The Oberlin Review

Outward-Facing Philosophy Deeply Rooted in Oberlin’s History

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

November 22, 2019

 Editor’s note: This column is part of a series that will focus on Oberlin’s history as a town and an institution. The series will be published regularly throughout the fall semester. When then-First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at Oberlin’s commencement ceremonies in 2015, she had the institution’s social justice reputation in mind. “If you truly wish to carry on the Oberlin legacy of service and social justice, then you need to run to, and not away from, the noise,” Obama said. “Today, I want to urge you to actively seek out the most contentious, polarized, gridlocked places you can find. Because so often, throughout our history, those have been the places where progress really happens — the pl...

Reflecting On 50 Years of Africana Studies

Reflecting On 50 Years of Africana Studies

November 15, 2019

Africana Studies Program Created Against Backdrop of National Activism Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief In the fall of 1969, Oberlin College launched an Afro-American Studies program, following significant student activism inspired in part by students at San Francisco State University; the University of California, Berkeley; and elsewhere. In creating the program, Oberlin joined a wave of more than 500 colleges and universities across the country that instituted similar academic departments or...

Oberlin in Late ’60s, Early ’70s Leaves Lessons for Today

Oberlin in Late ’60s, Early ’70s Leaves Lessons for Today

November 8, 2019

 Editor’s note: This column is part of a series that will focus on Oberlin’s history as a town and an institution. The series will be published regularly throughout the fall semester. Over the course of just a couple weeks in the spring of 1970, Oberlin students heralded the first Earth Day with a series of campus speakers and workshops, held an anti-war protest following a national address by President Richard Nixon, and mourned the traumatic deaths of four Kent State University students at ...

Climate Activism Must Be Universal, Inclusive

Theo Canter, Contributing Writer

September 27, 2019

 Last Friday’s Climate Strike left me and many others who participated in it with a sense of rising optimism and hope. With participants numbering in the millions worldwide, it was one of the largest social protests in recent years.  Soon after students walked out of class Friday morning and gathered around the Tappan Square bandstand, a wide variety of powerful speakers — ranging from high school students, to college students, to adult community members — made their voices heard.  Having been to many political gatherings and protests, especially in the past few years, I felt that this one in particular was different. This was not like Matthew McConaughey’s 2003 Saturday Night Live sketch, “Protest...

EICD Act An Essential First Step In Climate Fight

Ray English, Director of Libraries Emeritus

September 20, 2019

 Many thanks to the Review for Alexa Stevens’ fine article and your good editorial about the Global Climate Strike (“Sunrise Strikes for Brighter Future” and “Oberlin Climate Strike Engages International Emergency,”, Sept. 13, 2019 ). Your editorial is absolutely right in stating that climate change is “a quickly-approaching emergency” and that “this is a fight of and for our lives.” It’s very heartening to see a worldwide movement of young people raising awareness of this issue and it’s exciting to see such engagement here in Oberlin. I’m looking forward to seeing what I hope will be massive global participation in the strike, accompanied by widespread media coverage.  I encourage everyone ...

Oberlin Climate Strike Engages International Emergency

Editorial Board

September 13, 2019

 In support of work undertaken by Sunrise Oberlin, Obies will once again engage with important national and international issues as we stand with the rest of the world and strike against climate change on Sept. 20. Coverage of the plan for the protest is on page 1 of this issue (“Sunrise Strikes for Brighter Future”). The Global Climate Strike is a week-long protest starting next Friday during which citizens from over 120 countries, several thousand cities, and over a million students will take part in a climate rally to raise awareness that not only is climate change real, but it isalso a quickly-approaching emergency.  Oberlin’s contribution via Sunrise Oberlin is already significant. On May 10, the organization ...

Solidarity Vital in Confronting Anti-Abortion Legislation

Editorial Board

May 24, 2019

 In recent weeks, reproductive rights have come under attack in numerous states across the country — most notably Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio. Ohio’s “heartbeat bill,” one of the first to be passed in 2019, bans abortion after six weeks into a pregnancy and makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Furthermore, doctors who do not test for a heartbeat or proceed with abortion procedures if a heartbeat is detected could be charged with a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Although Ohio’s is far from the most restrictive abortion law in the county — Alabama’s makes even fewer allowances — it still drastically limits abortion access.  Many of these bills ...

Senate Reflects on Year and Looks Ahead

Serena Zets, Contributing Writer

May 10, 2019

This article is part of the Review’s Student Senate column. In an effort to increase communication and transparency, student senators will provide personal perspectives on recent events on campus and in the community. This year has brought unprecedented changes, triumphs, and challenges that impact all of the Oberlin College community, including Student Senate. It has certainly been an interesting time to be a first-year student and Senator who’s been thrust into an era of both uncertainty and hope. In this column, I asked members of Student Senate to reflect upon the events of the past year and plan for the year ahead. What Senate-related work from this year are you most proud of? Why? Brian James, Col...

Academic and Administrative Review Process Not the Enemy

Lior Krancer, Production Editor

April 26, 2019

 As of yesterday, a year has passed since President Carmen Twillie Ambar shared the list of Academic and Administrative Program Review Steering Committee members with the Oberlin community. The AAPR is daunting because it indicates that hard decisions will need to be made to secure Oberlin’s long-term financial future. However, the fact that we have a dedicated program to address our serious deficit shows that Oberlin’s administration understands the gravity of our current financial struggle.  During this process, I have come to see a pattern of Oberlin students leveling sweeping criticisms of the AAPR rather than meaningfully confronting the potential danger we face. While there are plenty of reasonable concer...

All In Fundraising Efforts Are Essential for Scholarship Fund

Meg Parker, Photo Editor

April 26, 2019

In his most recent Netflix comedy special Kid Gorgeous, John Mulaney recounts the tale of how frequently his alma mater mails him requests for money. He jokes about how abrasive it was to receive a letter demanding money from his college. If you’ve seen the special, you’re familiar with his bit, if not, it goes something like this: “I just got a letter from my college, which was fun, ’cause mail, you know?” he says. “So I open up the letter and they said, ‘Hey, John, it’s college. You remember?’ I say, ‘Yes, of course.’ And they said… How did they phrase it? They said, ‘Give us some money! As a gift! We want a gift! But only if it’s money.’” The frustration and discomfort Mulaney jokes a...

CDS Swipe Drive Represents Effective Community Activism

Editorial Board

April 12, 2019

 After many weeks of heated back-and-forth debate over the future of Campus Dining Services meal plans, student organizers have found an effective way to both make their voices heard and support existing community efforts. The “Spare Swipes: An Oberlin CDS Food Drive” initiative urged first-years and sophomores on the 300 meals-per-semester plan to use their spare swipes to purchase non-perishable items from Wilder DeCafé and donate them to Oberlin Community Services — a community organization dedicated to providing basic needs assistance to Lorain County residents. The drive, launched in response to the new meal plan options introduced April 1 by Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, ran th...

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