The Oberlin Review

General Faculty Committees Need Students

Ben Libbey, Student Senator

November 14, 2014

To the Editors: One of the most significant ways in which Oberlin students can have an impact on College governance and policy is through General Faculty committees. These committees focus on specific topics and consist of faculty, administration and student members. The purpose of these committees is to assist and collaborate in the internal governance of the College and to formulate and propose policy. Most committees have a number of seats reserved for students. Unfortunately, a large number of these seats remain unfilled due to lack of applicants and interest from students. The following committees have openings for students: Academic Calendar Admissions and Financial Aid Advising Assessment Athletics Community-Based...

Senate Working Groups Continue Improvements

Machmud Makhmudov

November 7, 2014

Student Senate has seen a busy semester thus far, electing 15 senators and pursuing a variety of diverse projects. With only two of these 15 new senators having previously served on Senate, the group collectively provides a fresh perspective on improving the student experience at Oberlin. We are dedicated to maintaining a higher level of visibility on campus this semester and into the future, particularly through our working groups. The majority of Student Senate’s work occurs through General Faculty committees and working groups. Students, faculty and community members are all eligible to join our working groups. If you’d like to join a working group, please see the Student Senate website for a listing of meeting...

As Elections Begin, 14 of 15 Senate Seats Vacant

As Elections Begin, 14 of 15 Senate Seats Vacant

September 19, 2014

After an acrimonious spring semester and a failed referendum, Student Senate has lost its stipend funding and 14 of its 15 members, marking the upcoming school year as the first in decades that student senators will not receive pay. A referendum held last spring, in which students were asked in an anonymous email whether or not they believed student senators should retain their funding, failed to attract enough voters. While about 80 percent of the votes cast were in favor of hourly ...

Retiring Student Senator Offers Advice

Aaron Appel, College senior

September 12, 2014

To the Editors: Welcome/welcome back, Obies! Hope you’re getting (back) into the swing of things. I’m Aaron (or Appel), and since last fall, I’ve been one of your student senators. Before I start rambling about Senate, I want to say that I’m not speaking on behalf of the group itself, but just telling you how I feel — after all, by the end of the month, I’ll be retired anyway. I’m writing here in the hopes of convincing you to run for Student Senate by giving you my two cents about the job. As a bit of background, senators have an array of responsibilities. Aside from weekly plenaries and office hours, we each hold one or more office positions. These include running outreach to students, planning...

Students Lament Senate Election Procedures

Elizabeth Kuhr

October 4, 2013

The Student Senate election polls closed last Friday at noon, a mere three and a half days after they opened for this fall’s senator election, drawing attention to the representative body’s voting rules and regulations. According to the Oberlin College Student Senate By-Laws, updated May 6, 2013, bylaw I.B.iii.c states, “A general election shall last five days or until the election reaches quorum.” As printed in the document, 20 percent of the student body constitutes a quorum, which was incorporated due to Oberlin student’s propensity to ignore the polls. However, when the list of newly elected senators arrived in student emails on September 30, the short-lived poll — which comprised 22.5 percent of...

Senate Liaison Encourages Participation

Machmud Makhmudov

October 4, 2013

To the Editors: First, I would like to thank every Oberlin student who either voted or ran as a candidate in the recent Student Senate election. The election began last Tuesday, and ended Friday at noon, with 22.5 percent of the student body participating. The timing and brevity of the election has caused some confusion, and I’d like to take the opportunity to clarify the situation. Article I, Section B, Part iii, Clause C of our bylaws, which are available on our website, states, “A general election shall last five days or until the election reaches quorum [20 percent of the student body].” However, our Constitution states in Article II, Section 5, Clause C that “the elections [must] last for five days or u...

Student Senate Liaison Resigns Amid Compensation Controversy

Rosemary Boeglin, News Editor

May 10, 2013

Student Senate officially announced the resignation of Liaison Eliza Diop, College junior and senior class vice president-elect, on Sunday after weeks of investigation and discussion regarding a series of unprecedentedly high pay periods for the two-time senator. Following an audit of all senator timecards conducted by the Office of the Student Treasurer, Senate has requested that Diop return the funds for inappropriately billed hours for which she has already received compensation, amounting to $700. Diop, who served as senate secretary last year and assumed her position as liaison at the beginning of this semester, maintains that her timecard discrepancies are the result of ambiguous guidelines regarding which activities...

Senate Response to Diop’s Resignation

Student Senate

May 10, 2013

We are writing to provide an update on the issues of compensation on Student Senate. Following recent events, College junior Eli Diop has resigned from Student Senate. In the past week, we have completed our audit of all senators’ timecards and have passed a measure to deduct any wrongly paid hours from future timecards, have passed five bylaw changes pertaining to the amount and oversight of senator pay and have published e-mails, minutes and documents pertaining to the issues of senator compensation on the Senate website ( We want to take the opportunity to respond to the letter “Clarifying the Recent Compensation Issue on Student Senate” from former senator Eli Diop in the May 3 issue...

Divestment passes in Senate

Kate Gill

May 10, 2013

Student Senate passed a resolution on Sunday, May 6, urging the College to divest from companies that support the Israeli occupation of Palestine, financially and otherwise. This resolution, penned by Students for a Free Palestine and amended by the Senate, underwent five rounds of voting, which spanned three hours. The resolution instructs the College to divest from six companies –– Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, Group 4 Securicor, SodaStream, Elbit Systems and Veolia — all of whom, according to the resolution, profit directly from Israel’s “ongoing violations of international law and human rights and have an economic stake in the continuation of these violations.” Since its emergence, the resolution...

Divestment Harmful To Peace Process

Anna Band, Mira Taichman

May 10, 2013

Formally launched in 2005, BDS is an international movement that stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. This past Sunday, Student Senate endorsed Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine’s BDS-inspired campaign that calls for divestment from six companies that profit from Israeli occupation. There is common concern that opponents of BDS view Israel with uncritical, unconditional support. This fear is unfounded. One can have a nuanced, critical view of Israel and still recognize the dangers of BDS. In fact, it is BDS, with its policies of delegitimization and censorship, that leaves no room for nuance. The passage of this proposal is an embarrassment to the student body, offensive to many students...

Student Senators Should Be Subject to Pay Limits

The Editorial Board

May 10, 2013

Following the controversy surrounding Student Senate Liaison Eliza Diop’s billing issues and subsequent resignation, Senate is initiating a reform of the rules regarding the payment of its members. Diop claims that the time card discrepancy was a simple misunderstanding of the work senators can legitimately bill for, spurring the conversation on ambiguities in the Senate bylaws. But the reform could also address a much larger problem that has gone unchecked in Senate and SFC for years — until very recently, members of both groups could bill for unlimited hours each pay period, a privilege no other student workers enjoy. At a Compensation Task Force held by Senate on Sunday, senators voted to cap billable hours...

Student Senate Addresses Errors With Compensation

Oberlin College Student Senate

May 3, 2013

The following account documents the events of the past three weeks, which have resulted in a proposal for bylaw changes regarding student senator compensation. In order to be transparent and accountable to the student body, we have chosen to provide the following context for these proposed changes. The proposed changes themselves and our rationale for pursuing this particular course of action are listed at the end of this letter. The Senate Treasurer as of fall 2012, College senior Steve Bii, and Operations Manager as of spring 2013, College sophomore Peter Arden, are required to review the timecards. This semester, they were admittedly lax in their duties; they didn’t re- view the timecards together until March....

Established 1874.