The Oberlin Review

A vacant lot on Elm Street. The College has completed demolitions of seven Village Housing Units since January after filing to do so in November.

Community Responds to College’s Demolition of Village Housing

February 28, 2020

Last month’s demolition of seven Village Houses has sparked conversation over whether the College should have been more intentional in consulting the surrounding community before making the decision to tear the houses down. The College currently has no plans to build on the vacant lots, and some residents are concerned about how the demolition could change the character of their neighborhoods. Carrie Handy, director of planning and development for the City of Oberlin, says her office has received a ...

Mending Town-Gown Divide Begins with Council Elections

Sam Price, Contributing Writer

October 30, 2015

While at Oberlin, I have met students who are extremely passionate about issues concerning social justice and grassroots activism. People regularly attend meetings, rally against discrimination that occurs on campus and post passionate statements online. Yet when I attended the Oberlin Community Candidates Night on Monday, Oct. 26, I was baffled by the lack of Oberlin students present. After the candidates answered various questions, I talked to community members and handed out fliers to promote a project that other Oberlin students and I created: a series of environmentally-based auditory interviews with City Council candidates. The purpose of these interviews is to help the Oberlin community become aware of the various pos...

Community Culture Fest Celebrates Diversity

Elizabeth Dobbins, Staff Writer

September 27, 2013

The Community Festival and the Culture Festival are combining this weekend to form one culture-centered event that will take place this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. in Tappan Square. The two festivals, which used to fall on consecutive weekends, were ultimately combined in an effort to streamline and expand the event. Sponsored by the College, the City of Oberlin, Oberlin’s International Student Organization, Oberlin Young Educators, the Spanish in the Elementary Schools Program, and the Oberlin Center for Languages and Cultures, the festival will serve as a celebration of different cultures and provide an opportunity to bring the town and college together. “I just want everyone to come out, enjoy the uniqueness...

New Trespass Policy Alleviates Community Concerns

Madeline Stocker, News Editor

September 6, 2013

The College’s revisions to the No Trespass policy will be instated this semester after months of planning and research on the part of students, community members, alumni and College administration. It marks an achievement that many community organizers believe will galvanize a more cooperative alliance between the College and surrounding community. Amendments to the policy were established over the summer as well as during the 2013 spring semester, will contain several new changes as well as the creation of a Community Advisory Board. Reshard El-Shair, OC ‘12 and founding member of the One Town Campaign, described the reform to the policy as arduous, especially when certain agents proved uncooperative. “[The...

Students Should Participate in Local Gun Control Debate

Sharon Fairchild-Soucy

September 6, 2013

To the Editors: As Oberlin’s Vice President of City Council, it’s a pleasure to welcome first- years and upperclassmen back to the campus and town. Your Day of Service does much to build bridges between town and gown, and your continuing activities in our public schools, music programs, farms, gardens, businesses and local government enrich our city. I invite you to attend board or commission meetings and especially City Council meetings on the first and third Mondays of the month. At this moment, the city is wrestling with the very dismaying dictate from both the state legislature and the Ohio Supreme Court that local governments may not limit the carrying of guns in parks and recreational facilities....

United Space-Scheduling Office Would Foster Blending Of Town, College Groups

Henry Harboe, Bill Derrah, and Aliza Weidenbaum

April 5, 2013

To foster smoother, fuller blending of town and college groups, we propose having a “united space-scheduling office.” All you would have to do — to borrow a room in the moment, reserve a room for a future moment, or schedule a regular meeting space — would be to go to this office. The office would essentially be a person with a big binder or master schedule of participating spaces. The spaces could include rooms (obviously based on willingness and availability) in College buildings, public school buildings, the Apollo, City Hall, the public library and the “Bridge” backspace, the Depot, the New Union Center for the Arts, rooms at the Oberlin Inn, semi-private or commercial spaces (including lobbies, lounges,...

One-Way Views of Town-Gown Relationship Will Never Resolve Issues of Inequality

Will Rubenstein, Contributing Writer

February 22, 2013

The One Town Campaign’s community forum at the Oberlin Public Library on Feb. 13 was ostensibly a discussion of the so-called No Trespass list, an opaque and capricious College policy that bars certain Oberlin residents from entering much of the core of their hometown under threat of arrest — but with the regrettably rare occasion of extended and public dialogue between town and gown, other long-simmering issues were plainly visible under the surface. Applause crescendoed at the mention of topics like the College’s non-payment of city property taxes, the less-than-visible transformation of off-campus rental properties into College-owned Village housing, the paucity of public services outside the College and even...

No Trespass List Artificially Separates Town and College

Bobby Stevens, Contributing Writer

February 15, 2013

On Sunday, Jan. 20, Finney Chapel hosted an event in celebration of the life and inspiring work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event was called “Voices of a Movement.” Attended by College and community members alike, the event was a discussion of the ideals that Dr. King advocated for and embodied: freedom, liberty, equality, education, and unity. We all rejoiced; it was a wonderful event of inclusion. Events like this are what I truly love about living in this town, but are also something I have taken for granted. I appreciate opportunities for the town and College to come together, but often overlook them. Oberlin is the first town that I’ve lived in where plenty of folks who live in it call it a town....

Tensions Increase over No Trespass List

Rosemary Boeglin

February 8, 2013

Recent conversations surrounding the College’s trespass policy have drawn attention to dividing lines between the town and school. Students, alumni and community members formed the One Town Campaign in response to the trespass policy, which they say maintains a disciplinary double standard for students and community members, encourages racial profiling, shields itself from public accountability, hoards resources, contributes to negative perceptions of community members and limits their full use of the town. Melissa George, OC’12 and member of the One Town Campaign, grew up in Oberlin. She said that her main concerns with the No Trespass List are the divide it creates and the resources it denies to community members. “[I...

College Should Be Held Accountable for Unfair No Trespass List

Kevin Gilfether

February 8, 2013

Oberlin College has a long- standing and proud history of enriching the educational experience for people in the Oberlin community at large. This rich history includes many College students tutoring and mentoring schoolchildren, numerous field trips to Oberlin’s campus by students in the city schools, campus-based tutoring and mentoring through programs like WAVE and the Ninde Scholars and a scholarship program specifically dedicated to absorbing the costs of tuition at Oberlin College for students from the Oberlin City Schools. Beyond these mere academic opportunities, there is the vibrant culture that comes from living in a college town with an international population, a research library open to public library members,...

Editorial: Mugging Shouldn’t Fray Town-Gown Connection

The Editorial Board

November 11, 2011

The attack last Sunday on History Professor Gary Kornblith was bizarre and virtually unprecedented. A professor being mugged by what looked like two 15 year olds? In the middle of the day? In an academic building? It’s hard to imagine that something like this could happen on our campus, and even harder to wrap one’s mind around that fact that it did. The incident provokes one obvious question — how did this happen? — which leads to the next obvious question: What should be done to prevent violence of this nature in the future? The important thing about this particular attack is not necessarily what makes it so alarming (that it took place in broad daylight in a very public area) but that the divide between...

City of Oberlin Develops Plan for a Greener Community

Sarah Washington

May 6, 2011

Oberlin College’s students, staff and faculty are dedicated to making the College a cleaner and greener place through projects such as the construction of the AJLC Environmental Studies building and OSCA’s composting program. Many people might not realize, however, that the town of Oberlin is taking its own steps to create a more eco-friendly community. The city is in the process of drafting its first Climate Action Plan with help from Steve Duppee, Electric Director of the Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System, and Energy Services and Sustainability Initiatives Manager Doug McMillan. Their goal is to create a clear set of green initiatives for the town of Oberlin. “The construction of the plan has included...

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