The Oberlin Review

Institutional Change Difficult, Requires Student Input, Resilience

Kameron Dunbar, Contributing Writer

September 7, 2018

Filed under OPINIONS, Student Senate

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. At this point, it should be no surprise that things are changing at Oberlin. Faculty and staff have taken benefit cuts, several staffers have been eliminated, and students are seeing all sorts of differences in dining and living spaces. Hell, even the albino squirrels have returned to reclaim their piece of the Oberlin pie. Students shouldn’t be alarmed at these changes. President Ambar started her tenure last year laying bare the financial landscape of the College, implying that our current fiscal...

Senate, OST Delay Appointing SFC Chairs

Melissa Harris, Editor-in-Chief

May 11, 2018

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Recent Stories

Student Senate and the Office of the Student Treasurer will delay the Student Finance Committee member appointments until this fall rather than completing them before the end of the semester — an action that’s part of Senate and the OST’s recent plan to restructure the student finance system to become more transparent, flexible, and efficient in allocating funds. Senate and the OST’s pivot to restructure campus student financing came about after they evaluated how student activity funding is allocated. Out of a pool of about $1.2 million in the allocated funds to student organizations, $600,000 remained unspent as of April 24, said Senate Chair and College junior Kameron Dunbar. With the ad hoc pool emptying t...

Student Senate Expects Further Momentum in 2018–2019

Tess Joosse, Staff Writer

May 4, 2018

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Recent Stories

After a year of milestones and challenges, Oberlin Student Senate is looking forward to continued progress on a number of initiatives in the next academic year. “Senate has made many major strides forward as an organization this year,” said Eddy Tumbokon, College first-year and Student Senate Communications Director. “We’re experiencing new degrees of cooperation with the Board [of Trustees], and I think that’s something to be proud of. Senate has also revamped our working group models to a much more structured and intentional framework. Working groups now regularly meet and bring in non-senators, administrators, staff, and community members.” Among those working groups, the Student Community Working Gro...

GFC, President Announce Final AAPR Steering Committee Members

Roman Broszkowski, News Editor

April 27, 2018

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Recent Stories

The General Faculty Council and Office of the President announced the final 32 members of the Academic and Administrative Program Review Steering Committee — which will handle the external review process with the consulting firm Stevens Strategy — by email Wednesday. The committee includes Student Senate Chair and College junior Kameron Dunbar, who was appointed in spite of an informal agreement among student senators to not nominate any sitting senators. The selection process also faced opposition from some faculty members who wanted half of faculty representatives to be elected rather than appointed by the administration. The GFC, the group responsible for selecting the AAPR Steering Committee appointments, receive...

SFC Pivots to Ad-Hoc Fund After Board Rejects Fee Increase

Roman Broszkowski, News Editor

April 20, 2018

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Recent Stories

The Board of Trustees rejected the Student Senate’s proposal to increase the student activity fee by $63 per semester next fiscal year. The decision — made at a March 22 board meeting — also called for the Student Finance Committee to repropose the fee raise when the board begins discussions for FY 2020 funding allocations. Senate initially presented the fee increase to the board March 9. The Office of the Student Treasurer initially drafted the proposal so that the SFC could keep up with student organizations’ budget demands and to bolster the diminishing funding pool. Student Senate Chair and College junior Kameron Dunbar presented the proposal to the board, and he added that he was disappointed in the boar...

Oberlin Should Focus on Sustainability in Future Legacy

Johan Cavert

April 20, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS, Student Senate

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 General Faculty Council has decided who will serve on the Academic Administrative Program Review Steering Committee, which will soon be announced to the rest of the campus. At such a critical moment, it is important to make time for nuanced reflection about the trajectory, values, and vision of our institution — something Student Senate has focused on this semester. During the student-trustee forums last month, one trustee convincingly asserted that Oberlin was not facing anything as dramatic as ba...

Senate Must Maintain Integrity of Social Media Presence

Devyn Malouf, Production Editor

April 20, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Oberlin Student Senate’s Instagram page (@oberlinsenate) is, overall, what you might expect of a college student governance group’s social media account; the page primarily features students’ accomplishments and activities, events happening on campus, student senator bios, pictures of Oberlin’s campus, and the like. That’s part of the reason why the account’s Tuesday night Instagram Story felt jarring, and not reflective of how Senate seems to — or should — want to present itself. The story went as follows: It started off with “Senator Sightings” in Mudd library — pictures taken from afar of various student senators spotted in Mudd library doing work and chatting with friends, as many students ...

Students Nominated For AAPR Steering Committee

Duncan Reid, Staff Writer

April 6, 2018

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Recent Stories

Student Senate announced the students nominated to serve on the Academic Administrative Program Review Steering Committee in an email Tuesday. College juniors Sadie Keller and Faith Shaeffer, sophomores Nae Mclain and Janet Wu, and first-year Ilana Foggle were nominated to the General Faculty Council, which will choose three of the five to serve on the committee. Senate Vice-Chair and College junior Cecilia Wallace said that Senate received a qualified pool of applicants for the AAPR Steering Committee, which will engage closely with the coming external financial review. “Senate was not picking and choosing between opinions, but rather seeking clear dedication to current and future peers’ wellbeing,” Wallace...

Focus on Student Empowerment Crucial for Success

León Pescador

April 6, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

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. Student empowerment continues as a driving force for Senate this semester. This year, we appointed dozens of students to general faculty committees, such as the influential Educational Policies and Planning Committee. This semester, students gained co-chairmanship of the Student Life Committee. The effect of student appointments to committees is twofold: first, students who demonstrate passion and dedication to an issue can better represent and articulate their interests. Second, fewer senators on co...

Students Must Protect Entirety of Oberlin, Not Just Specific Parts

Kameron Dunbar, Columnist

March 2, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

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. President Carmen Ambar delivered her 10th comprehensive presentation on Oberlin’s financial futures on Wednesday, particularly the challenges and opportunities therein. King 306 was packed with students, with audible laughs and sighs throughout the event’s duration. Personally, I was extremely excited to see such an awesome turnout. Years of frustration, coupled with an inclination to interrogate institutions, have left the student body suspicious of practically anything that involves administra...

Administration Has Duty to Provide Legal Aid to Students

Henry DuBeau

February 16, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

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. When Student Senate first included questions about legal aid in our spring 2016 referendum, we found that about one in seven students has required some form of legal assistance during their time at Oberlin. Given that even “minor” legal issues can have a devastating impact on a student’s academic performance and mental health, this data gave us senators cause for concern. For a few years now, Student Senate has advocated for the establishment of a student legal aid office at Oberlin to account for th...

Senate Survey Reveals Student Dissatisfaction

Roman Broszkowski, News Editor

February 16, 2018

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

After receiving over 1,100 responses to their fall 2017 survey on student satisfaction at Oberlin, Student Senate has found that students are dissatisfied with current campus resources and services, but are invested in seeking improvements. Senate’s survey covered a range of issues on student life, including retention, the Office of Disability Resources, housing, the quality of Senate’s work, campus climate, and the Student Finance Committee. The survey found that close to 49 percent of students had either previously or recently considered leaving Oberlin. A minority of students also voiced significant support for improvements to the ODR, but were split almost evenly about where the office should be located. 40 perc...

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