The Oberlin Review

On Addressing Student Stress, Oberlin Must Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

David Mathisson, Columnist

December 17, 2019

Recently, Student Senate presented findings on mental health to the Board of Trustees. I’d like to thank fellow Senators, including College third-year Emma Edney and College second-years Raavi Asdar and Kofi Asare, for leading Senate’s efforts in this area. They identified a distinct connection between the mental health of students and investment in student happiness. Their presentation made it clear that Oberlin must expand resources available in times of crisis; invest in areas that impact Oberlin students’ day-to-day happiness — i.e. housing and dining; invest in adding more events to the community social scene; and eventually upgrade Wilder Hall so it can justifiably be called a student union. Investments...

College Strengthens Mental Health Resources

Anisa Curry Vietze and Drew Dansby

November 22, 2019

Editor’s note: This article contains mentions of substance abuse and suicide. Following unusually long wait-times for student appointments this semester, the Counseling Center has hired two part-time interim staff members. During the second week of the fall semester, a Counseling Center employee left and their position remained vacant while the College searched for a qualified candidate. Broader conversations regarding mental health at Oberlin are framed by the College’s first comprehensive mental health survey which was conducted last semester. “We are certainly backed up more than we would like to be at this point,” said John Harshbarger, director of Student Health and Counseling Services. “One way I ...

Senate Updates on Committee Progress

Patrick Powers, Contributing Writer

November 22, 2019

As part of Student Senate’s mission to inform the Oberlin student body about the work going on throughout Oberlin’s various administrative governance structures, we’d like to offer a snapshot of the work going on in some of the committees in which senators serve. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the work Senate is doing at the moment. Still, we hope it will provide some valuable insight into the conversations going on amongst faculty and administrators that will affect Oberlin’s students in the weeks, months, and years to come.  Arts and Sciences Academic Restructuring Committee update: Cait Kelley ASARC is one of several committees created this year to formulate specific recommendations...

Course Registration Issues Remain Unaddressed

David Mathisson, Columnist

November 8, 2019

 The student community elected me to Student Senate so that I could push a three-point policy plan. You’ve probably heard about the first point: improving the variety, quality, and value of goods at DeCafé. While there’s plenty to be done, we’ve made substantial progress since the beginning of the semester. We’ve also been working hard at the second point, which is improving transparency in the Office of Residential Education. The third point is pushing a multifaceted policy package to fix course selection. With course selection for the spring semester coming up, there’s no better time to share my policy package than now. While I was campaigning, several first-year students asked me why my course registrati...

Senate Welcomes Collaboration with Student Body

Joshua Rhodes, Contributing Writer

November 1, 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. It has been 45 days since we received the “Congratulations new senators!” email. Since then, my life has gotten busier than I could have ever imagined. As a senator without an internal position, I will be required to be a part of a committee, attend the general faculty members, hold office hours, be a part of a working group, attend Senate’s weekly Plenary Meeting every Sunday night from 7-9:30 p.m., and attend most Senate-sponsored events. When I was elected as Communications Director, that mean...

Senate Progress On Transparency Sets Example For Administration

David Mathisson, Columnist

October 11, 2019

 This semester, Senate has made transparency a priority in order to bring together our community and foster cooperation between students and the administration. Senate is working to release more information to students this year than at any time in the recent past, improving the student body’s access to policies that work for us all. I’m optimistic about Senate’s work this semester, and believe that Senate’s work will set an example on transparency for the administration to follow. With that in mind, the severity of Oberlin’s transparency crisis means it must remain in the public dialogue until transparency and access become cultural norms of our community. In my recent campaign for Senate, I engaged h...

Meet Your Student Senators: Part Two

Joshua Rhodes, Contributing Writer

October 4, 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.  In an effort to raise awareness for what Student Senate is, each senator has written a statement explaining who we are as students on campus, what our goals are on Senate, and what you can find us doing beyond being student senators. This is the final installation of a two-part series profiling student senators. Emma Edney: My name is Emma Edney. I use she/her pronouns and am a third-year Politics and History major. When not on campus I love to visit friends at other schools and work at my old summer...

Meet Your Student Senators

Meet Your Student Senators

September 27, 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. It has been two weeks since Student Senate had our first weekly plenary meeting. During our first two meetings, we elected internal positions, voted on working group proposals, and discussed personal views and goals for the semester. One topic that we continue to focus on is ...

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...

Winter Term to Be Restructured With AAPR

Ella Moxley, Senior Staff Writer

April 26, 2019

Oberlin administrators have been working to create a more structured, equitable Winter Term model in response to the preliminary AAPR recommendations first detailed in March. Future changes include increasing the number of students and professors on campus and increasing the breadth and variety of courses offered. AAPR steering committee members hope that as many as one-third of the student body may remain on campus during future Winter Terms. “[An increased number of students on campus is] a way to maximize use of the institution’s resources and to build a stronger sense of community through shared experiences and organized social events,” according to the AAPR’s Summary of Work to Date document, made public to ...

Three Ways Every Student Can Contribute to the AAPR Process

Patrick Powers, Contributing Writer

April 19, 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.  The ongoing Academic and Administrative Review process asks a great deal of Oberlin’s students. For a student body famous for its skepticism toward authority, President Carmen Twillie Ambar’s call to think institutionally is understandably difficult. We have to strike a balance between our sometimes-idealistic values and the always-brutal financial realities in which we find ourselves. As we search for this balance, anxiety abounds.  The student body has a wealth of opportunities to co...

Sustainability Crucial to AAPR Success

Johan Cavert and Brian James

April 5, 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. During the week preceding spring break, the Academic and Administrative Program Review released findings from its yearlong effort to document and propose solutions to Oberlin’s current financial predicament. Integral to that assessment was evaluating the College’s institutional sustainability and recognizing that Oberlin must improve both environmentally and financially in order to make its continued success possible. In their report from March 29, AAPR members wrote that their goal “is to help...

Established 1874.