The Oberlin Review

Sexual Misconduct Investigation Concludes

Jenna Gyimesi, News Editor

March 8, 2019

Editor’s Note: This article contains mention of sexual harassment and assault. The formal investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against former Organ Professor James David Christie have been completed by Giffen & Kaminski LLC, a Cleveland-based law firm. They concluded that “there is evidence that Mr. Christie in all likelihood grossly abused his position of trust and violated Oberlin College’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy, Sexual Misconduct Policy, and professional code of conduct,” wrote Acting Dean of the Conservatory William Quillen in an email to the Review. During the full investigation, the firm interviewed more than 50 people associated with the Organ department and receive...

Kavanaugh Coverage Perpetuates Stigmas

Katie Friedemann, Contributing Writer

September 28, 2018

Editor’s Note: This article contains discussion of sexual misconduct and sexual assault. “Let’s make consent a conversation.” Oberlin students have heard this phrase a million times before, and, hopefully, take it seriously. According to a survey by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 11.2 percent of students on a college campus will experience rape or sexual assault, and chances are, you know someone who is a survivor. Oberlin students are held to high standards of respect and care so that everyone on campus can feel safe. You would think we could expect the same standards for members of the Supreme Court. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford wrote a letter on July 30, 2018 to Senator Dianne Feinstein ac...

“Review” Fails To Report Sexual Misconduct in Socially Responsible Manner

Olive Hwang, Production Editor

September 14, 2018

Editor’s note: This article contains discussion of sexual misconduct and rape culture. Last week, the Review reported on the resignation of two Conservatory professors in the midst of sexual misconduct complaints (“Oberlin Professors Resign After Sexual Misconduct” The Oberlin Review, Sept. 7, 2018). Among the accused is James David Christie, former chair of the Organ department and world-famous musician. The allegations, however, are obscured by the article’s insensitive and dismissive tone. As a new member of the Review team, I am deeply disappointed by the way this story was covered. It is our job to present the news in a manner that is both factual and socially responsible. The topic of sexual miscondu...

Oberlin students and community members recently learned that world-renowned organist and Chair of the Organ Department James David Christie resigned following allegations of longstanding sexual misconduct emerged. Organists on campus regularly practice and perform at Finney Chapel’s historic C.B. Fisk pipe organ.

Oberlin Professors Resign After Sexual Misconduct

September 7, 2018

Two Oberlin Conservatory professors resigned last month following allegations of repeated sexual misconduct involving students. World-renowned organist James David Christie, chair of the Organ Department, and Robin Eubanks, associate professor of Jazz Trombone and Jazz Composition, were accused of violating Oberlin’s Sexual Misconduct Policy after Oberlin’s Title IX office received reports against both men. Dean of the Conservatory Andrea Kalyn notified Conservatory staff and students of the accus...

Oberlin Must Take Next Step in Sexual Misconduct Prevention

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

September 7, 2018

Editor’s Note: This article contains discussion of sexual misconduct and sexual assault. As the school year begins, it is imperative that students keep in mind the prevalence of sexual misconduct on campus and do what they can to minimize it in our community. Over 50 percent of sexual assaults on college campuses happen between August and November. Around 11 percent of all college students will be victims of sexual assault during their college careers, and 70 percent of campus survivors know their perpetrator prior to their assault. Further, 23 percent of women in college report that they have experienced some sort of nonconsensual sexual contact. More than 50 percent of these victims do not report the act, as th...

Current Title IX Regulations Deny Accused Students Fundamental Rights

Duncan Reid

April 13, 2018

April is Consent Month at Oberlin. I think extremely highly of those who work in the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and work to raise awareness about consent and sexual misconduct. However, while we are having these necessary conversations this month, Oberlin must confront the Orwellian underbelly of the national Title IX system: its enforcement. Until a few months ago, Oberlin, like almost all educational institutions, was bound by the 2011 Obama-era “Dear Colleague” letter issued by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights created in response to public backlash over college administrator sexual misconduct on campuses across the country. The letter recommended that to combat sexual misconduc...

Education, Dialogue Needed to Address Gendered Violence

Colin Roshak

April 13, 2018

Editor’s note: This article contains discussion of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Around this time last year, while walking through the Conservatory after class, I came across a note taped to the wall. The note, scribbled messily across a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, accused a Conservatory student of rape. I’m still struck by the rawness of this image. My mind raced and my heart sank into my stomach as I looked at the note hanging from the dull matte walls. This was a stark and necessary reminder that — while we may not want to admit it — sexual violence very much exists in the Conservatory. I had never thought about how issues of sexual violence and misconduct might exist in the Conservatory. This rea...

Oberlin Faculty, Administration Must Be Active in Preventing Sexual Misconduct

Editorial Board

December 8, 2017

Editor’s Note: Language in this editorial has been updated to clarify the sources used in its writing and more explicitly express the views of the Editorial Board. Some of the most important relationships at Oberlin are those between students and members of the faculty and staff. Faculty, advisors, and deans all take meaningful roles in the lives of students that they work with — which is how it should be. After all, students come to small liberal arts schools like Oberlin for the accessibility of mentorship and guidance, as well as research opportunities predicated on working closely with faculty members that are not readily available to undergraduates at large universities. With these relationships comes...

Word Choice Vital in Discussions of Misconduct

Lilah Drafts-Johnson, College Senior

December 8, 2017

To the Editors: As an avid reader of the Review, I was concerned by last week’s headline for the Dec. 1 story covering former Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Bernard Matambo’s resignation. It was not the first page headline, “Matambo Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations,” but the second page headline, which read, “Creative Writing Department Loses Tenure Track Professor” that troubled me. While this headline is factual, I feel it deliberately capitalizes on a fear that is deeply felt by many students and faculty about the futures of various majors and departments: that we are losing tenure-track professors at an alarming rate, and that under the current financial climate, these positions wil...

PRSM Workshops Exacerbate Hierarchy

Jackie Brant, Columnist

April 14, 2017

It has become common practice for colleges and universities across the U.S. to mandate sexual misconduct workshops for incoming students. At Oberlin, all new students are required to attend the first round of Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct workshops, and all athletes are required to attend the second, which is also open to the entire community. The mandatory first workshop is called The Essentials, and the second workshop is called Bystander Intervention. Together, these two workshops are meant to inform students about the importance and language of consent. Overall, the PRSM workshops are crucial to the social atmosphere at Oberlin. I have heard stories and personally experienced instances in which...

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