The Oberlin Review

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...

The Voices of Students, Organizers, and Senators Matter More Than Ever

Serena Zets, Contributing Writer

March 15, 2019

Disclaimer: In this opinion piece, though I am speaking about my experiences as a student senator, I am discussing these occurrences as a student — not as a senator.  The actions of last week deeply frustrated, appalled, and saddened me. I acknowledge that Student Senate’s March 11 statement has played a part in derailing campus political dialogue. However, I wish to move forward and discuss a different outcome of Senate’s statement, one that has been intensely personal and upsetting. I have accepted a significant amount of the fallout over Senate’s statement, but I am unsure why it has been a burden that I individually have had to bear. While it was my job to deliver the message to the student body, I was ...

Student Senate Must Be Proactive in Regaining Student Trust

Ruby Anderson, Contributing Writer

March 15, 2019

On Friday, March 8, a group of around 40 students gathered in Tappan Square. Our plan was to disrupt a trustee luncheon and read a statement expressing our concerns about the Academic and Administrative Program Review, the current budget crisis, and a general lack of transparency and meaningful incorporation of student voices in decision making processes at Oberlin. When we arrived at The Hotel at Oberlin, we were immediately surrounded by Campus Safety officers and administrators, who blocked access to the stairs leading up to the luncheon, causing the “accessibility” concerns raised in Student Senate’s March 11 email. I was able to gain access to the luncheon and read our statement in full to the attendees,...

Students Should Have High Hopes for New Senate

Abby Kopp, Contributing Writer

March 8, 2019

Coming back from studying abroad last semester, I felt invigorated — I was ready to help improve campus and the Oberlin student experience. This feeling has been heightened by the recent election of new student senators, who seem similarly energized. All the new senators bring unique perspectives and valuable skills to Student Senate. That being said, there’s some work that I’m particularly excited about. Firstly, I’m very excited about the overarching goal adopted by these new senators: transparency. Transparency is absolutely necessary to gain a better understanding of the work the senators do and the ways in which they can support students. I’ve attended several listening sessions run by senators in the...

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