The Oberlin Review

The Conservatory recently announced new initiatives to increase diversity and equity within the music curriculum, repertoire, and Conservatory community.

Conservatory Announces New Goals to Increase Racial Equity and Belonging

September 18, 2020

Oberlin Conservatory faculty released an action plan last week for increasing the diversity and equity of Oberlin’s music education as part of the Presidential Initiative. Over the past several months, Conservatory faculty and staff have worked with student and alumni leaders to develop the commitments that will begin this semester.  “I want to offer my personal thanks to the student and alumni leaders — in particular members of the Oberlin College Black Musicians Guild — and to the Conservatory fac...

A socially-distanced parade lined up on Aug. 15 to say goodbye to all workers who were laid off due to outsourcing of custodial and dining services.

College and UAW Reach Severance Agreement, UAW Drops Labor Charge

September 4, 2020

After negotiating the post-employment terms for outsourcing 108 dining and custodial employees, the College and the United Auto Workers union have settled on a transition agreement that includes three months severance pay and one year of health insurance. Additionally, the UAW has dropped the charge it brought to the National Labor Relations Board on July 3, which accused the College of negotiating in bad faith.  The effects bargaining process officially ended Aug. 3. In addition to the health ...

A Strong Year for Admissions Despite Uncertainty

Ella Moxley, News Editor

September 4, 2020

Despite the challenges that universities around the country have faced regarding depressed enrollment levels for incoming classes, Oberlin has had a successful year recruiting and enrolling new students.  The beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. aligned closely with the timing of admissions decisions for high school seniors. Around the country, some College administrators began to worry that they wouldn’t meet their commitment goals. After implementing several new programs to engage admitted students, Oberlin has successfully met its admissions target.  On May 1, when most students had submitted their decisions, Oberlin already approached 100 percent of its acceptance goal. “We were a little bit sh...

College Outsources Custodial and Dining, UAW Charges College with Negotiating in Bad Faith

College Outsources Custodial and Dining, UAW Charges College with Negotiating in Bad Faith

July 24, 2020

After outsourcing 108 dining and custodial positions, the College and the United Auto Workers union will begin effects bargaining to negotiate post-employment terms. Meanwhile, the National Labor Relations Board will investigate the UAW’s July 3 charge alleging that the College negotiated the outsource in bad faith. On June 22, the College decided to outsource dining positions to AVI Fresh and gave the UAW a final proposal for custodial workers. A week later, UAW leadership opted against brin...

The Conservatory is set to launch two new certificate programs in Recording Arts and Production.

Conservatory to Launch New Recording Arts and Production Programs

March 6, 2020

The Conservatory has announced new one-year and two-year certificate programs for postgraduate students in Recording Arts and Production. The program is currently accepting applications for its first semester, which will begin this fall. The program is spearheaded by Director of Audio Services Paul Eachus and Associate Director of Audio Services Andrew Tripp. They explained that the idea originated in the midst of the Academic and Administrative Program Review process. “When AAPR initially started to get ...

An Open Letter to Students

Susan L. Phillips, OC ’76

February 28, 2020

 It’s with sincere and profound sorrow that I want you to know that the Susan Phillips Social Justice Scholarship Fund spring interviews have been suspended indefinitely. I know that this will disappoint the students who have benefited from stipends each summer for the past four years, and will deprive others of important internship opportunities in the future.  I have looked forward tremendously to coming to campus in the spring to listen to your creative project proposals and again in the fall to hear about your actual experiences. You have restored my faith in the future during these bleak, divisive times for America — more than I can ever express. Therefore, the decision I’ve made to suspend the program t...

Students Call for Open Dialogue Regarding UAW

Jess Wilber, College third-year, Jemma Johnson Shoucair, College second-year

February 28, 2020

 As students of the Oberlin community, we are writing to call on our fellow students and faculty members in an appeal to President Carmen Twillie Ambar. It is time to launch an open dialogue with the entire Oberlin community to discuss and explore creative ways to retain individuals who have made invaluable contributions to our college lives.  As a result of recent administrative decisions, 108 United Automobile Workers Local 2192 — members of the Oberlin community — stand to lose their jobs. Those who do find jobs with outside contractors will face pay cuts, benefits losses, and degraded working conditions. Unions are critical to upholding living wage jobs and securing rights in the workplace. Replacing union w...

Administration Abandoning Oberlin’s Core

Zeb Page, Associate Professor of Geology, Tom Lopez, OC ’89, Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts, Pablo Mitchell, Professor of History and Comparative American Studies, Alysia Ramos, Assistant Professor of Dance, and Sam Taggart, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

February 28, 2020

 Institutions of higher education in the United States are facing significant challenges after decades of soaring tuition costs and a population that is increasingly skeptical of the value of a liberal arts education. Oberlin College faces these same challenges, which are exacerbated by the recent legacy of fiscal irresponsibility on the part of trustees and administrators who indebted the institution in the pursuit of vain building projects, charting an unsustainable fiscal course. The current administration and the Board of Trustees have quite rightly striven to correct these mistakes by slowing the increase in tuition and reducing the yearly draw on our endowment.  Unfortunately, in their eagerness to correct their past mistakes, the board has imposed a regime of ...

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...

Outsourcing Proposal Creates Unfair Burden; Cuts Must Come From Elsewhere

Editorial Board

February 21, 2020

 After reading Tuesday afternoon’s announcement from President Carmen Twillie Ambar and engaging in conversation with many campus stakeholders, we firmly oppose the College’s proposal to contract with outside vendors to provide campus dining and custodial services. We support the 108 unionized United Automobile Workers employees who could lose their jobs as a result of this proposal and strongly advocate for Oberlin’s administration to identify another area in which to find the approximate $2 million in annual savings that this decision is expected to bring in.  It is important to remember that the financial imperative driving the administration’s proposal to outsource more than 100 jobs is indisputable and i...

Alumni Call for OSCA Survey Dissemination

Erika Brandt, OC ’13, Shane Clark, OC ’14, Jake Grossman, OC ’08, Casey Lee, OC ’12, and Nathaniel Meyer, OC ’09

February 21, 2020

 As alumni working in the sciences, we are concerned over Oberlin College’s recent withdrawal from a collaborative research project designed by College third-year Bhairavi Mehra and Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies John Petersen, OC ’88.  This project, a survey, sought to gather information on student housing and dining experiences to facilitate thoughtful, data-driven decision-making in a time of cultural and financial sensitivity. Facing tough choices, the College previously expressed in the One Oberlin report a desire to determine, through self-assessment, what is essential and unique to Oberlin College — its vital nature and experience for students.  As scientis...

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...

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