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The Oberlin Review December 1, 2017

established 1874

Volume 146, Number 11

Court Rules Against Construction in Ohio City, Gives Oberlin Hope Eliza Guinn Production Editor

The building housing the Creative Writing program on West Lorain Street. The department lost a tenure-track professor when he unexpectedly resigned Nov. 16 after sexual misconduct allegations came to light. Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo Editor

Matambo Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations Sydney Allen News Editor

Editor’s Note: This article contains mentions of sexual assault. Associate Professor of Creative Writing Bernard Matambo resigned Nov. 16 amid multiple accusations of sexual misconduct toward students. One such former student has recently filed a Title IX report against him. Another former student, Sarah Cheshire, OC ’14, wrote Unravelings, a memoir that details a series of inappropriate encounters with Matambo, referring to him as “B.M.” and “Professor X” throughout. Several individuals cited that the book, published by Etching Press at the University of Indianapolis this May, inspired a former student to come forward and share her own experiences with Matambo, suggesting a pattern of misconduct. The book, formatted as a 25-page memoir, touches on themes including “memory, gender-based trauma and emotional gaslighting,” according to the prologue. “In crafting this narrative, my intention is not to seek retribution or cast blame, but to delve into the intricate psychological landscape of a relationship imbued in both intimate creative energy and deep power imbalance, … how we as storytellers construct and reconstruct truth through narrative, and the ways in which accountability can become complicated through our manipulations of memory,

both those advertent and those inadvertent,” Cheshire writes in the text. English Professor and Chair of the Creative Writing Program Desales Harrison announced Matambo’s resignation to students in an email Nov. 20. It only detailed that Matambo had “resigned abruptly.” Harrison said that the sparse details in the email are due to legal limitations on what information can be shared, adding that the College faculty and staff will likely be unable to comment on the issue. “The constraining force is not one of institutional policy as it is one of state and federal law that governs the kind of disclosures that schools can make — the kind that schools are obligated to make,” Harrison said. “One way or another, whether its external legal constraint, just an ethical call, or a college policy — I don’t think that students are going to receive any particularly satisfying official narrative any time soon.” Matambo joined Oberlin as a visiting assistant professor in 2007. As his initial six-year term approached its closure in fall 2013, a number of students and faculty, including Cheshire, established a petition requesting his retention. Matambo was granted a tenure-track position because of these efforts. In light of Matambo’s initial popularity, the silence from the College has left students like College senior and Creative Writing major Mia Park confused and distressed upon learning of Matambo’s abrupt departure. “It was really alarming because it was phrased like, ‘Bernard has resigned sud-

denly,’ with no other information, … so we were all really worried that something bad had happened to him,” Park said. Park added that once she and other students heard rumors about Matambo’s sexual misconduct, they were no longer sympathetic. Cheshire said that she hopes her book and Matambo’s resignation can serve as a tool for change within the Creative Writing program and Oberlin as a whole. “I did not publish that book with the intention of launching a crusade or calling anyone out,” Cheshire said. “I think I published it more as part of a personal journey I’ve been on to figure out what happened, … given that so much of that has been me trying to figure out who I am as a writer independent of him. I think it’s important that the book be taken not as a rallying cry, but as a work of art. I think that this is a moment not just for the department but for a lot of people to reflect and change.” Cheshire tied her experience to the recent #MeToo movement that swept across social media in recent weeks and the watershed of men in power that have been accused of sexual harassment, assault, or misconduct. “I had never defined it as part of that culture; I think it was always a, ‘This was complicated and I’m mad,’” Cheshire wrote in a Facebook post. “I had this moment where I felt like I had to define this as part of that collective consciousness.” Since Matambo’s resignation, his advisees, senior capstone projects, and classes see Professor, page 3

Construction on the NEXUS pipeline halted in the Northeast Ohio city of Green after the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals voted in a 2–1 decision to block the company from building within city limits. Members of Oberlin City Council and Students for Energy Justice, an organization at the College, are continuing work to raise awareness and protesting with hopes of achieving the same result. Green spent $350,000 of the city’s annual budget of $32 million fighting the pipeline’s construction. Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer claims he opposed the plan since he was hired more than two years ago, and this court ruling provides a reprieve — likely of several months — before any further arguments or court actions ensue. Oberlin also has a history of protesting the pipeline’s construction. In early November, City Council rejected a $3,500 offer from NEXUS for legal rights to use property on the city’s south side, on the grounds that the Oberlin Community Bill of Rights prohibits it. Residents have also raised concerns over the proposed route’s proximity to homes, businesses, and the city fire station, as well as its possible negative impacts on local wetlands. As City Councilmember Bryan Burgess noted, the company filed a case under eminent domain but did the exact opposite. “It’s interesting, because the concept of eminent domain is taking private property for public purpose,” Burgess said. “In this case, NEXUS wants to take public property and use it for private purpose.” SEJ has held many meetings over the past two years to discuss ways to raise awareness on campus and join in the protest. College senior and SEJ member Christopher Kennedy said there’s some history behind the organization’s efforts. “The group was a part of campaigning to pass the Oberlin Community Bill of Rights before anyone even knew of the pipeline,” Kennedy said. “We’ve tried over the years to build a coalition with other cities. Last year, we held direct action training for community members to help raise awareness.” While construction in Green has been suspended, it is already underway in other cities across Ohio see NEXUS, page 3

CONTENTS NEWS

OPINIONS

02 Oberlin Advances to Final Round of Energy Contest

05 Students Must Defend Net Neutrality

03 Technology Store to Close in December

06 Mulvaney Appointment Threatens CFPB

The Oberlin Review | December 1, 2017

07 Privacy in Digital Age Under Attack

ARTS & CULTURE

SPORTS

10 Asian Food Authenticity Panel Challenges White, API Students

15 ITLR: Eliza Poor and Tristan Klonch, Club Soccer Captains

THIS WEEK

12 Heathers Explores Dark Elements of HIgh School

16 Yeowomen Best Scots, Yeomen Lose to Tigers

08 International Travels

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Oberlin Advances to Final Round of Energy Contest

The 2.27-megawatt solar array located on the College campus generates about 12 percent of the College’s electricity and is one of the many reasons Oberlin has a chance to win the Georgetown University Energy Prize of $5 million. Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo Editor

Jenna Gyimesi Staff Writer Oberlin has advanced with nine other cities to the final round of competition for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, which recognizes top performing communities for increasing energy efficiency and reducing municipal and household energy budgets. The winner, to be announced this month, will earn $5 million to fund their “dream project.” Former staff members of the Oberlin Project and members of Providing Oberlin With Efficiency Responsibly entered Oberlin into the competition

in 2014. Those involved are excited and proud of Oberlin making it so far into the competition. “I have been telling them all along that we can win this thing,” POWER Energy Advocate Greg Jones said. POWER Board Member and City Councilmember Sharon Pearson said she was originally surprised when she heard that Oberlin was advancing, but admits that she probably shouldn’t have been. “It’s nice to be in this group because we are one of the smallest cities,” Pearson said. “I was surprised to see some other cities not listed — cities that I know are doing great things. I think we underestimate

ourselves. Just getting there proves how much of a winner we are as a community.” Oberlin has spent the past decade working toward sustainability through the Oberlin Project, POWER, and other efforts. Former Oberlin Project Executive Director Sean Hayes said that entering Georgetown University’s contest helped Oberlin gauge its sustainability goals. “The Georgetown [University Energy] Prize was one of the main focuses of the Oberlin Project when it came to our energy goals,” Hayes said. “Consuming less gas on the residential and the municipal level was the laser focus of the Georgetown Project. That was absolutely in line with the energy goals of the Oberlin Project and the next steps in our climate action plan.” Pearson said that Oberlin has been dedicated to conservation long before these projects were created. “I think some of the work was done before the Oberlin Project existed,” Pearson said. “The city changed the electricity portfolio to include more green or renewable energy. As the city was working toward that, we reduced carbon emissions. We were already doing these things. It all came together to really make it so that we were in the top 10.” POWER has offered one-on-one service to residents with energy use and has helped educate people on ways they can make their homes more energy efficient. “Oberlin’s sustainability approach matched up with what Georgetown was

looking for,” Jones said. “We have grown in many different areas. With the climate action plan in mind, everything was structured so we could be competitive before we even knew about a competition.” Oberlin Electric Department Director Doug McMillan said that the city has continued to overshoot its goals to ensure it would stand out from the 49 other communities in the contest. “Not many cities have an organization like POWER to help [someone’s] home get weatherized and become more sustainable,” McMillan said. “That makes Oberlin different [from] most cities.” Jones said his position as energy advocate is unique, and the existence of such a position helped separate Oberlin from the rest of the competition. “As energy advocate for POWER, my job is to bring energy efficient measures to every household, church, and building here in Oberlin,” he said. “We try to educate the public on what we have available to make their homes more comfortable, sustainable, and efficient.” Pearson also credits Oberlin’s climate action plan to the city’s success, which is something most cities don’t have. Jones says that Oberlin has all the right qualities. “We are flexible enough to adjust to the needs of our community,” Jones said. “Because we are innovative, we are able to tie in forces like the community, the solar co-op, and the energy coalition. The fact that we are tying in our energy see Contest, page 4

Program Aims to Connect Students and Local Families Alexis Dill News Editor

Students who struggle to adapt to college life, aren’t able to go home for academic breaks, or are simply homesick will have the opportunity to match up with a local host family starting next semester. The Host Families Program, launched by the Office of Community and Government Relations, will open to interested students to meet with a local family at least once a month for coffee, a meal, or an event. The main goal of the program, according to Program Coordinator Chris Fox, is to spark meaningful relationships between students and Oberlin families to offer additional support to students feeling homesick or adjusting to college life. “Among the benefits of participating in the program, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Oberlin community,” Fox said. “This can provide a sense of inclusion and belonging that can help students succeed by having a local support system while away from home.

For community members, families will enjoy being ambassadors for their community and having the opportunity to build positive relationships with Oberlin College students.” Once students are matched with a family, both sides will be responsible for coordinating their activities. Some of the suggested activities are attending or providing a home-cooked meal, visiting cultural attractions, meeting at a nearby restaurant or providing care packages. There is no limit on how often a student may meet with a family, and how a student and family choose to engage is up to them. The ideal commitment, Fox said, would last for the entire academic year. Fox added that the Office of Community and Government Relations will hold events of its own for students and host families periodically, including ice cream socials and meet-and-greets. The program was created because of great interest from both students and community members. Some Oberlin families already offer support systems for students, but the College wanted to

The Oberlin R eview December 1, 2017 Volume 146, Number 11 (ISSN 297–256) Published by the students of Oberlin College every Friday during the fall and spring semesters, except holidays and examination periods. Advertising rates: $18 per column inch. Second-class postage paid at Oberlin, Ohio. Entered as secondclass matter at the Oberlin, Ohio post office April 2, 1911. POSTMASTER SEND CHANGES TO: Wilder Box 90, Oberlin, Ohio 44074-1081. Office of Publication: Burton Basement, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. Phone: (440) 775-8123

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formalize the process and provide additional support. College junior and Oberlin native Hannah Rasmussen said she is excited for her fellow students to explore all her hometown has to offer. “I think this program gives students the opportunity to get the best of both worlds and makes Oberlin truly a home away from home,” Rasmussen said. “I think it’s our responsibility to make connections in the community, rather than assuming that the residents of Oberlin will always want to engage with the College. It promotes a greater understanding of where we live and provides students with perspectives outside of campus life.” The College has offered similar programs in the past. Previously, Director of Gift Planning Ann Deppman — who was the associate dean of studies and director of the Office of International Students at the time — oversaw a program called the Community Friends Program for International Students. “The goal of this voluntary program was to enrich the

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experience of international students at Oberlin College, while providing a deeper understanding of international cultures in the broader community,” Deppman said. “Friend [and] international student pairs were encouraged to develop relationships organically over time by having meals together, sharing special occasions, attending sporting or cultural events together, etc.” Likewise, the Office of Community and Government Relations has worked with Student Senate for the past three years to provide meals to any student who could not go home for fall or winter break. Oberlin resident Michele Andrews, parent of Sarah Andrews, OC ’14, and Erickson Andrews, OC ’15, got the pastor at First Church of Oberlin involved in these arrangements. Ever since, planned meals during breaks have been cooked and provided by the church, other congregations and organizations, and the Oberlin Police Department. Deppman encourages any student who wants additional support or who has taken advantage of some of the previous

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similar programs to consider the Host Families Program. “I encourage students to take advantage of the new program, because the more points of connection a student has to the community, the more opportunities they and community members have for shared experiences and understanding,” Deppman said. “I believe programs like this are beneficial for students because they provide a layer of human connection in an unfamiliar environment that is not tied to performance in any way. I would add that programs like this have a broader benefit, because in a small community like Oberlin, each positive relationship can have [a] significant effect that leads to greater good will in the whole community.” Students and Oberlin residents interested in applying can learn more and submit an application on the Office of Community and Government Relation’s website, or by email or phone at comgovr@ oberlin.edu and (440) 7756200. The target launch date is February 2018.

Corrections: The headline of “In the Locker Room with Tess Jewell and Emma Schechter, OCET, OCDT Captains” (Nov. 17, 2017) incorrectly spelled the name of one of the interviewees. Her name is Emma Schechter, not Emma Schecter. To submit a correction, email managingeditor@oberlinreview.org.


Technology Store to Close in December Security Notebook Sydney Allen News Editor Jenna Gymesi Staff Writer

The Oberlin Technology Store, located in the Mudd library basement, will shut down Dec. 15. The store has provided students, staff, faculty, and community members with discounted electronics and advice for the past 30 years. The store’s one full-time employee, Director of Desktop Services Linda Iroff, was informed about the closing two weeks ago. Her position is being terminated. “It’s not my choice,” Iroff said. “I have worked for the College for 27 and a half years; most of the time I’ve worked at the store. The store opened up 30 years ago. It’s moved around, and the store has grown. I think what I can say is that priorities are changing in terms of the services that the institution provides.” According to an email sent to students by Chief Information Technology Officer Ben Hockenhull, the closure of the store is due to the effects of the retail evolution, in which “purchasing habits have been transformed by the Internet and the rise of online retailers.” “In recognition of this reality and after much careful consideration, we have made this decision,” Hockenhull stated. “The closure of the store will allow CIT to reallocate resources to better support the College’s mission through facilitating innovative applications of technology.” College first-year and Technology Store staffer David Martin recalled a speech given by President Ambar during parents weekend regarding future budget cuts, which he dismissed at the time. Now, Martin and his fellow

student staffers face the loss of their positions as those cuts continue. “[Ambar] tacked on that the school would have to make cuts to certain departments,” Martin said. “I didn’t think much about it. How can it affect me? Linda said last week that as of the end of December they are closing the store indefinitely and terminating my position. It’s all due to budget cuts. There has not been a lot of communication with us or from this school. They are nice enough and are trying to get jobs for us student workers.” Administrators are hoping to transfer the seven student staffers to other jobs on campus, such as at the CIT help desk in Mudd and in other related positions. “For those who want to continue to work for CIT, we are trying to find something,” Iroff said. “We have some projects coming up, but some of them may want to work at the CIT help desk upstairs.” However, some believe the College and its members may lose more from the closing than what can be gained financially. “To my understanding the tech store has netted or gained a profit every semester, which is unusual,” College senior and Technology Store staffer Lauren Distler said. “I think there are two aspects. Convenience, in terms of small items you need like chargers, earbuds. That sort of thing is replaceable. The expert unbiased advice on what you need, and the option of paying for it off over time, through the College, is not.” The Technology Store offers several services that other companies, like Apple, cannot provide. Their services are also significantly cheaper than other electronics stores. “The services we provide, the advice that we give in terms of

computer purchasing, is not based on commissions,” Distler said. “We can offer advice based on what you actually need instead of what is the most expensive. We can walk you through what will be best for you, your needs, and your budget.” The Technology Store is also the only organization on campus licensed to sell Safeware, a cell phone repair policy similar to AppleCare. “Safeware was started by an Oberlin alum,” Martin said. “It’s like AppleCare on steroids. It covers stuff that actually happens, [like] water damage, damaged screens, keys [that] fall out. AppleCare really only covers system problems.” If profits have decreased, they may have depreciated for reasons that benefit the Technology Store’s clients. “The sales profit has decreased over the years, but there are reasons for that,” Iroff said. “We upgrade computers instead of replacing them. That shows up as a smaller profit.” Iroff added that although the Technology Store competes with other third party companies, it has served and advised the campus community well. “We face more competition from online sales,” Iroff said. “The fact is that we are here and can provide relevant advice. The relevance we can provide to faculty, students, and staff is impressive.” The store will continue to operate from 1–4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday until Dec. 15, and by appointment only until Dec. 21. Returns will be accepted until Dec. 15, and the store will not restock items once they run out. Selected remaining inventory after this date is expected to be sold at a discount, but details on this liquidation sale are forthcoming.

away,” Harrison said. “A lot of people have been saying, ‘Is it going to be absorbed into some other department? Is it going to be engulfed? Is it going to vanish?’ And no, there’s been no discussion about that sort of thing happening.” Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Tim Elgren added that the administration hopes to mediate any complications Matambo’s resignation may cause to students in the Creative Writing program. “Students should rest assured that every effort is being made to meet the needs of creative writing students and advisees,” Elgren wrote in an email to the Review. “Visiting faculty

members will be hired as searches are initiated to fill permanent openings.” Matambo’s departure adds to the Creative Writing department’s consistent stream of faculty losses over the last year. Last spring the department lost one of its tenured faculty members with the departure of Shane McCrae, whose position has been replaced by a visiting professor. The impending departure of Delaney Professor of Creative Writing Dan Chaon — who will be leaving at the end of the year to turn his bestselling novel Ill Will into an HBO series — will leave the program with only three core faculty members next semester.

and encouraged that the courts see merit in our case. The process will take time, but we are committed [to] protecting the health and safety of our community.” To combat the pipeline and raise awareness SEJ is planning to continue testing local water sources to collect data on pollution, to initiate a fundraiser to raise support for the Makwa Initiative, and to organize informational talks about the pipeline. The group also plans to launch a social media campaign to raise awareness around the issue. “We are really excited that the pipeline has been halted, but have not moved onto new issues as we

know how easy big companies seem to get out of these situations,” said sophomore and SEJ member Eliza Amber. “We see it as an opportunity to get more people involved so when construction restarts we have a bigger impact. We will be launching a major social media campaign in the next week to get people talking about it.” According to College sophomore and SEJ member Alex Chuang, SEJ is planning to launch a publicity campaign on NEXUS. “We don’t think we’ve done a good job of making this a College issue,” Chuang said. “This isn’t an Oberlinspecific issue. It’s a global issue. It’s about fighting oppression.”

Creative Writing Loses Tenure-Track Professor

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have been distributed among the remaining Creative Writing faculty. Park said that the shakeups have left her and other students in the program feeling unsettled and let down. “The future in the department feels a little uncertain,” Park said. “I’m feeling kind of betrayed and hurt because I trusted him with a lot of information, and I feel like having this happen means I have to reassess all the kindness that he’s given me.” Despite the uncertainty, Harrison assures that maintaining the program is a top priority. “I don’t have any sort of panicky illusion that the department is melting

Oberlin Gains Hope after Green’s NEXUS Victory Continued from page 1

and Michigan, since the pipeline was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in August and given final approval just last month. The future for Oberlin remains unclear because the legal aspects of the project are so nuanced, but Burgess said he remains hopeful. “Oberlin City Council was briefed on the status of our case regarding NEXUS and FERC last Monday after the council meeting,” Burgess said. “Since then, there have been positive developments in the federal case between Green, Ohio, and the Ohio EPA. I remain positive that Oberlin is justified in its opposition to the pipeline The Oberlin Review | December 1, 2017

Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017

12:30 p.m. Safety and Security Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at a Goldsmith Village Housing Unit. Smoke from cooking caused the alarm, which was reset. 1:50 p.m. A resident of South Hall reported water seeping into their room from the bathroom next door. An emergency work order was filed.

Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 9:58 p.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm in the third floor kitchen of Dascomb Hall. Smoke from burnt popcorn caused the alarm, which was reset.

Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 4:59 p.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm in the second floor kitchen of Langston Hall. Smoke from cooking caused the alarm, which was reset.

Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017 12:20 a.m. Officers assisted a student, ill from alcohol consumption, on the second floor of Harkness House. The student responded to questions and walked back to their room for the night. 11:26 a.m. A resident of a Woodland Street Village Housing Unit reported that (an) unknown person(s) kicked down the back door to their residence. No entry was made into the house, but the door was moved off the frame. Maintenance Tech responded and made a temporary repair to the door. A work order was filed for repair.

Monday, Nov. 20, 2017 4:57 a.m. Staff members reported that the door to access Crane Pool at Hales Gymnasium was damaged. Officers responded. 10:00 p.m. A student reported that they burned their abdomen with a hot tray while working at Hales Gymnasium. The student sought treatment at Student Health Services.

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 11:26 p.m. Officers assisted a student, ill from alcohol consumption, at Firelands Apartments. The student was able to answer questions and was walked back to their room by the officers. A bottle containing a plastic bag with a green, leafy substance consistent with marijuana was in plain view in the room and turned over to the Oberlin Police Department.

Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 4:15 p.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at Dascomb Hall. Smoke from burnt food caused the alarm, which was reset. 7:40 p.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm on the second floor of Kahn Hall. Smoke from burnt food caused the alarm, which was reset.

Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 10:05 a.m. An officer observed graffiti on the exterior of Keep Cottage by the Bike Co-Op. A work order was filed for removal.

Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017 4:01 p.m. A student reported a strong odor coming from a bathroom on the third floor of Kahn Hall. A student in the bathroom claimed to be cleaning bongs and denied smoking anything. The bongs were confiscated and turned over to the Oberlin Police Department.

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City Seeks $5 Million Ari Berman, Political Journalist in Contest OFF THE CUFF

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efficient measures with our renewable measures and that we look far ahead at how they are interconnected is Oberlin’s strongest suit. We are constantly looking at how we can innovate our approach to sustainability.” If Oberlin wins the $5 million prize, those involved in the contest hope to use the funding to further expand Oberlin’s energy efficient programs. “I want to make every home energy-sufficient so that people are saving more than $200 a year — that they receive savings on an ongoing basis instead of a temporary basis,” Pearson said. “There is a lot we can do with the money.” McMillan said he wants to use some of the money to provide insulation for homes. “We have been doing that through POWER since 2008,” he said. “A lot of homes have been insulated, but there are plenty more that can benefit from it. I also put a grant to replace refrigerators for low-income people. It could result in electric savings for the city.” Jones added that he wants to increase College students’ engagement in the city’s efforts with the money. “I would like for us to look at some of the projects that the Environmental Studies program has been putting out for students to have ideas,” Jones said. “I would look at some of the ideas that have been gathered through the years. I would want to see if any of those projects or a combination of those projects could be put forward.” According to GEUP, 50 cities and counties all over the nation have collectively saved 11.5 trillion BTUs of energy, reduced their carbon emissions by an estimated 2.76 million metric tons, and saved nearly $100 million from municipal and household energy budgets since 2014. The other counties and cities that have advanced to the final round include Bellevue, WA; Bellingham, WA; Berkeley, CA; Chula Vista, CA; Fargo, ND; Fort Collins, CO; Montpelier, VT; Takoma Park, MD; and Walla Walla, WA.

Ari Berman is a senior contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute who specializes in American politics, civil rights, and economics within politics. He has also written for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian and had several books published, including Give us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America and Herding Donkeys: the Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics. He graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University Ari Berman with degrees in journalism and political science.

Photo by Courtesy of The Nation

Interview by Kameron Dunbar This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Voting rights and access can be deemed as a niche arena in American political science. How and when did your interest spark in this area? I started paying attention to it after the 2010 election, when some of these states started passing new laws to make it harder to vote, including a lot of important swing states, and I was kind of doing general political reporting, and I thought I would just write one story about this. I wrote my first story for Rolling Stone, then I was at The Nation, and I thought I would just go back to doing general political reporting. But I got really interested in the issue, and I realized that not a lot of people were covering it, and I thought it was really important, and so I decided just to start covering it full-time, because it seemed like there was enough for a full-time beat. And we are entering an era of increasing specialization in journalism, and so if you know a lot about something and you care a lot about something, then there’s advantages to covering it. Did the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court have a significant impact on the election, and if so, what would you say that was? I do think it had significant impact on the election because states had new restrictions in effect for the first time because of it. And I don’t think it was the sole factor — I think there were states that weren’t covered by that part of the Voting Rights Act, like Ohio and like Wisconsin that had new restrictions in effect — it wasn’t just that decision, but I think that decision kind of symbolized the attack on voting rights. And I think one of the

things that’s really problematic is, though in the past when there were bad laws... The courts used to be a place that you could get a fair hearing on voting rights, and that’s becoming increasingly difficult. Do you think the general public is aware of the broad changes in voting rights access that have happened since 2013? No, because it’s not getting covered and most people are not election junkies and, though they might have heard one thing about it at one point in time, they’re not [knowledgable] in-depth about it, and what some of the research is showing is that even people who have the right ID don’t think they have the right ID. It’s a huge problem. How do you get more people to pay attention to this? I think we just need to cover it more and then make it interesting. I think you need to tell personal stories. That’s what I’ve tried to do. I think that people have a hard time relating to random, difficult, abstract parts of the law. I think someone can relate a lot more to someone who didn’t have a birth certificate and couldn’t vote, or someone who went to her polling place and it was no longer there, someone who showed up to vote and had been purged from the voter [registration]. Any time you can try to tell people stories and then say, “It could be you.” There was something I read a while ago in The Huffington Post where someone talked about Texas’ voter ID law, and there was a woman whose grandmother couldn’t vote because she didn’t have the right ID, and the woman said, you know, “I would never have thought there was anything wrong with this law until it happened to me.” And so I think you have to tell it in a persuasive way to get people to care.

How can journalists spread truth about the state of voting rights when it has been strategically branded as a partisan issue? I think that you try to cover it as not a partisan issue. I mean, try to talk about it more in terms of fundamental rights and basic notions of justice and fairness. We’re a democracy, and in a democracy one of the most basic rights would be the right to vote. It’s very concerning to me that this is a partisan issue, because I don’t think it should be. A lot of the rhetoric around voting rights seems to be structured around racism and xenophobia. Can you speak to that? The whole push to restrict voting is rooted in racism. That’s what it’s always been. I mean, the fact that people

Oberlin Community News Bulletin Flood Named OCS Executive Director Margie Flood began her role as the new executive director of Oberlin Community Services Nov. 17 after the board voted unanimously to hire her. Flood, who grew up in Oberlin, has worked on programming and managed operations at OCS since 2010. In addition to OCS, Flood serves on the boards of the Bill Long Foundation and Genesis House and plays the violin at local retirement communities.

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Oberlin Public Library to Host Sanctuary Everywhere Campaign The Oberlin Public Library will hold an event Wednesday in support of the American Friends Service Committee’s Sanctuary Everywhere campaign. A DACA policy workshop focusing on Ohio initiatives and how individuals can help will be from 5:30–6 p.m. and a sanctuary panel will be from 6:30–7:30 p.m.

were disenfranchised from the very beginning in this country was entirely a function of race, and in some cases of class, because you had to be a white man who owned property. So, women were excluded, white men who didn’t own property were excluded, and of course African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, everyone else was excluded. So, I think the history of this country is one of race and power. I think that’s certainly true with voting. The whole reason why we had voter suppression in this country was to preserve white supremacy, and I think that remains the case today, I just think that people don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to talk about things like voter fraud because they don’t want to mount a defense of white supremacy.

College Delays ODR Director Candidate Visits In an email sent to students Tuesday, Dean of Students and Vice President Meredith Raimondo stated that the College has decided to retain a search firm that will help recruit a well-qualified pool of applicants for the Disability Resources director position. Finalist visits will take place in February — rather than late November as originally stated — so that all interested students have the chance to meet with each candidate. In the meantime, Assistant Dean Monique Burgdorf will continue as interim director.


OPINIONS December 1, 2017

established 1874

Letters to the Editors

Gibson’s Links Black People to Anti-Semitism To the Editors:

As the founding fathers of Oberlin College and Arthur Tappan, whose name Tappan Square bears because of his much-needed financial support of the College, would have wanted, Oberlin remains America’s most luminous beacon for a more just, peaceful, and humane world. As much as the Founding Fathers of our nation will always have our admiration, they showed a serious human weakness in their subjugation of women and willingness to enslave Blacks. As women throughout America need us all to step up to fight against sexism, so do Blacks need all Americans to help us fight against racism. But the middle-aged white men who feel hurt and abandoned — a disproportionate number of whom commit suicide — also need our full support. There is hardly an American who does not need our united support. It is not hard to understand that we are all fallible and guilty of sin and mistakes; we must rise energetically to resume our struggle toward our noble goals and we must know and accept that we will never stop making errors. We always need to ask for forgiveness and be willing to forgive others. For these reasons, Gibson’s should consider settling its lawsuit against the College out of court. Whatever the merits of the suit, the case is weakened by Gibson’s insinuation within the suit that Blacks are anti-Semitic and that the College does not aggressively condemn hatred, even though it did fire a young Black female professor, some of whose internet posts were judged as anti-Semitic by many Jews and others. I did not know that professor, nor have I spoken to any students about these matters. My observations are based solely upon the town newspaper’s account of Gibson’s lawsuit. Still, I am troubled that a broad brush is being used — intentionally or unwittingly — to paint some Blacks at the College and town in an unacceptable manner. If we have a modicum of morality or interest in fairness at this juncture, we must use it in our prayers for an out-of-court settlement or hopes that there is a disinterested jury or judge in Lorain County.

Gibson’s seeds of racial invidiousness need not be planted publicly if the two sides resolve everything privately, in spite of what either might have to concede. Everything must be done to attenuate Gibson’s inflammatory conflation of Blacks and anti-Semitism, preventing the growth of roots of dissension, misunderstanding, and pain so tough that it will take a century or more to extirpate them. Throughout my lifetime, I have observed that Jews have been Blacks’ staunchest allies and we theirs. That bond is an eternal one, with all Blacks I know desiring to establish similar bonds with all whites and others too, never mind how much we differ on how to grow our one common humanity. Celebrate this day. – Booker C. Peek Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

Public Exhibit, Program Celebrates ASFC Centennial To the Editors: A multi-part public banner exhibit and program celebrating the centennial of the American Friends Service Committee will be held in the Community Room of the Oberlin Public Library throughout the day of Wednesday, Dec. 6. It is part of a year-long observance of the 1917 founding of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization including people of various faiths and backgrounds that is committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service. The group received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947. Their work is “based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.” A set of large banners entitled “Waging Peace: 100 Years of Action” will be displayed all day. These illustrate AFSC’s work on the themes of building peace, ending discrimination, addressing prisons, promoting just economics, and reforming immigration policies. The public is invited free of charge to several component events. At noon, a “Brown Bag Lunch” — beverages See Letters, page 7

SUBMISSIONS POLICY

The Oberlin Review appreciates and welcomes letters to the editors and op-ed submissions. All submissions are printed at the discretion of the Editorial Board. All submissions must be received by Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at opinions@oberlinreview.org or Wilder Box 90 for inclusion in that week’s issue. Letters may not exceed 600 words and op-eds may not exceed 800 words, except with consent of the Editorial Board. All submissions must include contact information, with full names and any relevant titles, for all signers. All writers must individually confirm authorship on electronic submissions. Op-eds may not have more than two authors. The Review reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity, length, grammar, accuracy, strength of argument and in consultation with Review style. Editors will work with contributors to edit pieces and will clear major edits with the authors prior to publication. Editors will contact authors of letters to the editors in the event of edits for anything other than style and grammar. Headlines are printed at the discretion of the Editorial Board. Opinions expressed in editorials, letters, op-eds, columns, cartoons or other Opinions pieces do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of the Review. The Review will not print advertisements on its Opinions pages. The Review defines an advertisement as any submission that has the main intent of bringing direct monetary gain to a contributor. The Oberlin Review | December 1, 2017

Volume 146, Number 11

Editorial Board Editors-in-Chief Melissa Harris

Christian Bolles

Managing Editor Daniel Markus

Opinions Editors

Nathan Carpenter

Jackie Brant

Students Must Defend Net Neutrality Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai declared last Tuesday that the FCC expected to repeal net neutrality at their upcoming Dec. 14 meeting. Net neutrality was established by the Obama administration to ensure equal access to the internet by preventing leaders of the telecommunications industry from commercializing media platforms, thereby shaping users’ internet access. While grappling with larger national stories about the tax overhaul and sexual assault allegations, we — as students — must recognize that paying attention to and advocating for the future of net neutrality is equally dire. The FCC’s new plan allows for future commercial influence over web usage, which will let broadband companies block access to content by either slowing down or accelerating service for its business partners, so long as they notify customers. In short, if net neutrality is dismantled, our access to and usage of the internet will be overwhelmingly shaped by corporate giants. While internet platforms are already hugely commercialized — influencing everything from our search results on Google to the advertisements that are targeted at us with companies’ digital marketing algorithms — all content can at least be accessed on equal terms under net neutrality. We cannot yet predict how access will accelerate or wane if net neutrality is eliminated. However, we must consider the possibility that its absence will not only inhibit our daily net usage, but also our ability to work as students. One of the most significant ways our work may be affected is our access to research. If internet providers begin funnelling service into fast and slow channels, charging more for increased speeds, these providers could demand costs from content companies in exchange for preferential treatment. For instance, Comcast or Verizon could charge websites we use, like Netflix or Twitter, a higher price to make their sites stream and load content more efficiently. But what happens when online databases that we use to access research material, such as JSTOR, Project MUSE, and EBSCOhost, are subject to these rules? If a database is not fee-based, access might be inhibited tremendously when they must compete with subscriber-based databases and commercialized websites that can afford to leverage their content access. Meanwhile, colleges across the country might have to pay more for database access, as fees that content companies pay would likely be absorbed by consumers — namely, colleges and universities in this context. The dismantling of net neutrality, then, can have two consequences for our research access. Oberlin will either have to pay more as an institution — potentially increasing our already-high tuition price tag — or our resource accessibility will be narrowed, compared to the egalitarian, open internet we’ve enjoyed over the past few years. While the financial accessibility of attending higher institutions is already decreasing, the trickle-down effect of net neutrality’s elimination could potentially lessen students’ capacity to afford not only access to broadband services, but higher education in general. Net neutrality is also crucial for maintaining student activism as well, as idea and information exchange open and available. Whether by initiating a hashtag on Twitter — much like how activists Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi did with #BlackLivesMatter — or circulating an online petition to promote sanctuary campus policies to protect undocumented students, the internet has become a valuable tool in creating, spreading, maintaining, and memorializing movements of resistance and change. The Nation wrote that net neutrality is “the First Amendment of the Internet.” The Review Editorial Board certainly agrees with this perspective; to remove net neutrality is to inhibit one’s right to freedom of protest — a freedom that students, particularly at Oberlin, value and exercise regularly. Certain movements that start on websites with significant financial capital like Facebook or Twitter may not be significantly affected by the FCC’s new plan; however, if people want to take their movements to other online platforms that may be less commercialized, the FCC’s decision may remove that option. The New York Times writes that activists who implement their movements online currently “don’t have to worry about whether it’s in a pay-to-play internet ‘fast lane’ that makes access to certain types of content easier,” meaning broadband companies cannot consequently block the spread of activist movements online. These are only a few of the many unpredictable ways your internet access and usage might change if the FCC votes to dismantle net neutrality. But you can fight to protect a democratic and open internet by calling your representatives. Your congressional lawmakers can stop the FCC’s plan. As seen in recent months with the efforts to dismantle Obamacare, mass resistance pushes your representatives to preserve the laws you value. The same effort can pay off in the case of internet neutrality. You can call Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, as well as House Representatives Jim Jordan and Bob Gibbs. You can also contact members of Congress from your hometown districts. Keep yourself informed and involved in protests for net neutrality, both on and offline. Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and the Free Press Action Fund are only some of the organizations leading the effort to maintain net neutrality. They not only give you the tools to learn more about net neutrality itself and how the fight for it has unfolded, but they can give you the phone numbers of your representatives and suggest scripts for what to say. The internet is already rife with corporate control, and the repeal of net neutrality will only ensure that it remains a commercial playground. We know that Obies have the zeal to resist and protect the online sphere. At a time when democracy is increasingly threatened from even the top levels of the government, it is our responsibility to keep the internet from succumbing to that fate. Editorials are the responsibility of the Review Editorial Board — the Editors-in-Chief, Managing Editor, and Opinions Editors — and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the Review.

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Opi n ions

Whiteness of Student Publications Threatens Integrity Kameron Dunbar Columnist When’s the last time you saw a Nazi at the grocery store? If not yesterday, maybe you saw a picture of one in The New York Times’ profile of Tony Hovater — bonafide and self-avowed white nationalist. In their article “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” originally titled “In America’s Heartland, Nazi Sympathizer Next Door,” the Times willingly gave a white supremacist an uncontested platform for his unabashedly racist views. When faced with criticism over the style of reporting and lapses made in nearly all respects, the Times defended their coverage of bigoted Hovater in “Readers Accuse Us of Normalizing Nazi Sympathizer, We Respond.” They responded, and responded poorly. “Our reporter and his editors agonized over the tone and content of the article,” Times National Editor Marc Lacey wrote in a statement. “The point of the story was not to normalize anything but to describe the degree to which hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think.” Describing the degree to

which hate exists in everyday life by caricaturing it as “your friendly neighborhood Nazi” does nothing to advance the cause of justice or influence public opinion in an unbiased way. It allows the bias of sectarianism and segregation to freely enter the American subconscious without opposition, priming us to respond to these irrational and abhorrent ideologies not with alarm, but with dereliction and indifference. This approach to journalism can lead to many conversations, most of which revolve around this simple fact: We need more people of color in newsrooms and in editorial positions, framing the landscape of public intellectualism. Someone with a sound understanding of white supremacist systems and the omnipresence of covert racism throughout American society would never have let a piece like this find its way through an entire production cycle and to print. Who is better primed to frame conversations on white supremacy than those who routinely experience its pressures? Frankly, I don’t need to read about the Nazi in Target — we already see the white supremacist in Walmart telling anyone who’s

brown and speaks Spanish to “go back to your country” on Twitter. The Oberlin community doesn’t need a soft profile of the bigot arguing that affirmative action is unfair to white people — I went to high school with that person; he proudly proclaimed admission to the University of Michigan but failed to mention that it was achieved through his father’s legacy status. The American public certainly could go without another “objective” piece on the “underrepresented conservative contingency on campus.” I hear those people complain as they march in “prolife” parades while conveniently stepping over Black bodies dying at the hands of the state. The world will survive without another racist couple using the guise of patriotism to thinly veil their racist Facebook rants on everything wrong with Colin Kaepernick. Those who ignore these instances actualize the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: There is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Top national media outlets suffer from a dire need to diversify content production, editorial and production operations, and executive leadership — but they are not alone. The Times’ story

prompted me to examine the campus news publications right here in Oberlin, which are also ill from a familiar disease of compositional homogeneity in editorial leadership. Take The Oberlin Review, for example. Of the 12 students making direct decisions about what content the paper prints, only two identify as persons of color. That’s pathetic. Out of a student body of over 2,800, the publication could only garner two students to fill those roles and challenge the shield of whiteness that coats the publication at its core. The Grape offends as well — perhaps even more aggravatingly, as the publication has sought to be an “alternative magazine” that often calls for attention to the marginalized. Of the 17 people on the Grape’s entire staff, only two identify as persons of color. They might as well update their tagline to read: “where [white] art, politics, pop culture, student life, activism and skepticism collide.” Dream with me. What would Oberlin’s stories look like if the team writing them actually reflected the identities of those it seeks to narrate? Maybe the Review would’ve covered this year’s “Kuumba Week” — a lively and long-standing tradition celebrating the life and spirit of Africana

life on campus. Or maybe the Grape would have mentioned the Muslim Students Association’s banquet earlier this fall. Who knows? Maybe the Arts & Culture sections of both campus publications would cover a Soul Session, an event near and dear to many students of color at Oberlin that has survived for decades. The bottom line is that until publications as local as The Oberlin Review to those as global as The New York Times achieve a healthy, robust compositional diversity amongst their editorial staffs, these publications will continue to problematically promote some narratives over others. Important stories of diverse perspectives that enrich our local and global communities will continue to go untold. The system that allows Hovater’s views to be loudly proclaimed in the city center or quietly in the halls of Congress is the same system that keeps people of color out of editorial boards and newsrooms in the basement of Burton. I hear the Review is hiring three new section editors. I wonder if any of those positions will go to someone who brings them closer to accurately representing our campus through compositional diversity. Maybe they will, but they probably won’t.

Revamped OBI Promotes Mulvaney Appointment Threatens CFPB Awareness, Safety Xander Kott Columnist

Kirsten Mojziszek Contributing Writer 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. My road to Student Senate was unconventional, to say the least. Within the first week of my freshman year, my friends nominated me — jokingly — as a candidate for Senate. In a moment of impulse, I decided to run. I am now completing my fifth consecutive semester as a student senator. While Student Senate has brought me many things — such as an income, close friendships, and emailing skills — what I value most is the passion it gave me for Title IX work. After that fateful first semester, I attended a local student government conference at The College of Wooster with a few other Oberlin senators. When we broke off into “topic rooms” for discussion, I saw that there was a room dedicated to addressing sexual assault on campus and was drawn into the conversation. During the discussion, a student mentioned that her school had created a program designed to provide confidential student responders and supporters for those who had experienced sexual assault. This program featured a 24/7 hotline for students to call whenever they needed, which allowed students to have a confidential peer resource at any time of the day. As a first-year, I was struck by how odd it seemed for Oberlin to not have an institutionalized resource like that available, despite student demands

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for increased support. I soon learned that legal barriers created by mandatory reporting policies are what has historically kept the college from creating a similar program, but former Senator Deborah Johnson and I were not ready to stand down. Deborah and I decided that the next best thing would be to at least have student bystanders at events where feelings of ambiguity and unsafety are common. Thus, Oberlin Bystander Intervention was born. OBI aims to provide students with training as active bystanders to work at the ’Sco and other large party events. Bystanders provide information, water, snacks, and condoms to students and act as designated active bystanders in an attempt to prevent dangerous situations and help students feel safe. The bystander effect is a social psychological phenomenon in which an individual person is less likely to help someone in an emergency if there are others around who could possibly intervene instead. This is why firstaid responders are trained to assign a specific person to call 911 instead of frantically shouting “Someone call 911!” Assigning specific responsibility ensures that the job gets done. This is the motivation behind OBI — because bystanders are trained and on-duty at an event, they will intervene in unsafe situations when others might simply stand by in uncertainty. OBI has been running for two orientations and two semesters, working primarily in First-Year Residential Experience housing during orientation and in the ’Sco during the regular semester. However, the program has been living in limbo since its creation in 2016. The main constraint is the See Bystander, page 7

A partisan firestorm was ignited Nov. 24 when Richard Cordray resigned from his position as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB is a component of the DoddFrank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which Congress passed in the wake of the Great Recession. The CFPB was envisioned to prevent the kinds of cheating and fraud perpetrated by financial institutions that led to the crisis in the first place. Under Cordray’s leadership, the CFPB caused a number of problems for corrupt banks on Wall Street. It returned $12 billion stolen by banks and credit card companies to the hands of consumers. In a high profile Sept. 2016 case, the CFPB handed Wells Fargo a $100 million fine for opening bank accounts without customers’ knowledge. Prior to his resignation, Cordray had appointed Leandra English — previously the CFPB’s chief of staff — as deputy director. Under the bureau’s rules, she would have become head of the agency following Cordray’s resignation. However, President Donald Trump also made an appointment to take over from Cordray — his budget director, Mick Mulvaney. Both Cordray and Trump felt they were within their legal authority to install the new acting director. Cordray pointed to a provision under the Dodd-Frank Act which stipulates that the acting director of the CFPB gets to choose his successor, while the Trump administration cited the Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, which asserts that the president has the right to fill all vacancies. These two competing laws, combined with divisive partisanship, led to a messy situation at the bureau on Monday. Both English and Mulvaney showed up for work, claiming they were the rightful director. They also sent competing emails to CFPB staff, each urging employees to ignore the other one. Mulvaney helped his case by by toting a large bag of doughnuts, as noted by the The Washington Post. The doughnuts, unfortunately, were not

enough to remedy the situation. English filed a lawsuit in order to block Mulvaney’s appointment. She requested an emergency restraining order against him, citing the Dodd-Frank Act as evidence that she was entitled to the position of acting director. Trump-nominated judge Timothy Kelly ruled in favor of the president and Mulvaney. He denied the request of the emergency restraining order and ruled that English had not sufficiently demonstrated harm. This ruling means that, until further action is pursued, Mulvaney will remain as the acting director of the CFPB. This is a complete disaster for Americans everywhere — especially for the most financially vulnerable. One of the CFPB’s main focuses is payday lenders. These are businesses that set up shop in low-income neighborhoods and push customers into taking out big loans which the payday lenders know cannot be paid back. When the borrowers are unable to repay the loan in time, the lenders slap them with interest rates of up to 300 percent. The CFPB has worked tirelessly to impose new regulations on these types of businesses to thwart their deceptive practices, according to Rolling Stone. This work done by the CFPB has been crucial in helping Americans, but Mulvaney does not see it that way. Mulvaney has characterized the CFPB as “completely unaccountable federal bureaucracy,” and stated to reporters that if it were within his power to shut it down, he would do so. This sentiment is shared by many Republicans and their Wall Street allies. Republicans do not want big banks and payday lenders to be held accountable for their actions because these corporations are some of their biggest donors. Mick Mulvaney is more concerned that the CFPB will “trample capitalism” than he is about the deceit and fraud perpetrated by financial institutions. The most vulnerable people in the U.S. would be better served if lawmakers stopped undermining the CFPB and instead installed a director who will have the concerns of ordinary Americans, not big banks, in mind.


L etters

to the

Continued from page 5

provided — features personal stories and a panel discussion among those who have participated in any AFSC programs during a 75-year period. This includes volunteers, staff, committee members, and those receiving AFSC’s services. From 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., the “AFSC in Action” program features video showings of many of the organization’s projects. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., “Peace Art” will feature community members making a peace banner, sharing messages of how we wage peace. The theme “Immigrant Rights: Education and Action” will be addressed in two parts. “The DREAM Act: Legislation and Action,” is a short workshop from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. presented by Lynn Tramonte of Ohio’s Voice and America’s Voice. “Sanctuary: What Does it Mean? What Can You Do?” is a panel from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., featuring Oberlin College Professors Gina Pérez and Steve Volk, Oberlin City Councilmember Bryan Burgess, Oberlin City Manager Rob Hillard, Unitarian Universalist Minister Mary Grigolia, and members of the Executive Committee of the Lorain Ohio Immigrants’ Rights Association, among others. Sponsors of the day’s events are the Oberlin Friends Meeting, Community Peace Builders, and

E ditors ,

LOIRA. We hope that you can join us. – David Finke OC ’63

Oberlin Prepares Students for Real World To the Editors:

Are you a newly arrived freshman or a senior about to graduate without a clear plan for Year One after college? If you are, or you are simply wondering if Oberlin was the best school for you, take it from someone who is nearing the end of his working career that nothing is more valuable for an engaged and satisfying life than an Oberlin education. When I graduated from high school, I chose Oberlin over two large public universities. I was a strong student in all subjects, but I did not have a “passion.” Luckily, it wasn’t really important to have one back then. It was a few years after Woodstock and the Vietnam War protests, and I remember a lot of students were critical of higher education not being “relevant.” As it was then and is today, Oberlin allows students to explore a variety of relevant fields of study. The course offerings remain steeped in the traditional liberal arts disciplines, yet are contemporary at the same time. If you re-

cont .

ally feel the need for a more modern experience, there are ExCo classes and Winter Terms. What I like, then as now, is that Obies are authentic — when they eventually do discover their passions, they are genuine. One of the great things about being an Obie and interacting with other alumni is discovering how much we exhibit the same breadth of interests, natural curiosity, fluency in numerous topics, and contexts to help process the external environment. We are likely to find we have recently read the same book or periodical. There is rarely a shortage of topics to discuss. We are lifelong learners continually expanding our knowledge footprint at the edges. Obies are very familiar with the term “critical thinking.” We are very proud of how good we are at it. Besides the classic notion of deep and intense examination of a problem from the inside out, Obies also tend to be especially creative in associating diverse fields of knowledge in their analysis of a subject. My Oberlin education not only provided me with these unique critical thinking skills, but also a basic literacy by which to navigate the world. My introductory philosophy course allowed me to have a rudimentary understanding of an opinion article on epistemology and fake news. When someone says we are living a gilded age, I remember reading Mark

CARTOON OF THE WEEK Brian Tom

Twain’s eponymous novel in an English class. When I am trying to embrace the atonality of a Shostakovich symphony, I remember Ellen Johnson explaining in her art class how artists of the 20th century felt compelled to reflect society in their works. I even think of the entropy principle from chemistry class when I contemplate how we might become less polarized as a society. And what about finding a worthwhile career? Though there seems to be some debate about the issue, it is worthwhile to remember how valuable this kind of preparation truly is. In his review of two books whose authors contend that the tech world really needs liberal arts majors, Timothy Aubry recently wrote that to thrive in the burgeoning fields of project management, recruit-

Privacy in Digital Age Under Attack Leah Treidler Contributing Writer We are living in a dystopian sci-fi novel. Or at the very least, we might be headed that way. The government is tracking our every move and, even worse, pretending that we consent to it. In 2010, Timothy “Little Tim” Carpenter and three other men robbed a Radio Shack, stealing hundreds of cell phones. Little did they know that they would spark the most critical court case on digital privacy to date. After eight more robberies, Little Tim was arrested. Eyewitnesses identified him as the leader, testifying that he had planned the robberies and served as a lookout, waiting across the street in a stolen car for his accomplices to return with the cell phones. Ironically, it was his own cell phone that sealed his fate. In addition to eyewitness testimonies, the police acquired Little Tim’s cell phone records, which ultimately placed him at the scene of nearly every crime. The records detailed every place where Little Tim made or answered a call over the course of 127 days, with his phone acting as a tracking device. The police acquired all of this data without a warrant. Little Tim was sentenced to 116 years in prison. He then sued his way to the Supreme Court. This week, the Court is hearing arguments in Carpenter v. United States, deciding whether the seizure of cell phone records violates the Fourth Amendment — the right to protection from unreasonable searches. The American Civil Liberties Union argues that Little Tim’s cell phone records are personal property and thus protected from unwarranted The Oberlin Review | December 1, 2017

searches. However, the United States argues that by using his phone, Little Tim relinquished his information to a third party — his cell phone provider — rendering the information public. This therefore allowed the police free access to records of his location; or, in this case, 12,898 locations. Not only did these records place Little Tim at the scene of the crimes, they also tracked him at home, at church, and at the grocery store. His cell phone essentially served the same purpose as a GPS — one that chronicled his life without his knowledge. The Court decided in 2012 that planting a GPS on a subject was illegal. However, according to the National District Attorneys Association, there is a fundamental difference in this case: “Most Americans understand that there is a necessary diminution of privacy in the digital era and are willing to accept the tradeoff.” Although we are generally unaware of this fact, cell phone companies do ask to track your location. However, these companies have not asked their users for the right to disseminate this information. Whether cell phone providers have free rein over your records will be the key ruling of this case. The United States argues that just as you relinquish your privacy to eyewitnesses when you go out in public, you surrender your privacy to your cell phone provider every time you make a call. In other words, calling your grandma from your dorm room is made just as public as shopping at IGA. But even the idea of comparing a human witness to a computer witness is ridiculous. Go in front of a jury and give testimony, and maybe they will believe you. Go in front of a jury and give a detailed map of ten

thousand locations, and they will certainly believe you. Cell phones are not going anywhere. Even if everybody realized tomorrow that their service provider was digitally watching them all of the time, it is not realistic that people will suddenly throw their phones in a heap and set them on fire. Cell phones are, for better or for worse, entrenched in American culture — just consider the omnipresence of Instagram, Tinder, and Snapchat. People cry when their cell phones break. It feels as though we are naked without them. 260 million people in the U.S. have cell phones. If this case is decided in favor of the U.S., that means there are trillions of data points that the government can — as of right now — snatch up at any moment. While we do have laws about whether police can rip open mail, barge into your home, or pop open your car trunk, we have barely broached the topic of privacy in the digital age. To be fair, we have not had much time. The first iPhone was released in 2007 — just ten years ago. There is no precedent for this case because there has never been anything like it, which is what makes the Supreme Court’s decision so important. As American culture becomes more and more saturated with technology, we could see our privacy dwindling — our Fitbits recorded and our selfdriving cars trailed at every corner. This case could lead us into a dystopian, Big Brother future, the government recording our every move. Put simply, this case could wipe out digital privacy. Hopefully, we will not see that future, and the Supreme Court will give a resounding “NO” to the United States government. But until then, leave your phone at home when you rob a bank.

ment, human relations, branding, data analysis, market research, design, fundraising, and sourcing, “one must be able to communicate effectively, read subtle social and emotional cues, make persuasive arguments, adapt quickly to fluid environments, interpret new forms of information while translating them into a compelling narrative, and anticipate obstacles and opportunities before they arise.” These skills come uniquely from the humanities. So take heart Obies! It is a big world with lots of opportunities out there. Be happy you have four years in which to really prepare yourself for the long haul. – Donn Ginoza OC ’74 At-Large Member, Alumni Leadership Council

Bystander Programs Confront Assault Continued from page 6

consistent issue of funding. Flitting from Title IX, to SFC Ad-Hoc, to the Office of the Dean of Students, OBI never had consistent funding — until recently. OBI is now officially a program of the Center for Student Success, under the guidance and supervision of Edward Gisemba, MPH, Director of Health Promotion for Students. I am thrilled to be working with Eddie and Senator Hanne Williams-Baron, who has been running OBI with me since last semester. OBI will be in full operation by next semester, spring 2018. Applications to be a Bystander will be available by Winter Term, with interviews and selection occurring when students return to campus for the semester. The new and improved program will include more vigorous training for student workers and an increased focus on the educational aspect of prevention work. As OBI grows and becomes institutionally supported, we are looking to the future and all of its possibility. Workshops run by OBI might cover such topics as healthy alcohol consumption, weed 101, and how intoxication affects consent; the only limit on what we can do is our own inventiveness. Does the existence of OBI relieve others of their responsibility to intervene and therefore decrease the number of people who would be willing to help? I would argue that it does not. The presence of OBI Bystanders will instead create awareness and remind every student that active bystanding is imperative to creating a safe environment that everyone can enjoy. My hope is that OBI will remind Oberlin students that community accountability begins with watching out for each other and taking a stand against apathy. If you have suggestions for workshops you would like to see or know an event that you would like to have OBI Bystanders at, please email kmojzisz@oberlin.edu.

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International Travels Layout and text by Lucy Martin, This Week Editor Going abroad for winter term or in the Spring? There is more to pack than just shirts and socks, and more to check than the weather. Here are some important tips and reminders for your journey!

Look into the recommended vaccines for your area.

Friday December 1

The Santaland Diaries is a play that tells the story of an elf in Macy’s Santaland. Using twisted and witty humor, it critiques the holiday season’s push for consumerism. Performed in South Studios on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 from 7:30– 9:30 p.m. and Dec. 2 from 2–4 p.m. Free Admission.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Ballet is a full-length production based off of the How To Train Your Dragon movie. Tickets cost $3 in advance and $5 at the door. Located in Wilder Main Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Plum Creek Review Student Art Exhibition features students’ art and prose/poetry that have been previously published in the magazine. Located at 148 N. Main St. from 8–10 p.m. Oberlin’s production of The Bluest Eye is adapted from Toni Morrison’s book and play and follows the story of a young black girl in 1940s Ohio. She attributes her abuse and ridicule to her dark skin and prays for blue eyes.

Performed in Hall Auditorium on Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for general admission.

Saturday December2

The Asia Night Market is a place to experience good food, music, and community with the Asian and Pacific Islander Diaspora student organizations. The Market is the culmination of a series of events that challenge the connections we have to the food we eat. Carnegie Root Room from 6–8 p.m. Admission is free.

Wednesday December 6

We Are CLEAR is also hosting a Women in STEM Social that welcomes all women and nonbinary folx who are in the STEM fields to make connections, eat, and share their experiences. Female and nonbinary faculty are also encouraged to join students to share the experience and show solidarity. Snacks and refreshments will be provided by the college. Located in the Main Classroom of StudiOC in the Admissions building from 5–6 p.m.

Read up on the culture and history of the location before arriving.

Solarity Presents: WASTELAND Dress up in your favorite PostApocalyptic Look and get on the dance floor. SABA will be headlining, and there will be a `Sco pre-party with themed makeup available from 8–11 p.m. Located in Hales Gymnasium Doors open at 10 p.m. Last-minute tickets are available at the ‘Sco pregame on Saturday for $5

Monday December 4

“We Are CLEAR: First-generation/low income in STEM” is a panel of STEM students who were either first in their families to attend college or come from low-income backgrounds. College juniors Darian Gray, Travonte Ederenor, and Sage Vouse share their tips to succeed and thrive in the sciences and look forward to hearing from other low income/first-generation students and faculty about their experiences. Located in the Multicultural Resource Center from 4:30–5:30 p.m.

Get an international cell phone plan or make it a point to purchase a cell phone and/or SIM card abroad.

Thursday December 7

The Study Away Information Session for 2018–2019 will give important information regarding Oberlin’s academic leave of absence policies, as the application cycle has officially begun. It will discuss the application process, specific study away program selections and their costs, as well as deadlines. Attendance of one of these sessions is recommended if you are considering study away for Fall 2018, spring 2019, or the full academic year. Weekly information sessions are offered at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays through March 14. This first information session is in Peters 212 from 4:30–5:20 p.m.

Check if your program has a letter declaring that you are a study abroad student for travel between countries.

Look into the program and see if they cover travel insurance or if you need to get it.

Convert your money to your host country’s currency as soon as possible.

Let your credit card company know that you will be out of the country and for how long.

Research how to arrange travel visas for your host country.

Suitcase photo courtesy of Brighton Keller


International Travels Layout and text by Lucy Martin, This Week Editor Going abroad for winter term or in the Spring? There is more to pack than just shirts and socks, and more to check than the weather. Here are some important tips and reminders for your journey!

Look into the recommended vaccines for your area.

Friday December 1

The Santaland Diaries is a play that tells the story of an elf in Macy’s Santaland. Using twisted and witty humor, it critiques the holiday season’s push for consumerism. Performed in South Studios on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 from 7:30– 9:30 p.m. and Dec. 2 from 2–4 p.m. Free Admission.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Ballet is a full-length production based off of the How To Train Your Dragon movie. Tickets cost $3 in advance and $5 at the door. Located in Wilder Main Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Plum Creek Review Student Art Exhibition features students’ art and prose/poetry that have been previously published in the magazine. Located at 148 N. Main St. from 8–10 p.m. Oberlin’s production of The Bluest Eye is adapted from Toni Morrison’s book and play and follows the story of a young black girl in 1940s Ohio. She attributes her abuse and ridicule to her dark skin and prays for blue eyes.

Performed in Hall Auditorium on Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for general admission.

Saturday December2

The Asia Night Market is a place to experience good food, music, and community with the Asian and Pacific Islander Diaspora student organizations. The Market is the culmination of a series of events that challenge the connections we have to the food we eat. Carnegie Root Room from 6–8 p.m. Admission is free.

Wednesday December 6

We Are CLEAR is also hosting a Women in STEM Social that welcomes all women and nonbinary folx who are in the STEM fields to make connections, eat, and share their experiences. Female and nonbinary faculty are also encouraged to join students to share the experience and show solidarity. Snacks and refreshments will be provided by the college. Located in the Main Classroom of StudiOC in the Admissions building from 5–6 p.m.

Read up on the culture and history of the location before arriving.

Solarity Presents: WASTELAND Dress up in your favorite PostApocalyptic Look and get on the dance floor. SABA will be headlining, and there will be a `Sco pre-party with themed makeup available from 8–11 p.m. Located in Hales Gymnasium Doors open at 10 p.m. Last-minute tickets are available at the ‘Sco pregame on Saturday for $5

Monday December 4

“We Are CLEAR: First-generation/low income in STEM” is a panel of STEM students who were either first in their families to attend college or come from low-income backgrounds. College juniors Darian Gray, Travonte Ederenor, and Sage Vouse share their tips to succeed and thrive in the sciences and look forward to hearing from other low income/first-generation students and faculty about their experiences. Located in the Multicultural Resource Center from 4:30–5:30 p.m.

Get an international cell phone plan or make it a point to purchase a cell phone and/or SIM card abroad.

Thursday December 7

The Study Away Information Session for 2018–2019 will give important information regarding Oberlin’s academic leave of absence policies, as the application cycle has officially begun. It will discuss the application process, specific study away program selections and their costs, as well as deadlines. Attendance of one of these sessions is recommended if you are considering study away for Fall 2018, spring 2019, or the full academic year. Weekly information sessions are offered at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays through March 14. This first information session is in Peters 212 from 4:30–5:20 p.m.

Check if your program has a letter declaring that you are a study abroad student for travel between countries.

Look into the program and see if they cover travel insurance or if you need to get it.

Convert your money to your host country’s currency as soon as possible.

Let your credit card company know that you will be out of the country and for how long.

Research how to arrange travel visas for your host country.

Suitcase photo courtesy of Brighton Keller


A r t s & C u lt u r e

ARTS & CULTURE December 1, 2017

established 1874

Volume 146, Number 11

Emeka Directs Nuanced, Musically-Textured Production of Bluest Eye Julia Peterson Arts & Culture Editor Ellis Lane

The Bluest Eye, Lydia Diamond’s stage adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison’s 1970 novel about a young Black girl who prays for blue eyes, opened last night in Hall Auditorium. The production, directed by Associate Professor of Theater and Africana Studies Justin Emeka, OC ’95, is a richly textual and musical experience that tests the boundaries between prose and stage. One of the reasons that this play is especially resonant with Oberlin communities is that The Bluest Eye is set in Depressionera Lorain, Ohio. “Toni Morrison — she’s a genius,” said College sophomore Miyan Byers, who is responsible for dramaturgy, sound design, and video production for The Bluest Eye. “This sort of story is not something that you get the opportunity to tell all the time, or even the space [or] the resources to tell it. So I think it’s a heavy story, but it’s one that needs to be told, and I think that people should see it. It’s going to make people confront a lot of things — a lot of painful ‘whatevers’ that they are dealing with in their life — but it’s something that people need to see, and I think that healing will be done by it.” Diamond honored Morrison’s writing style by incorporating long, prosaic monologues that revel in the language as much as in the storytelling. “In our household there was love,” the character Claudia says early in the play. “Love from Mama and Daddy, thick and dark as Alaga syrup. I could smell it — taste it — sweet, musty, with an edge of wintergreen in its base. It stuck, along with my tongue, to the frosted windowpanes.” One of the prevalent themes in the script is the way that beauty is represented in popular media. The script specifies that Pecola, the main character, wants to have “blue eyes like Shirley Temple, or Mary Jane, on the Mary Jane candies. Or Jane

The Bluest Eye showcases the harm of mainstream white beauty standards on a young Black girl in Depression-era Lorain, Ohio, in Lydia Diamond’s stage adaptation of Toni Morrison’s 1970 novel. Photo Courtesy of Oberlin College Theater Department

in the primer at school,” and she “fawns over” a white baby doll that belongs to Frieda. Frieda and her sister Claudia serve as narrators for much of the production, as well as characters within it. “We talk about things like representation, but also I think it’s about common sense and sensitivity, especially to people and experiences that are not usually shown in mainstream society,” said College senior Yemko Pryor, who plays Frieda. “I think this is what this show is showing — that it’s important to give voice to those kinds of characters and those kinds of experiences, because if they’re ignored then [their pain and] struggle isn’t … outwardly experienced. It’s just internalized, and can therefore be destructive.” Musical Director Caylen Bryant, OC ’17, also discussed how the overemphasis of certain narratives of attractiveness and success in the mainstream can have severely detrimental effects on people

who do not conform to white European beauty standards. According to Bryant, the play draws out these themes in particular, as it slowly unfolds the ways in which Pecola is harmed by a society that does not consider Black girls to be beautiful. “It really speaks to how someone experiences the effects of otherness, and how that can really wear down on a person, wear down until they’re worn out,” Bryant said. “The main character spends the whole story just feeling unloved and put down, and in addition to that, she is not really helped by anyone. So many things are pitted against her. And she finally, towards the end, kind of breaks down. I think it’s important to tell the story, so that people can prevent this type of effect before it happens.” Bryant’s music direction, in collaboration with Emeka’s direction, pulled elements from the script and wove them into an auditory narrative

component to complement the action taking place on stage. The script is already musical — often specifying that characters should be singing, and making reference to instruments — so Emeka chose to bring that texture to the forefront. “There are two characters who simply narrate the play — Claudia and Frieda — and [Justin Emeka] came to me and proposed the idea of me being an auxillary sister,” Bryant said. “Because I’m also narrating it, in my own type of way. I wrote a few themes. Justin also came to me with a list of songs that he had in mind.” According to College sophomore Jaris Owens, who plays Pecola’s father Cholly Breedlove, the themes that Morrison brought forth in her writing are still resonant here in Lorain today. “Racism ... happens all the time,” Owens said. “It’s so subliminal, and it’s so ingrained, but it affects people’s lives in a very dramatic way. I think that’s what the play is getting at. This play is not a onetime thing. It’s very much a representation of things that happen all the time.” In a play that focuses very closely on the dynamics of familial relationships, the intergenerational ramifications of discrimination and trauma come to the forefront of the narrative. “The takeaway would really be … pathology — the ways in which people pass on their pain and the hurt that’s been done to them or the harm that’s been done to them,” Byers said. “Especially in this context, we’re talking about racism and what that does to generations and generations of Black people, but also looking beyond that fact. I think something she’s asking is, ‘How do we look past these things that have happened to us?’ ... ‘How do we take off these shackles of generational pain, this legacy that started in slavery?’” The Bluest Eye will have more performances tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m., in Hall Auditorium. Tickets are available through Central Ticketing Services.

Asian Food Authenticity Panel Challenges White, API Students Melissa Harris Editor-in-Chief

Asia Night Market, Oberlin’s annual December tradition where students of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage celebrate their culture and cuisine, will take place tomorrow night in the Root Room of Carnegie Building from 6-8 p.m. The event, this year in its sixth iteration, is one of the only collaborations between many of the API student organizations on campus. These organizations will prepare traditional food from their respective countries of origin in order to share the role food plays in informing their cultural identities with the campus community. In recent years, API students have tried to bridge the gap between consumption and understanding the food served at Asia Night Market by organizing panels, lectures, and participatory events leading up to the featured evening. On Nov. 29th, the Pan-Asian Committee arranged a panel titled “What is Authentic? Investigating Asian Diasporic Food” to allow guests to learn about Asian food and culture and grant students of the API diaspora the chance to grapple with what authenticity means to them. One of the underlying themes of the panel, which featured seven participants from several API student organizations, was the nuance of defining the authenticity of food. In one sense, authenticity stems from the method of how one cooks and how understanding and respecting a dish’s origin are 10

critical in its preparation. On the other hand, panelists also touched upon the subjectivity of authenticity, and how what an individual grows up with and where they are from also constructs how a sense of the genuine is constructed — the way something is cooked in your home can be authentic to someone, even if it isn’t authentic to their cuisine. To some panelists, authenticity was an active practice, a journey in learning their culture and heritage as members of the diaspora. Because food is so personal and engrained in identity, cultural appropriation is a sensitive matter that the panelists wanted to address in both food and their traditional practices. College junior Jordan DeAngelo, one of the panel organizers, said that the event was arranged to encourage people who come to Asian Night Market to overcome cultural appropriation by recognizing the meaning of food and how the API students value it. “I think it’s very useful too for non-Asian audiences to know when it’s appropriate to try to make [Asian] food,” DeAngelo said. “It’s kind of easy to exoticize Asian food and portray it as something that’s cool and trendy, ignoring the people who’re actually behind it. One panelist said something that resonated with me — that cultural appropriation is [when] people like eating food and enjoying it, but don’t actually like exploring where it’s from. And that’s very problematic.” Panelists touched upon how cultural appropriation on campus in recent years — especially with

heightened attention to campus dining appropriation like the “sushi bar” at Dascomb Hall dining hall — has largely led to the formation of events such as the food authenticity panel, which has addressed contentious campus issues regarding cultural appropriation in recent years. “I chose to be on the panel this year because of a variety of scandals that have been going on in Oberlin for a couple of years, like the ‘the food war’ two years ago,” said panelist and College sophomore Lyala Khan, a member of the South Asian Student Association. “Even at Asia Night Market there was a scandal about allowing white people to perform Taiko if they were in the club, even though they’re not Asian and a separate issue when they were Asian but not Japanese.” The panel also allowed for API students to learn about each other’s cuisines and heritages, as one of the issues discussed at the event addressed inter-Asian cultural ignorance and how the misunderstanding among Asian cultures is different from that between Eastern and Western cultures, notably because of racial legacies. “As long as there’s racism, there can’t really be [cultural exchange between] API and white people, or [people of color] and white people cultural exchange, because I think that power dynamic makes it impossible,” said College junior Mackenzie Lew, a panel organizer. “But for inter-Asian [cultural exchange], I think general ignorance is never good See Panel, page 13


ON THE RECORD

Nusha Martynuk, Choreographer Nusha Martynuk has taught at Oberlin since 1988, when she and her husband, Carter McAdams, joined the dance faculty. She completed her undergraduate degree at Temple University and was a member of Zero Moving Company, the CETA-funded Artists’ Project in NYC, and the Nikolais Dance Theatre. She and McAdams founded Partners Dance Company together. As listed in the program for CHANT — her upcoming and final show at Oberlin with her husband before their retirement — Martynuk has received numerous awards for her choreography, including from the National Endownment for the Arts, six Choreography Fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council, the Cleveland Arts Prize in Choreography in 1999, and the OhioDance award in 2010. CHANT will open with Night Clumsy, a piece originally choreographed by McAdams in 1995. There will be two improvisational works performed by Martynuk’s students, sandwiching Still Happening, a combined duet and septet choreographed by Martynuk that highlights the experience of refugees through the lens of her mother’s journaling. The show will close with The Habit of Warmth, a short duet between Carter and McAdams as they perform as Oberlin faculty members one last time. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Nusha Martynuk, dance professor since 1988 and choreographer at Partners Dance Company. Photo Courtesy of Nusha Martynuk Interview by Kate Fishman Staff Writer

Can you talk to me a little bit about your dance career in general, but also specifically at Oberlin and what that’s been like for you? Well, it spans 45 years, so it’s hard to talk about it as one idea. … In my later years, I started to really enjoy the fact that I became very aware that I had begun dance when there was a thing called modern dance. When I was living in New York City this thing called postmodern dance came to be, and I was smack there in the city when that was happening. Now we’re in contemporary, so I’ve been doing this through three cycles. I feel very fortunate because they are very different, one from another, and I just came in on the tail end of one and then lived through a second one without really participating that much. But it was interesting to sort of see what my take on it was and whether or not I was going to want to participate in it. Then I moved into these beginning stages of this new place we’re at called contemporary dance. So my career spans all that, and throughout my career I’ve always been interested in choreographing as well as performing. You talked about living through three cycles of dance and choreographing through those three cycles. Do you feel that any one style, or that all of them, have informed the way that you choreograph? It’s especially interesting when [I] teach choreography because that process makes me look at my own work from a very different point of view. I’m teaching people how to make dances but [it’s important] for them to know ... something of the historical background of what came before where we’re situated right now.

While I’m teaching and talking to them about that, of course it makes me think very much about where I situate myself in all of that. So I watched in postmodern dance a very different take on what it is to construct material and while I didn’t embrace everything about postmodern dance, I certainly was influenced by it and allowed my own research as a choreographer to shift throughout that period. When contemporary dance came into being, I find that in many ways it’s very liberating again because I think that it allows for the presence of so many different voices and technical backgrounds that a choreographer can once again reach into their own truth of what movement is and their own background ­­— who they are and what they have experienced, both in dance and in the world — and bring that experience to this contemporary world. So I’m very at ease about this whole contemporary shift. I felt like I could reach into it and allow it to resonate within me more so than I could postmodern dance. What does it mean to you to be both a choreographer and a performer, and how do you approach those roles? Let me talk about the performer role first, because I love being a performer — not because I love being on stage so much, but rather [because] I love the process of learning your own work or someone else’s work. Some dancers are all about loving to be on stage and some are all about loving to be in rehearsal ... I love the creative process ... I love striving to provide … the vision of the choreographer. I also really enjoyed that to me dance often felt like a really athletic act. You know, dancing is an athletic act, and I tried to be true to that for as long as I could. It’s a little harder now. Actually, I would say that in all honesty I probably stopped performing consistently 12 years ago, so actually doing this concert is re-engaging with performance and I think I’m OK with that right now ... so that’s the performance part. And the choreographer part — I’ve always felt, even when I was an undergrad, that I wanted to make work. I think it’s similar in some regards to what I said about performance, and that is just

that I feel most alive when I am engaged in making something, whatever that is. In particular, when you’re surrounded by collaborators who are working with you and supporting that … that feels like a huge gift. How do you use improvisation as an entrance point for choreography, if you do, and then also what does improvisation mean to you as its own form for the purpose of performance? I’ve gone through a lot of different stages of working with improvisational performance. One of the things that is consistent with [improvisational performance] is that as something presents itself to you, you want to understand what that is physically and see if it suggests something to you in some other way as well. Is it a metaphor? Does it suggest some way of being or way of feeling? You’re doing all this while you’re in motion, so you’re not making decisions about what you’re doing in the dance. It’s more like while you’re moving forward, you’re giving yourself a chance to assess what just happened so that you can hold onto it. When you do move forward, you start to build off a little vocabulary in hindsight so you can build it into an improvisation. Even though it’s improvisational, it has structure and it has an integrity of its own. I really enjoyed working with the students this semester in improvisational performance, because we pretty assiduously stay away from working intensively with any kind of structure but rather really [learn] to do that assessment of “Alright, so how…do we find a common ground and persist in this moment and develop it?” I think they’re doing some really beautiful work and that’s really fun to watch. The musicians have been with us throughout, which is a real blessing. I think the second thing you were asking is how improvisation contributes to creating work ... the strongest method I would employ is working with the dancers and giving them very strong prompts in terms of what I’m looking for, but then letting them improvise to those prompts to find material that they determine —

because they feel like they know it, they understand it, it came from them. To me, one of the really interesting things about choreography isn’t about generating the movement so much as it is about the way in which you create a larger structure in which that movement exists. How different components, as you can see in the long dance today, appear, reappear, insist on being seen again, alter themselves, [and] change their dynamic ... Once the movement is created, there’s so much you can do with it. What inspires you to make dances? Where do you think your choreography comes from? It seems to me that every time I settle on something I think is worth pursuing, it’s because a number of strands come together at the same moment. I think we all have these experiences where you get an idea and you go, “Oh, that’s such a great idea,” and it really comes to nothing because it’s an idea, it’s one thing. But when many different thoughts come together, and all these strands start to weave together; I think that’s when the piece starts to insist on being made. … I think what’s really interesting about making work and choreographing is, because you choreograph in the moment, with people, you never know where it’s going to go. I watch my students do this, and I tell them it’s going to happen — very often, you think you’re going to make a piece about this, but as you’re making it it takes its own direction and creates its own logic, and your job is to follow that direction and that logic, not force it into a different place that you thought you were going to be, and as that happens you discover a lot about what was really brewing somewhere deep in your mind. And that discovery is always surprising and always interesting. You asked, “Why do you keep choreographing?” Because it … unveils things that you’re not even conscious of. … You learn something about your subject, yourself, and your take on the subject.

OINC Showcases Unconventional Improv Performance Russell Jaffe Staff Writer

When I went to attend the Oberlin Improvisation and New Music Collective’s latest performance at the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space on Wednesday night, I had no idea what to expect. I had never seen the OINC before, and when I thought of improv shows, I imagined fast-paced jokes on a dimlylit stage or silly songs composed on the fly — the sorts of things that friends sometimes do together when everyone is bored and has had a little too much to drink. The OINC’s performance was unlike anything I had imagined. The show consisted of two main acts. The first improvisation was carried out by two musicians, who used synthesizers to engineer a variety of innovative sounds together. These were not songs by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, I found myself hard pressed to call the performance “music” in the traditional sense of the word. Lacking both a tune and a discernible pattern, The Oberlin Review | December 1, 2017

it nevertheless presented a fascinating, unpredictable combination of noises. At one moment, the performers could fixate on one type of sound, like static pops, while a minute later, they switched to robotic beeping instead. Nothing seemed to be off the table, and so I like to think that we were being presented not with improvised music, but improvised sound. Even though the lack of structure allowed the musicians to demonstrate a great deal of innovation, that performance ultimately lacked direction. The novelty of new sounds quickly wore off and without a clear point or theme to tie the different pieces together, the combinations of sound occasionally felt random. In fact, toward the end of the performance, I was beginning to feel as though I were just listening to bizarre white noise. The second act was where the OINC truly began to shine. First, the performers gathered on stage to introduce themselves and the instruments that they would be using. These ranged from relatively conventional choices like a harp and a drum set, to modular synthesizers, to entirely

unconventional contraptions, like several bottles filled with marbles or a staticky old TV. The creativity of these instruments immediately struck me as one of the most interesting things that I saw throughout the performance. I could hardly imagine how each performer must have practiced playing with such unusual tools, many of them apparently hand-built. The performance itself proved to be as innovative and varied as the instruments. Just like before, the sound had none of the usual characteristics that might classify it as a song. However, with so many different types of noise playing off of each other, the performers were able to engineer something that was unlike any music I had ever heard. Each time a new type of sound was introduced, I found that I was unable to stop myself from taking notice. Ultimately, the greatest moments came when the different musicians worked together. Synchronization gave this act its direction — sometimes, when I saw the performers look at each other, I could practically see a See Improv page 13 11


A r t s & C u lt u r e

Heathers Explores Dark Elements of High School Ananya Gupta Arts & Culture Editor Editor’s note: This articles contains spoilers for Heathers: The Musical, as well as mention of murder, suicide, homophobia, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.

Heathers: The Musical, the darkly funny teen musical awash with ’80s references and pithy one-liners, opened Nov. 17 in Wilder Main Space and ran throughout the weekend. Though ostensibly a comedy, the musical — based on the 1988 movie of the same name — deals with a array of serious themes including suicide and murder. Set in a small-town high school, the main character, Veronica Sawyer — played by College junior Gabi Shiner — careens through a wide variety of situations and emotions. Plot points range from Veronica’s desire to join the clique of popular girls — all named Heather — to her involement in a toxic and eventually deadly relationship with J.D. (College junior Kirsten Mojziszek), a fellow high schooler with a fraught background. “It’s teenage angst taken to the extreme,” said first-year Lauren Elwood, a member of the ensemble. As Veronica herself says in the musical, “My teenage bullshit now has a body count.” The music, directed in this production by College junior Benjamin Balatbat, turns on a dime. The show is front-loaded with numbers like the high-octane, heavily choreographed “Candy Store,” where the Heathers, played by College sophomore Talia Roland-Kalb, College junior Heather Loschen, and College sophomore Casey Labbate, threaten to send Veronica back into her unpopular obscurity unless she wholeheartedly joins their plot to humiliate Veronica’s childhood friend Martha (Conservatory senior Alexandra Sophocleus). There are also songs like “Fight For Me,” where Veronica describes the fight that J.D. and a pair of jocks engage in at the cafeteria while a chorus of students sings “holy shit” and the altercation plays out in slow motion before the audience’s eyes. “The musical is really campy, in a lot of ways,” said Mojziszek, who played J.D. “It’s funny. The music is amazing and hilarious in so many ways, but also so dark, and you feel awful for laughing.

Cast members from Heathers: The Musical performed the cult ’80s hit dealing with issues of teen suicide, murder, and clique culture in Wilder Main Space Nov. 17.  Photo by Kellianne Doyle

That was definitely something we tried to balance — the campiness versus the serious — because it’s so easy to do a production that just plays up the campy bit and doesn’t really address the fact that there’s some really serious stuff going on.” One of the big changes that Mojziszek as well as College junior and Director Ryan Linskey made when rehearsing this production was choosing to play J.D., normally played by and as a man, as nonbinary. “It was queering the story, which was really exciting,” Mojziszek said. “But it’s also something hard to work with, especially because J.D. is the villain in this situation. It is a pretty annoying and sick trope that you’re always going to portray the queer person as the villain. But something that was exciting about this that Ryan [Linskey] and I had talked about a lot, especially in the first couple of days after he had cast me, was talking about how this is great because you’re making Veronica queer as well. So you’re also queering the hero.” For a show that deals with homophobia in many explicit and deliberately comedic ways — J.D. gets into the aforementioned fight with the jocks after being called a homophobic slur, and the second act begins with a song called “Dead Gay Son,” entirely played for laughs — queering both main characters resulted in the play’s emotional beats landing with more resonance than they would in a traditionally cast production. “During ‘Dead Girl Walking,’ people

cheered when they saw the Ace bandage [that Mojziszek was binding her chest with while playing J.D.],” Shiner said. “It was cool that that was a thing that was meaningful to some people when they saw it.” The relationship between J.D. and Veronica quickly devolves from a pairing that might have been charming and nerdy — they share moments over 7/11 slushies and Baudelaire quotes — to one that is highly toxic. The Oberlin cast highlighted this dynamic with great intention during the production. “The relationship between J.D. and Veronica is abusive,” Mojziszek said. “I think that sometimes that gets blown over when you’re listening to the story or seeing it. It’s something where it’s easy to say, ‘Oh, J.D.’s a bad dude, or a bad person,’ and ‘here’s these popular girls,’ and not really delve into some of the things that are happening more seriously.” “I think it’s an archetypal relationship that is less discussed, which is an abusive teenage relationship that forms on being in love with someone else’s trauma and their own f—ed up-ness,” Shiner added. “I think it’s common — this relationship of two teenagers that are drawn to each other and drawn to each other’s feelings that they will only find solace in someone else who understands what it’s like to feel like the most traumatized and messed up person around them. I think that the arc of that relationship ends up being so much about, ‘Oh, I definitely can’t be with a person based on how toxic everything

else in our life is.’” Although the musical deals sensitively with many of the issues that it attempts to address, it also falls short in other places, particularly at dealing with the instances of sexual assault that take place in the show. Loschen, who played Heather Duke, noted that some songs veered into particularly egregious territory. “It’s written and adapted by people who are discussing experiences that aren’t necessarily their own, and they left a lot to be desired,” Loschen said about the writers of both the movie and the musical. “Particularly in the musical, the song ‘Blue,’ which is a fun number — and I know this, the writer said this, that they wrote that song to make the sexual assailants seem fun. And they’ve come out with a statement saying that they regret having written that song, they wrote a new song. But as a survivor, having my character enter the stage talking about having been sexually assaulted and trying to tell her assailant to go away, and then singing a fun number and having people laughing in the audience and seeing all their faces, was horrifying.” For Shiner, a great deal of the value of Heathers comes from the way that it represents high schoolers’ stories and experiences with nuance and respect. “People really do go through things with consequences at that age,” Shiner said. “It’s OK for the stories that transpire when you’re in high school to be real experiences that inform you as a person. It’s OK to accept that, and not be embarrassed about that.” To Loschen, one of the reasons that this story has had such an enduring appeal on film and on stage is some of the feminist overtones woven through the story. “Because the movie Heathers is so engrained in cult culture, and it was so important back then to see these really powerful women — you didn’t really see a lot of that, you didn’t really get interactions between women who were good and bad — and seeing women have agency, even if that agency was used in horrible ways, was really paramount at the time,” Loschen said. “And getting to embody that helped me continue to build that legacy. It gave me a feeling of power, knowing that people were excited to see me and excited to see me kick some ass.”

Blood, Lineage Play Significant Roles in Pixar’s Coco Ananya Gupta Arts & Culture Editor Editor’s note: This review contains spoilers for Coco. Though the idea of blinking out of existence once forgotten by the living is terrifying, Pixar presents it with cute skeletons and masterful, vibrant animation in Coco, which was released Nov. 22. Co-directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, Coco is the story of a Mexican family broken apart by a father who chose to follow his musical passion over his wife, Imelda, and daughter, Coco. Heartbroken and angry, Imelda develops a hatred for music that spreads throughout generations of the Rivera family, banning it from their home and lives for centuries to come. The protagonist of the film is Imelda’s great-great-grandson, 12-year-old Miguel, who harbors a secret love for music and a desire to be a famous artist like his inspiration, the acclaimed Ernesto de la Cruz. While Miguel’s extended family attempts to divert his enthusiasm toward the family business of shoemaking, Miguel is fixated on to his passion, followng one of de la Cruz’s maxims — “Seize the moment!” — by performing at a celebration of Día de los Muertos. Día de los Muertos is a Mexican festival during which dead loved ones visit their living relatives for a single night of feasts and festivities to remember those who have died. The condition, however, is that you must be remembered 12

by the living in order to survive in the alternate realm of the dead, and must have a photograph somewhere in the living world to qualify for an annual visit. When Miguel’s grandmother Elena breaks his guitar after learning of his aspirations, he discovers a photograph, suggesting that he may be the descendant of Ernesto de la Cruz. Overjoyed, Miguel attempts to borrow the star’s guitar from his shrine; that’s when things get, as described in a song written by Molina and Germain Franco, “Un Poco Loco” (a little crazy). In a flurry of marigold petals, Miguel enters the land of the dead and must find his way back home. Issues of family, loyalty, and ambition all complicate his journey. There is nothing extraordinary about the central characters of the movie — Miguel, Ernesto, and Héctor, who becomes Miguel’s guide through the world of the dead. These characters showcased minimal novelty and acted predictably, though their delivery was as masterful as one would expect from a Pixar movie. The most resonant character is the dog, Dante, Miguel’s sole companion in music, life, and death. While lovable scamps are an overplayed archetype of dogs in animation, Dante was especially charming for his utter lack of grace. Most dogs are portrayed as loyal lickers, but Dante shines particularly for his dedication to food, his itchy hairless body, and his bizarre expressions — terrifyingly accurate anthropomorphisms of ugly selfies taken by millennials. Despite his oddities, Dante plays the endearingly cliched guide and helper to Miguel until he is awarded the status

of spirit guide by Miguel’s friends and family after a heroic escape. When Dante transforms into a rainbow version of himself, representing his spiritual awakening, he also develops a pair of wings. No character in the history of Pixar, Disney, or any other major animated franchise could possibly be less elegant and clumsy in flight. While the movie portrays Dante as Miguel’s guardian angel, Dante comes across more as a good-hearted but oblivious trainee. Of all the characters, he garners the most joy and laughter throughout the film with his blundering antics. The other character that stood out in this coming-ofage film was Coco herself. Both as a young girl singing songs with her father as he leaves to pursue his dream, and as a great-grandmother struggling to remember him, Coco’s relationship with her father is a real tear-jerker. Her reunion as an old grandmother with her young father in death is incredibly touching. Hinting at a deeper message of love transcending issues of abandonment and forgiveness, the movie relates the idea that family is a wellwisher that often exhibits controlling behavior out of an overbearing need to protect it’s own. Centering a narrative on hyper-protective parents of color, Coco tells a beautiful tale of absorbing wisdom from one’s roots, but never giving up on “who you are meant to be.” The message is one of family as an encouraging and supporting anchor in life rather than a hindrance, and the peppy music accompanying the endearing characters tells this story in a vibrant and engaging way.


Panel Educates On Cultural Meaning of Asian Food

Elf Antics

Continued from page 10

David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries tells the story of Crumpet the Elf (Daniel Fleischer) and his experience working in a Macy’s Christmas Santaland. Directed by Nathan Carpenter, The Santaland Diaries is a one-man show commenting on the

materialistic aspect of the beloved holiday season in an ironic, dry, “Bah! humbug” fashion. Text by Ellis Lane & Ananya Gupta Arts & Culture Editor Photo by Justin Bank

CROSSWORD ANSWERS: BUREACRACY IS A DRAG, MAN

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and it’s always best to strive to actually know what you’re doing. But I don’t think it plays into the power dynamics really.” Khan also acknowledged that there is a difference in privilege between API and white individuals, but that it is still important to address cultural ignorance on an inter-Asian level. “It’s not OK for a Chinese person to have no understanding of Japanese culture, the same way it’s not OK for a white person to have no understanding of Japanese culture,” Khan said. “Where white people are concerned the issue does become that of power dynamics, the kind of influence and impact that the West has had on the Eastern part of the world. It does become an issue of being able to acknowledge your privilege.” College sophomore and panelist representing the Filipinx American Student Association Olivia Vasquez said that listening to other students’ experiences with food and culture at the panel was inspirational. “It’s refreshing in the sense that I always learn something new, but it’s grounding because there is solidarity in our stories and commonalities in our connections to food that isn’t talked about in everyday conversation,” Vasquez said. Vasquez added that since coming to Oberlin, her perspective of her own cultural understanding of Filipinx

food has changed from participating in Asia Night Market panels and being in FASA and the Asian American Alliance. “Before coming to Oberlin, my relationship with Filipinx food was always rooted in family and home,” Vasquez said. “After coming to Oberlin, not only did I develop a greater appreciation for Filipinx food, but my perspective of cultural food has expanded because of events like Asia Night Market or discussions in cultural [organizations]. This perspective has brought me closer and connected me to people through these conversations, and eating Filipinx food with friends always creates a little home away from home.” Although API students had the opportunity to learn from each other, the panel was ultimately geared toward informing a white audience. However, the panel guests mostly consisted of other API students, which brought slight disappointment to panel participants. “I was a little disappointed that there weren’t a lot of white people in the audience, because I feel like they are who this sort of thing is targeting the most, and they need to be educated the most about these issues,” Khan said. “That was the purpose of the panel; I wish there had been more people and more time.”

Improv Music Ensemble Combines Teamwork, Innovation, Mad Science Continued from page 11

conversation taking place without words. Their instruments did all of the talking for them. “It’s all about listening and communicating with other players,” said Conservatory sophomore Rachel Gibson, who performed with the ensemble. “It’s different from other ensembles because we’re not using music. We’re just relying on listening to others. I’ve been doing this for two semesters now. I think it’s a really good way to be really free from traditional music that’s written.” While the second half of the evening had more direction than the first, it also suffered from a lack of cohesion. The performers did not always work together as well as they could have, and this led to occasional periods in which a single type of sound began to dominate the performance. Lacking novelty, these periods were generally unmemorable and bordered on monotony. For this reason, the OINC’s best work appeared in the first half of each act. Here, their creativity was most apparent, and their innovative explorations of noise were what ultimately made the performance worth seeing. The point was not the sound in itself — it lay in watching how the performance was made, and seeing the creativity behind every aspect, from the instruments to the performers themselves.

THE UNFORTUNATE OWL: FLYING PADDY MCCABE

The Oberlin Review | December 1, 2017

13


Sp ort s

Gardiner Leaves Yeowomen After Program Turnaround, Successful 67-Game Career

Senior forward Gwennie Gardiner fights for a ball against the Kenyon College Ladies’ defense in the Yeowomen’s 2–1 loss to the Kenyon College Ladies on Oct. 24. Photo courtesy of OC Athletics Alex McNicoll Sports Editor

Gwennie Gardiner wears a ribbon in every single one of her soccer games. It’s for good luck. However, she probably didn’t need it when she scored her fourth goal of the game at the 22:30 mark of Oberlin’s 8–0 dismantling of the Geneva College Golden Tornadoes on her way to the program’s first United Soccer Coaches’ National Player of the Week award in September. She has long since traded her ribbon for a Yeowomen’s Soccer sweatshirt after playing her last game on Oct. 28. Of course, this was before earning an All-NCAC Second Team and

an Honorable Mention to go along with two First Team selections, the only NCAC First Team All-Regionals selection in 2017, and the first Offensive Player of the Year Award in program history. Even in her last game — a 3–1 win against the DePauw University Tigers — she managed to set more school records. When she netted a breakaway in the 83rd minute, her second goal of the game, she iced the program’s first-ever win against the Tigers. As a four-year starter, she was the player to watch in nearly all 67 of her games. At 5’3”, Gardiner matches up with opposing defenders like Jose Altuve does with Aaron Judge.

But with track and field AllNCAC speed, it wasn’t so tough for spectators to keep an eye on her. Outside of 46 goals and 107 points scored in her career, it was one-step cuts like a slot receiver and Bolt-like dashes that left scouts and coaches alike in awe, and defenders — as well as pretty much the entire North Coast Athletic Conference — trying to keep up. On the other hand, her Kevin Garnett-like passion would be easier to appreciate, let alone more contagious, if she could just find a way to stay in one place. For her, that sort of enthusiasm is more recognizable off the field. Even for record-setting collegiate athletes, after a rainy preseason practice it’s

Yeomen Falter, Women Thrive In First NCAC Conference Play Continued from page 16

in a mastery of your concepts. I believe that if you are good at what you do and you master what you do, then you can compete and play against anybody.” The team will get the weekend off as they prepare for their next game against the Denison University Big Red at 7:30 p.m. in Philips gym next Wednesday. The Yeomen — who were also on the road — were less fortunate in their Wednesday matchup, as a strong second half was too little, too late to overcome a 34–25 halftime deficit to the Tigers. Led by sophomore guard Joshua Friedkin’s team-high 17 points, the young team — which has no seniors and just three juniors — outscored the Tigers 44–40 in the second half and outshot the Tigers from the floor 50 percent to 43 percent, and from behind the three-point line 41 percent to 27 percent. However, they could not get anything going on the boards, as they were out-rebounded 44–24 in the 13-point loss. Despite the defeat, the Yeomen have remained in good spirits. Junior guard Eli Silverman-Lloyd, who has taken on a veteran leadership role this season, felt good about how his team played. “Even though we lost [Wednesday], win-

14

ning over the weekend was great for us,” Silverman-Lloyd said. “It was really good to see how everything we’ve been working on in practice can come together.” While they now stand 0–2 in the conference, the Yeomen have already exceeded their expectations going into the season. In what was expected to be a rebuilding year, the Yeomen enjoyed Thanksgiving weekend by winning the 32nd annual Harold J. Brodie Tournament at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. The Yeomen cruised through the tournament — consisting of four teams — by besting the SUNY Cobbleskill Fighting Tigers 80–77, then the tournament host Tigers 76–52 in the championship. Sophomore forward Andre Campbell earned tournament MVP, joining fellow sophomore guard Christian Fioretti on the All-Tournament team. “We’ve started out pretty strong and have already won more games this early in the season than we did all last year,” SilvermanLloyd said. “It’s really cool to be a part of this team’s rebuilding process.” The Yeomen look to build on their success as they face off against the Hiram College Terriers tomorrow at 3 p.m. in Philips gym.

easier to go across Oberlin’s campus from the practice field to Slow Train in a car. So last year, when then first-year Jackie Brant was doing just that, Gardiner decided to hop in the car with her new teammate. As an informal introduction to the team, a post-practice coffee became an hour-and-a-half conversation between the two soccer players. Gardiner joined her first club soccer team when she was five. Club, of course, is the best track to being recruited to play college. No one recruits from high school anymore. But, in seventh grade and still only 5’2”, she had to make a decision. She loved soccer and volleyball, but she wasn’t growing any more. She always had fun playing volleyball, but she was better at soccer. Before fellow senior Josie Marshall braided her hair and helped her put on a ribbon — a 67-game tradition — for the first time in 2014, Gardiner knew that she had her work cut out for her. Dan Palmer, who at the time was putting together his first recruiting class as head coach for the women’s soccer team, had been extremely blunt with her. The Yeowomen were barely a soccer program. He told Gardiner, who was weighing offers from other liberal arts schools and attempting to play Division I, that if she came to Oberlin, she’d be the start of a complete rebuilding process. But he said she’d have the opportunity to be a huge asset and a part of something special. With a neuroscience degree, one that not

many other liberal arts schools offer, and the chance to headline a program overhaul, she was in. She ended up with majors in both English and History, but pretty much everything else went according to plan. In the Yeowomen’s matchup against the Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jackets just a week before they faced the Golden Tornadoes, Gardiner scored a goal that was a little different than the other 45 in her career — or any moment in her career, really. In the 80:55 minute, she scored a goal that she felt like she didn’t have to do anything for. If anyone else happened to have been playing striker at that moment, they would have scored the goal too. The team she joined had come a long way by the time she left it. With junior All-NCAC Second Team defense Maddi Kimball and first-year All-NCAC Honorable Mention midfielder Lucy Fredell returning to a team that was just one or two games away from the fourth seed, next year’s Yeowomen might just make the playoffs — or at least beat Kenyon. These are both milestones that Gardiner never reached in her four years representing Oberlin. No matter how many wins they get, the leader of the program’s turnaround won’t be here to see it. But, she’s not too stressed about it. She’ll probably just be with her fiancé — Ben Venerdi, OC ’17 — on the beach. “I’m not very interesting,” she said. “I’m just a girl who played soccer from San Diego.”


IN THE LOCKER ROOM

Eliza Poor and Tristan Clonch, Club Soccer Captains This week, the Review sat down with club soccer captains and college seniors Eliza Poor and Tristan Clonch, both of whom have been members of the team for their entire Oberlin careers. We discussed the team’s culture, sense of community, and overall inclination towards prioritizing a fun experience for all its members. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Seniors Tristan Clonch (left) and Eliza Poor, Oberlin club soccer captains. Photo courtesy of OC Athletics

Alex McNicoll and Julie Schreiber Sports Editors

How and when did you get involved with the club soccer team? Eliza Poor: We both got started on the team during our freshman year. I was playing soccer on North Quad with friends during orientation, and the then-captain approached us and invited us to play. That’s how I started out — it was really simple. Tristan Clonch: It was the beginning of freshman year, so I hadn’t really given soccer much thought yet. But a friend was going to the club fair and told me to come with him, and he ended up introducing me to the club soccer team. I sort of just went with it. What is the difference between club soccer and intramural soccer at Oberlin? EP: Compared to intramural, club soccer is a bit more competitive. We still accept everyone who wants to participate, but generally the level of play remains a bit more competitive than intramural. We travel and play club teams from other colleges, as opposed to just playing amongst teams created at Oberlin. But intramural soccer is really fun and has unfortunately declined a lot recently. TC: During our freshman year, there was an outdoor intramural league at Oberlin. But the outdoor league needed 11 players per team, and it can be hard to get, like, 40-something people to join just to get four teams. The indoor intramural league still exists though and is a ton of fun.

Has soccer been a big part of your lives? What made you want to play soccer in college? TC: Growing up, I went to a private school, so I played both within my school and outside of it. I went to some camps, but in the end, decided not to try to get recruited. When I came to Oberlin, I knew I didn’t want to play on the varsity team but that I still really wanted to keep playing soccer, and club soccer was so fun that there was never a reason to stop playing. EP: I’ve been playing soccer since second grade, both inside and outside of school. I definitely wanted to focus more on academics at college, and I anticipated the varsity team would be a huge time commitment. I wanted a good in-between, and club soccer has been perfect for that. As a year-round sport, how does club soccer manage to retain its players? TC: We don’t really need to try that hard, honestly. As a team, we definitely encourage people to try to be as committed as possible, but we also understand that for us, soccer is a secondary activity. No one is receiving credit or payment or anything — we’re just trying to have fun, and we want to cultivate an environment where people just want to come. Sometimes it can be hard, especially as captains, to not really get anything in return for all the work we put in, because we’re always busy organizing stuff, transporting equipment, and delegating many tasks. It’s been a lot of

work, but it’s so worth it. I look forward to it every day. EP: Yeah, delegation is really important on this team because we do all of our own communication with the College — all the administrative stuff. Flexibility is also really important, and we like to acknowledge that everyone is really busy — we’re both really busy, too — but we do this because we want to have fun. What is the atmosphere of the club soccer team? EP: As a team, our biggest goal is to foster a community that exists not just in soccer but outside of it as well. The upperclassmen on the team try to be role models and be accessible for teammates to come talk to if they have any questions — not just about soccer, but anything at Oberlin. TC: Our team is so full of different types of people, because we accept literally everybody from the start. In the beginning of every semester we have returning players, new players, people who have played soccer their whole lives, and people who just want to try soccer for the first time. It can be hard at first to facilitate a team dynamic, but once we get into the swing of things, it really starts feeling like a family. EP: The vibe of the team is just like, a lot of people who really love soccer but can’t commit in the same way that a varsity player would. But that’s also where our dedication comes from. We are from all different sectors of campus — we have Conservatory

students, science, and humanities students — and we all have a common bond of our love of soccer that brings us together and fosters a different community that’s separate than ones we might have that are related to our academics or other extracurricular activities. What events and tournaments has the team participated in this year? TC: One of our team members is a liaison who organizes games with other club soccer liaisons from other schools, actually. Since our team is 100 percent student-run, we have to organize our own games and transportation, so it’s a really important job. This year’s liaison is Jane Agler. EP: We only played in one tournament this past semester. The tournaments we play in aren’t the same type of tournaments that, like, the Frisbee teams might play in, because they’re not organized by a larger league. Our tournaments really just rely on communication amongst students, which has been a challenge with other schools this year. We keep getting things organized but other schools keep bailing on us last minute, so we haven’t had as many tournaments as we would’ve liked to have this semester. We’ve had three games this semester, but having more tournaments would be fun. Out of all club sports, yours has the most cross over between club and varsity athletics. Why do you think that is? TC: Since the varsity teams’

seasons ends pretty early, often the seniors will sort of trickle in after it’s over. Same with many fifth-year students who have already used up all their eligibility to play on the varsity team. Sometimes, people either quit varsity to play with us or leave us to play varsity. It makes sense, though, because soccer is such a common sport to grow up with, there are so many Oberlin students with varying levels of experience who want to try out different ways to play in college. What’s coming up in the future for the club soccer team? TC: Right now, we’re transitioning into our winter indoor league in the field house. We’re not going to have any games, and instead we’ll focus on the upcoming indoor intramural league, which mostly consists of club soccer players — we make up about four out of the six teams — but we encourage other people to join too, because we love playing other people. It’s more of a transition period for us, and when we get back to school and it starts getting warm again, we’ll go out on Bailey field and practice there as a team. We’re trying to set up more tournaments in the spring, because that’s our main season and usually when we have our real, big tournaments of the year. EP: We also like to do social events for the team a lot, too. Around Halloween, we all went to a haunted house together, and we’re doing a “secret snowman” gift exchange before the semester ends. We really like to stick together.

Write-In Votes for Athletes Must Consider Qualifications Alex McNicoll Sports Editor

New York sports fans found a novel way of honoring their athletes off the field last month, as the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Knick’s Kristaps Porzingis received write-in votes for mayor of New York City in November’s election. Judge, the Rookie of the Year who came in second place for American League MVP; and Porzingis, the Latvian-born phenom averaging 27 points a game this year, were not the first ­— and certainly won’t be the last — athletes to earn this sort of appreciation from fans. Instead, their write-ins indicate how athletes play multifaceted roles in fans’ lives beyond in the sports themselves. Fresh off a Boston Red Sox world series win, World Series MVP David Ortiz came in third place for Boston’s 2013 mayorial race. Ortiz had been a clubhouse leader of the Red Sox in each of his 12 years with the team, and 2013 was The Oberlin Review | December 1, 2017

a year in which Boston relied on social and athletic figures heavily. In April, the city endured the Boston Marathon bombings. Before their next home game, the Dominican-born player took a few moments to discuss this pride in his professional home, saying “this is our f—king city” to a packed Fenway Park crowd. The vulgarity of Ortiz’s comments was ignored and his status of a Boston hero was solidified. As professional athletes, players most likely do not have the experience in policy, law, or economics to be completely prepared to serve in office. However, athletes still possess qualities of high pressure leadership that fans connect to politics, in ways that could have almost had profound effects on U.S. history. “Iron Mike” Ditka, former NFL player and — more notably — coach of the 1985–86 Super Bowl Champions, The Chicago Bears, was adored by his fans and peers. In 2004, he was approached by Republican leaders to run for the

open senate seat in Illinois, but declined. Instead, Barack Obama ran, won, and later became President. If Ditka, who was seen as the GOP’s best candidate at the time, had run and won, who knows what politics today would look like. The merging of sports and politics is not something that exists only in speculation, however. The most notable athletes to make the switch from sports to politics after their athletic careers finished would be Kevin Johnson and Bill Bradley. Johnson, a four-time All-NBA second team point guard who played from 1987–2000, decided to return to UC Berkeley to study political science after his retirement. He then became the first African-American mayor of Sacramento, his hometown, winning both in 2008 with a landslide election and then in his 2012 re-election. While Johnson managed to launch education initiatives to benefit students in Sacramento, CA — as well as fight to keep the Sacramento Kings, the capital

city’s NBA team, from moving to Anaheim, CA, or Seattle — Bradley was unquestionably the most successful athlete-turned-politician. Bradley, who declined all 75 of his basketball scholarships to attend Princeton University, then Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship after his graduation, followed up a 10year basketball career in the NBA by becoming a U.S. Senator for New Jersey from 1979 to 1997. The merging of sports and politics can be both a over-idolization of stars and an example of sports’ brightest minds. How fans celebrate players that represent their cities in sports and choose who represents them politically are subject to debate. However, it is ridiculous to think a player’s athletic achievements will translate to political ability. The most successful athletes in office got there because of off-field and post-retirement actions, not because of how they represent their city in their sport.

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SPORTS December 1, 2017

established 1874

Volume 146, Number 11

Schiano’s Mediocrity an Unacknowledged Motive of Protests Julie Schreiber Sports Editor

Editor’s note: This article contains mentions of sexual abuse.

Junior guard Eli Silverman-Lloyd spins by the Earlham College Quakers on his way to 12 points in the Yeomen’s 81–80 home win Nov. 19. The Yeomen, who are 4–2 this season, play their next game against the Hiram College Terriers in Philips gym at 3 p.m. tomorrow. Photo courtesy of OC Athletics

Yeowomen Best Scots, Yeomen Lose to Tigers Jane Agler Staff Writer Alex McNicoll and Julie Schreiber Sports Editors

In a two-week stretch that saw a buzzerbeater finish for the Yeowomen and a tournament win for the Yeomen, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams enter the bulk of conference play with plenty to be proud of. In their most recent games Wednesday, the Yeowomen trounced the College of Wooster Fighting Scots 72–51, while the Yeomen dropped their second conference game to the Wittenberg University Tigers 78–65. Now, while both programs sit at 4–2 overall, the Yeowomen command a 2–0 conference record, while the Yeomen have yet to record a conference win. “We are a good defensive team,” Yeowomen Head Coach Kerry Jenkins said. “We’ve been working the whole week on being focused … and focusing on [how] to keep moving forward.” The Yeowomen established their momentum in the first quarter when they finished with a 18–13 lead against the Fighting Scots at The College of Wooster Wednesday. In the remainder of the first half, the Yeowomen held the Fighting Scots to only eight points while netting 17 of their, riding a comfortable 35–21 lead into the half. The pressure on the Fighting Scots only grew with each passing minute, as the Yeowomen gained a 21-point lead with just under five minutes left in the third quarter. Junior guard Alex Stipano notched in a careerhigh 28 points to help the Yeowomen finish with a season-high of 72 points to the Fighting Scots’ 51. “The team and I are really pumped,” Stipano wrote in an email to the Review. “We focused when we needed to, executed on both sides of the court, stayed calm in a pressure situation, and came out with a great team win.”

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Against the Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jackets on Sunday, it was a 10-foot jump shot from senior captain Tyler Parlor that, with just seconds left in the game, clinched a 46–45 win for the Yeowomen. After trailing for much of the game, the Yeowomen had a valiant comeback in the final nine minutes that left the Yellow Jackets utterly flustered. The Yeowomen had a short-lived lead of 8–2 until halfway through the first quarter when the Yellow Jackets found a good rhythm and tied the score 10–10 at the 10-minute mark. The Yeowomen’s defensive side held Baldwin Wallace to just six points in the fourth quarter while sinking a whopping 20 points for themselves. Their stifling offense and suffocating defense down the stretch was possibly best represented by thirdyear center Olivia Canning, who had an impressive 10 points, 10 rebounds, and seven blocks — efforts that earned her North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week. “I feel pretty good about the last game against Baldwin Wallace,” Canning wrote in an email to the Review. “They are a very good team so it was definitely an exciting game. Individually, I focused a lot on staying out of foul trouble, and on rebounding … concentrating on those allow the blocking and scoring aspects of my game [to] come naturally. As a team, I think our defense was incredible. [Baldwin Wallace] typically scores in the 70s and 80s and we kept them in the low 40s.” Defensively, the Yeowomen have exclusively executed a high-intensity woman-to-woman defense for the past couple of years, making no exception in their game against Wooster. According to Jenkins, he prefers this style of play – a feature of distinctively “Oberlin women’s” type basketball – over a zone defense. “That’s just who we are,” Jenkins said. “I do very little adjustment game to game. I believe See Yeomen, page 14

Greg Schiano, the current defensive line coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, signed a memorandum to become the new Head Coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers last Sunday morning. By that evening, he was out. The rapid reversal was undoubtedly a reaction to the massive student protests that ensued on the campus after word spread about Schiano’s new role — protests that insisted that the University of Tennessee had just hired a bystander to sexual assault. Schiano was the defensive line coach of Penn State’s football team for six seasons, from 1990–1995, where he worked under the direct supervision of Jerry Sandusky, the assistant coach who was convicted for more than 52 accounts of sexual abuse of young boys between 1994 and 2009. In a 2015 deposition, former Penn State Assistant Football Coach Mike McQueary stated that he “saw Sandusky doing something to a boy in the shower,” but a follow up investigation never ensued. In an age of widespread student protests on college campuses, the University of Tennessee students managed to shut down this immoral deal in less than a day. Students swarmed the campus main square loudly protesting and circulating urgent petitions. One student spray-painted the campus’s landmark rock with the message, “Schiano Covered Up Child Rape at Penn State.” The campaign even managed to spread beyond the parameters of the university, eliciting statements from politicians and state officials. “The Head Football Coach at the University of Tennessee is the highest paid state employee … and we don’t need a man who has that type of potential reproach in their life,” tweeted Tennessee State Representative Jeremy Faison. Passivity in the wake of sexual assault is a deplorable action. However, it may not be the only motive behind the student protests at the University of Tennessee. Schiano’s track record as a coach shows he was mediocre at best, leaving his head coach role at Rutgers University after 11 years with a 68–67 record and serving as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for only two years before departing the organization with an 11–21 overall record. Additionally, he was reported to coach with an aggressive and bellicose style, disliked by many of his players. While the accusation posed against Schiano for his time in Penn State should by no means be overlooked, it was never wholly investigated and is founded mostly on hearsay, lacking substantial evidence to truly prove Schiano acted passively in the wake of sexual assault. It is also worth noting that the University of Tennessee just completed its worst college football season in history, so it’s no surprise that its faithful fans are looking for a coach that can ensure a successful future for the Volunteers. Based on his coaching history, fans see Schiano as a doubtful choice to reverse the team’s suffering streak. Some of the student protesters are certainly involved because they care deeply about punishing assaulters and bystanders of assault. And with accounts of sexual harassment in the mainstream world increasing daily, an attempt to sympathize with or defend an accused party feels more inappropriate than ever before. But those applauding the students at the University of Tennessee for taking a stand against sexual assault would be wrong to assume that it was the sole motive of the protest, as the uncomfortable truth is that this campaign was a good opportunity for students to find a fast and forceful way to help Tennessee play good football again. After the decision to not hire Schiano was finalized Sunday night, State Representative Jason Zachary tweeted in affirmation of the University for its decision. “Thank you to our community for stepping up and standing for our traditional, common sense TN values,” the tweet read. But whether those “Tennessee Values” refer to taking a stand against a societal epidemic or just winning more football games is up to the individual to decide.

December 1, 2017  
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