OCRL are “partisan”, or alternatively, “explicitly political”. Thus, the College accepting...

A Call for Individualism and not Prohibition

Zachery Crowell

December 7, 2012

As much as it pains me to agree with the Oberlin Republicans and Libertarians, we do have a free speech problem on this campus. I think the reaction to Obietalk’s resurfacing is a clear demonstration of that. This is not to say that OCRL has acted appropriately or constructively. The hyperbolic posters likening my peers to figures like Stalin served only to prevent civil discourse. Ms. Bentivegna’s piece in the Review (“Romney Voters Shouldn’t Feel Shamed, Pressured by Fellow Students,” Nov. 9) can best be described as sanctimonious drivel devoid of logical argument. However, the response to Obietalk has been equally absurd. My friends and classmates have responded with increasingly indignant outrage as...

OCRL Letters Undercut Call for Dialogue

Marc Blecher

November 9, 2012

Review readers are surely tiring of weekly exchanges between the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians and me, so I’ll keep this short. College Junior Daniel Starer-Stor claims that I only oppose politically partisan outside funding of the OCRL but not other groups, and that I do so because of my own political views. In other words, I am being inconsistent and therefore dishonest. That’s scurrilous nonsense. I have focused on OCRL because, to my knowledge, they are the only student political organization receiving external funding with explicit partisan strings. If the College Dems were benefiting from the munificence of a donor who would only sponsor left-wing programs, I would oppose that too. Mr. Star...

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