The Oberlin Review

Rio Looks Risky

Sarena Malsin, Sports Editor

April 22, 2016

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

In the ongoing debate over whether countries outside Western Europe or North America should host international sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup, two conflicting points emerge. On one hand, the international nature of these competitions should reflect and represent the entire world, not just countries with the most power or global representation. But on the other, what is the cost? The economies and political structures of many potential non-Western host countries may not be able to support these events. Recent catastrophes in Brazil, with about three months left until the 2016 Summer Olympics is scheduled to begin in Rio de Janeiro, are bringing this hosting debate back to the surface — especially...

RIO Reclaims College’s Financial Autonomy

Josh Ashkinaze, Columnist

April 15, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Over the weekend, I participated in a workshop led by the Responsible Investment Organization, exploring endowments and how to sustainably and responsibly invest. There are three main reasons why I think students should join RIO. First, there may be no other time in your life when you can leverage more than $800 million dollars for any social benefit. Secondly, reinvestment is constructive and effective: not only are you criticizing the current method of investing, you’re also able to simultaneously suggest a solution. Finally, student participation is needed now more than ever. Everyone knows investment pools aren’t co-ops, but you are normally able to vote on where your money goes. Yet for all funds managed by ou...

Weekend of Action to Address BDS, Eco-Issues

Sydney Allen, Production Editor

April 8, 2016

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

A coalition of student groups, led by the Student Labor Action Committee, is hosting Oberlin’s second annual Weekend of Action this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “We’d been talking for a while about wanting to improve connections among Oberlin’s various groups and share knowledge while also making space for more relaxed social interactions, and [the Weekend of Action] seemed [like] a good way to do both,” wrote SLAC Cochair Maxime Berclaz in an email to the Review. Last year’s series of events, which were held in March, featured more than 30 workshops and speakers, including a Prison Justice Workshop, an Anti-Imperialism Workshop and an Education Justice 101 event hosted by the Oberlin Young Educator...

Kutzen Allegations an Opportunity for Greater Oversight

Editorial Board

September 11, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Following news in early July that Trustee Thomas Kutzen, OC ’76, had been charged with fraud by the SEC and had stepped down as chair of the Investment Committee, the Office of Communications released a statement about the incident — that is, if one can call three short paragraphs released nearly two weeks after the story broke a statement. It included all the basics: Kutzen’s hedge fund AlphaBridge Capital Management neither confirming nor denying the SEC’s findings, his record of service to Oberlin and so on. Tucked at the end of a paragraph was a small but important note: “Kutzen has now retired from active service as a voting member of the Board but will continue to support the institution in a variety of...

SEC Reaches Settlement with Trustee Charged with Fraud

Oliver Bok, News Editor

September 4, 2015

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

After allegedly committing fraud within his hedge fund, Thomas Kutzen, OC ’76 and chair of Oberlin’s Investment Committee, resigned in early July from the Board of Trustees. Kutzen is the founding CEO of AlphaBridge Capital Management, a hedge fund that cheated investors by inflating the value of the fund’s assets and repeatedly deceiving the firm’s internal auditor, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In January 2014, after the scale of the overvaluation of AlphaBridge’s assets had become apparent, the auditor decreased the official net asset value of the fund from $138 million to $48 million — a 65 percent decrease. Since AlphaBridge collected a management fee of two percent...

RIO Pushes Trustees for Transparency

Responsible Investing Organization

October 31, 2014

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: On Oct. 2 of this year, the Board of Trustees announced that it is accepting proposals for divestment of the endowment and outlined general criteria for evaluation. This news comes in addition to the announcement last year of the Impact Investing Platform, which will invest $5 million of the College’s endowment over the next five years in companies with a high social impact. Both actions show that the College is beginning to recognize the moral implications of its investments. This is especially impressive in a financial culture that so often directs its sole focus towards profit, and we commend the Board for its progress. That being said, we would like to push the Board of Trustees to go a bit...

RIO Investment Symposium Assesses Community Standards

RIO Investment Symposium Assesses Community Standards

March 14, 2014

Students, faculty and community members congregated in the Adam Joseph Lewis Center this weekend, foregoing the sunshine to attend the Responsible Investment Policy symposium. The symposium, which was an effort to gather community views and concerns on responsible investing, was held with the goal to apply these ideas to Oberlin College’s endowment fund. “The stated goal, and certainly how we’ve been approaching it, is to gauge what the inclusive Oberlin community would define responsible...

RIO Investment Symposium To Seek Community Consensus

RIO Investment Symposium To Seek Community Consensus

February 28, 2014

Although it was excluded from this month’s College-sponsored Oberlin Symposium on Divestment, the student-led Responsible Investing Organization will host its own symposium on March 8 and 9 to discuss community standards for ethical investment in hopes of forming a consensus on investment practices. “Our money should be invested in companies that operate legally and ethically, not [companies] that exploit human labor and [contribute] heavily to environmental degradation, such as fossil fuel...

Awareness of College Investments Critical to Social Responsibility

Responsible Investing Organization

April 12, 2013

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

The Responsible Investing Organization was formed to address the disparity between Oberlin College’s investment practices and the institution’s professed goals of achieving social, environmental and economic justice. While RIO’s work this semester has focused on moving the College’s money away from large corporations and into community-based financial institutions, investment activism can take on many other forms. The campaign, led by Students for a Free Palestine, to divest from companies that profit off of the occupation of Palestine is another form of investment ac- tivism that seeks to hold Oberlin accountable for the detrimental implications of some of its financial investments. As an organization working...

Fund to Provide Capital for Student Groups

Robin Wasserman, News Editor

December 14, 2012

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a plan last Friday, Dec. 7, to open an account with the Ohio Educational Credit Union to invest locally and give student organizations access to greater funds for large capital purchases that do not fit into their normal operating budgets. A portion, most likely three percent, of the Student Activity Fund will go into the account. This will provide several hundred thousand dollars, said Vice President for Finance Ron Watts in a press release. The Student Finance Committee and the Responsible Investing Organization, a student organization formed this year that “advocates for Oberlin College to bank and invest more responsibly,” have been working to open such an account...

Reject Big Banks in Favor of Local Credit Unions

Rose Stoloff

November 9, 2012

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Dear Big Bank, This isn’t working. It’s not me; it’s you. Big banks are evil. In 2010, JP Morgan Chase invested one billion dollars in Massey Energy, the leader in mountaintop removal coal mining. Big banks caused the 2009 financial crisis. They invest in corporations that are destroying this planet, communities and our livelihoods. As customers of these banks, it is time we took some responsibility. The Occupy Wall Street movement demonstrated just how damaged our relationship with big banks has become. Though it was effective in raising awareness about corruption within financial institutions and big banks, the banks themselves did not budge. We need to finish what Occupy began. We cannot rely on the aid of politicians...

Established 1874.