The Oberlin Review

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College Releases Details for Three Semesters of In-Person Classes

July 18, 2020

Information about changes to housing, dining, student activities, and campus social life was sent in an email to students, faculty, and staff last Wednesday, accompanied by a community agreement for on-campus enrollment. This year the College will adopt a three-semester model and enroll a limited student body in the fall, spring, and summer. The goal of this plan is to “de-densify” campus, allowing students to live in single rooms, practice social distancing in classes, and limit the potentia...

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...

College’s OSCA Stance Inconsistent With One Oberlin Recommendations

Editorial Board

February 14, 2020

 When the Steering Committee of the Academic and Administrative Program Review released its final One Oberlin report in May 2019, a number of its recommendations concerned changes to the College’s relationship with the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association. This Editorial Board was reassured then, by what appeared to be a commitment from administrators, to engage in a process to learn more about the value OSCA brings to the institution. Now, nearly a year later, we’re not so sure that administrators are committed to such a process — and recent developments have troubling implications for the future of a transparent and good-faith One Oberlin implementation. The One Oberlin report recommended engaging “in ...

DeCafé Should Strive to Be Like OSCA

Aliza Weidenbaum, Oberlin Resident

February 14, 2020

 Contrast the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association and DeCafé. Which one pumps more throwaway packaging into the world? Which one has employees whose positions could be cut to save the College money? Which one makes you stand in line and think about money every time you want another little bit of food?  You’re in college — a college you applied to and got accepted to. You’re paying tuition. You’re paying for your dorms. The College wants you to feel nourished. So they should provide food in bulk, 24-hour access ways. Skip the capitalist itemization. Skip the wasteful individualized packaging. Skip the materialist excesses of long-distance luxury items. Oh yeah, this will end up looking more like O...

OSCA Effectively Prepares Students for Post-Grad Life, Supports College’s Mission

L. Lee Butler, OC ’06

December 6, 2019

 I am a 2006 Oberlin graduate and an alumnus member of Kosher Halal Co-op — formerly a part of the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association. I also served as the archivist and librarian for OSCA during the 2005–2006 academic year, and took a seat on the OSCA board as part of that role. For three-and-a-half out of my four years at Oberlin, I planned, cleaned, cooked, sang, budgeted, laughed, and worked with my peers to make not only food for our members, but also a deeply entwined interfaith community. All of my most indelible memories of Oberlin took place in that small kitchen in Talcott Hall. Like most liberal arts institutions, Oberlin is experiencing a period of financial uncertainty. It is my understanding that, ...

Gio Donovan

Off the Cuff: Gio Donovan, College Third-Year and OSCA President

October 11, 2019

College third-year Gio Donovan is the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association president. In addition to leading OSCA, Donovan works at the ’Sco and is majoring in Africana Studies. As president, Donovan is responsible for maintaining the relationship between OSCA and the College, as well as managing negotiations between the association and the administration. Among other accomplishments, Donovan has read Where the Wild Things Are more than a thousand times. This interview has been edited for length and clarity...

Members of the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association prepare a meal in the kitchen of Keep co-op. Canceled meals due to a turbulent interim period have raised concerns for OSCA members over ongoing negotiations with the College administration.

OSCA Negotiations Stable Despite Confusion

October 4, 2019

Ongoing negotiations between the College and the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association have not been affected by recent meal cancellations, according to Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo and OSCA President and College third-year Gio Donovan. These negotiations were sparked by the Academic and Administrative Program Review, which recommended that the College and OSCA work together to craft a sustainable financial relationship. In an email to Keep co-op members, the Dining Loose...

Community of Athletes in OSCA Continues to Grow

Zoë Martin del Campo, Contributing Sports Editor

September 27, 2019

For many at Oberlin, being a member of the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association is a central part of their college experience. OSCA provides a quirky and affordable community, leadership opportunities, and environmentally-wise and healthy food options for nearly one-quarter of the student body. Because of the nature of these completely student-run dining and housing facilities, being a member is a time commitment that consists of cooking and crew shifts or other managerial duties, which can conflict with athletic practices and games. However, for a small group of students, being a varsity athlete and a part of OSCA are not seen as mutually exclusive activities, providing unique communities and responsibilities.  ...

OSCA: The Problem and Opportunity

John Petersen, Contributing Writer

May 10, 2019

 “Oberlin’s relevance as an institution is more important today than it’s ever been.” So said President Carmen Twillie Ambar in the pages of the Review at the time she became our 15th President (“Off the Cuff: Carmen Ambar, President of Oberlin College,” Sept. 1, 2017). I think just about every student, alumnum, and faculty member strongly agrees with her on this point.  And at the same time, I think most of us have also been convinced that Oberlin College needs to tighten its belt in order to achieve financial sustainability so that we retain our ability to positively impact the world well into the future. So the question that the Academic and Administrative Program Review steering committee members and th...

College sophomore Gio Donovan, College first-year Colby Fortin, and College sophomore Jojo Scott are OSCA’s three sexual harm information liaisons and hold office hours in Wilder Hall every week.

SHILs Offer Support, Advocate for Students

April 12, 2019

Editor’s Note: This article contains mentions of sexual misconduct and assault. In recognition of Consent Month at Oberlin, a number of educational events for the community will be hosted throughout the month of April. This marks a collaborative effort by group of organizations including the student group Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct, the Sexual Information Center, and the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Among those helping to put together programming are the Ob...

College junior Cat Robinson, College first-year Lily Lansdell, and College junior Katherine Carson baking late at night in the Pyle Co-op kitchen.

OSCA and College Discuss Future Partnership

April 5, 2019

Oberlin College and the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association have begun the process of collaboratively discussing the terms of the financial relationship between the College and OSCA, which feeds 590 students and houses 180. These conversations were prompted by data revealed by the Academic and Administration Program Review steering committee, which identified that the College loses $1.9 million in annual revenue through its relationship with OSCA. While AAPR leadership has emphasized the $1.9 million...

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