The Oberlin Review

OSCA: The Problem and Opportunity

John Petersen, Contributing Writer

May 10, 2019

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

 “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...

SHILs Offer Support, Advocate for Students

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...

OSCA and College Discuss Future Partnership

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...

AccessCo Position Must Have More Job Transparency

Carson Li

April 27, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Even an organization like the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, where students handle most of the management and regulation, still reflects many of our social and societal problems. One of them is about challenging authority. OSCA has at least one Accessibility Coordinator per co-op. Although AccessCos are all students, they establish their authority in a way that is completely mysterious to most OSCA members. Most people have no idea what specific work they are doing, and I found it extremely complicated and burdensome to challenge their authority because of this. Last fall, I was one of the Keep Cottage Dining Loose End Coordinators — someone who facilitates discussions and answers questions involving ele...

OSCA Fails to Adequately Address Needs of POC

Carson Li, Contributing Writer

November 17, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Alright, white folks, let’s be honest — do you really care that the co-op you’re living in is too white? I was pretty surprised when my white friend, not a friend of color, first raised this question. It initially made me feel good because I felt like white people in my co-op were advocating for more diversity in our community. Later, things turned out to be different than I thought. Co-op diversity for many white people is just a casual topic for chit-chat while hanging out in the lounge. By the way, don’t get them talking about race; those white people can analyze the definition of race from four different angles. As an international student hailing from China, nearly all of my knowledge about race and dis...

Old B Kitchen Closes Doors After 40 Years

Old B Kitchen Closes Doors After 40 Years

May 5, 2017

A passerby can often find students sprawled across Old Barrows co-op’s front lawn with makeshift plates and homemade food on the days Oberlin’s erratic weather permits. But pizza night and special meals will soon be a thing of a past for this co-op’s members with the deteriorating kitchen shutting down for good at the end of this semester. Meetings and negotiations concerning Old Barrows, better known as Old B, began in fall 2015 and lasted throughout spring 2016. The decision to close Old...

OSCA Pushes for Pausing Aid Changes

OSCA Pushes for Pausing Aid Changes

April 28, 2017

Oberlin Student Cooperative Associa­tion officers met with administrators today to negotiate the administration’s recent policy changes concerning housing and dining for next academic year. OSCA Presi­dent and College junior Tara Wells said officers’ main goal at the meeting was to have the administration withdraw the changes until next semester, when students will have more time to negotiate the policy’s parameters since many are currently busy with finals preparations. Outgoing Vice...

I Am a Low-Income Student in Favor of Dining Changes

Mia Bates, Contributing Writer

April 28, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

$500. That is what I owed the school for my entire first year at Oberlin. $500 and two weeks to pay it; otherwise, I could not enroll for my second year. I called my mom immediately and got a reply I had heard for 18 years: “I don’t know where the money is going to come from, lovey.” My parents made $15,000 dollars that year. Our furnace broke during that particularly bad upstate New York winter, and for two weeks my parents and little brother lived in a below-freezing house. The food stamps were nice though — at least they were eating. That is how my family’s life is. We have always lived paycheck to paycheck with sometimes months in between. I knew when I left for college that they would be unable to...

Administrators Respond to Student Concerns

President Marvin Krislov and Senior Staff

April 28, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: We are writing foremost to express our strong support and appreciation for [Oberlin Student Cooperative Association] and to reiterate our commitment to equity and fairness across all residential and dining options. These are not mutually exclusive positions, as we hope to clarify in the following points: There has been much concern expressed over the reductions in aid for OSCA members ($1,000 for those who dine in OSCA and $2,000 for those who both dine and live in OSCA), but it is important to note that these reductions are part of the new model that aids to three meals per day as the baseline instead of the current model, which aids to two meals per day. As such, the net impact of these reducti...

Removing OSCA Options for Low-Income Students Exclusionary, Not Equitable

Nick Rowan Bassman, Contributing Writer

April 21, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

If I were entering the Class of 2021, I would no longer be able to afford Oberlin College. It wouldn’t matter if the College met 100 percent of my demonstrated need. Without the money I’ve saved by living and dining in Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, I wouldn’t be able to afford to travel to and from Oberlin, adequately feed myself if I did somehow make it to campus or support my family with leftover funds if I somehow made it home. It angers me that departing Vice President of Finances and Administration Mike Frandsen has the audacity to claim proposed financial changes will “improve equity challenges” in the same email in which he announces that tuition is rising to make total costs for ...

College Raises Tuition, Overhauls Room and Board

College Raises Tuition, Overhauls Room and Board

April 21, 2017

Attending Oberlin College will cost $69,372 next academic year thanks to a 2.8-percent tuition increase announced by outgoing Vice President for Finance and Administration Mike Frandsen via email Tuesday. The email lists significant changes to student dining and housing options that raise minimum costs and reduce the amount of need-based financial aid for Oberlin Student Cooperative Association members. Beginning with the incoming class, all non-OSCA first-years are required to have a 300-meal...

Stop Raising Tuition

Editorial Board

April 21, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The administration’s announcement to raise tuition to a whopping $69,372 by overhauling the College’s housing and dining systems is a perfect example of everything wrong with how this school is run. Administrators confidentially concocted major policy changes with no student involvement or consent, ultimately continuing its grotesque experiment of pushing tuition to the absolute limit with a 2.8-percent increase. Yes, the increase is lower than the already absurd 4-percent increases of previous years and matches the increase from last year. But “freezing” the rate of growth at 2.8 percent is not actually freezing anything, since the increase in absolute terms will continue growing annually. The principle of comp...

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