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The Oberlin Review December 8, 2017

established 1874

Volume 146, Number 12

Salary Freeze Incites Faculty Concern Christian Bolles Editor-in-Chief Editor’s Note: The letter referenced in this article has been published in full under “Letters to the Editors” in this issue’s Opinions section.

Although the Goldsmith and Union Street Village Housing Units were built in 2005, some of older residential areas will be showcased to trustees during the student-led tours this weekend. The tours are the first of their kind, launched by Student Senate to make trustees aware of poor facilities and housing. Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo Editor

Tours Stress Need for Housing Improvements Jenna Gyimesi Student Senate will arrange student-led campus tours for members of the Board of Trustees in attempt to make them aware of the deteriorating state of certain residential spaces on campus and highlight respective needed improvements. The tours will be held Dec. 7–9, in addition to the usual forums that take place in King Building during Trustee Week. Senate’s goal is to convince the board to allocate more money and resources to housing and other spaces on campus in which students live, study, and spend time. In a survey administered by Senate in early November, 85 percent of respondents said they view the quality of housing at Oberlin as “neutral” or “bad.” College junior and Student Senator Kameron Dunbar believes that the tours will help the board realize the impact housing has on students’ personal and academic development and that there is a dearth in open community spaces on campus. “Oberlin has suffered from a degree of poor stewardship over our residential resources,” Dunbar said. “These are the places where we study, the places where academic learning hap-

pens, and the places where relationship building happens. These are all important things and important goals. If the quality of these spaces does not match these goals, we will never be able to achieve them.” College sophomore and Student Senator Duncan Reid has been involved in determining which areas the board will visit — prioritizing spaces that need the most work. “As of now, we will highlight good capital allocation and poor capital allocation,” Reid said. “We are going to highlight Village Housing because some of the housing is literally falling down. We want to highlight South [Hall’s] gym and how it’s a mess. We want to show that Kahn [Hall] is a new hall, but it hasn’t been kept in a good manner. Everything needs maintenance.” Housing is an issue of mutual interest to trustees and students, according to Interim Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary Donica Varner. “Housing impacts climate and retention,” she said. “Students want to have nice places to live as well as places to support their co-curricular and academic interests. The board has a role in setting the budget and allocating financial resources as far as maintenance and building new struc-

tures.” The board is the governing body of the College and Conservatory, meant to ensure its financial viability. College junior and Student Senator Meg Parker said the board is also responsible for managing Oberlin’s overall welfare. “They are basically stewards of the College who care about the long-term trajectory of our institution,” she said. “They come together four times a year to discuss the things that impact how Oberlin functions and are provided with a general update on campus climate and how Oberlin is functioning. They approve the budget and do all of the big overarching governance on campus.” Previously, trustees have only engaged students at student-trustee forums. The student-led tours will mark a new way of presenting student concerns to the board. “To my knowledge, nothing like this has happened before,” said Dunbar, who came up with the idea for the event. “We have only seen engagement with the Board of Trustees happen in forums. This is a trial run. We expect students to be honest and not be deprecating of everything. It’s not just a space for students to

As the Board of Trustees convenes this weekend, freezes to non-union salaries remain a key concern among faculty and staff. The freezes were instituted last year and maintained as a result of a $5 million immediate budget deficit and long-term structural deficit disclosed to faculty and staff June 14. After the announcement of the freezes, James Monroe Professor of Politics Chris Howell and Nathan A. Greenberg Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand wrote a letter July 17 — obtained by the Review this week — in response to Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan, OC ’84, expressing their discontent with the board’s continued abandonment of a five-year plan to increase the median salaries of the College’s faculty to that of its peer group. As President Carmen Ambar has asserted, the shortfall — largely attributed to a substantial drop in enrollment — leaves the future of the institution contingent on “difficult” financial choices to be made in the coming months. Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Tim Elgren says that the salary freeze saved $1.2 million last year. According to Interim Director for Finance and Administration Alan Norton, it is likely that the freeze will continue into the 2018–2019 academic year. To Howell, this freeze is just the latest manifestation of a concerning pattern. “This is the default response to every financial crisis,” Howell said. “Every time you get a crisis, some administrator will say, ‘We need to deal with this in a strategic fashion.’ That’s the usual tip-off that it will not be dealt with in a strategic fashion.” Howell refers to two such incidents: one in 2004, and another during the 2007–2008 global financial crisis. The first, he said, resulted in a brief freeze, after which faculty raises were fully reinstated. The second, however, was more substantial, constituting a oneyear freeze followed by a 1 percent salary increase the following year. According to Howell, the endowment lost around one-third of its value during that period — and the College made deep cuts over the next few years. Chair of the Theater Department

see Senate, page 2

see Professors, page 3



02 Students Help Africatown Fight for Environmental Justice

05 Editorial: Oberlin Faculty, Administration Must Be Active in Preventing Sexual Misconduct

03 OES Requests Landfill Gas Recovery System

06 Trump Abandons Precedent in Israel, Endangers Citizens

The Oberlin Review | December 8, 2017

07 Journalism Must Acknowledge Hate



10 OC Ballet Performance Reimagines Classic Family Film

15 USSF Needs Kathy Carter as President for Growth, Equality


12 Nintendo Releases Animal Crossing Game for Mobile

16 Russian Athletes Should Compete in 2018 Games

08 Your Favorite Study Buddies TWITTER @oberlinreview INSTAGRAM @ocreview


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Students Help Africatown Fight for Environmental Justice

Major Joe Womack of the Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition leads Oberlin students on a tour of Africatown. Photo courtesy of Chie Sakakibara

Alexis Dill News Editor Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Comparative American Studies Janet Fiskio added a new facet to the Environmental Studies program when she led a group of students to historic Africatown in Alabama during the spring semester of 2015. This semester, Fiskio expanded this project by teaching Environmental Justice and Local Knowledge, a course dedicated to the environmental justice movement through community-based research with organizations in Africatown. Fiskio and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Chie Sakakibara received a National Science Foundation conference grant through the Arctic Social Sciences Program to fund an oral history workshop and comparative study of Africatown and Utqiagvik, Alaska, two front-line communities in climate justice. Located just three miles north of Mobile, AL, Africa-

town was founded by the last group of enslaved Africans brought to the United States in 1859. Like many other free Black towns along the Gulf Coast, Africatown is plagued by industries that pollute its food, water, soil, and air. The collaboration between Oberlin and Africatown began in summer 2014, when Fiskio was volunteering at the Tar Sands Healing Walk in Alberta, Canada, and met Ms. May and Ms. Louise, two elders from Africatown. The purpose of the event was to protect the Althabasca River and Basin and raise awareness of the devastation of the local environment by the extractive tar sands industry. The issue hit home for the two women, since Africatown had recently been targeted for a series of tar sands development projects. Inspired by their solidarity, Fiskio invited folks from Africatown to speak at the College in December 2014. In return, Major Joe Womack of the Mobile Environmental Jus-

tice Action Coalition invited Fiskio and College students to Africatown the following spring. Although many historians and academics have studied Africatown extensively, Fiskio said her goal is to engage the community as researchers and experts on their own history. “Working collaboratively with community members — including elders, youth, nonprofit leaders, and pastors — we are building a digital archive to help preserve Africatown’s history,” Fiskio said. Fiskio and students have returned to Africatown several times since the first trip. They attended several services at historic community churches, visited Old Plateau Cemetery, where the community’s founders are buried, conducted door-to-door health surveys, toured sites for planned community development, and gave presentations on issues deemed important by members of the community. College junior Ify Ezimora, an environmental studies student representative and teaching assistant for Fiskio’s course, lived and volunteered in Africatown with College junior Kaylee Elliott, a student in Fiskio’s course, last year during Winter Term. Elliott said Africatown was a warm and inviting community from the moment she got there. “It was great to see how much they were already doing in the community to preserve the history and stories of Africatown and raise awareness of the injustices the industry had committed against the community,” Elliott said. “Africatown represents so much more than the environmental racism, and it would be

completely wrong of anyone to reduce it to just that.” Africatown exemplifies environmental racism because industries have taken advantage of the community and polluted their resources, Elliott said. She added, however, that the spirit of the people in the community outshines its circumstances. “I think the people of Africatown have made the biggest impact for me,” Elliott said. “I believe any community under these circumstances deserves justice, but the place Africatown holds in American history is an extremely important one [that] I believe people should pay attention to and care about.” Students in Fiskio’s class spent fall break in Africatown, collaborating with several local organizations and giving presentations to MEJAC on fishing advisories, petrochemical storage, and dioxin. Ezimora, who has been to Africatown five times, said the community has a special place in her heart. “I think often it is easy to become detached from places we are not emotionally or spatially near, so being able to visit Africatown so many times has been a blessing in staying connected to the community and building their histories and stories into my schema of Africatown, Alabama,” Ezimora said. “When Janet came to me about teaching a course this semester that would focus on Africatown, I was really excited. I was interested to see how [the project] would translate to a more formal, classroom setting.” Both Ezimora and Elliott expressed satisfaction in the course, saying that Fiskio’s authenticity is something that

is hard to find in some professors. “Janet is not the type of person to conduct drive-by research, where she’s in and out of a community before she’s made any connection,” Ezimora said. “I really admire that, and it allows me to trust every decision she makes in this collaboration, because I know all these decisions, suggestions, and comments are coming from an invested place.” Fiskio, however, said that the real educators are the residents of Africatown. “I’d say that I’m learning along with the students,” Fiskio said. “The community members are the experts and teachers in this collaboration, and students are essential to the project as collaborators, researchers, and mentors to new students.” Elliott said she recommends the course to anyone, not just environmental studies majors. “There are few courses offered at Oberlin where you have the opportunity to be a part of real world social justice work and a project that is so connected to the people and place we are learning about,” Elliott said. “Being able to complete the research and presentations to give something to the community, I feel like I have given back at least a small amount of all they have given to me.” Fiskio said that students interested in the project are encouraged to talk to her or students who took Environmental Justice and Local Knowledge this semester. The course will be offered again next fall. Fiskio plans to take students to Africatown again during Winter Term, and in June and November 2018.

Senate Aims to Emphasize Poor Residential Conditions to Trustees Continued from page 1

rag, and there are valuable and interesting spaces here. We are hoping to give trustees an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to be a student at Oberlin through housing.” Students and trustees have felt unsatisfied with student-trustee forums in the past because of low attendance and minimal student engagement. However, some believe that they are still a vital part of the campus discourse. “I have received concerns from both trustees and students around the

limited benefit of those discussions because students tend to come with complaints of operational issues instead of ones trustees can respond to,” Varner said. Student Senator and College senior León Pescador echoed Varner’s sentiment, noting that the decision to launch residential tours raised much controversy in Senate recently. “I’m in support of student-run tours that show trustees what our dorm experiences are like,” he said. “I’m all for programs that give trustees an indepth look [at] student life. I am not

The Oberlin R eview December 8, 2017 Volume 146, Number 12 (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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in support of it being [a] full replacement of student-trustee forums. They are essential to students’ relationships with trustees. Opening discussion is critical in the same way that having town halls between constituents and representatives is important.” Varner is hopeful that this proposal is a step towards increasing student and trustee engagement in the future. “As the secretary of the College, my role is to facilitate opportunities to engage with the board in thoughtful ways,” she said. “We are looking to Senate to recommend new ideas. I

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am pleased that Senate is exploring it in a couple of ways. They submitted a memo outlining important concerns on behalf of students, they are hosting ‘Hang with Trustee’ events, where students are matched with a trustee and get to go to class to get a sense of the student experience, in addition to conducting these student-led tours. These experiences are wonderful and that’s the kind of engagement trustees are looking for.” Each trustee will be paired with a tour guide selected by Senate from a pool of applicants.

Corrections: “Matambo Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegatons” (Dec. 1, 2017) improperly identified Bernard Matombo as an associate professor. He was an assistant professor. The same article improperly attributed statements by Sarah Cheshire, OC ’14, to a Facebook post. They were in fact given via interview. “Heathers Explores Dark Elements of High School” (Dec. 1, 2017) was improperly credited to Arts & Culture Editor Ananya Gupta. It was written by Arts & Culture Editor Julia Peterson. The photo for that article and in “Elf Antics” (Dec 1. 2017) contained incomplete credits. Both Kellianne Doyle and Justin Bank are Staff Photographers. To submit a correction, email

OES Requests Landfill Gas Recovery System Security Notebook

The Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies is one of the most innovative green buildings in the country. Despite this, the College falls short of its sustainability goals by a large margin. Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo Editor

Sydney Allen News Editor The Office of Environmental Sustainability is attempting to reduce Oberlin College’s carbon footprint and boost its sustainability reputation by cutting emissions through a new landfill gas recovery system that was proposed during a presentation to the Board of Trustees yesterday. “[The video] highlights carbon neutrality progress over the past decade and introduces the proposed heating solution utilizing waste heat from the electrification process at the landfill,” said Bridget Flynn, the sustainability manager of the OES. Among its peer institutions,

Oberlin is known for its progressive sustainability initiatives and innovative ways of reducing its carbon footprint, such as the Living Machine, glowing orbs in each dorm that alert students of how much energy and water they use, and the composting bins in each cafeteria. Oberlin ranks sixth in the nation among four-year baccalaureate colleges for sustainability, according to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System — an independent sustainability assessor that runs off of self-reported data — topped only by Sterling College, Middlebury College, Green Mountain College, Dickinson College, and Colby College. Oberlin is rated “Gold” for sustainability — the second highest accolade —according to

a report released in Jan. 2017. “We are guided by the Environmental Policy Implementation Plan, various environmental commitments, and our newest strategic plan: ‘Institutional transformation through an inclusive approach to academic and musical excellence,’ Former College President Marvin Krislov said in a press release in response to the accolade. “I am proud of the advancements this report demonstrates and the accompanying ‘Gold’ score.” A new landfill-centered sustainability approach was first proposed in fall 2016 after the environmental consulting firm EverGreen Energy was contracted to assess Oberlin’s environmental footprint, potential for renewable and efficient technology integration, and opportunities for consolidating energy resources within the College and community. “About two miles from campus is a landfill generating a lot of methane and heat,” College senior and OES Media Team Intern Moira Peterson said. “Currently [the] company Energy Development Limited captures some of this methane to generate renewable electricity. The proposed solution would harvest waste heat from the electrification process. We could utilize these free local resources to generate hot water that would then be piped to campus for our heating needs.” This new system would collect energy generated from the nearby landfill and would heat dorms and facilities on campus, replacing the current gas-powered steam system See Office, page 4

Professors, Administration Seek Salary Resolution Continued from page 1

Caroline Jackson Smith recalled the faculty’s response at the time. “We went quite a long time without raises,” Smith said. “And initially, many of the faculty were not unduly upset about that, because it did mean that we didn’t lose whole positions. But then we went many years without raises. It was just starting to come back.” Yet after that period, the College projected an air of financial ease, appearing set for recovery. According to Howell, the following years were consequently populated by a series of building projects that took liberally from the endowment — the consequences of which, he said, now fall on faculty and staff. Howell and Ormand have been closely involved in efforts to remedy the College’s decreasing median salary relative to its peer institutions. Howell, for his part, was a member of the 2013 Joint Advisory Group on Faculty Compensation and Support. Purpose-built to address the seeming inadequacy of faculty payment, the coalition of faculty, trustees, and administrators conducted extensive research on Oberlin’s peer institutions among the “Sweet 16” group, a body of 16 liberal arts colleges comparable to Oberlin in both mission and academic standing. The investigation conclusively found that Oberlin’s faculty were underpaid in comparison to faculty at peer institutions. “We do the same job, teaching the same kinds of students the same kind The Oberlin Review | December 8, 2017

of sources, the same level of quality of scholarship and teaching as our peers in these other institutions, and yet we were paid substantially less,” Howell said of the study’s findings. The coalition recommended a solution to the board, which led to its June 2013 decision to implement a five-year plan wherein faculty salaries see a 4-percent incremental increase per year, supplemented by a yearly $400,000 pool meant to close the gap. The plan was not implemented into the budget until December 2013; thus, it took effect at the start of the 2014–2015 academic year. To Ormand and Howell, the process was an exemplary model of cooperative governance. As the General Faculty Council representative on the 2014 Budget and Finance Committee, Ormand was present at the meeting during which the resolution was passed. “One of the members of the board turned to me after I had passed it and said, ‘Is this going to make the faculty happy?’” Ormand said. “I responded [that] I thought, accurately, that the board had just passed exactly the sort of resolution that the faculty were looking for. But I also said that if the next time there was a financial crisis, the board immediately reneged on that commitment, we would be upset. Here we are.” Members of the administration, however, characterize the choice as a necessary function of keeping the College afloat. Ambar has repeatedly emphasized the importance of

planning for the long haul. “[The salary freeze], I think, was about what we needed to do this year,” Ambar said. “Certainly, I don’t want to be in a world where we are not able to give raises. That’s not the plan. But trying to respond to what I think is a really complicated environment is really difficult. And so my understanding of the board’s decision was about, ‘How do we ensure that we’re here for the long term?’ That’s complicated, and we certainly want to try to find ... consistent ways to give raises.” As Oberlin’s median salary is gradually outranked by that of its peers, questions might be raised regarding Oberlin’s ability to hire new faculty members when other institutions provide higher-paying offers. Elgren, who must make such a case to incoming faculty, is unconcerned, pointing out that the college hired 16 tenure-track faculty last year alone. “Remarkably, 14 of the 16 hired were the top pick in the search and many had other competing offers,” Elgren wrote in an email to the Review. “One thing that we hear over and over is that candidates are thrilled by the prospect of teaching such smart and engaged students and to be part of an institution that has this level of commitment to and history of excellence and … diversity and social justice.” According to Ambar, no decision has been made regarding whether the salary freeze will be reinstated next year.

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 4:33 a.m. Safety and Security Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at Lord-Saunders House. A malfunctioning detector caused the alarm, which was repaired and reset.

Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 2:27 p.m. A resident reported an individual building on fire in the Arboretum, west of the amphitheater. Officers responded and located a small fire, which was extinguished.

Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 12:15 a.m. Officers working an event at Hales Gym guided an intoxicated student to Mercy Allen Hospital for treatment. 10:45 a.m. A student reported vandalism to a mural in the lounge of Price House. A work order was filed for repair. 11:26 a.m. A resident reported the theft of a GPS from his bicycle. The bicycle was parked in the bike racks on the northeast corner of Mudd library at 6 p.m. the previous night. When the resident returned to the rack, the GPS was missing.

Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 8:35 a.m. Grounds staff reported a bicycle locked to the hand railing at Harkness House. As an officer loaded the bicycle onto the security vehicle, the owner claimed the bicycle. The student was advised to register the bicycle and not lock it to the hand railings.

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 8:16 a.m. Staff members reported damage to a television in a room in Rice Hall. An officer responded and found a small puncture in the lower middle of the screen. It is believed that the damage was done the previous evening. 4:25 p.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm on the third floor of South Hall. While checking the room in question, officers observed a strong odor of marijuana. The alarm was reset. 4:36 p.m. A student reported the theft of their bicycle from the west side of Firelands Apartments. The bicycle was locked with a U-lock at the time of the theft.


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Office of Environmental Sustainability Presents to Board Continued from page 3

and reducing the campus carbon usage by 65 percent compared to the 2015 usage profile, according to data released by EverGreen Energy. The gas recovery system could also reduce annual campus water consumption by approximately seven million gallons and reduce annual sewer discharge by three million gallons. The measure could bring Oberlin 92 percent of the way toward reaching its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025. “Although natural gas emits about half as much carbon as coal, at its source, it’s still a fossil fuel,” Flynn said in the video presented to the Board of Trustees. “During the heating season, burning natural gas emits about 89 metric tons of CO2 a day. Last year we burned 189 million cubic feet of natural gas. That equates to roughly 11 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, which represents about 65 percent of our current College carbon emissions.” Oberlin is currently using 100 percent renewable electricity, according to Flynn, so the heating process remains the largest source of emission and waste on campus. The renewable energy initiative was launched in 2012 when the College installed the 2.27 MW solar array on North Fields, the largest solar array of any liberal arts college in the U.S. Though the cost of creating the landfill gas recovery system is still unknown, the Environmental Protection Agency says most models end up saving companies and institutions money in the long run, as they provide a renewable source of energy as opposed to expensive coal or fossil fuels. This is one of the many ways in which the College is hoping to reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025. Since 2007, the College has reduced its emissions by over 50 percent. College senior and OES media team intern Bryan Rubin said he believes the video and presentation went over well with the board. “Our video was well received,” said Rubin. “My hope is that it will provide trustees with the knowledge required to make the right decision to move Oberlin into the 21st century. This video will not directly lead to a vote on the proposal, but allows members of Oberlin’s board of trustees to understand that we are serious about positive change, and that it is not out of reach.”


Rebecca Mosely, Title IX Coordinator Rebecca Mosely serves as the Title IX coordinator and director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Oberlin College. She develops and administers policy on discrimination and harassment and handles issues concerning equity policy and concerns. Before taking on this role a year and a half ago, Mosely served in the Office of Residential Education for 11 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in French education and a master’s degree in student affairs and higher education from The Ohio State University. Mosely is currently working toward her Ph.D. in higher education at Bowling Green State University. Interview by Sydney Allen, News Editor What has the Title IX Office been working on this semester? We’ve been doing our normal work of supporting students, faculty, and staff who have experienced violations or potential violations of our policy, which is always an ongoing thing, but we’ve also been doing a lot of work this fall to train all of our firstyear students in our PRSM Essentials. The PRSM student organization works with our office, and they did a fantastic job this fall getting all of that training done. They also just put on the first-ever Consent for Men workshop last weekend, which we’re really proud and excited about. The last thing we’ve been spending a lot of time on this fall is our awareness campaign, which we kicked off this year, which is our Let’s Make Consent a Conversation campaign. Students all should’ve received a flyer in the mail over the summer that started it off. We’ve done two posters and videos, as well as a fair number of posters about what different organizations on campus do around preventing sexual violence or helping with sexual help. How did the Consent for Men workshop go? They had it this past weekend, and they had 50 men show up, which was really exciting. It was way more than they were expecting, and the feedback that we got was super positive. I was actually just talking with one of our trainers about it, and he said that the guys who attended were very appreciative to have the opportunity to come together and talk about it, because it’s something that they feel like they don’t talk about much outside of workshops. I know they’re actually looking at doing more of them and maybe [some] more specific to different identity groups as well. How successful has the Let’s Make Consent a Conversation campaign been? What has it entailed? We are really excited. This summer, we applied for a grant through the state of Ohio and got a [$10,000] grant to do an awareness campaign this year, and we’re lucky to have enough students here this summer that we were able to do a focus group and really think about what that campaign should entail. We’ve done a lot of swag for it, we’ve got stickers out there, we’ve got buttons out there, we’ve got the videos I said before. The work on that is helping students to think about discussing consent beyond just those workshops they

do in their first year and recognizing that it’s an ongoing understanding that we develop as we continue to be in relationships with one another. Continuing the conversation helps us to do better at gaining consent in all aspects of our lives. What is your office planning for next semester? We actually sent four athletes this fall to a training that the state of Ohio did for a national training called the One Love Training, which is about domestic violence. All of the athletes are going to attend One Love Training next semester, and I actually met with the athletes that are the trainers last night, and we want to open it up to students beyond athletics on campus. We heard from students in our Essentials training this fall that they wish that they had more content on domestic violence, and we’re limited with how much we can fit in a two-hour session. We’ll be opening that up with some optional trainings for students to attend. Our trainers are also working right now to do a really cool training I’m excited about, about safe partying — how to host a safe party and what you might want to think about if you’re a student whose house it might be in. I think it’s really interesting to think about how we might prevent sexual violence in how we host our gatherings. They’re working on a healthy relationships workshop. How do you develop healthy relationships? They will be doing the support skills workshop that they developed last spring. You’ll see a lot more optional workshops coming out through PRSM this spring, and then all of our first-years will have the opportunity to go through bystander intervention training, which is something we started last year as a result of some of the information we got through our surveys. How can students who are interested in these workshops get involved? They can [visit] our PRSM Facebook page, because the events are always posted there. We hire PRSM trainers twice a year, typically, so we’ll be doing, I think, a pretty significant hiring this spring for the new trainers for fall. They can watch for those to come out late February/early March. We also partner a lot with OBI. We partner a lot with SIC. Both of those organizations do similar work and have really good opportunities for students to get invested and involved. The other group I think is interesting is [Voices Against Human Trafficking]. There’s lots of ways for students to get involved in the

Oberlin Community News Bulletin Oberlin Public Library Will Hold Adult Series Events The Oberlin Public Library will host a “DIY Gift Wrap” event Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Attendees who register will design their own wrapping paper. A nail-painting event for adults will be held Dec. 16 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Participants who donate non-perishable food items or cash to the Oberlin Food Bank will have their nails painted by JVS cosmetology students.


College Celebrates Marcelo Vinces with Farewell Reception A farewell reception will be held for CLEAR Director Marcelo Vinces, who will conclude his full-time tenure at Oberlin at the end of the semester. Students, faculty, and staff members are invited to celebrate the work Vinces did while at Oberlin. The reception will be from 4:30–5:30 p.m. Monday in StudiOC.

Title IX Coordinator Rebecca Mosely Photo by Christian Bolles, Editor-in-Chief

work that’s around sexual violence that doesn’t necessarily have to come out of my office, but can still spread really good information and support on campus. What are your thoughts on the national conversation surrounding sexual assault? I think Oberlin has been looked to by a lot of other institutions as a place to model how policies look. I think there was a fair amount of fear — and I’m not going to say it’s gone away — over what’s happened nationally with Betsy DeVos and some of the changes she’s made. As of now, it’s not impacting our policy and how we implement it. What, I think, has been interesting for me as a Title IX coordinator is seeing nationally the amount of reports that are going public has actually increased to some extent reports from people who have been gone from the institution for decades now. Looking back and trying to figure out how to support people who have lived with some kind of harm that happened here — sometimes before I was even born — has been a change in my practice. What are some areas that Oberlin could improve? I think the biggest thing that we need to continue to improve on here at Oberlin is truly the prevention work to stop people from getting into my office. I would love for us to not have to do this — that people weren’t getting harmed in the first place. I think that’s the reality of any good Title IX coordinator. We want to do everything we can to stop behavior before it happens so that we’re not having to support somebody going through something hard. I think Oberlin does really well at this already. I think to keep that conversation present and to keep people practicing good consent practices and caring for one another is [what] I want to see continue to grow and improve here.

First Church Hosts Holiday Brass & Organ Spectacular Conservatory brass players and percussionists will partner with local ensembles to perform the ninth annual Empty Bowls Holiday Brass & Organ Spectacular at 7 p.m. Tuesday at First Church. Entrance to the event is free and the Oberlin Pottery Co-Op has donated hundreds of handmade bowls available to purchase. The proceeds from these sales, as well as an auction, will benefit Oberlin Community Services.

OPINIONS December 8, 2017

established 1874

Letters to the Editors

Faculty Salaries at Oberlin College

Editor’s Note: Below is an email sent July 17, 2017 to Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan by College Professors Chris Howell and Kirk Ormand. The Review is publishing it in full, with minor changes to style. Dear Mr. Canavan: Thank you for your communication this spring, in which you explained Oberlin’s current financial crisis and the board’s decision to freeze salaries next year. While we recognize the seriousness of our current situation, we find it inadequate and depressing that neither the board nor the administration has the leadership or imagination to address this crisis in any way other than by eliminating raises for faculty and staff. Allow us to review a bit of recent history. At its June 2013 meeting, the Board of Trustees of Oberlin College approved a resolution to create “a new strategic indicator of success to monitor our position on faculty compensation, including appendices tracking the College’s progress by rank, with a goal of reaching at least the median among the Sweet Sixteen institutions in each continuing rank.” [Emphasis added.] The resolution also asked the College’s administration to “present a plan to the Board in December 2013 for achieving that goal.” The board resolution followed from a set of recommendations proposed by a Joint Advisory Group on Faculty Compensation and Support composed of trustees, faculty, and administrators. It was a remarkable, and remarkably rare, collaborative process in which the members of the advisory group met regularly for a year, and examined in detail issues of the appropriate peer group for comparison purposes, cost of living, salary relative to benefits, relative endowment size, faculty retention, and morale. It was only at the end of this exhaustive investigation that the recommendation to target the median of the “Sweet Sixteen” peer group was made. It is worth remembering that the advisory group was created because of the steady and unmistakable decline in the comparative position of Oberlin faculty salaries. In 2000–01,

Oberlin was ranked ninth out of 17 in its peer group and the average faculty salary (for all ranks) was 1.6 percent below the median. By 2011–12, we had dropped to 14th and the average faculty salary was 7.5 percent below the median for the same peer group. To put that in terms of dollars, the cumulative loss of salary for the average Oberlin faculty member compared to the mean, without benefit of compounding, during that twelve-year period was $48,400. Following the board resolution, a strategy was devised by General Faculty Council and senior administrators, and approved by the board, to achieve the faculty compensation target over a five-year period through increases in salary in two forms. First, salary pools of 4 percent a year in order to match the average increase of our peers (so as not to fall further behind). Second, to add $400,000 to the pool each year for the five years in order to catch up to the median. It is important to understand that the salary pools of our peer institutions have consistently increased by roughly 4 percent a year over a long period of time. That is the reason the strategy adopted for reaching the median chose 4 percent salary pools to stand still, and $400,000 increments to catch up. Indeed, the median salary pool increase of our peer group for the last two years has been 3.8 percent and 3.9 percent. There is not yet compelling evidence to suggest that salary increases among our peers are entering a period of secular decline. And, Oberlin’s strategy was working, albeit slowly. By 2015–16 we had clawed our way back to 12th in our peer group and more than halved the gap below the median to 3.5 percent. The board resolution on faculty compensation was trumpeted to faculty in the fall of 2013, incorporated into the 2015 Strategic Plan (Strategic Recommendation 3.3), another broadbased, collaborative, and exhaustive process, and used in the materials advertising Oberlin to prospective presidential candidates. That commitment lasted three short years. Faced with a structural deficit that some people on the board have been well aware of for many years, and with a short-term deficit in next year’s budget of $5 million, the board has taken the only step that they ever seem capable of taking when See Letters, page 7


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 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 8, 2017

Volume 146, Number 12

Editorial Board Editors-in-Chief Melissa Harris

Christian Bolles

Managing Editor Daniel Markus

Opinions Editors

Nathan Carpenter

Jackie Brant

Oberlin Faculty, Administration Must Be Active in Preventing Sexual Misconduct Some of the most important relationships at Oberlin are those between students and members of the faculty and staff. Faculty, advisors, and deans all take meaningful roles in the lives of students that they work with — which is how it should be. After all, students come to small liberal arts schools like Oberlin for the accessibility of mentorship and guidance, as well as research opportunities predicated on working closely with faculty members that are not readily available to undergraduates at large universities. With these relationships comes a great deal of responsibility. Students at Oberlin must be accountable to their professors — small class sizes ensure that it is difficult to slip by unnoticed without contributing to discussions or completing assignments. Oberlin students also feel a strong sense of commitment to engage with the world around them, and their academic mentors often play a strong role in modeling how to do that. Faculty and staff must also be accountable to the students they teach and mentor. Breakdowns in trust and respect in professor-student or advisor-advisee relationships can result in difficult consequences that continue to impact students’ lives even after they leave Oberlin. On Nov. 16, former Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Bernard Matambo resigned suddenly following allegations of sexual misconduct. On Dec. 1, the Review broke the news of these allegations (“Matambo Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations”). On its face, any sexual misconduct by faculty or staff is a violation of the trust that should exist between those employees and the students they work with. More broadly, the failure of faculty or staff to report such transgressions also violates students’ trust and threatens their safety. Oberlin is a small school, which means that secrets rarely stay secret for very long and news spreads very quickly. It is likely, if the allegations against Matambo are true, that some of his colleagues — in the Creative Writing program and across campus — were aware of his actions well before his resignation three weeks ago. Failure of faculty to report knowledge of sexual misconduct would be a grave omission. Under Oberlin’s sexual misconduct policy, faculty and staff members are “Responsible Employees” who are required to immediately report any knowledge of sexual misconduct to Oberlin’s Title IX coordinator. Failure to do so places those Responsible Employees in direct conflict with Oberlin policy. It also violates their moral and ethical responsibility to the students they mentor or simply encounter on campus. A community that silently allows any sexual misconduct, including misconduct involving faculty and students, to take place creates an environment that does not have the best interests of community members at heart. We all — faculty, staff, and students — do our best work when we feel as though the people around us have our backs. Feeling uncomfortable or unsupported is isolating and intimidating, and detracts from our ability to engage with our communities in a healthy way. The Oberlin community must hold itself accountable to addressing the dynamics that allow sexual misconduct to persist on college campuses, particularly Oberlin’s own. Given how likely it is that other Creative Writing faculty were aware of potential sexual misconduct involving a member of their own program, an internal review of the entire program should be conducted by the Title IX office if the College is serious about ensuring that it does everything it can to prevent the replication of harmful dynamics that we read about in the news every day. This review would be carried out in addition to the climate survey of the entire campus that Oberlin conducts every two years. That general survey is intended to identify the climate around sexualized violence and misconduct on campus, and isolate potential problems that need to be addressed. A more specific review would turn that lens onto the Creative Writing program. The Creative Writing program now faces significant challenges, including a staffing shortage following Matambo’s resignation, and would probably prefer to avoid further public scrutiny. However, while the onus should not be on victims of potential sexual misconduct to come forward, it is vital that the rest of us respect and act on their stories and experiences when they do. That acknowledgement is what many members of the Oberlin community have called for on the national stage over the past weeks, and is what we must do now — no matter how painful it is to investigate people you know and work with. Oberlin should honor the ongoing national conversation about the pervasiveness of sexual misconduct and assault, as well as the valuable, mutually beneficial, and positive relationships that exist between students, faculty, and staff all over this campus. Much of the responsibility for this falls heavily on the faculty — many of whom are ready to engage in this work. It would be a shame if these allegations against Matambo poison the entire well of productive student-faculty engagement, but they will do exactly that if faculty do not make a greater commitment to identify and challenge violations to policy and community trust wherever they exist. Without this commitment, students have no reason to place trust in their teachers and mentors, and the fabric of what makes Oberlin a place for intellectual challenge and growth is ripped to shreds. 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.


Opi n ions

Trump Abandons Precedent in Israel, Endangers Citizens Marah Ajilat Contributing Writer

All Americans, Jewish or otherwise, should oppose Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The truth is, Trump is only invested in Jews because he thinks the holy city of Jerusalem is his ticket to a second presidential term. It should come as no surprise that Trump only seeks to serve himself and his self-interest. He banned Muslims from seven countries from entering the U.S., claiming fear of terrorism, but did not include Saudi Arabia, the country where some 9/11 hijackers were citizens, on that list, because he did not want to compromise his business relations with Saudi Arabia — from whom he had a received a $100-million check months before. Similarly, Trump and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee are no strange bedfellows — he has even been named “the most pro-Israel president” by the most circulated daily Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom — but he has done virtually nothing to combat the daily injustices that Jews, especially Jews of color,

face in America. According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. “have jumped 86 percent in the first quarter of 2017 … particularly since November [2016]” — the same month Trump became president. The entire world is waiting to see how Trump’s decision to relocate the American Embassy from Tel Aviv and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will unfold. The issue is especially pertinent to Christians, Jews, and Muslims, who all have ties to Jerusalem as a holy site. It is also pertinent to my home country, Jordan, since our king, His Majesty King Abdullah II, is the custodian of East Jerusalem. But you should care too if you are American or live in America, even if you do not share any of those three religious identities. Now that you know that I am Arab, I feel the need to clarify one thing. My anger and concern over Trump’s decision does not stem from the likelihood that Israel’s claim on Jerusalem will now outweigh Palestine’s. Rather, it stems from the fact that Donald Trump is in no position to make that decision.

While Trump is the president of the U.S. — a significant player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — his role should be to remain as unbiased as possible. The relocation of the embassy removes any pretense of impartiality. Trump does not have the authority nor the qualification to determine another state’s capital, or to ignore the controversial religious and political history of Jerusalem — one of the most important religious sites in the Middle East. In fact, this is the same kind of politicization that Trump accused UNESCO of when it declared the Old City of Hebron a Palestinian Heritage Site back in June. So I am not arguing whether Israel or Palestine has a greater claim to Jerusalem, but simply that Donald Trump cannot and should not make that decision. So what does Trump hope to achieve by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? Your first instinct may be to think that his goal is to garner more support from AIPAC, but, after all, Trump is a businessman and not a politician — his true power comes from his economic, not political, success. More support from AIPAC does mean more money,

but Trump does not need money. What he really needs is political capital, not among American citizens, but their elected officials in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. And since the idea of relocation has received overwhelming bipartisan support since Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was a politically expedient move. The Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed by a sweeping majority in both Houses, called for the “relocation of the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem,” thereby proposing to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The relocation was to be complete by May 31, 1999, and at least a quarter billion dollars were allocated for the construction and maintenance of the embassy’s buildings and property. However, the act has been challenged and waived by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama because, according to the United States Constitution, the executive branch is the sole conductor of foreign policy, and the legislative branch may only serve as an advisor on foreign policy issues.

Beyond these constitutional concerns, past presidents have waived the act to avoid taking an explicitly biased stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so as not to hamper decades-long efforts toward peace in the region. Trump’s decision has implications both in terms of the precedent that it establishes and its consequences for American citizens. For the President of the United States to concede and submit to Congress’ foreign policy ambitions is a blow to democracy’s face, as well as to the values of and ideals of the American Revolution. Another consequence is the fueling of anti-American sentiment that will only lead to more citizens being victims of terrorist attacks — outcomes that Trump and his political elite do not have to worry about. If you are American, Jewish or not, it is absolutely imperative that you show opposition to Trump’s recklessness. Trump has demonstrated time and again that he has no interests but his own at heart, and this decision reinforces his abject insensitivity and willingness to put others in harm’s way.

Trustee Fora Emphasize Facilities Students Should Commit to Integrity Meg Parker Duncan Reid Contributing Writers

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. We’d like to start this article by extending a warm welcome to the Board of Trustees to our campus for their last meeting of 2017. For the fourth time this year, the Board of Trustees have flown in from every corner of the country to convene and discuss Oberlin’s long-term institutional trajectory, the difficulties the institution is facing, and the fulfillment of Oberlin’s fiduciary responsibilities. During this week’s visit, Student Senate chose to shake up how the Board of Trustees will interact with students. Senate believes that the Trustee Fora were not affecting change, building relationships, or serving their purpose of representing students to the board. Instead of having students and trustees sit under King Building’s fluorescent lighting, students will lead members of the Board of Trustees on campus-wide tours. As many students know, first-years living in Barrows Hall have a drastically different experience than those living in Kahn Hall; our goal is to exemplify these discrepancies in quality to the trustees. Student Senate is concerned that the College’s facilities — specifically, the residential living spaces — do not reflect the high level of education that Oberlin embodies. Rather, our facilities reflect poor stewardship and delayed maintenance. We are concerned that the state of our dorms will have negative repercussions on our enrollment levels, as prospective students stay overnight in substandard dorms and might leave their Oberlin visit with a poor impression that does not reflect the quality of education Oberlin offers. In a time when Oberlin finds itself in a high-competition market for students, we cannot afford to have students be re-


pelled by poor facilities. The College has fallen into a position in which it loses prospective students to schools with better dorms but without Oberlin’s academic, and altogether institutional, distinction. Oberlin is competing with colleges and universities that aesthetically reflect an investment in capital planning that prioritizes the student residential experience. Oberlin is a school that takes pride in its academic rigor and rewarding residential life; if we want to maintain that status, living arrangements need significant improvement. Furthermore, as higher education faces disruption, Oberlin must continue to stand out. It’s time that Oberlin supports its mission with investment and proper maintenance. Currently, Oberlin spends approximately $10 million each year solely on delayed maintenance. When nearby Antioch College reflected on why they closed their doors, one of the first things they noted were concerns regarding the decline in the quality of their facilities. Sustaining our institution starts with guaranteeing that walls are sturdy and the crux of our student experience is stable. The purpose of the new Trustee Tours is to give students the opportunity to directly share their thoughts about Oberlin with board members in the very midst of actual campus life. Students will have the opportunity to discuss our buildings, and how they add to and detract from the student experience. Each student giving a tour will be able to share their own experiences as well as how those experiences correlate to the campus climate — the topic of this weekend’s board meeting. In denying our proposal for a student member on the board, Board of Trustees Chairman Chris Canavan noted, “Every trustee wants as much student input on important matters as is feasibly possible.” The Trustee Tours are an opportunity for direct communication from students. This is our chance to give feedback on a vital matter. Our walls are crumbling and our infrastructure is frightful; if we want to be the school of progress, we better start looking like it.

Katie Lucey Production Editor “I have adhered to the Honor Code in this assignment.” As students of Oberlin College, we are required to sign this pledge on every assignment we turn in. Yet this year, the Student Honor Committee has already doubled its total cases of potential Honor Code violations from last year. Despite what many Oberlin students might think, the purpose of the committee is to educate — not punish — students who violate the Honor Code. The value of the Honor Code lies in its role of cultivating the kind of atmosphere of intellectual freedom and discourse that we hold so dear at Oberlin. If, as a student body, we fail to follow the Honor Code, we cannot possibly expect to uphold our institution’s core values of respect and meaningful intellectual engagement. The Student Honor Committee plays an invaluable part in maintaining the virtues of the Honor Code. As peers, we serve as an educational body for students who face potential Honor Code violations. While we do not choose who is entered into our system, we play a direct role in helping these students throughout the duration of their case. Before holding a hearing, each case manager meets with the respondent individually in order to reassure them of the process, provide them with case documents to ensure they are fully informed of their case, and answer any questions they may have. While mitigating circumstances, such as mental health issues, do not totally excuse a student who breaks the Honor Code, we do take the time to fully understand each and every student’s situation. As your fellow students, we on the committee understand the pressures required of being an Oberlin student, and the ensuing stress faced when dealing with charges of academic dishonesty. However, as supervisors of the Honor Code, we seek to educate the student body in order to establish and protect a high standard of academic integrity within Oberlin. We hope to greatly reduce the number of potential violations. In order to do so, we need to get to work. Currently, the Student Honor Committee is grossly understaffed. With the recent

trend of an uptick in cases, it is more essential than ever before that we represent the student body as effectively and efficiently as possible. With our current status as a 13-member body, it is difficult to maintain this ideal. In an effort to complete open cases before the inevitable large influx of cases from finals, we are currently holding a high number of potential Honor Code violation hearings. As each hearing requires at least four committee members to serve as hearing panelists, many of us are doing double-duty, and trying our absolute best to fulfill our prescribed purposes to the best of our ability. Clearly, the fact that the amount of cases reported in only one semester has doubled from last year’s total is concerning. Perhaps this points to a lack of understanding of the Honor Code by the student body. In that case, the Student Honor Committee needs to evaluate the methods in which we educate students about the Honor Code, which currently takes the form of online resources and mandatory presentations during firstyear orientation. However, the very nature of the Honor Code and the responsibility of students inherent in the privilege of an Oberlin education requires that students hold each other accountable for maintaining a high standard of academic integrity. It should not take a student getting caught breaking the Honor Code for them to realize the seriousness of their actions. Cheating is not something that only affects the person who cheated; it has a trickle-down effect that threatens Oberlin’s educational integrity. For example, just think of curved exams — if you cheat and get caught, you receive a zero. As a result, every other student in that class who took that exam, regardless of whether they followed the Honor Code, will receive a lower grade. Do you want to be this person? No? Then don’t break the Honor Code. It’s that simple. If you are interested in protecting your fellow students’ intellectual freedom and facilitating educational discussions about core institutional values, please consider applying to serve on the committee. We need your valuable input as an active member of the Oberlin student body. Contact the Student Honor Committee ( for an application.

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faced with financial strain: all non-union salaries will be frozen next year, a move that will not save even one half of next year’s deficit. The results are entirely predictable, and will be poor. Our salaries will drop to near the bottom of our peer group within two or three years, and we will remain there as a matter of financial strategy. Hiring and retention will suffer. Our best early-career faculty will leave, as several have over the past three years. Morale will plummet. To reiterate: in choosing to both eliminate the catch-up increments and freeze faculty salaries, Oberlin has not only given up on its commitment to move towards the median of its peer group, but consciously decided to move in the opposite direction, towards the bottom of that group. The board has chosen to reverse a key recommendation of the Strategic Plan that it approved a scant year earlier. That a board commitment proves to have a shelf life of only three years, that broad collaborative examples of shared governance are rendered almost instantly moot, and that the institution chooses to rely upon paying its faculty less than their peers, is depressingly familiar. The consequences for our ability to recruit, retain, and motivate an excellent faculty are equally predictable. Sincerely, – Chris Howell Politics Professor – Kirk Ormand Classics Professor

Word Choice Vital in Discussions of Misconduct To the Editors: As an avid reader of the Review, I was concerned by last week’s headline for the Dec. 1 story covering former Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Bernard Matambo’s resignation. It was not the first page headline, “Matambo Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations,” but the second page headline, which read, “Creative Writing Department Loses Tenure Track Professor” that troubled me. While this headline is factual, I feel it deliberately capitalizes on a fear that is deeply felt by many students and faculty about the futures of various majors and departments: that we are losing tenure-track professors at an alarming rate, and that under the current financial climate, these positions will not be renewed. This is not to say that the loss of a tenure-track professor should go unreported, but it certainly should not be the highlighted words selected for a story about sexual misconduct. In the past few weeks, I have heard a lot about “loss.” The The Oberlin Review | December 8, 2017

E ditors ,

“loss” to House of Cards with the dismissal of Kevin Spacey. The “loss” to the comedy world with the renewed scrutiny and criticism of Louis C.K. However, I have not heard enough about the real loss being felt: the disenfranchisement of those who have experienced harm at the hands of these men, voices — often of women and minorities — who are then made absent from already male-dominated and primarily white industries. We should not treat the dismissal and condemnation of men who have caused harm as loss, but as opportunity. We should demand that the people who entertain us, mentor us, and teach us use the power they have more responsibly. We should demand that they be better. These words are subtle; these words are important. Newspaper writers and editors, more than anyone, should understand that words have power. I hope that the Review will remember this the next time they cover a story with content as sensitive and important as that of last week’s. – Lilah Drafts-Johnson College Senior

Journalism Must Acknowledge Hate To the Editors: College junior Kameron Dunbar recently wrote an impassioned criticism of disproportionate whiteness within media publications, which he argues leads to “uncontested platforms” promoting whitewashed perspectives (“Whiteness of Student Publications Threatens Integrity”, The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017.) In reference to The New York Times article “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” he writes, “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.” While I fully support greater diversification of local and national newsrooms, I am here to submit a defense of The New York Time’s profile of an avowed white nationalist. The opinion that this article should not have been published on the grounds of normalizing extremism abrogates responsibility to acknowledge how extremism already permeates America’s citizenry. Like Dunbar, I am a Midwesterner of color who has encountered racism in the heartland; Tony Hovater, the man-in-question from The New York Times piece, grew up an hour away from me. I remember stepping into a grocery store while camping with friends in southeast Ohio and feeling stares from every direction; my mixed-race heritage made me an anomaly, a suspicion to the all-white customers and staff. After hurrying

cont .

out to drive back to our site, I saw a mannequin of an antiBlack caricature on the side of the road propped up by someone’s mailbox. I expressed my discomfort to my friends, and we made no further forays into town. Though I do not wish such a strong perception of threat upon others, such knowledge is precisely what is needed for America’s collective consciousness to oust racist beliefs and behaviors. Refusing to see the faces of neo-Nazis does not make them go away, and anyone who is worried about normalizing their views must grapple with a hard reality: these people exist, they are numerous, and they are increasingly out in the open. Expositions of neo-Nazis and other hateful persons must be handled with caution, but they are necessary to break the silos within our political discourse. Judging by the tremendous backlash to The New York Times article, liberal-leaning mainstream media audiences prefer to rhetorically marginalize the “basket of deplorables” than acknowledge the magnitude of the problem they pose. This is a grave mistake. Having faced racism firsthand, Dunbar needs no introduction to white nationalism. But even if he does not need to read about the Nazi next door, other Americans do, especially those who have not, due to privilege or circumstance, come into contact with these oppressions. Those who claim to combat white supremacy, its ugliness and violence, must know exactly who they’re dealing with. Hate has not seeped into the corners of mainstream American life; it has always stained a swath of our nation, even as proponents of love and equality have cut it away. Filtering out these real voices suggests blindness to their proliferation, and if liberals should have learned anything in the last year, it is the danger of such willful ignorance. It is paramount that progressives squarely confront, rather than recklessly censor, these people that we so vehemently oppose. – Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura OC ’15

Perspective Important in Gibson’s Case To the Editors: I’m writing to disagree with almost everything in Booker C. Peek’s recent opinion column, “Oberlin, Gibson’s Should Settle Out-of-Court” (The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017). I laughed at Peek’s opening comment that the lawsuit “has the potential to be earth-shattering.” Really? Let’s maintain some perspective here. This is a tempest in a teapot, a tiny incident at a small college. Potentially earth-shattering would be President Trump’s brinksman-

CARTOON OF THE WEEK Janie Chang-Weinberg

ship with North Korea, or the increasing severity of tropical storms fueled by global climate change. Those are earth-shattering issues that Oberlin and its students should be addressing. Peek also writes about the damage of a financial settlement. Maybe that’s what he means by “earth-shattering.” Again, I disagree. A settlement with Gibson’s will hardly cripple the school. Even if a multi-million dollar settlement is reached — though unlikely — Oberlin surely has both the resources and insurance to lessen the financial blow. While Oberlin is in the middle of some belt-tightening, let’s keep it in perspective. From all accounts, it’s still a very pleasant place to work and to attend. Having this issue land in the lap of a new president, Carmen Twillie Ambar, compounds the “dire” situation, in Peek’s opinion. Having seen President Ambar speak about Oberlin on her recent tour of key alumni cities, I think she’s the perfect person to handle the situation. She made it clear that opening dialogue across campus is one of her priorities, and this is a situation that has raised a lot of conversation already. As an African-American — and race is the reason the original, garden-variety alleged crime has been raised to a such a fever pitch — she can handle the situation with perspective that most college presidents can’t. In fact, if she sweeps it under the rug with a quick settlement, that will cut off important on-campus discussion: “We can’t talk about it because we settled the case.” And secrecy could light additional fires on social media. Ironically, though I disagree with Peek’s commentary, I think that a settlement is the most likely course of action. These types of disputes are almost always settled out-of-court precisely for the reasons Peek articulated — all parties want to move on, and they want to keep awkward details secret. But I’m not only an Oberlin alum. I was on the Review editorial staff for two years, and I’m a journalist today. Journalists dislike lawsuit settlements because important information is kept from the public. In sum, I don’t think that the College is well-served by secrecy. In this particular case, I have no idea who is wrong — from the accused shoplifters, to Gibson’s, to Oberlin. It seems that Oberlin has taken a page from President Trump’s playbook of trying

to bully a business. But maybe not. Maybe each of the parties is wrong to varying degrees. Regardless, I think that having more information is better than having less. If getting that information keeps this issue alive for a few more months, I can live with that. – Kevin Adler OC ’84

Students, Community Must Collaborate Against NEXUS Pipeline To the Editors:

A big “thank you” to the Review’s Production Editor Eliza Guinn for last Friday’s front page story “Court Rules Against Construction in Ohio City, Gives Oberlin Hope” (The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017) about the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that has blocked the construction of the NEXUS pipeline through Green, Ohio. As her article points out, Oberlin has also filed a case against NEXUS and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to keep NEXUS from threatening the safety of Oberlinians. Though this fact was not included in the article, a local grassroots organization, Communities for Safe and Sustainable Energy, drafted the Community Bill of Rights and Obligations Ordinance in 2013. This document prohibits the construction of fracking infrastructure such as NEXUS within the Oberlin city limits. Members of Oberlin College Anti-Frack — now called Students for Energy Justice — helped CSSE pass that ordinance in 2013. They also helped with the CSSE-backed ordinance in this November’s election that saved the city’s Sustainable Reserve Fund for its intended purpose. Both CSSE and the City of Oberlin have filed numerous protests with FERC against the awarding of a permit to NEXUS. Going forward, the CSSE and the SEJ will continue working together to build resistance in Oberlin to this economically and environmentally unsustainable venture. – John D. Elder OC ’53 Vice President, Communities for Safe and Sustainable Energy


Where to study If you're writing a paper: • Science Library • Second/Third Floors of Mudd library • Slow Train Cafe/The Local Coffee & Tea • Second Floor of Wilder Hall • Peters Hall If you have a presentation or group project: • Science Center Atrium • Azariah's/First Floor of Mudd • Basement of Burton Hall • Science Library, in a study room If you need a whiteboard/chalkboard: • Wright Laboratory of Physics conference room • Empty classrooms in the Science Center • Third floor conference rooms or Science Center study rooms

Your favorite study buddies

Notecard image provided by E.m. Fields to Wikimedia Commons

Layout, background photo, and text by Lucy Martin, This Week Editor

Study tips 1. Create study guides using old tests if a review sheet is not provided. 2. Use notecards for vocabulary either with Quizlet — a website for making flashcards — or the old-fashioned way. 3. Rewrite relevant notes. 4. Get a study buddy and quiz each other on vocabulary and big picture ideas. 5. Outline your paper in a separate document, adding in sources and fleshing out arguments before writing it. 6. If your teacher is giving you an information sheet, use MUJI pens, as they have very small tips.

Brain Food • Whole Grains: improve your memory and focus • Eggs: boost your memory, concentration, and energy levels • Wild Salmon: improves your mood, memory, and concentration • Avocados: increase your ability to concentrate and promote brain development • Spinach: sharpens memory and concentration • Green Tea: boosts dopamine levels, which increase memory and concentration • Dark Chocolate: stimulates better memory and concentration

December 8 • Art Walk is a collection of student artwork from the past semester that will be on display in Suite 166 of the Art Complex from 7-10 p.m. December 9 • The International December 11 • Join President Ambar, Student Senate, and the Student Communications Advisory Board at the 'Sco for a study break from 9-10:30 p.m. December 12 • The Biology Greenhouse

Students' Organization presents Behind the Tales featuring international students' stories of their home countries over ice cream, cake, and other sweet treats at the International Resource Center in Wilder 208, 3:30-4:30 p.m. will have open hours Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Plants help reduce stress and ease feelings of depression, while also benefitting memory and attention span, which are all beneficial during finals.

Where to study If you're writing a paper: • Science Library • Second/Third Floors of Mudd library • Slow Train Cafe/The Local Coffee & Tea • Second Floor of Wilder Hall • Peters Hall If you have a presentation or group project: • Science Center Atrium • Azariah's/First Floor of Mudd • Basement of Burton Hall • Science Library, in a study room If you need a whiteboard/chalkboard: • Wright Laboratory of Physics conference room • Empty classrooms in the Science Center • Third floor conference rooms or Science Center study rooms

Your favorite study buddies

Notecard image provided by E.m. Fields to Wikimedia Commons

Layout, background photo, and text by Lucy Martin, This Week Editor

Study tips 1. Create study guides using old tests if a review sheet is not provided. 2. Use notecards for vocabulary either with Quizlet — a website for making flashcards — or the old-fashioned way. 3. Rewrite relevant notes. 4. Get a study buddy and quiz each other on vocabulary and big picture ideas. 5. Outline your paper in a separate document, adding in sources and fleshing out arguments before writing it. 6. If your teacher is giving you an information sheet, use MUJI pens, as they have very small tips.

Brain Food • Whole Grains: improve your memory and focus • Eggs: boost your memory, concentration, and energy levels • Wild Salmon: improves your mood, memory, and concentration • Avocados: increase your ability to concentrate and promote brain development • Spinach: sharpens memory and concentration • Green Tea: boosts dopamine levels, which increase memory and concentration • Dark Chocolate: stimulates better memory and concentration

December 8 • Art Walk is a collection of student artwork from the past semester that will be on display in Suite 166 of the Art Complex from 7-10 p.m. December 9 • The International December 11 • Join President Ambar, Student Senate, and the Student Communications Advisory Board at the 'Sco for a study break from 9-10:30 p.m. December 12 • The Biology Greenhouse

Students' Organization presents Behind the Tales featuring international students' stories of their home countries over ice cream, cake, and other sweet treats at the International Resource Center in Wilder 208, 3:30-4:30 p.m. will have open hours Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Plants help reduce stress and ease feelings of depression, while also benefitting memory and attention span, which are all beneficial during finals.

A r t s & C u lt u r e

ARTS & CULTURE December 8, 2017

established 1874

Volume 146, Number 12

Ballet Oberlin Show Reimagines Classic Family Film Kate Fishman Staff Writer

In the history of Western ballet, some characters stick out as emblematic of the genre — Giselle, Odette and Odile, the nutcracker, to name a few. Then again, some roles — like Hiccup, Toothless, Ruffnut, Tuffnut, and Green Death — have likely never been performed in a ballet until this weekend, when Ballet Oberlin’s production of How to Train Your Dragon: The Ballet opened in Wilder Main Space. The show ran on Friday and Saturday, debuting an original choreography in an adaptation of the movie franchise, which was based on the modern classic children’s book series. The director of Ballet Oberlin, College senior Shai Wolf, was inspired to create the show after they tore their ACL in April. After watching How to Train Your Dragon, which was released by DreamWorks in 2010 and has since entered the canon of delightful and heartwarming animated films, Wolf had the idea to make it into a ballet. “I watched the movie a lot of times,” Wolf said. “Primarily, it was the music that inspired the ballet.” The music, by International Film Music Critics Association awardwinning composer John Powell, is inspiring. The entire ballet was choreographed to the movie’s score — tugging heartstrings for all audience members and performers familiar with it. If you don’t know the story of How to Train Your Dragon, it follows Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (College sophomore Madeleine Gefke), a small Viking boy who never really fit in in the Viking village of Berk, where his father is the chief. When Hiccup creates a weapon that

back in spring. All of the pieces aside from Toothless’ solo, choreographed by College first-year Amanda Shen, and the classmates’ scene, choreographed by College junior Emily Highkin, were choreographed by Wolf. Auditions for the show were held in September. “The entire cast ended up learning all of the choreography before Thanksgiving, which was surprising and exciting and allowed us to focus on details during tech week after break,” Gefke wrote in an email to the Review. “The entire process, from rehearsals to showtime, was such a positive experience with so much love and support flowing between How to Train Your Dragon: The Ballet, featuring music from the beloved family film of the everyone.” Gefke said she often received same name and original choreography by College senior Shai Wolf, College first-year Amanemails from Wolf saying things like, da Shen, and College junior Emily Highkin, premiered in Wilder Main Space last Friday. “Get excited for this I was feeling Photo by Justin Bank, Staff Photographer ambitious.” While she had been brings down a Night Fury, the most instead represented by the two of hesitant to audition for the role of fearsome dragon, no one believes them catching eye contact mid-dance Hiccup due to the time commitment, she was incredibly excited to be a that he has done it. However, when with startling tension. he goes to find the creature to kill The dancers, who of course never part of the production and in the lead it, he ends up befriending it instead. spoke, attacked all of their movements role. She, Shen, and Dick were all Hiccup tames and trains the dragon, with theatricality and expression. instrumental in helping to work out which he names Toothless (College There were vikings with furry stoles the kinks of creating the new ballet. “I feel like it’s really the only dance sophomore Emily Strand,) and is even and weapons, and dragons flapping in able to fly on its back. Hiccup soon glittery leotards — needless to say, it form that’s always intentional,” Wolf said, describing their love of ballet. he realizes that an evil dragon called was a lively ensemble. Due to the form’s the Green Death is the reason that One of the notable points of Ballet dragons pillage the Viking village and Oberlin’s work is the complete range underrepresentation in the dance unites the other Vikings to bring it of skills from each of the dancers. department, Wolf enjoys providing a down and allow dragons and Vikings There are people like Wolf, who space where it can be explored and to live in harmony. It’s an inspiring have been practicing ballet most of innovated. This weekend’s show did just that. story about peace, compassion, and their lives — and there are people friendship. Of course, Hiccup also who have never taken a single class. As Wolf said in their artistic note in has a love interest — a powerful According to Wolf, Ballet Oberlin the program: “Celebrate the human. young Viking named Astrid (College is mostly a resource for the dancing The daring, the heroic, as well as the first-year Maeve Dick). needs of anyone and everyone who awkward and the clumsy. Be a little Choreographically, the ballet has an interest in the art. They offer a bit silly. Be a little bit brilliant. Notice managed to preserve and translate couple technique classes a week and the mossy rocks amidst the vast, both the humor and touching also try to put on at least one show a golden horizons. And remember, ‘the only real comforts against the emotion of the film. For example, semester. the characteristic moment where This year’s production was cold are those you keep close to your Toothless’ eyes open as Hiccup quite an undertaking — Wolf began heart.’” stands over him, ready to kill, was conceptualizing and choreographing

End of Semester Arts & Culture Events SUNDAY




Other Desert Cities 8 p.m. in Carnegie Building Root Room

“Ethnology as Activisim” Projects 1:30–2:20 p.m. at Oberlin Public Library

Messiah Sing-Along 7 p.m. in Finney Chapel

Presentation on Enid and Joseph Bisset 2:30 p.m. in AMAM’s East Gallery

The Oberlin production of Jon Robin Baitz’s play Other Desert Cities, a 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist, is directed by College senior Henry DuBeau. The show tells the story of a daughter returning home to her family for Christmas as she is working on a memoir that forces a reckoning with a tragic event from their past. There is also a performance on Saturday at the same time and place.

Professor Jennifer Fraser’s “Ethnomusicology as Activism” class will present the projects that students have collaborated on with various community members, all on the subject of building community through music.

Credo Music, the Conservatory, and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life will present the annual Messiah Sing-Along. All are welcome to join the choir and perform in this annual event or enjoy Handel’s great three-part work from the audience. Singers are welcome to bring their own scores or reserve scores for free in advance. Scores are also available for rent at the door for $5. The performance will be conducted by Viola Professor Peter Slowik and will feature Conservatory students as soloists. The event will benefit Family Promise of Lorain County. Family Promise is a volunteer-based group that, by providing shelter and resources, addresses the needs of homeless families.

Allen Memorial Art Museum Director Andria Derstine will present on Enid and Joseph Bissett, the namesakes of “Maidenform to Modernism: The Bissett Collection.” In the 1950s and ’60s, the Bissetts made donations to the AMAM that included works by Chagall, Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, and others. The talk will be followed by light refreshments.

Money, Sex, and Other Drugs: The Common Addictions of Hip Hop 8 p.m. in Warner Main Space The And What!? fall showcase is aiming to emphasize the elements of money, sex, and drugs in hip hop music. The performers challenge the audience to start conversations about the culture of hip hop. Tickets are $2 and are available starting at 6:30 p.m.


A Children’s Holiday Concert 5–8 p.m. in Warner Concert Hall Students will be joined by members of the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra for A Children’s Holiday Concert. Along with musical holiday classics including excerpts from The Nutcracker and “Sleigh Ride,” the event will also feature a musical instrument petting zoo, a conducting station, face painting, and a coloring table.

ConFab Listening Party 4:30 p.m. in the Birembaum Innovation and Performance Space Ethnomusicology Professor Kathryn Metz will host the last ConFab listening party of the semester, featuring songs from her favorite artists. There will also be free pizza and $2 beer.


Laura Pérez Olivera, Yerbera & Botanist Laura Pérez Olivera, a yerbera/botanist and activist with a focus on food justice and environmental racism, came to campus on Saturday to give a talk called “Plantita Platica: Weaving the contemporary (un)documented Oaxaqueña experience with traditional knowledge” as part of the Indigenous Women’s Series, which has been active on campus since 2004. Olivera, originally from the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico, and a graduate of UC Berkeley, studied plant biology and ethnobotany with a focus on agrobiodiversity in the home gardens of Oaxacan indigenous mujeres in the San Joaquin Valley. Olivera has also worked with the Native Seeds/SEARCH conservation farm and the Oaxaqueño Youth Encuentro. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Laura Pérez Olivera, yerbera/ botanist and activist Photo courtesy of Laura Pérez Olivera Interview by Sophie DrukmanFeldstein

How did the approach to ecology and food justice in Oaxaca differ from the approach at UC Berkeley? We’re talking about two different countries, so that’s a big influence on how it differs. I think that people down south definitely have more access to food — fresh food — especially because, like I said, there’s mercados. So the mercados are the markets, and at these markets, people are selling their own produce — things that they grow in their own home, things that they grow on their own land. People trade still. People are still just growing things from their own homes. So I think when it came to UC Berkeley, or the Oakland, [CA], area, there’s a difference in that it is a very urban setting. I did some work with a nonprofit called Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project, and they are really deep east in Oakland. They’re a quarter-acre farm — a quarteracre’s not that big — and literally just a block away from the farm is a liquor store. And that’s the local [farm] that you can really find. The big difference I think is that in America, it is more obvious ... that food is accessible or not accessible. In Oaxaca, people do what they can with what they have. What elements of traditional knowledge have been especially important to your work? Practicing traditional knowledge has been extremely

important. I think the practice of anything is always the hardest thing for anyone, so I think just becoming comfortable with my own self and [knowing that] that I’m capable of planting a seed and that it’s going to grow is the simplest form [in which] I’ve been able to practice traditional knowledge. And that’s been really important for me. How was this knowledge spread or passed down in your community when you were growing up? My mom has always cooked. She spent a lot of time with her grandma … so my mom has continued to pass down a lot of the traditional foods that she learned. Back home, my uncles are teaching my cousins how to farm; how to take care of the land, how to take care of the cattle. And I think a lot of it has been passed down through stories and through just making someone do things. You’ve got to do it. Is the way that knowledge is passed down gendered at all? Are there specific things you learned, as a woman? Yes, I think that it is definitely gendered. The reason why it’s gendered is because of colonialism — that’s one of the main reasons why things became gendered. It’s also gendered because the women are always in the kitchen and the men are, a lot of times, outside. I am seeing a shift in the way that knowledge is passed down not gender-specifically, and I hope that things get to a point where people understand that there isn’t just “this” or “that” in terms of gender. How has your experience as an immigrant impacted your activism? In terms of being at the forefront of activism, I think it’s definitely made me feel a little afraid — or a lot afraid — especially

when I came down to protests happening in Oakland, I always felt very uncomfortable about putting myself at risk because I did not want to disappoint my mother. But I think I have learned to be active in a different way that doesn’t mean being at the front of things in that way. One way is through sharing my own knowledge, and also connecting with other Oaxacan migrant youth and planning events like the Oaxaqueño Youth Encuentro that was mentioned, which is the Oaxacan youth convening that has been happening every year for the past four years. And that’s been one way that I’ve been active within my own migrant community. It seems like a lot of your work ties together really big issues with very local aspects, like your community and your family. Can you talk more about that connection? A lot of the work that I’m doing or the research that I’ve done connects to my own culture and my family and my experiences. It doesn’t make sense to me to disconnect yourself as a person, and your experiences, from the work that you do or the research that you do. That seems like a very Eurocentric way of doing things. In the past couple of years, there’s been more widespread attention to environmental racism in America, due to the struggles against pipelines — especially DAPL. How do you think that greater awareness or focus can best be channeled to effect change? I’m a really strong believer that the best way to do things is locally, or from home. And I think that ... it’s more obvious, or it’s being talked about more. Environmental racism, and things like that — those are just words that have been used to describe an experience that has

always been there. So a lot of that is showing the people who have never thought about this or experienced this what it’s like, or what it is. But I think for most of us who have experienced environmental racism, or who have experienced food injustice, or being undocumented, or whatever oppression that we’ve experienced, we’ve always known these words. And we’ve never needed to have a bigger lens on us, because we’ve always been doing things from home, and surviving and thriving in the ways that we can. What motivates you to do this work? For me personally, it’s part of my well-being to reconnect with my own community and my own cultures and traditional knowledge. It’s made me a stronger person and has been a way for me to process a lot of the trauma that I’ve experienced. And also, trying to see a vision for the future that doesn’t forget about the past. What do you do to stay connected to your culture and your ancestors? I think my whole existence — the fact that I’m alive — is a big part of that. But other than that, connecting with plants is a way that I’ve stayed close. I always keep an altar at home. That’s just something that I do because that’s part of my culture. Are there any current structures around either food justice or environmental racism that you’d like our readers to know about? There’s so many things. It’s hard to say one thing. But … be conscious about the way that you navigate the world with your privileges. I think one of the hardest things is that people don’t necessarily recognize — or I guess, white people don’t necessarily recognize — when

they’re being appropriative or when they are not understanding their privilege and taking up too much space. I think that can apply to a lot of things, like gentrification. I lived in the Bay Area, I live in Tucson — those things are obvious in both places, and I’m sure they’re very obvious in every other city in America. I go back home and I see people that are privatizing beaches, that are building big hotels along the beach. I see people that are not from there who are living there and taking up land there. It’s not like it’s been the end of taking away land from natives, or people of color, because that’s still continuing. In your talk, you mentioned your frustration when you were in academia with the sterile approach to science. You’ve also expressed concerns about appropriation. How do you think academic institutions, in your ideal world, would approach ecology? Would you want them to include every aspect of traditional knowledge? It would definitely have to include traditional knowledge, but it would [also] have to include providing resources and training to people from the communities, wherever these scientists are working, to be able to carry out projects. So, I think this isn’t about who is in higher education, or who has access to higher education, but [about] making space for people [who] have always been here, and are from here, and that continue to remediate a lot of the bad science that has been going on. Another thing — I think when talking about sterile environments and stuff like that, I think that those places come from money. It’s about how much money a lab is getting. It’s about who gets access to that information. It’s not about creating a sustainable place for future generations.

Rabbi Shais Taub Delivers Spiritual Take on Stress, Self-Care

Ananya Gupta Arts & Culture Editor

In this particularly stressful time of year, various groups on campus are organizing events oriented around selfcare, some of which include inviting visiting speakers to bring their perspectives to the topic. On Wednesday, Pittsburgh-based Rabbi Shais Taub was invited to Oberlin by Chabad to offer insights on creating a healthy environment within one’s own mind, and ignoring that which distracts you from your purpose. Rabbi Taub, a scholar, teacher, and author who NPR has referred to as “an expert in Jewish mysticism and the Twelve Steps,” provides spiritual guidance to people facing stressful situations in their lives. After studying at the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, he combined his religious background with his interest in mental health and wrote the book God of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality and Recovery from Addiction. He The Oberlin Review | December 8, 2017

was also recently selected to deliver a keynote address on “G-d and Recovery” at the First Annual Conference on the Evolution of Addiction Treatment. “Being in the field as a rabbi, counseling people, and through various different … [types of ] divine providence, I had different experiences where I was able to become involved in certain communities — for example, the recovery community,” Rabbi Taub said. “Jewish people … are involved in recovery from addiction, I was involved in being a spiritual counselor to such people.” At the talk on Wednesday afternoon, Rabbi Taub told the story of a man who once sought the help of a teacher so that he could learn to control his own thoughts. When the man knocked on the teacher’s door several times, there was no answer, even though the man could hear people inside, so the man went to the synagogue and spent the night on a bench. The next day, he came across the teacher and asked for his help. The teacher readily agreed and invited the man to his home for a meal. After the meal, the man

asked the teacher why he had been so poorly treated the night before, and why the teacher hadn’t taught him anything about controlling his thoughts yet, as that was the entire purpose of the man’s visit. The teacher responded that he had already taught the man this lesson on the first day. He said, “Just because someone is knocking doesn’t mean I have to open the door.” Expanding on the story, Rabbi Taub illustrated the difference between thinking of something and thinking about something. He likened thinking of something as the knocking on the door, something which cannot be controlled or done away with. Rabbi Taub explained that it is human nature for random thoughts to pop up in one’s mind, and these thoughts cannot be prevented from occurring — you can’t stop someone from knocking on your door. The choice we have, Rabbi Taub said, is whether we think about these random thoughts that knock on the doors of our mind. If we allow thoughts to enter and domiSee Chabad, page 13


A r t s & C u lt u r e

OSLAM Poets Present Grand Slam, Select 2018 CUPSI Team Julia Peterson Arts & Culture Editor

Poets of OSLAM, the College’s slam poetry team, convened for their biggest performance of the semester, the Grand Slam, in Dye Lecture Hall Saturday night. The Slam, which featured performances from ten student poets, was not only a moment to showcase these poets’ work to the wider student community — it was also a competition. The poets were vying for a spot on Oberlin’s College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational team, which will travel to Temple University in Philadelphia this April to compete at the national level. This year’s CUPSI team will be formed by College sophomore Zite Ezeh, College junior Sarah Ridley, and OSLAM copresidents and College juniors Hanne Williams-Baron and Deborah Johnson. College firstyear Jalen Woods, who took fifth place, will be an alternate. Before the first performance, the co-presidents took a moment to ground the audience in the history of slam and spoken word, as well as in the history of OSLAM itself, which is five years old this year. “Spoken word is a Black art form,” Johnson said. “It was born from the Black Arts movement and spearheaded by leaders like Amiri Baraka and Gwendolyn Brooks. So for any of us who aren’t Black, this is not for us, or by us.” “We are thankful guests in this space and in this history,” Williams-Baron added. The team also worked with a variety of people and groups on campus to make the space more accessible to all audience

members, including the Office of Disability Resources and the Peer Support Center, and encouraged audience members to engage with the space in the ways that fit them best. There was a specifically-reserved quiet row in the back of the auditorium, the performances were amplified, and participants were encouraged to stand, move, or take a break from the space if they needed to. The poetry featured throughout the evening covered a wide range of topics, including the poets’ experiences with gender, empowerment, beauty, exoticism, mental illness, and violence. The poems were each scored on a scale of one to ten by five judges drawn from the audience. According to Williams-Baron, the judges were “looking for things like craft, memorization, wordplay, originality, and urgency.” Ridley, who placed second, noted that particular lines and images from their poetry have apparently stuck with the audience members in attendance at Saturday night’s sold-out show. “My first poem was about being beautiful and I think of it as a mantra for myself — telling myself things that I don’t necessarily believe but want to convince myself of,” Ridley wrote in an email to the Review. “I have a section of it where I repeat ‘I like [blank]’ for different aspects of my body that wouldn’t normally be considered beautiful or that I wouldn’t like about myself most of the time. People have referred to it as the poem in which I ‘compare my vagina to a mango.’” Williams-Baron, who placed third, decided to push herself to

intentionally take a different tone in the poetry that she brought to the Grand Slam this year. She said that many poets on the team also moved away from common perceptions of slam poetry, toward creating work that resonated more deeply with them. “Something that I was pushing myself to do this year is to not feel so much pressure to be empowering or uplifting, which I have definitely felt in the past,” she said. “I told a story this year that was really hard to share, but I also was trying to be really honest. That’s how I did my poems this year. I tried to be as honest as possible, and tried to steer away from any weird inspiration porn stuff that I think slam poets are often held up to. I don’t think that anybody [on the team] was writing poems that were like, ‘this is what a slam poem sounds like,’ and ‘this is what an audience will like.’ We weren’t catering to that. I think everybody’s poems were really true, and earnest, and beautiful.” For many audience members, celebrating the craft and technique in each poem was an integral part of their experience of the night. “I think Jalen [Woods]’ first poem was one of my favorites, because that person has such an understanding of sound,” said College first-year Jules CreweKluge, who attended the slam. “I’m always interested in the mechanisms of slam poetry, and sound is obviously a huge part of that.” The audience was also integrally involved in the performance, as a poetry slam involves a great deal of call-andresponse.

“Let’s talk about energy,” Johnson said at the beginning of the show while introducing the audience to this style of active participation. “If you have energy to give, please give it. You can clap. You can clap in American Sign Language. You can snap. You can nod, you can make noise, you can come to the front if you want to.” College first-year Zimmy Chu, an audience member, spoke about how this energy — encouraged by Johnson at the start of the performance and stoked by emcee and College senior Andre Jamal — influenced their enjoyment of the performances. “I think a lot of times that art and poetry, when it isn’t performed — and even sometimes when it is performed — is just kind of for the audience, but the audience doesn’t have a stake in it,” Chu said. “That’s what I love about performance poetry — the community created when you’re seeing someone who’s being so vulnerable, and you can feel what they’re feeling, and you can show them how you feel.” To hone this focus on craft and performance, this year OSLAM has had only a competitive team, while in the past they have also had a club that was open to all poets. “We wanted a smaller community where we all felt that we all really trusted each other,” Williams-Baron said. “We’ve kind of stepped away from doing the club, but I hope we can bring it back in the future, because I think it was valuable in certain ways.” This shift in focus is not the only change that has taken place in OSLAM under Johnson and Williams-Baron’s leadership. The

team has taken on a variety of new projects, including publishing a printed chapbook. Furthermore, this Grand Slam was the first time in OSLAM history that all poets were required to have their poems memorized and that tickets were sold. Proceeds from the ticket and chapbook sales will go toward sending poets to CUPSI. Looking forward to the spring, the co-presidents have even more plans for the team. “I think we are going to try to do some recording next semester, which would be really cool,” Williams-Baron said. “We definitely have brought some incredible poets this semester … and we’re thinking about who we’re booking for the spring. That’s really exciting. We might do another Love Slam. Who knows? But I think we are trying to really focus in on our writing, and performance, and our community, and not worry too much about having lots of flashy events.” Looking forward to future OSLAM events and performances, Williams-Baron encouraged audience members to be critical of their beliefs and expectations in these spaces, and the impact they may have. “I think sometimes an audience can objectify poets, in that they just want to be inspired, or they want to feel some kind of superficial anger at the system and not really interrogate their own position,” she said. “I think that’s something we need to push back against. I think it’s really, really important — if somebody’s calling some shit out onstage, don’t assume that it’s not about you just because you’re at the slam.”

Nintendo Releases Animal Crossing Game for Mobile Lucy Martin This Week Editor

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is the latest in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing games — but instead of being for the Nintendo DS, it’s a mobile phone app. It has many similar features to previous games, such as character customization, fishing, and bug catching, but also adds in new elements. The game blends old and new so seamlessly that those who have never played the game before will get just as much enjoyment as those who have been playing the games since Wild World came out. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp tasks your character with creating a campground by using resources you’ve received for helping out local animals. There are different campground themes available such as cute, natural, cool, and sporty, and the animal that you first interact with varies depending on the theme. Other than this first interaction, the initial theme seems to be fairly unimportant given that, throughout the game, amenities not directly correlating to your theme can also be crafted. Unlike Nintendo’s two game system versions, the Pocket Camp map is made up of islands, each of which has specific resources that can only be found there. Although I enjoy the open play of the handheld systems, I understand why Nintendo had to divvy up the resources between islands to create scarcity so that players would interact with each other. Similarly, the animals that you can interact with are not permanent residents of their areas but rotate out every couple of hours to simulate them “camping” there. It can


make increasing friendship with specific animals challenging, but Nintendo provided a solution with Calling Cards, which allow you to call a specific animal to an area. Each animal has three requests per visit, in which you provide them with bugs, fish, fruit, or shells in return for Bells (the in-game currency), crafting materials, essences, and friendship points. Get enough points to achieve the next level of friendship, and a player’s character receives experience points that go toward level increases. Higher friendship levels also allow players to invite animals to their campsite, provided they have the proper amenities and furniture. Different animals require different furniture to be present at the campsite before they can visit, but you may remove the furniture once the animal is established at your campsite. This was an important feature to include because, while it is annoying to craft individual pieces of furniture for each animal, at least it won’t mess up how you want your campsite to look. In my game I focus on crafting what I want to craft and designing my campsite instead of adding more animals to my campsite, even though inviting animals to your campsite does help you keep track of them and it also lets you increase their friendship level. Crafting materials are used to make different types of furniture and with each level more ways to customize your campsite become available. This is an engaging feature, though it can be frustrating since there are different crafting times depending on the furniture and there is only one crafting slot available. Since players also receive essences from animals to upgrade or purchase new amenities, each animal has a specific

theme that they will give you essences for. If you purchase or upgrade an amenity that correlates, your friendship with them will increase several levels. Receiving essences from animals can create an essence shortage if most of the visiting animals are of one theme. Therefore, it can take some time to collect enough essences to upgrade amenities — forcing players to ultimately farm for resources. The app also allows fellow players to connect with each other. In the era of handheld games, players had to get friend codes, open gates, and connect to the internet to play with others. In the mobile game, it’s much easier. As most mobile devices are always connected, it is much faster to interact with other players and you don’t necessarily need a friend code to become someone’s friend. It feels weird to accept friend requests from random players, yet the more friends you have in the game, the more resources are available. Interactions with other players consist of visiting their campsite, giving kudos — akin to “liking” their campsite — and viewing their market box. This last aspect is the feature that most promotes communication and cooperation between players, as it allows the player to place items up for auction if they have too many of one item or their bag is full. This forces players to visit others’ campsites, making it more likely for them to give kudos as well as make more friends on the app. This becomes tedious, however, since you can view another player’s market box even without traveling to their campsite. Still, Nintendo made returning to your last location easy with a simple icon that allows users to go back without reopening the map.

Nintendo took further advantage of mobile games’ social aspect through a mining area that has rotating rewards and requires 20 leaf tickets — which are received as you level up, but can also be purchased for real money. You can also get into the mining area with the help of five friends. Only once you pay 20 leaf tickets or get five friends to help, you can visit the mine and get the reward. Getting five friends to help out can be difficult, and because leaf tickets cost real money it’s a way to get ahead in the game through inapp purchases. It would be preferable to the gameplay if Nintendo does not make leaf tickets so integral to gameplay that there is no way to enjoy or move forward in the game without purchasing them as many free-to-play games with in-app purchases do. In terms of gameplay, Pocket Camp has all the addiction of the handheld Animal Crossing games with the convenience of a mobile phone platform. The graphics are on par with those you find in the handheld system, and it has plenty of customization without the hurdles. For example, hair color and style can be changed without needing to gain Shampoodles — the salon in the base games for changing hair color, eye color, and hairstyle — and customizing skin color is now an option as well. Previously, characters could get tan at most, and that only if they stood outside in the sun for prolonged stretches of time. Pocket Camp is a lovely addition to the Animal Crossing franchise, with plenty of new mechanics to make it a standalone game, but lots of the familiar gameplay and themes that stay true to Animal Crossing’s roots.

Cat Presents Healing Musical Commemoration for World AIDS Day

Students perform on stage at the Cat in the Cream on Dec. 1, as part of a series of performances to commemorate World AIDS Day. The event, titled “Music, Healing & Celebration of Life,” was dedicated “in memory of all those who lost their lives to AIDS, in celebration of all those living despite” and featured The Obertones, OSLAM, and Pitch Please, as well as a variety of individual performers. Text by Julia Peterson, Arts & Culture Editor Photo by Justin Bank, Staff Photographer


Securities and Exchange Puzzle by Daniel Markus Managing Editor 1
















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The Oberlin Review | December 8, 2017


Chabad Hosts Speaker on Spiritual Coping Mechanisms for Stress Continued from page 11

nate our minds, they can cause us pain, suffering, anxiety, and worry. If we recognize these thoughts “knocking” but decline to let them in, we are in control. Rabbi Taub conducted several small social experiments to prove his point. He asked every audience member to spend some time doing multiplication tables in their minds for a few minutes. After some time passed, he asked whether they had all done the multiplication tables, and the audience members nodded in affirmation. Rabbi Taub used this exercise to demonstrate that people are comfortable with considering mental undertaking as an activity, something that is done voluntarily. While this idea was mostly appreciated, audience members found that his methods could not be applied to every situation. “When he was talking about the knocking on the door and the bad thoughts, I was kind of thinking about sexuality and homosexuality,” said College senior Rebecca “Prim” Primoff. “If … you’re closeted and are just realising you’re gay, his methods would have you ignore your gayness. So there certainly were aspects of the talk that I found would be an exception to his theory.” An example of mental choice that Rabbi Taub provided was what he called the “trauma museum.” For some people, their past or future worries can trigger behavior that perpetuate a cycle of trauma. Rabbi Taub said that to break the cycle of trauma, one needs to avoid the “free tickets to the trauma museum.” While old traumas are bound to come knocking and may shout discouraging things across the door of your mind, Rabbi Taub argues that you must not allow yourself to think about — or of — these things, and focus instead on the present. “Overall, it was helpful. I actually really liked his museum example when he was like, ‘free tickets to the trauma

Across 1. Adult investment vehicles 5. Ancient civilization 10. New ink, for short 13. Zilch 14. Swiss theologian Karl 15. Ghana’s neighbor 16. Does not occur in vacuum 17. Rooted vine 18. Old-school speaker 19. A whole lot of green 22. Colorful candies 25. Indigenous tribe 26. Disasters 27. Masquerade 29. Le Cordon _____ 31. Two and a Half Men writer Chuck 32. Terminal maker 37. Algerian city 38. Famous hunter 39. Latin for wife 40. Child’s investment vehicle 42. Spawns gossip 43. Pre-owned 44. Cash investment vehicle 45. Opine 49. Mouth 50. Digit 51. Might result from investing in 1. Across

museum’,” Primoff said. “It’s really easy to let yourself into the trauma museum, I really related to that.” Very few people attended this talk on self-care, and the religious aspect of it could have been one of the central causes for students to not identify this talk as their space, despite the stress of finals week. Rabbi Taub addressed this potential issue. “A liberal arts education is about being open-minded and well-rounded,” he said. “To be truly open-minded and well-rounded, avail yourself of wisdom that may come from faith traditions. Even if you don’t see yourself as a believing person, at least expose yourself to it and see if it has something to offer you, or at the very least [see] if it gets you thinking in a very different way.” Rabbi Taub emphasized that he sees himself primarily as a teacher — he is not a therapist — and that he values the roles of psychologists, counselors, and therapists. “My role is to offer language,” he said. “I try to speak in regular everyday English, and I’m trying to describe spiritual phenomenon in everyday English so if I can give someone a language that they can use or apply to their lives or apply in a therapeutic context then that’s great. I’m just there to provide the words, provide the ideas. And everybody can figure out how they want to apply it.” His inclusive nature was appreciated by audience members, as he encouraged listeners to pick and choose the aspects of his talk that they liked, and discard the rest at their own discretion. “I think the lecture did a great job of allowing Oberlin students to take a break from this stressful time of year and learn about coping mechanisms in a warm and welcoming environment.” College senior Anabel Epstein wrote in an email to the Review. “It is great to find spaces like that at Oberlin.”

55. In cricket, six consecutive balls bowled by one bowler 56. Take over 57. Song section 61. Young actor’s aim 62. French city 63. Voice type 64. Rugby org. 65. Bugger conqueror 66. Meadowlands residents Down 1. Terminate 2. Bat booster 3. Government org. that regulates medical devices 4. Ordeal 5. Melt away 6. Now the Democratic Republic of the Congo 7. Trolley 8. Mt. ____ 9. “Take a _______ me” 10. ____ of the trade 11. Assent 12. 10. Down for grilling, say 15. Muay _____ 20. Bare 21. Big can 22. Computer performance unit 23. New Zealand

indigenous tribe 24. A very thin person or animal 28. U.S. reserve militia, abbr. 29. Opening bet 30. Scowl, e.g. 32. Steep hillside 33. Tree growth 34. Glorify 35. Alfa _____ 36. Have an irritating effect 38. Stumbling block 41. Nomad’s dwelling 42. Soap brand 44. Who to tip 45. Oak offspring 46. Relish 47. Enchantment 48. Ireland, in Irish 49. Produces “whirlybirds,” as opposed to 45. Down 52. Butcher’s cut 53. Atomic number 79 54. Carpet type 58. A Nightmare on _____ Street 59. Consumed 60. Wear Editor’s Note: Solutions to this crossword will run at



Julie and Jay Schreiber, Sports Editors This week, the Review sat down with Julie and Jay Schreiber. The father-daughter tandem has spanned the sports journalism world, with Julie as Sports Editor for the Review itself and Jay working at The New York Times for 26 years, serving as the Deputy Sports Editor for the last four. As Julie prepares to spend a semester in Cuba next spring and Jay prepares for retirement, the two took some time to reflect on their careers thus far. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Alex McNicoll Sports Editor

How did your career in sports journalism begin? Julie: I always really enjoyed writing. In middle school, we used to have these essay writing competitions that were kind of their own type of journalism. We had to write a narrative about our past semester. I would win those competitions a lot, so my middle school teacher told me when I got to high school, I should keep writing and that I should write for the newspaper. My dad was ecstatic about that. Every day in junior and senior year of high school he would drive me to school at 6:45 in the morning, and we would stop and get coffee and talk about the paper. He tried not to force it on me, but in the morning — in the car, almost every day — he would say, “You know Julie, I know you like field hockey and other stuff, but if you wanted to quit everything and just focus on the newspaper, that would be fine.” He would always want to talk to me about pitches, ideas, and ledes. He would want me to profile certain people in the school and go to all these events around town. Then all of my writing carried over into college, because it’s the only thing that I’ve ever been able to visualize myself doing. I mean, our last name means “writer.” Jay: Well, it didn’t begin right away, because I’ve been doing this for 44 years, and I’m about to stop. Almost the first half of it, I worked on the news side. When I was still starting out, I covered municipalities — anything from crime to fires to big disputes about housing developments — and I eventually went to the Daily News, where I spent pretty much a decade working almost always on the news side, not sports. I used to help out Sports with headlines for their back page because I was a wellknown headline writer. I was a sports fan, so they would ask me for help. They would say to me, “Two words, Jay. We need two words,” because that’s all that

would fit on the back page. But I was not a sports editor, per se. But then, when I had a chance to get to The New York Times, the opening was in sports, and it was a chance to come to the Times. The sports editor had heard about me and reached out to me, and I was a big sports fan, so I said, “fine.” I came in not knowing that I was going to stay in sports, but I started moving up. I became the Weekend Editor, then the Day Time Assignments Editor, and then eventually the Deputy Sports Editor. Here I am almost 27 years later, and I never left sports. I like sports. It’s a little looser, a little more camaraderie. You can have a little more fun or be irreverent. It’s not life or death — when a team loses, it feels like life or death, but really it isn’t. Obviously The New York Times is one of the largest publications in the world. What are some opportunities you got from working for such a renowned newspaper that you may not have gotten somewhere else? Jay: The biggest opportunity at The New York Times is that it is always challenging you. We’ve certainly changed over the years. At other papers, sports can be very formulaic. You write a story in advance of a game, you write a story about the game, you write a story after the game. I think it’s very predictable and traditional. I’m not saying everybody. There’s some very great sports journalism, not just us, but I think the best part about the Times is you meet a lot of really smart people that think a little differently than you. So you learn to think, and you’re challenged to look at things. It forces you to stay on your toes, so you’re not doing the same thing year after year. I don’t want to sound like a snob, but some sports journalism is like that. It can be a comfort for fans, because it’s what they

know and have come to expect. They’re fine with it. We run into problems because we don’t cover New York teams as much as we used to, and that’s created some pushback from some New York sports fan readers. Do you have any career highlights that you’d like to share? Jay: One memory that’s definitely going to stick with me was when the women’s national team won the World Cup on a Sunday night back in 2015. I was not working, but I came in to work as a backup Weekend Editor. The U.S. beat Japan to win it, and I just said, “Hey, let’s just blow this thing out.” We put it on page one of the paper, and we gave three pages inside to the women. I was very proud of that. I think it made a real impact. We covered soccer a lot, but I don’t think people were ready for us to give three whole pages to the women’s team. Half our sports section went to the women winning the World Cup, which is a big statement. My other baseball memory will be the Chicago Cubs finally winning a World Series, but of course it wasn’t easy. It was Game Seven, they were up in the eighth inning, and blew it. It goes to extra-innings and there’s a rain delay. Now it’s one o’clock in the morning and they find a way to finally win it. Rare in these days, we held the paper — we stopped the presses — and we actually published in the paper on the front page that the Cubs finally did it. At two in the morning we had four or five people that were going to sit there, drenched in champagne, and write their substories — get their quotes. Then the Night Editor, one Copy Editor, and I said, “This is history, so let’s stay here and get this done,” so by the time we got the substories it was too late to put it in the paper. We ended up finishing around five in the morning, and then at that point, I figured I might as well just take the first

train home to where we live in New Jersey. I got on the first train at 5:30, which is usually, as I found out, mostly nannies going to work. Who else is leaving the city to go to work at five in the morning other than babysitters going to take care of kids in the suburbs? So it was me and, like, 80 nannies on the train. In 2007 to 2009, I did a lot of investigative baseball drug editing with a very young writer who had actually been a news clerk, so he had just taken off, and his name is Michael Schmidt. We did great together. Michael was the one breaking all of these stories, and he really got all these scoops. He did great. It was really an intense couple of years working with him day and night, all the time. That’s when my girls really got into it, because he would call the house all the time. Now, of course, he’s a huge investigative reporter. He’s gone to cover the war in Iraq. He covered the FBI, the military. Now, he’s one of the most prominent investigative reporters involved in the Trump-Russia investigation. He’s on the nightly news shows all the time. It’s fun for the whole family now when Schmidt’s breaking a story. We were at Thanksgiving when a story broke about Michael Flynn and Trump, a huge story. I said, “Let me see that,” and it was Schmidt. What was it like having your daughter join the sports journalism world when she became a Sports Editor in August? Jay: Scary, because knowing that her sister is getting into radio journalism, they’re both into journalism. It would be much nicer if they were both into engineering, right? I think that’s what their mom wishes, because journalism is a tricky field. I’m proud of her. It started out with just being sports fans. I didn’t push Julie to get into journalism, but she likes to write, and it just became a natural thing to do. If you like to write and are interested in what’s going on in the world, journalism becomes the natural thing to do. Getting into journalism isn’t getting into the world I did. It’s changing into a world of websites now. It’s cool, though, especially because I feel like she found her own way there. I keep reminding [Julie] though, law school’s always an option. Julie, have you gained any new perspectives on your father’s profession after working for the Review?

Jay Schreiber (left), Deputy Sports Editor of The New York Times, and Julie Schreiber, Sports co-editor of The Oberlin Review. Photo courtesy of Julie Schreiber

Julie: First of all, having this job makes me understand why he’s so tired all the time, but it also shows me how he sees the world through different potential stories. He’s always looking for really interesting scoops and interesting ways to tell stories. He would never just write a game recap, but he would pick a really quirky athlete and profile them, or find a funny theme or pattern between games or teams. Also, recently — since he’s about to retire — a lot of his colleagues have spoken to me about how much he’s contributed to the department, and they don’t know what they’re going to do without him. I know he’s good at his job, but I always figured he was kind of like the old guy that was there for comic relief. It’s clear to me now, though, that he played a huge role in the sports department. He gave a lot of time and effort, and creativity and consistency. That has been awesome to hear about from so many people. Do you think you’ll continue to pursue sports journalism once you get back from Cuba or after you graduate? Julie: Definitely while I’m still here, because sports are such a big part of my life at Oberlin. I think of pursuing a career in sports journalism. There’s a columnist for The New York Times that my dad works with that does essentially what I want to do if I got to work there. She gets to write about the sports that interest her, and she likes to write about her own family a lot and her own experiences. Her name is Juliet Macur. She actually wrote a column about her dad when he passed away about how he helped create her love of sports, and I read it, like, every day because it reminds me about my relationship with my dad.

Waters, Lin Headline Invitational for Swimming & Diving Jane Agler Staff Writer

Oberlin’s swimming and diving teams brought home brag-worthy achievements after their three-day Fredonia Invitational meet, with 83 season-best swims, 21 career-best times, and seven swims making it onto the Oberlin All-Time Swims list. Encompassing 386 points for the men’s team and 377 points for the women over the course of the meet, the Yeomen placed fourth in the meet and the


Yeowomen placed fifth. “I was very proud of the way the team competed this past weekend,” Aquatics Director and Head Swimming and Diving Coach Andrew Brabson said. “We had a large number of lifetime bests, all-time top 10 performances, and had a 99 percent success rate for achieving season bests.” At the top of the scoreboard for the men’s 200-yard breaststroke was sophomore Michael Lin, who finished in first with a wall touch at the 2:07.36 mark. His swim in this final, which

ended with him ahead of the nearest competition by more than two seconds, was the second-fastest in Oberlin history. The fastest swim — also set by Lin — was just a second faster. Sophomore Kristoph Naggert found success in the same event as well, coming in fifth in the final with a 2:13.19 time — earning him seventh place on the All-Time Swims list. The Yeomen also snagged fourth place in the 400-yard freestyle relay by trimming off a whopping 12.49 seconds off their preliminary time, thanks

to the combined efforts of Lin, sophomores Jack McKeown and Matthew Berry, and first-year Farzad Sarkari. “The team competed really well, and this meet was a really nice way to see all of our hard work pay off,” sophomore swimmer Alex Grande said. “Now we all just have to focus on working even harder so we can see even bigger time drops.” On the Yeowomen’s end, first-year phenom Tesla Waters raised excitement with a fourth-fastest swim in See Swimming, page 15

Perspective: Coordination, Teamwork Lead to Third Conference Win

Senior guard Tyler Parlor rises up against a Denison University Big Red defender in the Yeowomen’s 62–56 win Wednesday. Parlor netted seven points in the Yeowomen’s third straight conference win. Photo courtesy of OC Athletics Leah Ross

Wednesday night marked the third conference game for the women’s basketball team, who faced off against the Denison University Big Red. Starting out conference play 2–0, we hoped to continue our winning streak and defend our home court. Coming into the game, we knew we had to rebound the ball well and execute and defend the three-point line. The first quarter started off with uncharacteristically sloppy play. On the offensive end, we were able to keep up with Denison but failed to rebound effectively and run a disciplined set. Defensively, we

gave up 16 points, which is quite high for our signature shutdown defense. The second quarter echoed some of the major struggles we had in the first. Our defense gave up 20 points and faced significant setbacks on the rebounding front. We remained consistent in our offense, scoring 16 points. The bench play — especially from sophomore guard Cheyenne Arthur, who hit an impossible layup early on — helped keep us in the game. At halftime, the room was frustrated but determined. We were down 36–31, and the team started off by talking about defensive rotation and rebounding. When Head Coach Kerry Jenkins came in, he

Swimming & Diving Teams Smash Records Continued from page 14

school history during the 100-yard freestyle preliminaries. Her finals performance clinched the secondplace spot on the scoreboard with a 54.14 time. In the same event, sophomores Sarah Dalgleish and Alex Grande snagged 14th and 15th, respectively, earning the team a combined 22 points. The three freestyle swimmers later went on to compete in the 400-freestyle event with the addition of first-year Molly Marshall. The quartet landed fifth place with a time more than 11 seconds faster than their preliminary swim. The sprinters weren’t the only ones who saw success. In her first time competing the event this season, sophomore Devyn Malouf swam the 1650-yard freestyle in 19:07.26, finishing in fifth place. “We did really well standings-wise, for only having eight women and nine men swimming and one woman diving,” junior swimmer Rachel Poyle said. “We’re making quite an impact, despite having such a small team.” Although the swimming and diving teams fought the uphill battle of not having a home swimming pool all season as Philips gym pool renovations continue, it has not stopped them from smashing records. Most notably, Lin earned North Coast Athletic Conference swimmer of the week after the team’s Oct. 28 meet against the College of Wooster Fighting Scots, and Waters has already put her name in the school record books. Brabson has been impressed with Waters’ hot start to her first-year campaign. “[Waters] has had some excellent swims early on this season,” he said. “She has already set a school record in the 100 Individual Medley and been very close in a few other events. I can’t wait to see how [she’ll] respond to an increased training regimen in the second half of the season. We will definitely be focused on setting some additional school records, but ultimately, [we] will be looking for further improvement on a great start to her collegiate career.” The swimming and diving teams will be resuming their season when they face off against rivals Kenyon College Lords and Ladies Jan. 13 in a competitive NCAC meet. The Oberlin Review | December 8, 2017

read us some of the statistics from the first half. Denison shot 57 percent from the three-point line and 41 percent from the field. These were some of their best shooting numbers they had put up all year. We were told to continue to rely on our defensive principles and wait for their shooting to cool off. In the meantime, it was crucial that we get rebounds in order to limit their second chance opportunities. We came out strong in the third quarter, holding them to eight total points while putting up 14 of our own. From the bench, you could tell that the energy and momentum had changed. The intensity on both ends of the court picked up, as we started to move the ball sideline to sideline on offense and get good, clean looks at the basket. Sophomore forward Maggie Gross appropriately ended the quarter with a tough turnaround shot in the paint as the buzzer sounded. The bench went crazy, fueling our excellent play in the fourth quarter. The starting five would finish off the game in typical Oberlin fashion. The defense worked as a team, with great communication and rotation. We held Denison to 12 points in the fourth. The most important influence on the game at that point was junior center Olivia Canning. After picking up three quick fouls, she came back and dominated in the post. Denison decided to front her, leaving the back open for Canning to exploit. The backside help came too late or not at all for Denison, which left Canning with wide open layups. This freed up space for other players on the court, as most of the defensive attention for the Big Red was on our 6’4” center.

Senior captain and forward Abby Andrews took advantage with a beautiful drive to the basket and knocked down a jumper. Sophomore guard Ally Driscoll commanded the offensive, adding a few points as well. With 54 seconds left, Oberlin up 59–56, our defense forced a shot clock violation. That left us with the ball and 24 seconds. Denison sent Andrews to the line, where she connected on one of two free throws. The Big Red would miss the three-pointer in the next possession and put junior guard Alex Stipano to the line. She would hit both free throws to seal the game. After the game, there was a strong sense of pride for pulling out a tough conference win. “I’m really proud of the team for holding it together the whole game,” Andrews said. “There was never more than a sixpoint lead for either team the whole game, and I think in the past that would’ve made us fall apart. That’s something really awesome about our team this year — everyone wants it so no one will give up.” Despite sloppy play in the beginning of the game, we were able to rely on our bench to give us quality minutes and consistent, strong play from our starters. “We did what we needed to do to get the win,” Stipano said. “It wasn’t pretty, but we are happy with the outcome and are excited for what the rest of the season has to offer.” Next we’re playing our fourth conference game against the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops tomorrow in Philips gym at 1 p.m.

USSF Needs Kathy Carter As President for Growth, Equality Alex McNicoll Sports Editor

Sunil Gulati, the president of the United States Soccer Federation who has been called “the single most important person in the development of soccer in this country” by Major League Soccer founder Alan Rothberg, announced this week that he will not be running for re-election in February. The decision comes after the United States Men’s National Team failed to make the World Cup for the first time since 1986, despite having one of the world’s most electrifying young talents in 19-year-old Christian Pulisic. During Gulati’s time as president — which began when he ran unopposed in 2006 and continued for 12 years through single-candidate re-elections — soccer has grown immensely in the United States. However, the end of his tenure marks a time for assessing all of the changes that have yet to be made, and that can be best recognized by electing former United States Women’s National Team member and current president of Soccer United Marketing Kathy Carter as the next USSF president. Carter — who announced that she was running for the position on Tuesday — joins seven other candidates in a race much tighter than Gulati’s single-candidate election. Out of the eight, Carter boasts one of the most impressive and unique resumes; she not only played soccer for the United States team at the highest level, but is also a former Vice-President of MLS, and worked on the business side of U.S. soccer for over two decades. In her time at SUM, she worked closely with Gulati and strengthened her influence in both the onfield and corporate elements of soccer in America. If elected, she would also be the first woman to be USSF president — all 11 others have been men. Right now, the other candidates consist of USMNT members Eric Wynalda, Paul Caligiuri, and Kyle Martino, who — while important names in U.S. soccer — have no executive experience. Joining them is former Goldman Sachs executive and current USSF VicePresident Carlos Cordeiro, lawyers Michael Winograd and Steven Gans, and league administrator Paul Lapointe.

This election will likely be the most important in a while, as the United States are part of a shared threecountry bid with Mexico and Canada to host the World Cup in 2026. If they won the bid, it would be just the second World Cup to be hosted by the United States, the first being in 1994 when Carter was on the committee responsible for bringing it to the U.S. As America’s interest in soccer grows — whether through professional teams in Europe such as FC Barcelona, the growing crop of young and promising talent headlined by Pulisic, or just by playing FIFA video games — the next president will have the best opportunity in U.S. soccer history to have a serious global presence. While the USMNT failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the USWNT has been one of the most dominant teams in the world, winning the 2015 World Cup in Canada. Equalizing wages between the USMNT and USWNT will likely be one of the biggest talking points of the upcoming election, as a federal complaint of wage discrimination following the 2015 World Cup by five USWNT players was another of Gulati’s greatest controversies as president. Carter will make the best case for equalizing the two teams, and if she were to become president she would represent the strongest voice for the USWNT. On the field, athletes’ achievements speak for themselves, but in order to maintain successful and competitive play, strong leadership is needed. The NFL changed its commissioner to Roger Goodell in 2006 once questions about the long-term effects of brain trauma became a league crisis. In his time, he has implemented rule changes and head-trauma research to try to protect his players, and despite mixed results and waning ratings, it was enough to earn him another five-year deal inked earlier this week that could be worth up to $200 million. In the NBA, president Adam Silver has made it a priority to increase basketball’s global presence; under his guidance basketball now only trails soccer in global popularity, and the NBA has the most European players in league history. February’s election will impact the course of the USSF for many years to come, and Kathy Carter is the best choice for the job.


SPORTS December 8, 2017

established 1874

Volume 146, Number 12

Russian Athletes Should Compete in 2018 Games Julie Schreiber Sports Editor

Monique Newton lets out a roar at last winter’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships. The track and field teams began their season Saturday at the Fifth-Annual Spartan Holiday Classic at Case Western Reserve University. Newton, who won the women’s national championship last season, reclaimed her first-place status with two wins and earned NCAC Field Athlete of the Week. Photo courtesy of OC Athletics

Women Finish First, Men Second in Track & Field Opener Alexis Dill News Editor

After capturing the North Coast Athletic Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championships for the first time in school history last year, the Yeowomen picked up where they left off last weekend by winning the Fifth-Annual Spartan Holiday Classic at Case Western Reserve University. The men’s team, which was not as dominant as the women’s last year, began their asscent as they finished second in the meet. Monique Newton, Ana Richardson, Naeisha McClain, Jasmine Keegan, Maya English, and Cecelia Longo demonstrated why they’re considered one of the best female throwing units in the country as they earned 45 of the team’s total 155 points. Associate Head Track and Field Coach John Hepp recognized the throwing group’s talent, and the team chemistry only heightens their success. “They’re the most talented group of women’s throwers in the country, and they embrace that challenge and use it as motivation to continue to raise the bar,” Hepp said. “More importantly, though, is how much they care about one another and genuinely want to see everyone in the group be successful.” Last winter, Newton became the first female national champion in school history and posted the sixth best throw in the history of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. This year, she has not missed a beat. After just one meet, Newton already leads the country in both the shot-put and the weight throw, earning herself the NCAC Field Athlete of the Week title. Newton’s toss of 57’9.5” (17.61m) in the weight throw leads the country by four inches, and her shotput throw of 48’2.75” (14.70m) is currently the best in all of Division III by three feet. In the shot-put, McClain placed third with a throw of 39’8” (12.09m), Keegan placed fourth with a throw of 39’1” (11.91m), and in the weight throw, Richardson tossed 56’6.75” (17.24m), which was second behind Newton and is currently fourth in the country. The Yeowomen throwers were not the only ones to dominate the meet. In the pole vault, sophomore Grace Finney and junior Imani Cook-Gist earned the team 16 points by coming in first place and third place with marks of 10’11.75” and 10’6,” respectively. In the triple jump, senior Annie Goodridge, who was an NCAC Indoor Champion in the triple jump last winter, earned 10 points by winning the long jump with a leap of 17’3.5”. For the sprinters, senior and two-time All-American Lilah Drafts-Johnson led the way, placing first in the


200-meter dash with a time of 26.05 — just .15 seconds off her school record time. “As a team, we all know that we need to work harder than ever to win a back-to-back NCAC title, because the other teams are coming for us this year,” DraftsJohnson said. “Based on what I saw in this last meet, we’ll be ready.” Cook-Gist also had a stellar sprinting performance, finishing first in the 60-meter dash with a mark of 8.15. The 4x200-meter and 4x400 meter relay teams each placed first, while junior Rebecca Chant finished second in the 800-meter dash. The men’s team placed seventh in the conference last spring but showed last weekend that they’re stronger this year and ready to move up within the NCAC. Juniors Jahkeem Wheatley and Daniel Mukasa have pushed each other in the pole vault for three years now. Wheatley won the battle Saturday by clearing a mark of 13’5.75,” earning first place. Mukasa was close behind, placing third with a clearance of 12’11.75”. Senior captain James Tanford, who leads the Yeomen in both the triple jump and long jump events and contributes as a sprinter, had a career-best performance in the triple jump, leaping 44’0.5” and placing second. “The first thing I felt was relief, honestly,” Tanford said. “Injuries knocked out my season last year, so finally clearing 44 feet made me feel like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. As we were driving home, how I [set a personal record] really set in, and I realized that I was actually in range of the [school] record. Setting a goal of almost 46 feet had felt lofty, but after starting my season like that, I really feel like I can get it.” Junior Julian Jacobs ran the mile in 5:35.67 to earn his team 10 points and himself a second-place finish. Junior John Olsen placed third in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.49. In the relay events, the 4x400 and 4x200 teams placed third and fourth, respectively. According to Tanford, this year’s men’s team is the deepest and most talented team he’s been a part of at Oberlin. “It has been an absolute treat running with all of them,” Tanford said about his teammates. “I’ve never run on a team with so many talented athletes.” The men’s and women’s teams will resume competition today as they begin the two-day Kent State University Golden Flash Gala. They’ll look to continue dominating their competition, although they’ll have to do so without their distance teammates, who are recovering from the end of the cross-country season and will not join them until January at the earliest.

The International Olympic Committee officially announced Tuesday that it would ban Russia from the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This decision was the highly anticipated response to a years-long investigation of a Russian state-sponsored doping program to enhance the performance of Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Come the start of the games in February, there will be no sight of the Russian flag, no sound of the Russian national anthem, and no Team Russia marching together at the opening ceremony. However, there will still be an opportunity for Russian athletes to participate. Any Russian competitor who can prove themselves clean and unaffiliated with the doping scandal will still have the opportunity to participate in the Games, with the conditions of a neutral flag and uniform that reads “Olympic Athlete from Russia.” While the IOC decision may not allow them the proud victory for the entire country that an Olympic accomplishment usually guarantees, clean Russian athletes should still participate in the upcoming Games. The IOC’s decision elicited widespread support, but many still received it as somewhat of a shock. The IOC is notoriously known for its reluctance to impose severe punishments for incidents and allegations of cheating. But accounts from the 30page report published by the World Anti-Doping Agency last year that described the convoluted cheating scandal — which included Russian intelligence service members “replacing urine samples tainted by performance-enhancing drugs with clean urine,” and “passing bottles of urine through a hand-size hole in the wall” — made the scheme impossible to leave unpunished if the IOC still intended to uphold a sense of credibility. General feelings in Russia towards the upcoming Olympic Games are now greatly mixed. Putin himself responded with mild manners, stating in televised remarks Wednesday that “first of all, we need to say straight that to some extent, we are guilty ourselves.” Putin’s response came as a surprise to many, considering his avoidance of the topic over the past year, as well as his claim that the accusations were timed with the upcoming Russian election in order to spoil his chances for re-election. Many Russian citizens, however, are responding to the ban with much greater contempt. In a New York Times article, Russian citizens were quoted expressing embarrassment at the notion that nation-less athletes from Russia will “look like refugees” without a country to claim them. Others see the participation of clean athletes as an act of betrayal toward their country. A few even believe the entire doping allegation is a farcical scheme intended to humiliate Russia on an international scale. “They are always trying to put us down in everything — our way of life, our culture, our history, and now our sport as well,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted on her Facebook page on the day of the decision. But many former Russian Olympic athletes have come forward to support the participation of the clean contenders in the Pyeongchang games, even if they have to compete as nomads. Yelena Isinbayeva, a championship pole vaulter — who was banned from the 2016 Olympic games due to doping allegations — urged other clean Russian athletes to go, claiming that they would still be recognized as Russian even if they couldn’t sport the flag or sing the anthem. Tatiana Navka, a former championship Russian ice dancer, called the ban a total injustice in an Instagram post but still encouraged clean athletes to decide for themselves whether they want to compete. The clean and promising athletes that the aforementioned refer to include 18-year-old figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva and 30-year-old biathlete Anton Shipulin, both gold medal hopefuls for the Pyeongchang Games who have never tested positive for doping. While the IOC’s ban on Russian representation at the Olympics was the right decision and could potentially set a standard for increased fairness in the Games, the committee should still encourage clean Russian athletes to participate as individuals. The shameless cheating on the part of the Russian government should not have to impede the Russian athletes who train with honesty and integrity. And hopefully a few of these individual Russian athletes will win, plunging an even deeper thorn in Russia’s side — the country with so much hubris and pride will be unable to claim victory for its own due to one of the most embarrassing international sporting scandals of all time.

December 8, 2017  
December 8, 2017