The Oberlin Review

Student Senate Proposes Central Budgeting Committee

Student Senate Proposes Central Budgeting Committee

April 28, 2017

Student senators are drafting a proposal to establish a Central Budgeting Commit­tee, a standing group that would include and engage students, faculty and staff in the College’s budgeting decisions. Senate’s Financial Prioritization task force hopes to release the proposal this week to leverage student and faculty support before pre­senting it to senior administrators. Senate’s proposal calls for CBC mem­bers’ inclusion on all budgetary documents and information in accordance with a...

Trustees to Investigate Adding Student Rep

Trustees to Investigate Adding Student Rep

March 10, 2017

After months of pushing from student senators and activists, the Board of Trustees agreed to cre­ate a task force that will investigate adding student representatives to the board. The breakthrough results from a proposal sena­tors sent the board last Wednesday asking for the creation of a task force. The board then held its ex­ecutive session Friday afternoon, after which sena­tors received email confirmation that their propos­al had been accepted — a drastic change from the seven-month...

Students Neglect Existing Communication Channels

Editorial Board

March 10, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The trustees’ decision to create a task force to investigate adding student representation to the board is a credit to everyone involved. Student Senate deserves praise for creating the initial proposal and building a relationship with the board, as do student activists for adding pressure at a key moment and the board for showing flexibility and vision. This is an example of what college governance should look like: an active student body and a responsive administration. Still students must continue pushing for a student representative. Creating a task force is an important victory, but by no means is it the same as actually adding a representative. Students must also be made aware of the fact that student repres...

Senate Calls for Student-Rep Task Force

Senate Calls for Student-Rep Task Force

March 3, 2017

Upon entering the Wright Laboratory of Physics hallway, trustees appeared stunned at the sight of over 150 students silently protesting the Board of Trustees’ initial rejection of Student Senate’s request for student representation on the board. Most trustees declined to comment upon entering the meeting with Student Senate last night, but many other administrators and staff in attendance said they were impressed with the protest organized by Students Building Community Power — a recently...

Class Trustees Must Consider Student Needs

Cory Ventresca, College senior

March 3, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Executive Assistant to the General Counsel and Secretary Pam Pierron’s email sent Saturday, Feb. 25 stating the “regularly scheduled forum time will be used for a trustee–Student Senate mini-retreat” was incredibly disappointing to me as a former student senator. While it is important for Student Senate and the Board of Trustees to develop a strong working relationship so that Senate may better leverage its power, the development of that relationship should not preclude meeting with the student body. The idea that Student Senate can take on the Sisyphean task of representing all students to the board is absurd. In order for students to be fully represented, we need truly open fora. The clas...

Student Senate Needs to Clarify SBCP Relationship

Editorial Board

March 3, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In one of the most competitive races for Student Senate in recent history, a group called Students Building Community Power emerged through individuals running on a collective activist platform this spring. Of the SBCP candidates, College sophomores Kai Joy and Dani Pacheco won two of eight available seats, joining an increasingly influential Student Senate. Concurrent with Joy and Pacheco’s campaigns, SBCP released a list of demands, including calls for six student representatives to the Board of Trustees, student liaisons to administrators, the creation of a student council to meet weekly with the College president and for Senate to act as a centralizing platform for student activism. Since elections, Senate has se...

Student Senate Strives to Centralize Activism

Meg Parker, Contributing Writer

February 17, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS, Student Senate

This op-ed is part of the Review’s Student Senate column. In an effort to increase communication and transparency, Student Senators provide personal perspectives on recent events on campus and in the community. Student Senate is an inherently political body. Former Student Senator and College sophomore Kameron Dunbar wrote an op-ed for the Review last December about Senate’s role as a political actor, including its freedom to take preemptive action and stances on contentious issues on and off campus (“Senate Activism Vital to Political Resistance,” Dec. 2, 2016). Now, almost three months later, it has become obvious that Student Senate has embraced that role and will continue moving forward as a political b...

Student Senate Pivots in Favor of Activism

Student Senate Pivots in Favor of Activism

February 17, 2017

As a group of newly elected representatives settle in, Student Senate is increasingly embracing its institutional influence and activist sentiments — a shift from just a few years ago when student interest and participation in Senate was at a low. Last week’s Senate election brought 25 students to the spotlight as they jockeyed and campaigned for one of the eight open seats on the 15-person Senate. Engaging in student activism was a common theme across the board. At Sunday evening's plenary...

College Must Engage Community on Cuts

Editorial Board

February 10, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Administrators constantly state that the College’s current financial model is unsustainable. Expenses exceed revenue, mostly generated from an increasing tuition, and the situation will likely continue to worsen without concrete steps on both sides of the balance sheet. In part, structural reasons beyond the College’s control have worsened the financial situation. Health care costs continue to rise, and the endowment — smaller than many of our peer schools — took a big hit during the 2008 recession, a setback from which it only recently recovered. But this financial crunch is not just the result of bad luck. The College has spent and borrowed millions on projects such as The Hotel at Oberlin, a project seemingly...

Students Demand Administrative Transparency

Andrés González, Kai Joy, Contributing Writers

February 10, 2017

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Oberlin’s administration has a transparency problem. The administrative body and the Board of Trustees have continuously left students out of both mundane and critical decision-making, and students are often first made aware of these decisions when physically confronted with them. The tuition hikes, the official repudiation of demands created by ABUSUA, the dismissal of Professor Joy Karega, renewal of business relations with Gibson’s Bakery, refusal to divest from the private prison industry and the continuation of a no trespass list of community members are all examples of administrative decisions that misrepresent student interests. The Board of Trustees has had a direct influence on these decisions. After Stude...

Senate Activism Vital to Political Resistance

Kameron Dunbar, Contributing Writer

December 2, 2016

Filed under OPINIONS, Student Senate

This op-ed 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 Senate passed a resolution on March 18, 2007 in support of U.S. Senate Bill 2695: a federal bill allowing taxpayer access to federally funded research introduced by then-Senator Joe Lieberman and Senator John Cornyn. I came across this resolution a few months ago while doing some independent research on the history of Oberlin’s Student Senate. Last year, I didn’t think of Senate as a political actor. Recently, many have been fed the idea that Senate is supposed to be an apolitical body...

Student Input Valuable in Presidential Search

Kameron Dunbar, Contributing Writer

November 4, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

This op-ed 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 campus and community events. Senate Liaison Thobeka Mnisi and I submitted a letter to Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the College Sandhya Subramanian on Monday. In it, we announced our three student nominees to the Presidential Search Committee. The selected candidate will have the privilege of representing student interests broadly throughout the process of selecting Oberlin’s next president. Senate looked for several qualities in selecting the top three candidates. For starters, we wanted someone who had experience with and kno...

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