The Oberlin Review

AccessCo Position Must Have More Job Transparency

Carson Li

April 27, 2018

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

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...

Left to right: College sophomores Juna Keehn and Leora Swerdlow, College junior Luke Fortney and College senior Beth Minahan cook topless at Old Barrows co-op. The co-op’s kitchen will close this semester and the building will undergo renovations this summer.

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...

Students protest against the administration’s new housing, dining and OSCA financial aid policies last Friday. The protest was one of many actions in opposition to the changes, leading to today’s meeting between OSCA officers and the administration.

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

$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

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

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 junior Hannah Sklar uses a meal swipe in Dascomb Dining Hall. Starting next semester, all first-years will be required to have a 300-meal-per-semester dining plan, unless they choose to eat in OSCA.

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

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...

OSCA Prioritizes Accessibility in Iron Chef

Rachel Mead and Daniel Markus

April 7, 2017

Led by head cooks College junior Sunshine Figlio and College first-year Nikhil Villani, Fairchild co-op emerged as the champion of OSCA’s annual Iron Chef competition on April 1. Inspired by the television game show series of the same name, OSCA Iron Chef is an annual cook-off competition among Oberlin’s dining cooperatives featuring a “secret ingredient” that must be included in their dishes. This year, the ingredient was basil, which provided a refreshing twist compared to the secret ingredients of previous competitions. “We were tired of co-op staples,” College sophomore and OSCA Education and Training coordinator Kira Zimmerman said. “Last year was squash, which folks are already used to eating on t...

Members of Pyle discuss co-op business during Thursday lunch. OSCA will no longer buy goods from Gibson’s or include the
business on its charge list but declined to sign a letter recently distributed by student activists.

OSCA Cuts Business Ties with Gibson’s Bakery

February 24, 2017

Oberlin Student Cooperative Association is exploring different responses to the College’s January decision to resume business with Gibson’s Bakery after protests erupt­ed following an altercation that led to the arrest of three College students in November. In budget preparations for spring 2017, OSCA decided to for­mally end business ties with Gibson’s by removing them from its charge list. Although the group did minimal business with the bakery, the deci­sion ends the running tab that...

Cooperative Eating Offers Solace

Members of the OSCA Board of Directors

November 18, 2016

To the Editors: The events of this past week, both national and local, have unsettled members of the Oberlin community and specifically those of us in the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association. We, as members of the OSCA Board of Directors, support those who fear for their safety and personhood in the wake of these events. We recognize that the recent decisions made on the national level and the local incident of racial profiling are symptomatic of institutionalized oppression. As an organization that considers social justice as central to our mission, we denounce the recent attacks against marginalized communities and offer them our undivided support. In this period of intense activism, the time we take to cook and...

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