The Oberlin Review February 22, 2019
Volume 147, Number 14
Residents Look to Form Community Land Trust Nathan Carpenter Editor-in-Chief
Protesters organized in downtown Oberlin on Monday to protest President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency. Photo by Ella Moxley
Protesters Stand Against National Emergency Ella Moxley A group of concerned Lorain County citizens convened in the southeast corner of Tappan Square on Monday to protest President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency. The demonstration was organized by local activist group Lorain County Rising. The protest began at noon and lasted about an hour, drawing 40–50 protesters from Oberlin and neighboring areas. Attendees braved the 25-degree temperatures and intermittent snows to stand by the flagpoles on the corner of Main Street and East College Street. The rally included homemade signs and chants such as, “Hey hey, ho ho, Trump and his wall have got to go.” Many others expressed their support by honking at the group throughout the demonstration. Lorain County Rising is a citizenled advocacy group in Northeast Ohio that focuses on a host of progressive issues ranging from gerrymandering to the Affordable Care Act. Laura Irvin, a member of LCR, organized the protest. “We have to come together as a nation to oppose this fake emergency,” Irvin said. “We are coming together and letting people know they are not alone.” During the 2016 campaign, Trump ran on a promise that he would build a border wall once in office by having Mexico pay for the construction. Thus far, he has been unsuccessful with this approach. When it became clear that going through the U.S. Congress to obtain funding for the wall would also be unsuccessful, Trump declared
a national emergency on Friday, Feb. 15, in order to obtain the $8 billion needed. During the protest, some speakers condemned President Trump’s national emergency since many consider the move to be unconstitutional, as only Congress can control appropriations. One of these speakers was Oberlin resident David Finke, OC ’63. “This is an important part of what a democracy is and how a democracy is defended,” Finke later said about his motivation for attending the protest. During the demonstration, one protester held up a Constitution to represent the violation of Article I, which spells out the powers delegated to the legislative branch. Other protesters were motivated by apprehension about the wall more generally. “Walls are un-American and not useful,” said Masha Petersen, a participant in the protest. “Mexico is a partner in economy and culture and in so many other ways. We don’t need to go back into nationalism. It’s what led to World War I and World War II.” Finke noted that the group that had gathered in Oberlin was part of a larger group of people who have expressed dissatisfaction with the president declaring a national emergency. Protests occurred across the country over the weekend and on Presidents Day, Feb. 18, including protests at the Trump Hotel in New York City, which prompted arrests. As for Oberlin’s protest, many were pleased with the turnout. “[It is] very successful [to have] between 45–50 people in 20-degree
weather,” protester Victor Melfi said. Some noted that even with the high participation, very few Oberlin students attended. “We have had a difficult time finding the best way of communicating what is going on in the community with students,” wrote Lili Sandler, the founder of Lorain County Rising, in an email to the Review. “We have several student members who are happy to share events through the class Facebook pages, but when we’ve asked if there are other, more effective ways of letting students know about our events, there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer.” Finke, who helps organize LCR events, also mentioned the difficulty of communicating with students, especially in comparison with his time as a student at Oberlin. “Reflecting back [on] when we were in school here, the easiest way to get something announced was to get a message to a centralized office that produced a daily announcement sheet of things that were read at supper in every dining hall — and it was uncensored,” Finke said. “The technology has changed, you know, how word gets around the campus and I am assuming that there are things that students may check on a daily regular basis ... but I don’t have access to those. I don’t know who does.” Many at LCR would be interested in better connection between the college and the community. “We’d always love to have more students at our events — they bring plentiful energy, different perspectives, and fabulous ideas,” said Sanders.
A coalition of Oberlin residents and business leaders is in the process of forming a local community land trust with the goal of increasing housing affordability and community investment in Oberlin. A CLT is a way for a group of stakeholders to acquire different properties in their community and assume stewardship responsibilities for them. While the CLT manages the land, residents still purchase or rent their homes. At its core, the model is meant to promote community land ownership. According to Marge Misak, a Cleveland-based independent land trust consultant, CLTs generally promote housing affordability. “Community land trusts fundamentally are a way for a community to control land for community uses and community needs for the present and into the future,” she said. “I would say the primary use of them is to help control housing affordability.” Liz Burgess, OC ’73, owner of Ginko Gallery, and Krista Long, owner of Ben Franklin and MindFair Books, were inspired to bring a CLT to Oberlin as they approach retirement age. Burgess says that, for middle-income seniors, the options for affordable, supportive housing options in Oberlin are limited. “The more we looked into co-housing and senior options, they’re not affordable for those of us in the middle, those of us who neither can afford Kendal [at Oberlin] nor have few enough assets to qualify for subsidized senior housing,” she said. “So we’re in the middle, and there’s a lot of us in the middle.” Lack of affordable housing for middle-income seniors was an issue specifically identified in a 2017 study of Oberlin’s housing market. Other challenges indicated in the study included aging housing stock and lack of housing options for low-income families and families with children. The study also found that Oberlin has a lower-than-average proportion of children in the community and that many Black families have moved away from Oberlin due to a lack of employment and housing options. Organizers hope that a CLT will help address many of those deficiencies. “The more we learned about it, the more we thought, ‘Wow, this would be incredibly useful for Oberlin in a variety of ways,’” Burgess said. “But especially to address the housing issues that had been identified in the city’s housing study.” And so the idea for an Oberlin CLT was born. According to Burgess and Long, a group of people came together to guide the project, including representatives from the city of Oberlin, Kendal at Oberlin, Providing Oberlin With Energy Responsibly, El Centro Volunteer Initiative, and others. To get started, the group reached out to Misak, hoping to benefit from her experience with the area and determine whether a CLT would work in Oberlin. In partnership with the CLT leadership coalition, Misak launched a year-long study funded by the Community Foundation of Lorain County. Misak noted in particular that a wide range of community members were invested in bringing a CLT to Oberlin. “The city being on board, in the sense of their See Land, page 4
ARTS & CULTURE
03 Sexual Information Center to Implement New Programs
05 Design For America Offers Oppportunity For Meaningful Change, Social Impact
08 Student Publications at Oberlin College
10 Good Talk Premiers at ’Sco: Features Stand-up Auditions, Local Band
14 Chris Broussard, Sports Analyst and Oberlin Basketball Alum
04 Senators Reflect on Campiagn Strategies
06 Prestissimo is Back: It Needs To Stay That Way
The Oberlin Review | February 22 2019
13 Art Rental: A Photo Essay
16 Asian Athletes Conquered 2018
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Sexual Information Center to Implement New Programs
Leo Lasdun Senior Staff Writer
Oberlin’s Sexual Information Center will be increasing access to emergency contraceptives, pregnancy care, and important transportation services, in addition to hosting a program called the Oberlin Doula Collective, which was founded last summer. The SIC was recently given 1,000 units of emergency contraceptive by the company Vagisil and is in the process of distributing it this semester. “We have it for free in the Science Center and Mudd [library] as well as in our office so that it’s available for students to easily grab,” said College junior and SIC staffer Amanda Stavis. The SIC has established a number of ways to distribute the emergency contraceptive, including giving staffers buttons that read “Need Plan B? Ask me!” According to College sophomore and SIC staffer Maya Walsh-Little, Vagisil offered to send the SIC 3,000 units of emergency contraceptive. “We don’t have enough space for
that many units, so we only took 1,000,” Walsh-Little said. Many students have noticed the plastic boxes of free emergency contraceptive around campus. “It definitely put the SIC more on my map,” College first-year Katie Kunka said. “Knowing that they have [emergency contraceptive] is a big deal for me. I think that the SIC is sort of — at least in my mind — sometimes underutilized, and now that I know that they have more resources than I originally thought — that’s such a good thing.” Some students were happily surprised to see the SIC’s new resource. “It blew my mind, I didn’t know that was even allowed or how they got the money for it,” College first-year Sofia Zarzuela said. “No one has money in college to pay for Plan B.” Another new initiative at the SIC is the Oberlin Doula Collective. Founded by College senior and SIC staffer Elana Rosenberg, the ODC will provide support for people who are getting abortions. The organization is volunteer-run, and aims to “empower pregnant individuals through trauma-informed, gender-
inclusive, and body-positive support work.” The SIC is hoping to have the Doula Collective up and running by next year. The ODC will co-host an abortion doula training event with the Wesleyan Doula Project. “This year, we’re having another college who has their own doula collective come and do it with us,” said Walsh-Little. “The training is important because a lot of the work that we do at the SIC is through supporting other people … abortion doula training is just one way to be a support person that’s related to reproductive health”. The training will be held on April 6 in Wilder Hall room 115, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Applications to take part in the training are due on March 8 and can be found on the event’s Facebook page. The SIC also recently started a transportation program. College sophomore and SIC staffer Talia Putnoi explained that the program provides rides to medical clinics for those who could not otherwise access them. “You can sign up if you need a ride to a clinic or an appointment and you don’t
have access to a car,” Putnoi said. “You can fill out a Google form, and there’s a list of people who can drive you to a clinic nearby.” The SIC is structured differently from many other campus organizations. It is a non-hierarchical organization, which means there is no chair, co-chair, or other executive position. They make decisions through a collaborative process, without one specific person in charge. “We collaborate on all big decisions, and we collaborate to decide which projects we work on,” Stavis said. While non-hierarchical, the organization does still have formalized structure. They do, however, have some persistent, foundational programming. These include SexCo, an ExCo that aims to give students an in-depth, inclusive understanding of sex and sexual health that many high schools don’t provide. The SIC also maintains a store located in Wilder Hall. “We have a store where we either offer for free or [on a sliding scale] safer sex supplies and gender-affirming products,” Stavis said.
French and Arabic Teaching Assistant Programs Reduced
Students learn Arabic with teaching assistant Hawraa Sana. Photo by Meg Parker, Photo Editor
Jenna Gyimesi News Editor
Oberlin foreign language departments are preparing to undergo changes to the Teaching Assistant Program starting next year. The Arabic and French departments will each be losing one TA, and all TAs are expected to see their salaries standardized. This reduction would leave the French Department with one TA and the Arabic program with none. Elizabeth Hamilton, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, assures students that there is no cause for concern about the coming changes. “Some [TA positions] are being reduced in relation to other staffing patterns,” she wrote in an email to the Review. “These are modest changes.” TAs are usually Masters students from countries outside the U.S. and have many responsibilities both within and outside of the classroom. They lead group discussions, organize campus events, assist in grading, and lead language tables. Many faculty members and students have expressed concerns about the upcoming changes and how learning may be affected.
The Oberlin R eview February 22, 2019 Volume 147, Number 14 (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 second-class 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
“I think that the presence of a TA is so essential and important to practice language, and to interact with,” said Salam Karahawa, a double-degree senior and French House residential assistant. “I think the TA program is so valuable.” Not all language programs at Oberlin have TAs or program assistants. However, several staff members believe TAs are uniquely able to cultivate a helpful and effective language learning environment. “The TAs have a lot of contact with the students and help create this atmosphere outside of the classroom where students can learn a lot in a friendly, relaxed setting,” said Matthew Senior, chair of the French and Italian departments. “I think a lot of our students would say they learned as much in such settings as they did in the classroom. They have a chance to make friends and use the language. It’s part of the culture at Oberlin and it needs to be supported.” Faculty also emphasized that TAs provide a value that is difficult to achieve by other means, since they can relate to students and communicate elements of their culture. “The ability to have contact with peers more or less your own age is extremely important,” Senior noted. “Professors are usually at least a decade older than their students, so they are not in contact with a certain kind of culture that their peers have and can share.” Faculty members in the French and Arabic departments fear that the quality of education and opportunities available at Oberlin will be diminished by the absence or reduction of TAs in their respective departments. Professor Al-Raba’a spent one module without a TA and felt overwhelmed by the amount of work he had to take on. He explained that he had to cancel some Arabic Department events as a result. “I had a heavy burden myself,” he said. “The second module I was doing everything myself: conversation hours, language tables, every aspect — I was doing alone. I eliminated some cultural activities because I can’t do everything. I’m speaking from experience; [TAs] help in so many ways.”
Sydney Allen Nathan Carpenter Managing Editor Ananya Gupta News Editors Anisa Curry Vietze Jenna Gyimesi Opinions Editor Jackie Brant This Week Editor Mikaela Fishman Arts Editors Kate Fishman Katherine MacPhail Sports Editors Jane Agler Alexis Dill Photo Editor Mallika Pandey Senior Staff Writers Carson Dowhan Roman Broszkowski Leo Lasdun Julie Schreiber
Some students, however, were not heavily impacted by TAs during their language education and do not hold the same concerns . “I don’t interact with TAs that much,” College junior Johanna Rosenboom wrote in a message to the Review. “Most of that has to do with the fact that I’m a minor, and not a major, and haven’t had to go to French table as part of my classes since my classes have been upper-level.” Arts and Science administrators are exploring ways to make sure that foreign language education is enriched in alternative ways. For example, the College hired current, native French-speaking students to conduct some duties usually performed by French TAs earlier this semester. Many faculty object to hiring current students as TAs and believe that trained international TAs are still necessary for foreign language education at Oberlin. “Some of [the TAs] even come here with advanced language training,” Senior said. “It is highly preferable to have these advanced students, trained at some of the best universities in the world.” Kevin Roceron, faculty-in-residence and a former TA himself, added, “They are students, and may not have the time to participate in activities. This is a full time job.” The College is also introducing some new technologies and innovative programs to foreign language courses. “Faculty and staff involved in the Oberlin Center for Languages and Culture, the Cooper International Learning Center, the Gertrude B. Lemle Teaching Center, and language departments themselves are exploring options for high-quality language and cultural learning using powerful contemporary technologies and rich campus programming,” wrote Hamilton in her email. “We have piloted the Shared Languages Program to connect language courses with our peer colleges and universities in the region, and we’ve found that students do really well. It’s extra intensive, face-to-face instruction. Students see their language proficiency grow substantially, and through partnering across institutions,
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See Changes, page 4
Corrections: The Review is not aware of any corrections this week.
To submit a correction, email managingeditor@ oberlinreview.org.
OBBO Wows at Hales Late Nighter
Security Notebook Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019
8:51 p.m. Campus Safety officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at a Village Housing Unit. Smoke from cooking caused the alarm. The area was cleared and the alarm was reset.
Friday, Feb. 15, 2019
7:43 p.m. Officers were requested to assist an ill student in East Hall. The student advised officers that they were feeling better and declined transport to the hospital.
Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019
The Oberlin Beanie Baby Orchestra performed at the annual Hales Late Nighter last Saturday, Feb. 16 in the Cat in the Cream. Double-degree senior Camille Vogley-Howes, double-degree sophomore Ritu Mukherjee, and College sophomore Jane Wickline (from left to right) played in one of the opening segments. A number of acts were featured throughout the evening, including OBBO, Julia Julian, and High & Mighty Brass Band. Many other entertainment options also attracted students, including an inflatable obstacle course, an inflatable game of twister, glow-in-the-dark bowling at the Cat’s bowling lanes, billiards, a Valentine-making station, and free Feve food, hot chocolate, and cotton candy. Text by Sydney Allen, Editor-in-Chief Photo by Devin Cowin, Staff Photographer
Senators Reflect on Campaign Strategies Anisa Curry Vietze News Editor As Democrats across the country continued gearing up their 2020 presidential campaigns this past week, the ballots were just coming in for Oberlin’s own Student Senate. Student Senate elections happen every semester, but the way candidates choose to campaign can vary each time. This semester, 16 students competed for nine spots, with many using Facebook events and other social media platforms to communicate to voters, while others spoke at co-ops or relied on word-of-mouth. Some incoming senators ran their campaigns on very specific issues, while others took a broader approach. Newly-elected senator and College sophomore Bridget Smith tied her name to Winter Term improvements. “Really my platform for Student Senate was making Winter Term more accessible for students,” Smith said. “Oberlin having Winter Term was a huge reason why I ended up choosing Oberlin. So coming to the school and finding Winter Term in a state of disrepair, where it was really kind of confusing for a first-time student to go about the process, and it did mean a lot of out-of-pocket costs for something that’s required by the university — it didn’t make a lot of sense.” Smith works in the Office of Study Away and Winter Term and cited a need for more individual project funding, as well as more oncampus projects beyond just language programs or research opportunities for students in STEM fields. For Smith, tying her name to the issue of Winter Term goes beyond just strategy. “If I had been elected but was not allowed to pursue anything related to Winter Term, I wouldn’t have even been interested in running,” Smith said. “I’m here to do Winter Term stuff.” Other candidates found their vision while already in the process of campaigning. Emma Edney, a College sophomore and new senator,
The Oberlin Review | February 22, 2019
ultimately built a platform around peer support and mental health resources. “I originally came up with the idea for my platform after deciding to run, but it was something that I had always been really interested in,” Edney said. “[My platform was] specifically targeted at the way that Oberlin students use and don’t use resources and that it can be easy to acknowledge that you need a resource and really hard to actually seek that resource. So the campaign itself was about being really open about mental health.” During Winter Term, Edney took the on-campus Intro to Peer Helping Skills class. This training is part of what inspired her campaign. “I think I’m the only person who’s really coming at it from that perspective of wanting to utilize the Peer Support Center and [Yeworkwha Belachew] Center for Dialogue,” Edney said. Others ran on more general campaigns, pitching themselves as individuals more than the issues they were concerned about. College firstyear Raavi Asdar won a spot on Senate by doing just that. “I think the biggest thing I was kind of campaigning on is I want to be accessible and approachable to students,” Asdar said. “How I see Senate is as a conduit for student voice almost. For that conduit to work, a senator has to be approachable.” Asdar pointed out that many of the candidates who ran on specific issues had been at the College for more than a year. “I’m not going to personally experience all the problems people experience on this campus,” Asdar said. “I didn’t feel like I had been here long enough to have a very strong issue that I was personally affected by. I think one learns and develops what Senate’s position is most powerful in doing while they’re on it. So to campaign on a certain issue and then find out this perhaps isn’t the best space to be doing that didn’t feel the most true to myself.” Long-time senators have seen campaign strategies evolve over their tenure.
“The social media aspect is getting bigger and bigger,” said College senior and Student Senator Kirsten Mojziszek. “One year someone made really cool posters, I think that helped a lot. I’ve seen it go through a lot of different phases, and it is always interesting to see what people do and how much people are really going for it. And now we have Meet The Candidates Night, which I really like.” Mojziszek started off in Senate the first semester of her first year, with only a vague sense of what she wanted to achieve. “The first time that I ran, honestly I was nominated as a joke by my friends,’” Mojziszek said. “I don’t entirely remember my candidate statement, but it was very vague, I’m sure. And I really didn’t have that many skills to bring to the table, if I’m being quite honest.” After four years Mojziszek has attached herself mostly to issues with the Sexual Information Center and Title IX policies at the college — including the Oberlin Bystanders Initiative. “By second semester I sort of had tied myself to these issues of assault prevention on campus and talking more largely about community support and how peers can help peers,” Mojziszek said. “From that point on, I think I just sort of started running on that platform.” As for the incoming candidates, a good mix of different campaign styles might be important for Senate’s overall function. “I think it’s really important that we have senators who have specific things they want to achieve and then senators who are really, really qualified and really capable and find their place,” Edney said. Student Senators are always open to hear suggestions from constituents. Senators have office hours every Monday-Thursday at 9 p.m. in Azariah’s Cafe. Senate’s weekly Plenary is open for all students to sit in on and happens every Sunday at 7 p.m. in Wilder 215.
8:38 a.m. Officers were requested to assist a student who had missed a step and fallen in the second-floor hallway of the Allen Memorial Art Museum. The student reported they were OK and left the area. 9:08 a.m. A student reported that their backpack was missing from the Allen Memorial Art Museum. The backpack was later located by museum security staff and returned to the owner.
Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019
1:12 a.m. Officers responded to a noise complaint at a Village House on South Professor Street, where officers observed a live band and approximately 100 students in attendance at an unauthorized party. The attendees were asked to leave, and the area was cleared without complication. 2:55 a.m. Officers were requested to assist a student who was ill from alcohol consumption in Kahn Hall. They determined that the student was able to stay in their room for the night. 9:39 a.m. An officer on patrol noticed the bike rack outside the southeast door of Burton Hall had been vandalized. The outer portions were hanging, and the bottom center post was broken into two pieces. A work order was filed for repair. 11:02 a.m. Staff reported that an unknown person had broken the exit sign in the first-floor lobby of Kahn Hall. Several ceiling tiles were also broken. An electrician responded for repairs. 2:28 p.m. A student reported the theft of a keyboard from a Village House on North Main Street. Members of the Oberlin Police also responded and filed a report. 2:55 p.m. A student reported that they were involved in a minor car accident on North Professor Street. The driver had attempted to make a right turn into the parking lot behind Kahn Hall, but slid on ice and hit a nearby sign. There was no damage to the vehicle and no injuries. 7:27 p.m. Officers were requested to assist a student who was experiencing shortness of breath at the Conservatory Library. The student said that they had smoked marijuana, then ran across campus to the library. An ambulance responded to check on the student, who declined transport to the hospital. 7:38 p.m. Campus Safety officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at Allencroft House. Water had dripped into the smoke detector on the first floor and triggered the alarm. An electrician responded for repair, and custodial staff responded for cleanup.
Monday, Feb. 18, 2019
11:38 p.m. Officers were requested to assist a student at Kahn Hall who accidentally cut their hand with a knife. The student was transported to Mercy Allen Hospital for treatment.
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 8:35 p.m. A student reported observing an unknown male going through their bag in a practice room in Robertson Hall. Campus Safety and the members of the Oberlin Police Department responded to search the interior and exterior of the building. The incident remains under investigation.
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Land Trust Intended to Bolster Affordable Housing Continued from page 1
planning director being a part of this and knowing really just about every parcel in the city, is really helpful,” Misak said. “So they really are coming to this with a strong stakeholder group.” With regard to the city of Oberlin, both Councilmember Heather Adelman and Director of Planning and Development Carrie R. Handy have been involved in the CLT planning process. Handy noted that the city has committed staff time to the project, but not financial resources. After working with Misak, members remained sure that the CLT model would be a good fit for the Oberlin community. “The beauty of the CLT structure is that … it’s very co-op-like, in [that] you want the members to participate in the decision making,” Long said. “You want them to be able to be involved and responsible for the way the organization operates.” However, actually launching the CLT is far from a done deal, and some significant challenges remain in getting it off the ground. The first are logistical — the organization is still in the process of filing paperwork to become officially recognized by both the state of Ohio and the Internal Revenue Service. Once all the paperwork is submitted, the group will need to fundraise and educate the community about what a CLT is. According to Misak, educating Oberlin residents is vital, but she’s optimistic that the current leadership group will be able to get it done. “There’s a lot that goes into it in terms of the knowledge base,” she said. “[CLTs] are challenging to figure out. You have to understand the land leasing and the decisions that have to be made about that for your community. So the challenge of that is you need people who are really invested in learning that for the long term. And, frankly, [Oberlin has] overcome that and been able to meet regularly and figure that out.” For Handy, who has focused on the financial aspects of the proposed CLT, fundraising is key. “Probably the biggest barrier is going to be money and finding sufficient funding to do the projects that they want to do,” she said. “There are various funding sources out there, but it takes time to write … applications to get those funds.” For now, both Burgess and Long recognize the need to educate and fundraise, and they aren’t making too many concrete plans beyond those steps. On Monday, March 4, the coalition leading the CLT effort is holding a membership kick-off event from 5–8 p.m. in the lower level of the Huntington Bank building at 5 South Main Street. Burgess, Long, and the rest of the CLT coalition hope that other members of the Oberlin community will be inspired to learn more about their work and ultimately get involved, financially and otherwise. “We foresee, you know, small neighborhood gatherings where people can actually … talk about it, ask questions, dig into it,” Long said. “I think that’s how it’s going to build.” Community members and students alike are welcome at the March 4 event. Interested parties can contact El Centro Housing and Physical Development Manager Maria Carrion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OFF THE CUFF
Zahida Sherman, Multicultural Resource Center Director
Zahida Sherman stepped into her new role as director of Oberlin’s Multicultural Resource Center on Monday, Feb. 18. Most recently, Sherman was an assistant director of Black Student Success at the University of the Pacific. She has also worked as an associate development coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in Los Angeles, and as an assistant director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kenyon College. Sherman earned her BA in anthropology from Ithaca College and her Master’s degree in history from Northwestern University. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Devyn Malouf, Production Editor How are you finding Oberlin so far? So far? You know, this is day four — beginning of day four — so far so good. I’m settled into a new space, settled into a beautiful house. Everyone has been very nice, very helpful, and very brilliant. Y’all are very inspiring, so it’s exciting. How do you think your previous professional experiences have prepared you for this role? So I’ve worked in diversity [and] inclusion a lot, almost a decade, mostly in higher education at a similar kind of institution — at Kenyon College for four years. After that, [I did] some similar but kind of industry work for a law firm doing diversity [and] inclusion work for a couple years, and then supporting students of African descent for the last two years at the University of the Pacific in California. So with all of that, I think I have a pretty keen understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging,
advocacy, and social justice. I think it makes [me] a nice fit for this position. What type of culture do you hope to create in this space? I hope that when people come here they feel welcome and, regardless of their identities — plural — they feel like they can belong here and they can be supported here in their advocacy, in their exploration of their own identities, and just figuring out who they’re becoming.
What type of improvements would you like to see in the MRC? Do you have any specific plans or goals that you’d like to carry out? Like I mentioned, this is day four, so I don’t have a thorough list. There are some technical things that aren’t super exciting — there are some repairs to the house. It’s kind of a spectrum of improvements, I think just getting more visibility to the MRC. I under-
Photo by Meg Parker, Photo Editor
things like that. Even little things — well, to me they’re not little things — but I’m very sensitive to space and energy, so even suggestions as far as how the space can be better utilized, from adding plants to redesigning layouts and things like that. I’m very open.
What can students expect from you as the new director of the MRC? I think students can expect transparency. I pride myself on being pretty genuine and pretty thoughful and honest in my interactions with people. I really value transparency, and it sounds like people value that here too, so I’m happy for that fit. People can expect that I will listen to them and hear their perspectives, hear their input. I’m very open to suggestions for programming or speakers and
Is there anything else you’d like to share? I think it’s worth saying I’m happy to be here, I’m excited to be here, and I’m very collaborative. I know that the school is gearing up for some tighter budgetary moves, and I know that brings a lot of unease. I will be as transparent with folks as possible through that transition. And it’s really important to me that the MRC serves this campus community to the best of its ability, even through these transitions.
Changes Spark Concern in Foreign Language Departments Continued from page 1
we can offer more courses than our programs could otherwise offer.” Aside from reduction to the TA program, some students and faculty are worried this may be the first of future reductions. “From what I can tell, Oberlin is trying to cease the Arabic program. I think students need to know about this,” Senior said. “If the administration gets their way, there will be no Arabic instruction next fall. That’s it.” Opportunities to practice language have also been modified recently. Stevenson Dining Hall is also no longer reservable for foreign language tables during lunch hours. “So many diners have similar windows of time
for lunch, we needed every seat available during this peak period to ensure that all diners could enjoy their meal when they needed to,” Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo wrote in an email to the Review. Additionally, all TAs will have their salaries standardized “We saw that salaries varied widely and, for equity reasons, they are being standardized,” wrote Hamilton. In addition to receiving a salary, TAs are provided with housing, meals, and opportunities to take courses during their time at Oberlin. However, Senior believes that the standardized salary does not adequately compensate TAs for their labor. “From our impression, this is too low of a salary,” he said. “It’s really unacceptable and substandard.”
Oberlin Community News Bulletin Debra Rose Honors Black Female Artists at Ben Franklin Local singer-songwriter Debra Rose will perform her original show Legendary Ladies, a tribute honoring five historical African-American women, at Ben Franklin this Saturday at 4 p.m. The tribute will focus on iconic figures Marion Anderson, Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Aretha Franklin. Rose is the founder of a musical ministry in Oberlin called Healing Melodies, which uses music therapy to stimulate memory and coordination for elderly patients.
stand there have been some transitions in the last six months-plus, so kind of reintroducing the MRC to the campus community is going to be an immediate goal over the next, I would say, 30–60 days, just so people can get familiar again with the space and what we do.
Learn to Plan for Success in Business CoWork Oberlin, a coworking community and office space, is hosting a workshop Feb. 26 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. to teach community members how to create business plans. The talk will focus on strategies to build a stable, longlasting business. CoWork Oberlin hopes to cover topics such as financing, developing resources, and building infrastructure. Register online at www.coworkoberlin. org. The event is free and open to anyone regardless of experience.
The Oberlin foreign language departments hope to find a solution that is budget-friendly but does not eliminate the role of TAs in Arabic and French programs. “We understand that Oberlin is trying to tighten its belt, and we want to cooperate in that process,” Senior said. “That’s why we proposed the idea that if French is going to lose a TA, and Arabic is going to lose a TA, we are exploring the idea of combining the Arabic and French TAs, because there are plenty of people from the Arabic world who speak French as well. We don’t want to dig in and pretend that there are no problems with the budget, but we think that there are creative ways to keep language instruction at a maximum here.”
Presentation Explores Impacts of ExCo Program The Experimental College Program has fostered community between the College and town communities by offering diverse and interesting courses for 50 years. The ExCo Committee will deliver a presentation exploring the program’s importance and history Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 7–8 p.m. in the Science Center. The committee hopes to receive community feedback as it prepares for its March presentation at the New Explorations in Teaching Conference at the University of Akron. If you are interested in bettering the program, sharing your experiences, or asking questions about ExCos, this is the event for you.
February 22, 2019
Letter to the Editors
Community Should Participate in Sodexo Future Chefs Competition To the Editors: While healthy eating can be a challenge for kids and parents, elementary school students in Oberlin City Schools will use their creativity and culinary skills March 20 to make healthy Mexican-inspired recipes in the 2019 Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge. The national initiative, now in its ninth year, was created to get students thinking about healthy food choices while also encouraging them to be active and creative in the kitchen. Oberlin students are joining over 2,700 other students representing more than 1,400 Sodexo-served school sites in 30 states. Twenty-five elementary school students submitted healthy Mexican-inspired recipes, and the creators of the best six were selected to participate in a district-wide finals event. Finalists will prepare and present their creations before being assessed on criteria including originality, taste, kid-friendliness, and use of healthy ingredients. Oberlin City Schools joins 266 other school districts across the country holding Future Chefs events throughout February and March. The winning student from each participating district will be considered for 40 regional awards, and the selected regional finalists will vie to become one of five national finalists competing for the
public’s vote on SodexoUSA.com. Sodexo, the school nutrition partner for over 425 school districts throughout the U.S., is renowned for its work advancing childhood nutrition, health, and well-being. In November 2016, Partnership for a Healthier America named Sodexo its Partner of the Year for successfully increasing healthier food options in zoos, museums, aquariums, and K-12 schools it serves, as well as meeting its goal to serve 17 million additional free breakfasts to K-12 students two years early. In addition, the award recognizes Sodexo’s efforts beyond its PHA commitment, including how it has created a culture of health across its extensive network of clients, customers, vendors, and employees. The Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge is just one of the many ways that the company shares its health and well-being expertise with the clients, customers, and the communities Sodexo serves. The Oberlin challenge will take place Wednesday, March 20 at 4 p.m. at Langston Middle School in Room 200. Please, come take photos, interview students, and enjoy the local event! To join the Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge conversation on social media, use #SDXFutureChefs. Jordan Krystowski Sodexo Food Service Director
Design for America Offers Opportunity for Meaningful Change, Social Impact Lily Jones Layout Editor Before heading to Northwestern University in August 2018 to participate in the Design for America Leadership Summit, I was not sure what to expect. I’d been encouraged to attend by a family friend that had worked with the organization in the past, so everything I knew going in was pulled from her anecdotes. Design for America is a nationwide organization that teaches students hu-
man-centered design, a creative problem-solving methodology, to help them tackle challenges in their local communities. The Leadership Summit was intended to give student representatives from DFA studios across the country the chance to meet each other, hone their design practice, and prepare for the upcoming semester. When I checked in that first evening of the Summit, I was not a member of the organization and had little experience working in the See Students, 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 email@example.com 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. 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 | February 22, 2019
Volume 147, Number 14
Editorial Board Editors-in-Chief
Managing Editor Ananya Gupta
Opinions Editor Jackie Brant
Club Sports Deserve More Recognition, Institutional Support One of the most exciting moments in Oberlin athletics last year was when both of the College’s ultimate Frisbee teams, the Flying Horsecows and the Preying Manti, qualified for the national Frisbee tournament. Their success allowed for some rare glimpses of school spirit as the campus came together to support both squads — in a way it rarely does around Oberlin’s varsity teams. This celebration was a reminder of the ways club sports can build community, even though they receive a fraction of the institutional support that varsity teams do. While that discrepancy is at least partially due to the inherent DIY nature of club sports, which many club athletes and supporters value, it can hinder the ability of club sports on campus to live up to their full potential. This may seem like a minor discrepancy, but on a Division III campus, athletic programs are largely not maintained for their prestige. Instead, they are — or at least should be — important conduits for connection and community, allowing athletes and fans alike to make friends and build school spirit. From an institutional perspective, both outcomes are enormously beneficial — when students feel connected to their campus communities, they’re more likely to stay enrolled and to give back to the school as alumni. Club sports are ultimately just as able to achieve those outcomes as varsity sports. When the goal is to get community buy-in, build school spirit, and sustain relationships, there’s not a significant inherent difference between the two. Yet club sports at Oberlin continue to get the short end of the stick in many ways, representing a missed opportunity to take advantage of both halves of the campus’ athletic community. Oberlin currently offers 19 varsity teams, featuring around 350 student athletes. Conversely, the school has roughly the same number of club teams, with 375 participants. In any given semester, about 30 of those teams are active — and coordinating practice times for that many teams is no easy task. Scheduling is a much easier task during the warmer months, when both varsity and club teams can take advantage of Oberlin’s many outdoor athletic spaces and fields. However, the problem arises during the winter, when snow is on the ground and all 700-plus athletes are forced indoors. As a Division III school, we are extremely lucky to have an indoor complex like Williams Field House. However, because Oberlin also has so many athletes, competition for time slots in Williams during the winter months is extremely high. While every team is guaranteed Williams time slots if they want them, the time slots are often inconvenient, if not largely unfair to students who participate in club and intramural sports. Currently, the only spots available for Williams Fieldhouse during weekdays are from 9 p.m. onwards, from 8:30 p.m. onwards on Sundays, and 2 p.m. on Saturdays. These spots are shared between nine club and off-season varsity teams. This means that each team only gets two or three practice spots — some of which start at midnight and do not finish until 1:30 a.m. Unfortunately, the burden of late night practices falls almost exclusively on the club teams. The students who get out of practice at 1:30 a.m. realistically will not get to bed until around 2 a.m. on a weeknight. While some club athletes certainly value these gritty elements of their experience, there are likely others who are swayed from participating because of these factors. Regardless, the latest slots should not be the only ones available to club sports. As a liberal arts institution, one of Oberlin’s biggest selling points to prospective students is that they give their students the opportunity to do it all — they can participate in rigorous academics, the arts, athletics, ExCos, and still have time for a social life outside of all these activities. However, when it comes to supporting club sports — which, after all, involve more athletes than varsity teams — it seems as though the institution falls short. During a time in which the College is devoting many resources to determine the value that different departments and programs add to this institution, club and intramural sports need to be given more consideration for the important role they play on campus. Increasing the access these teams have to practice facilities would be a positive step toward fostering more buy-in from our many club athletes — impacts that will potentially ripple out in positive directions.
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
Bernie Sanders: The 2020 Sanders’ Progressivism Candidate Nobody Asked For Offers Hope for 2020 Henry Hicks Contributing Writer The 2020 presidential election cycle has officially begun, with upwards of ten candidates already declaring their bids for the Democratic nomination. This deep pool includes current U.S. senators, entrepreneurs, local-level politicians, and more. Newer faces of the Democratic Party, such as Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, have managed to generate much excitement, asserting themselves as candidates to be taken seriously despite claiming little name recognition. However, they’ll soon be tested by progressive powerhouse Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who announced his second presidential bid last Tuesday. Emerging into a majority of the public’s eye only a few years ago, Sanders positioned himself as Hillary Clinton’s competition for the Democratic nomination during the 2016 primary election. An Independent, Sanders ran on what, at the time, were considered radical stances, such as Medicare for All, free public college, and an increased national minimum wage, among others. He overwhelmingly secured the millennial vote, though he still came up short during the primaries and eventually lost the nomination to Clinton. Since then, Sanders’ philosophies have been adopted by many politicians — particularly a younger, further left-leaning crop of Democrats. Initially, the idea of a Bernie 2020 candidacy might seem apt and inevitable. However, this second-chance bid for the Presidency is ill-conceived, unnecessary, and might even cost Democrats the White House. It should go without saying that this upcoming election will be crucial for all of America, but specifically for marginalized people. It’d be an understatement to say that Donald Trump’s actions and popularized rhetoric have affected the lives of vulnerable groups in extremely negative ways. His travel ban singling out majority-Muslim countries, the nomination and
eventual confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and family separation policy are all examples of tangible changes Trump has been able to make while in office. The year 2020 is, and has to be, about who has the best shot at removing Donald Trump from the White House — specifically for the sake and survival of marginalized folks within and outside of the United States. Sanders simply isn’t a viable candidate for this task. As he’s become increasingly popular, Sanders’ ideas have become more and more mainstream, though he still lacks the support of establishment Democrats. His image as a self-proclaimed revolutionary doesn’t appeal to centrists and moderates. It’s going to take a unified Democratic voting bloc — potentially with support from some moderate Republicans — to ensure Trump’s loss in 2020. Sanders’ image and a number of his policies make him unattractive in this way. Sanders also struggled — and failed — to gain the support of older voters and Black voters alike in 2016. Looking at Sanders’ performance in key primary states, some might say that he’s got a tight hold on white working-class voters. However, upon more recent reflection, many journalists today would even say that more specifically, his base is white millennials. “Because young voters also tend to have lower incomes, the massive age gap between Sanders and Clinton has sometimes looked to observers like a gap in economic class, according to political scientists Matt Grossmann and Alan Abramowitz,” wrote Vox’s Jeff Stein. “But the most salient divide in the primary is not between rich and poor. It’s between young and old — and between black and white.” There are other ghosts of the 2016 campaign that will continue to haunt Sanders. Despite fighting for Civil Rights during his college years, Sanders dismissed Black Lives Matter activists who called for him to address the one-year anniversary of the murder of Michael Brown at a Seattle cam-
Christo Hayes Production Editor The Bern has returned. Millionaires and billionaires nationwide are on life support. Cory Booker is reportedly pleading with his Big Pharma donors to keep a low profile. Barack Obama has been spotted on a coffee date with Joe Biden, who looked close to tears as 44 told him his monopoly on the “favorite grandpa” title is over. Beto O’Rourke has been sighted at a skatepark, brooding and hitting kick-flips. And the president’s White House staffers tell us he may declare DEFCON 4. Hyperbole aside — though it wouldn’t be shocking if the nation’s 1 percent started seeing their doctors more frequently — Senator Bernie Sanders’ emergence in the 2020 presidential field is exciting. Thus far, left-wing presidential hopefuls have been playing catch-up with Sanders, who has already shattered rival Kamala Harris’ $1.5-million single-day donation record with a staggering $5.9-million haul. Bernie’s 2016 bid, which reshaped the ethos of the Democratic Party, still looms large today; the democratic socialist policies central to Sanders’ campaign three years ago have become staples of the revitalized party, due in no small part to torchbearers like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This leftward drift has come in spite of party traditionalists determined to drag their feet. Bernie may have sparked the sea of change on the left after his 2016 campaign, but why should he carry it forward in 2020? There are a number of reasons, perhaps the most important being his crossover appeal with Trump voters. Progressives can bemoan the disproportionate leverage wielded by rural voters in the Electoral College all we like, but until this can be addressed, we need to focus on winning them over. Sanders outperformed Clinton in 2016 among rural voters who would later vote for Trump in the general election. Recall that some of these Trump voters also voted for Obama, many of them twice. They are not, in principle, opposed to left-leaning candidates. This appeal has seemingly endured, with Sanders already polling at 19 percent in Iowa according to CNN and the Des Moines Register (behind only centrist Joe Biden, who may not even run). The elephant in the room is Sanders’ lack of appeal to Black voters, who overwhelmingly voted for Clinton in 2016 and have historically been overlooked or lied to by politicians of all stripes. However, this is primarily an issue of optics, not policy. It’s true that Sanders did not spend enough time and resources reaching out to and hearing the political concerns of Black voters in 2016. Nonetheless, Bernie’s oft-overlooked racial justice plan was the most comprehensive agenda of its kind in the 2016 race. The plan breaks down racial injustice into five parts: physical violence, political violence, legal violence, economic violence, and environmental violence. The plan is too detailed to parse through here, but I strongly recommend that skeptics read Meagan Day’s breakdown of the plan on the Jacobin Magazine website. (If Bernie’s website were fully operational yet, I’d point skeptics to the platform itself, but it isn’t at the time of this writing; I’ll happily take bets that it will be there soon enough.) Another huge advantage of a Sanders candidacy is that the hard part
See Bernie’s, page 7
See Democratic, page 7
Prestissimo is Back: It Needs to Stay That Way Sage Vouse Web Manager Every three months or so, it comes time for Oberlin College and Conservatory students to select classes for the upcoming semester. This is a gratifying but precise process; the breadth demands particular attention be paid to future course offerings. Whether a student is looking to fill their quantitative formal reasoning requirements or simply expand their knowledge beyond their comfort zones, everyone is searching for something. There are several ways to go about this search, two of which — Acalog ACMS™, hosted on the Oberlin website, and OberView/Presto — involve searching courses by keywords. Then, students determine which courses are offered at which times, and determine what fits and what doesn’t. What’s lost there is aimless browsing — this pro-
cess is best conducted with the student having at least a somewhat formed idea of what they’re going to take. Since 2012, a third way of browsing the college catalog has filled the gap: Prestissimo. Prestissimo began as a Winter Term project and is a student-created way of searching the course catalog while selecting for specifics such as department, professor, time, credits, and requirements. This approach offers two distinct advantages. The first is that it aligns well with how students like to search for courses. This was the initial need from which Prestissimo was first developed. As is stated on its “About” page, Prestissimo was “conceived after a particularly frustrating hour and a half spent searching for classes worth 3 credits of social science that also fulfilled the writing proficiency requirement.”
The second and less tangible advantage Prestissimo offers is that it facilitates a sort of branching out that comprises one of the most celebrated aspects of a liberal arts education. From orientation onward, students are told to employ the given resources to grow themselves in all directions — which includes exploring content outside of what they could’ve pictured themselves studying. Because Prestissimo makes it easy to browse courses in every which direction, it’s neither uncommon nor costly to aimlessly peruse the offerings of a distant department. During such a journey it’s more than likely a student will encounter and consider a different and exciting course. You can imagine that when Prestissimo shut down toward the end of last semester, students were upset. The shutdown was not without cause: Prestissimo was and remains a student project,
and, though there’s a disclaimer at the bottom of the site that reminds users of this, people still contact the College’s technical support when it breaks. With the supposition that preexisting tools offered more than enough coverage to allow students to search for courses, it was replaced with a sparse page instructing students to seek out the College’s new online registration platform, OberView. From a personal standpoint, the loss of Prestissimo was destabilizing. Though I am in my last semester and have no need to register for courses, I am one of the students who has worked on Prestissimo in the years following its creation. It was the first exposure I ever had to web development and in no small part is the reason I’ll be graduating as a Computer Science major this spring. It holds a privileged place both in my development as a software engineer as well as
in how I conceptualize the strengths of Oberlin’s Computer Science department. The proximity and access I’ve had to professors and projects is something I cherish and, especially considering its origins, something Prestissimo is indicative of. The resurrection of Prestissimo was the result of discussions about its place on campus between the Computer Science faculty and the College. In their wake, Prestissmo has been reinstated with the understanding that it is, has always been, and will remain a student project. It shows signs of wear: A couple of current bugs have yielded duplicate course entries, and the schedule can show up a little wonky. However, it remains an invaluable utility, learning opportunity, and student accomplishment that — with continued student participation — can be enhanced and employed well into the future.
Terrell’s Accomplishments Should Be Highlighted, Not Overlooked Shannon Silberhorn Contributing Writer Like any institution, Oberlin’s history and commitment to progressivism has both dramatic highs and sharp lows. Part of why I chose Oberlin as a high school student was that it was the first college to support women and Black students in pursuing higher education. As a College senior, I’ve chosen to focus my Religion capstone on Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954), because I was interested in the way our institutional history often excludes the contributions of Terrell and other Black women who graduated from Oberlin. In addition to renaming the main library after Terrell, I agree with Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries Alexia Hudson-Ward that we should do more to educate students about her history in order for us to understand more fully what our own history is. My capstone research focuses on the intersections of Terrell’s public and private lives and how both her life experiences and political work from Oberlin onward were influenced by her devotion to social justice. Terrell’s successes at Oberlin were impressive but also lonely — her family could not understand her intense commitment to academics, and the number of Black women who attended Oberlin alongside her was small. As a successful Black woman who boasted a higher education at the end of the 19th century, Terrell was a societal outlier — a fact she was acutely aware of. The Black women that graduated with her in the Oberlin class of 1884 also had extremely successful careers and are similarly overlooked in our institutional history. Ida Gibbs Hunt and Anna Julia Cooper went on to become nationally recognized speakers and writers who promoted civil rights and Black women’s suffrage. Cooper, Hunt, and Terrell also became lifelong friends. Terrell responded to her acceptance into higher education by working to make education possible for everyone; she strongly believed in social uplift and the impact of education for Black communities. Not just an advocate for higher education, Terrell was a strong campaigner for kindergartens, as she recognized the need for two economic providers in many Black households. Her work was incredible in that it made Black women and their children — two of the most marginalized groups in the United States — visible by way of the National Association of Colored Women. Terrell helped found the NACW, whose main mission was to provide social services and education to Black families. Terrell also participated in women’s suffrage and the Civil Rights Movement despite being continually undermined and excluded because of her identity. As an activist, she fought for Black women’s right to vote, their right to better working conditions, and their access to higher education through scholarships. Most women’s activism at the time centered white women and actively discouraged conversations about race and sexual violence in the path to suffrage. While Terrell was part of these groups of women, she diverted herself by making sexual violence against Black women a significant focus of her activism. Through this activism, Terrell also made it clear to others that Black women were situated at an intersection of race and gender that made them incredibly vulnerable to sexual harm. While there are critiques of Terrell’s ideology of “racial uplift” — an adaption of white Victorian ideology — and of her participation in politics of respectability as an upper middle-class woman, Terrell was also constrained by the avenues of social activism at the time. She was functioning in a post-slavery society where part of her work was focused on legitimizing the work itself to white society in order to gain protections for Black communities. While it is important to problematize this today, it is more meaningful to recognize that Terrell created a gateway for Black women to enter into activism, which allowed movements to become more progressive and evolve. In other words, this institution should be proud of Mary Church Terrell, not just because of her loyalty to Oberlin, but because the incredible work she accomplished in her life fits in the nexus of the progressive politics and social activism that Oberlin inspires and promotes. The fact that the NACW and its work are invisible in our country’s history is not for lack of the work of women like Terrell — rather, this invisibility is a direct result of the all-encompassing and prevailing influences of racism and sexism. Oberlin is a special place where we can advocate for our own alumnae and bring their accomplishments to light. Oberlin should do more work to make students aware of the leaders that have graduated from this institution and how their work has shifted our own history. There are other Oberlin graduates like her, such as Anna Julia Cooper, Ida Gibbs Hunt, and Mary Jane Patterson — the first Black woman in the U.S. to earn her BA — who were ahead of their time in regards to their impactful politics and work. All these individuals should be celebrated alongside Terrell. Through my capstone on Mary Church Terrell, I have become more aware of the ways in which scholarship limits or hides the complexities of these women. I believe as an institution we can create more ways to explore our history in order to examine and complicate the good and the bad of our institutional history. By doing this, we can continue to uplift figures like Terrell, who are deserving yet painfully overlooked. The Oberlin Review | February 22, 2019
Students Can Join, Lead DFA Projects Continued from page 5
world of human-centered design. While there are many existing associations with the word “design,” human centered design — also called design thinking — does not necessarily require a visual component. Instead it entails the designing of ideas. Projects vary widely based on the skill set and interests of the studio members. At the Leadership Summit I met students working on everything from designing better hospital gowns for patients with use of only one arm to finding ways of making food more accessible to people living in food deserts. Over the course of the Leadership Summit, I was struck by the people I met. DFA is a network of students and alumni who care deeply about their communities, and upon reflection this isn’t surprising. Human-centered design is above all rooted in empathy and community. After my experience at the Summit, I sent out a flurry of emails to students and faculty with the goal of bringing Design for America to Oberlin, where it would be one of DFA’s first independent studios at a liberal arts school. Most of the existing DFA studios are at large universities, and the ones at smaller schools tend to have a partnership with another university. But, in a way, Oberlin is the
perfect setting for such an organization. Oberlin students are interested in taking action, in finding meaningful and innovative ways to approach social issues. And while many lament the town-gown divide, the access to a tight-knit community beyond the college campus is a unique Oberlin resource. However, for some students it can be difficult to find ways to become involved in projects on campus that extend beyond the College community or have a direct focus on social impact. DFA can provide a space for students to engage with the greater Oberlin community. In initial meetings, Oberlin residents as well as students were excited about the potential for collaboration. This spring, the Oberlin DFA studio will be working with members of the Oberlin Business Partnership to help find solutions to local economic issues. My decision to start a Design for America studio at Oberlin is also occurring at an important time for the College. People are questioning the value of a liberal arts education. They want to see a return on their investment, a reassurance that their four years spent here will provide them with the skills needed to get a job after graduation. In response to this concern, Oberlin has launched a number of career-readiness initiatives, which Design for America could supplement.
With multidisciplinary focus and flexible methodology, projects carried out with DFA can prepare students for future careers. Being able to approach an issue holistically and intentionally is a skill applicable to every sector. Additionally, since projects are entirely student-driven, there are opportunities to practice leadership, pitch projects, and accumulate portfolio and résumé pieces. This spring, Oberlin’s DFA studio will be taking on our first project, co-led by College senior Jessica Moskowitz. It will kick off with a Design Sprint Workshop on March 2, where students can take part in a fast-paced version of the entire design process. Anyone interested is encouraged to join the workshop and the studio. While the project for the spring semester has been selected, members of the studio will be able to choose projects based on their interests and skills in future semesters. Additionally, over the summer, students that take on leadership roles with the group will have the opportunity to attend the Leadership Summit and meet DFA members from studios nationwide. Students and faculty who are interested in learning more about DFA can email firstname.lastname@example.org and should check the Design for America Oberlin Facebook page for updates on events.
Bernie’s Presidential Bid Threatens Chances of Deafeating Trump in 2020 Continued from page 6
paign rally; he later came out in support of All Lives Matter movement. He’s since thrown his support toward the Black Lives Matter movement, though the move feels too little, too late. Sanders also only recently issued an apology regarding accusations of sexual harassment during the 2016 election cycle made against his former staffers, another late-in-the-game step toward addressing a shortcoming. In a primary campaign that already pits Sanders against two Black candidates and six women, these facts from his past will surely make him ill-favored among some. Sanders works well in the Senate. There, he doesn’t need the overall support of the Democratic Party to enact change. Acting as a voice for a new generation of Democrats, he’s able to influence and shape politics in a way that oth-
ers may not, pushing his colleagues further left and challenging his establishment peers. Sanders doesn’t need the White House — this he’s made clear. The unlikely rise of freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can largely be credited to a change in thinking sparked by the ideas put forward by Sanders in 2016. Even some current Democratic presidential candidates are pushing for many of the ideas Sanders popularized. Despite the excitement generated by many of Sanders’ policies, and the impact that he’s had on re-centering the Democratic Party, 2020 needs to be about one thing and one thing only: defeating Trump. This is going to require a lot, but first and foremost, it’s going to require uniting the Democrats, which is something Sanders has proven he’s unable to do.
Democratic Party Should Bring On the Bern Continued from page 6
of campaigning is over. He fought tooth and nail in 2016 using only grassroots support and nearly got the same number of votes as Clinton, who had all the power of the Democratic National Committee and special interests on her side. The populist political infrastructure is already set up for him, which gives him more time to listen to the Black voters that he overlooked and cover other bases he missed the first time around. He’ll also be better positioned to avoid the inevitable gaffes that come with a publicized campaign. But his age! If the biggest concern about Sanders is his age — and look at how energized he is! — he’s already ahead of the pack. I’ll take marginal health risks over special interests
and spotty records any day. We need visionary leadership, and Bernie can provide. There are, of course, valid concerns on the moderate left and the right about the funding and logistics of Sanders’ more ambitious programs, but those are concerns to address as they arrive. As Maggie Koerth-Baker of FiveThirtyEight recently noted, policy packages like the Green New Deal — which Sanders supports — may be impractical, but “practical” solutions thus far haven’t worked. Frankly, we don’t have time to address every deficiency; hopefully, if Bernie is elected, moderate Democrat and Republican congressmembers can spend their energy addressing them when the policies are in motion. For now, full steam ahead. Bring on the Bern.
THE GRAPE “Founded in 1999, The Grape is Oberlin’s sole publication. Dedicated to capturing the intricacies of students’ lives and campus culture through humor, art, and good ol’ fashioned journalism, The Grape truly is a mouthpiece/occasional echo chamber for all that is relevant (or not) on Oberlin’s campus. With a little something for everyone, The Grape is everything you want in a bi-weekly publication, plus a lot of stuff you don’t.” – College seniors Ian Feather and Sophie Jones, The Grape editors-in-chief
“The Synapse is [a] student-run intercollegiate science magazine dedicated to making science interesting and accessible to a general audience. We aim to increase interest in the sciences by exploring its contributions and relevance in our world today. The Synapse also offers a place for art and science to interact. We facilitate collaboration between members of the Oberlin College and Denison University communities with goals of expanding The Synapse even further. To view previous issues or contribute to future issues of The Synapse as a writer, editor, or artist, visit our website: www.synapsemagazine.org.” – The Synapse editors
AT OBERLIN COLLEGE Layout and text by Mikaela Fishman, This Week Editor
THE PLUM CREEK REVIEW “Started in 1964, The Plum Creek Review is Oberlin’s oldest literary and arts magazine, devoted to publishing as many different creative forms as possible, including but not limited to prose, poetry, plays, translations, artwork, and photography. In addition to putting out a magazine every semester, The Plum Creek Review organizes workshops, readings, and exhibitions throughout the year. The Plum Creek Review’s goal is to foster the creative act, to give literary and non-literary artists a chance to see their work in print and to share it with others, and to bring together people for whom these things are important.” – Adapted from The Plum Creek Review website
R A R R D A N ND DA AR D N R E N E A L A AL LE ND A
THURSDAY–SATURDAY, FEB. 21–23
SUNDAY, FEB. 24
[title of show] Check out this musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical. Tickets are $5 and can be bought on the first floor of Mudd Library or at the door. Wilder Main Space • 8 p.m.
Service and Support Animals Local psychotherapist Jane Miller, OC ’83, will discuss legislation related to emotional support animals. She is the executive director of Healing Companions, Inc. and wrote the book Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power To Transform Lives. Normal C. Craig Lecture Hall, Science Center • 5–6 p.m.
Kuw Kuw citiz tion Haw teac Pete
WILDER VOICE “Wilder Voice is Oberlin’s magazine for creative nonfiction and long-form journalism. Writers and editors work closely through the semester on [each] piece of writing, building a close editorial and creative relationship. Along with creative nonfiction, we publish fiction, poetry, translation pieces, and artwork. We are currently taking submissions [and] are looking for everything from personal essays to political journalism. If you have an idea for a piece, please send a 1–2 paragraph description and an approximate potential length to email@example.com. Editor applications can be found on our Facebook page. All applications and pitches are due Feb. 22, 2019 [today].” – Wilder Voice senior staff (College juniors Rachel Marcus, Isabelle Kenet, and Julia Friend)
TWO GROVES REVIEW “Two Groves Review is a new online publication for poetry, literary criticism, and writing about writing (essays, personal or otherwise, about books, poems, music, TV, whatever writing you’d like to write about). Being a digital publication allows us to include audio and video of the pieces we publish as well as interactive annotations. One of the focuses of Two Groves is our editorial process. If we accept a submission, members of our board workshop it with the writer. The writer then is allowed to revise however they see fit, and the board [then] votes on whether or not to publish the piece. All of the writers we have worked with have embraced this attention to their work, which has been gratifying to see. We’re gearing up for our next issue, with priority submissions open until March 17 and a final submission deadline of April 21. If you’re interested, submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.” – College sophomore Emory McCool, Two Groves managing editor
NDAY, FEB. 25
wait National Day wait National Day is a day on which Kuwaiti zens celebrate the sovereignty of their nan. Come drink coffee and eat baklava with wraa Sana, one of the Arabic Department’s ching assistants, in honor of this day! ers Hall, first-floor lobby • 12–2 p.m.
AS I AM “As I Am is the only literary and artistic magazine on campus that’s dedicated specifically to amplifying the creative voices of Asians in America. We publish a zine every semester and hold workshops throughout the year. Find information [about] submissions, upcoming workshops, and other events on Facebook at facebook.com/ asiamoberlin and @as.i.am.oberlin on Instagram. This semester’s theme is passion — love, fire, warmth, intensity, and more. Our [submission] deadline is Monday, April 8. We take any form of artistic expression in any language: visual art, prose, poetry, photography, fiber art — even music and film submitted as a QR code. Submissions can be sent to email@example.com. Send your writing in a Google Doc and your visual art in a JPG or JPEG format, and include your name, pronouns (if you care to share), year, and medium.” – As I Am
TUESDAY, FEB. 26
FRIDAY, MARCH 1
Slow Pulp with Walldogs The Chicago-based pop quartet Slow Pulp, who makes “anthemic alt-rock and sleepy bedroom pop,” will make their ’Sco debut. The Oberlin band Walldogs will open for them. The ’Sco • 9:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m.
Corporate Careers in Business, Finance, and Consulting Debbi Banda, human resource director for TempusFX.com, will discuss careers related to business and consulting. Attendees will also explore the opportunities available at Tempus, an organization which “provides corporate clients with foreign monetary exchange and international payment solutions.” Career Center Conference Room • 12–1 p.m.
A r t s & C u ltu r e
February 22, 2019
ARTS & CULTURE established 1874
Volume 147, Number 14
Good Talk Premieres at ’Sco With Stand-up, Local Band pens.” He was excited to compete for the opening slot. “It is only right that one Black queer man opens for another Black queer man,” he said. The main event began after a brief intermission. The show’s static staging — a desk in the back and a couch and chair downstage — worked well, leaving enough room to see the digital sketches projected behind hosts College senior Shane Lorenzen, College junior Olive Sherman, and Conservatory junior Gervis Myles. The hosts’ banter throughout the show created some memorable one-liners, like “ASMR is a highly competitive market,” and “Internet identity theft is as old as the Rosetta Stone!” Aside from those shining moments, the conversation between hosts felt a little stilted at times. It seemed as if they, too, were waiting for the next guest or segment. Granted, the show is an hour long with no intermissions, and the writers did a great job filling the time with content. The show’s format was consistent and the multimedia acts were engaging. The hosts invited guests on stage, which created some of the show’s strongest moments. Features included a paranoid vlogger donning airpods, a terrible email phisher, and an over-the-top ASMR therapist. The digital sketches were a hit as well. In the first one, Lorenzen showed his embarrassing TikTok videos. Another featured Sherman’s cousin working on his biology project, resulting in his expulsion after he pelted his teacher’s house with potatoes. After the show, the stage and dance floor were cleared College senior Sammie Westelman performing a standup routine audition to open for comedian Jaboukie Youngfor Julia Julian. The local student band, played songs from White. The auditions preceded Good Talk’s semester debut. Photo by Talia Barton their new album. Their style is more upbeat and raw than Carson Dowhan Each Good Talk show features a different theme. This Oberlin’s usual shoegaze groups. They utilize a strong Senior Staff Writer week focused on a balance of digital and live sketches leading electric guitar and melodic synth, filled in with about topics like ASMR, internet scams, and TikTok, the drums and bass. The four-piece indie-rock group’s upThe season four premiere of Good Talk was warmly short video app. coming release is sure to impress. received by the gathered audience at the ’Sco on Tuesday. The hour before the show served not only as an open With acts of all kinds, Good Talk is the perfect event for The live biweekly sketch show’s 2019 debut involved a mic but also as a competition to find an opening act for co- a late night. It has become a consistent performance outlet three-hour set with an hour of open mic auditions before median Jaboukie Young-White, who will visit Oberlin on on a campus with a sparse comedy scene. the performance. The night ended with music from Ober- March 2. Excited students piled into seats around the stage “I think Oberlin is awesome at giving people a chance lin band Julia Julian. to see their friends present five-minute stand-up sets. A to- to get involved with improv but falls short in other areas,” “The purpose of Good Talk is to provide a platform for tal of 19 student comics signed up to audition Tuesday, but said Anderson. “There are no places to perform stand-up all types of comedians to collaborate,” commented College there was only time for eight to perform. Anderson will be comedy regularly, except at Shit Pit, which is designed to senior and showrunner Ruby Anderson. “The program is running more auditions soon to accommodate those who be more of an informal thing.” distinguished from all other comedy groups on campus did not have a chance to perform this week. Shit Pit is a gathering for local comics that takes place at because it’s the only space for people to collaborate on This event was some students’ first time doing stand- various students’ homes and serves as a space to workshop such a huge project. Good Talk is the only sketch group on up, but each performer held their own and there were no material. campus that performs so regularly and has filmed shows weak acts. Topics covered included Tinder experiences, Students have a lot to look forward to from Good Talk — an element that requires a lot of help from people in sibling rivalries, and hookup culture. this semester. Anderson left some hints for what’s to come. Cinema Studies, giving them opportunities to get involved In an interview before his set, College junior Brian “We’ve got a lot of crazy stuff in store — the final epiin comedy even if they aren’t interested in performing or Smith said, “I’m expecting to see some funny sets tonight sode might just feature a performance from one of Oberwriting.” — I’m going to go up and try my best and see what hap- lin’s most famous alumni.”
An Introduction to Oberlin’s Newest Publication, Two Groves Review clear editorial process to the publication of student work at Oberlin. An online-only magazine, we offer enhancements to the pieces we publish, including annotations and audiovisual accompaniments. The first issue of Two Groves was released on Thursday, Feb. 14 on www.twogroves. com. The inaugural issue featured essays analyzing and incorporating myriad forms of writing through a personal lens, an audio recording of a poet reading their piece, annotations revealing the inspiration for a poem, and other engaging works for a total of nine pieces. Since we plan to publish between two and three times a semester, we are now accepting submissions for our next issue with a priority deadline of March 17 and a final deadline of April 21.
Bhairavi Mehra Lee Khoury Phoebe Pan The Two Groves Review is a new student publication dedicated to poetry, literary criticism, and “writing about writing.” We seek to bring an attentive, intentional, and
Phoebe Pan (she/her) Why publish literary criticism? We want to acknowledge the value of undergraduate literary criticism by providing a space for students to publish academic writing that may otherwise never see the light of day beyond a professor’s grading desk. By the time students reach graduate school and begin to publish their work in research journals and reviews, their
writing is often oriented toward specific audiences, precluding the opportunity to reach broader readerships. To make academic writing more accessible, we must employ the same amount of care when editing a critical essay as we would when editing a poem or short story. That doesn’t mean “dumbing it down,” but rather finding a way to contextualize it, peer-review it with those outside of our fields of expertise, and place it within a space where it’s given the same attention as other types of writing. Additionally, since Two Groves workshops critical pieces alongside creative pieces, students are able to explore ways in which academic writing can itself be a creative process. Granted, literary criticism is an acquired taste and will probably not be the most popular content (though we can dream). But publishing it, as we do in Two Groves, is a start. To include academic writing with poetry and “writing about writing” is to grant it the same power as creative work. Literary criticism, like many other types of criticism, is one of the most generous expressions of intellectual curiosity in the attention shown to a work. It’s a way to reach some answer, in the
same way a poem reaches toward a feeling or a personal essay circles around events. A good piece of literary criticism reaches toward some murmuring object of curiosity, and it is the reaching that answers the question of why it matters that we publish it at all. Bhairavi Mehra (she/her) The real reason I came to Oberlin was because it was the only college that gave me enough financial aid. The reason I convinced myself that maybe this really was the place for me was the College’s eminent Creative Writing department. During my first year, I was positive that I was going to be a Creative Writing major. I was on my way to doing so, too, until several professors’ departures and the department’s overall instability made me reconsider. Even though I no longer want to major in the subject, I still love creative writing. I have sought related courses in other departments, such as Cinema Studies and Rhetoric and Composition. Still, they never offered quite enough of the collaborative environment I desired. It was around See New, page 12
The Mystery of Things: Artistic Processes at Oberlin Olivia Guerriero
Drawing by Alex Tash
Many Oberlin students declare two majors that cross disciplines; it’s not uncommon to find people with surprisingly disparate double majors such as Theater and Computer Science or Viola performance and Biology. But what about the students with majors in two different creative fields? How do these students connect their majors through the work they create? These questions struck me when I realized that my own majors, Dance and Creative Writing, weren’t as independent as I thought. The deeper I got into the work, the more I understood how my dancing was influencing my writing, and vice versa. I became curious about the experiences of other students who are creating in both of their majors, so I started asking around. For some, including sophomore Dance and Theater major Lauren Elwood, the effect of one art form on the other is easily defined. “Dance and theater really feed each other really perfectly,” she said. “They’re both art of the body.” For Elwood, dance helps her embody a character when she acts in Theater classes and productions. She described how the body is often overlooked in theater and in life, giving an example from Ana La Habibi, a senior capstone that Lauren is acting in this semester. “I’m playing an 85-year-old woman,” she said. “When it comes to young people playing older characters, you have to embody this older person and you have to do it with care.” Elwood’s experience as a dancer has helped her gain an awareness of her own movements so that she can take on the physicalities of age with intention. For others, each art form is a medium lending to diverse conceptual exploration. Sophomore Micaela Pirzio-Biroli and junior Kierra Nguyen are both Studio Art and Dance double majors, but their art and its themes differ entirely. “I’m very much working on translating what it means to create … through words or through narrative, with my body, [and then explore that in] other forms or other materials,” Pirzio-Biroli said. She works in contemporary dance, film, media work, creative writing, and material art. Nguyen takes a somewhat different approach. “I focus a lot on architecture of space and fragmentation of space and bodies, and a feeling of in-betweenness,” she said. In Dance, Nguyen works in improvisation and site-specific work; in Studio Art, she works in film pho-
tography, printmaking, and book arts. Common between both artists is the value placed on connectivity. Both frequently work with other dancers, artists, and musicians, stressing the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration. Both find that the ideas they explore in their art are echoed in everything else they do — art, academics, and life are constantly influencing each other. “This idea that I’ve been working with, with time and in-betweenness, came from my first-year seminar class,” Nguyen said. “I wrote a paper on Jane Austen’s Persuasion, a literary analysis of female feeling ... and that’s where that idea came from.” The discursive potential here manifests not only in one artist’s capacity to interrogate a concept, but in the conversations students have. “At Oberlin, the idea of having some kind of holistic discourse over everything that I’m experiencing, and connecting that to those around me, to my identity, to my making, has very much opened channels,” Pirzio-Biroli said. Josh Tazman Reinier is a sophomore double-degree student, studying Composition and Comparative Literature. He writes literary analyses and poetry in addition to musical compositions.
“I definitely see [Comparative Literature and music] as almost inseparable,” he said. “In a lot of ways those are opposite things, but I feel like me having access to both of them lets me apply them across the divide and find how there are kernels of the opposite idiom in between ... I think that my lyrics are really the overlap point for me.” Recently, Reinier’s studies have directly influenced one another. “Music is not a language; there aren’t set phrases of music that have specific meanings in life,” he said. “But language for me was a kind of solace for that, in that it did have the power to refer to things.” His perspective on the immutability of words changed when he encountered Jacques Derrida’s literary theory, which deconstructs language and the definitiveness of words. Those ideas inspired him to write a composition “without a set structure ... something that sort of feels like it dissolves.” “Now the compositional process for me is much more about discovery, and me creating something that I love, maybe even just for that moment, but me creating something that I feel good about without necessarily needing to justify it, Reinier continued. “Getting more comfortable See Artists, page 13
OMTA Ushers in Hilariously Self-Deprecating [title of show] This Weekend Delaney Kelly What affords us the ability to create? What can we learn from our artistic idols? [title of show], a one-act musical with a book by Hunter Bell and lyrics by Jeff Bowen, demonstrates that the creative process isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a realistic, self-aware, and hilarious look at what happens when four friends with a dream set out to write an original musical. The finished product is, of course, the very show that audience members have come to see, which frequently pokes fun at this meta narrative.
The Oberlin Review | February 22, 2019
The show also features “Nine People’s Favorite Thing,” an anthem for the creative underdogs, asserting that they’d rather be “nine people’s favorite thing than a hundred people’s ninth favorite thing.” Oberlin students’ tendency toward intense and niche interests make this a relatable sentiment. College first-year Katie Friedemann, who plays Heidi and serves as the production’s co-director, says they chose the show “because it has all this heart — it’s just a bunch of theater geeks geeking out, and that’s what we are!” In the song “Die, Vampire, Die!,” the
show calls attention to insecurity in art and encourages the audience to “pull your novel out of that sock drawer!” It serves as a refreshing reminder that the desire to create stems from a love of art, which should be celebrated. Junior Vocal Performance major Matteo Adams and College first-year Jonah Verdon — who play Jeff and Hunter, respectfully — highlighted how close-knit this small cast and crew became while working on the production over Winter Term. “It’s just us out here, and it’s really fun, and it’s so much work, and I love every second of it,” Verdon said.
For College first-years Emmy Soll, who serves as the show’s Music Director and plays Heidi, and Meg Steen, who plays Susan, this show is their first theater experience at Oberlin. “I did this show because I hadn’t done theater in a while, and I thought ‘Hey, why not?’ I’d known this show beforehand and I like it,” Steen said. “It’s been a really cool experience just getting really really close with seven people. We’ve just been really tight.” [title of show] runs February 21–23 at 8 p.m. in Wilder Main. Tickets are $5, and can be purchased in Terrell library and at the door.
Clair Wang Staff Cartoonist
A r t s & C u lt u r e ON THE RECORD
Lalene DyShere Kay, Local Music Therapist Lalene DyShere Kay is the director of the Music Therapy Consortium at Baldwin Wallace University. She is a board-certified music therapist and currently works as a music therapy consultant at Fairview Hospital adult daycare center. She also serves as a board member of the Ohio Music Educators Association. She received her BA in music therapy from Ohio University and her Master of Music degree in music therapy from Michigan State University. On Tuesday she gave a presentation at Oberlin called “What is the field of Music Therapy?” which drew both College and Conservatory students. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Sydney Allen, Editor-in-Chief
Lalene DyShere Kay Courtesy of Lalene DyShere Kay
Could you tell me a little about yourself, your background as a music therapist, and how you got involved in the field? I graduated from Shaker Heights High School on the east side of Cleveland a few decades ago. While I was in high school, I went to a meeting with a friend of mine who belonged to this music club. They happened to have a guest speaker that day, Anita Louise Steele Markland, who had just received money from the Cleveland Foundation to begin a music therapy program at the Cleveland Music School Settlement. That’s what it used to be called, now it’s just the Music Settlement. This was back in 1968 or ’69. I subsequently just became fascinated by what she talked about. I later called them and went down and observed them a couple of times and decided that that’s what I was doing. So when I left high school in 1972, I was bound for Ohio University and I stayed there for three and a half years and got my coursework out of the way before I did my internship at Detroit Psychiatric Institute, right off the John Lodge expressway. It was a unique downtown experience, to say the least. I finished that, and I went and worked at a state hospital in southern Indiana. It was a huge program with about 2,500 residents who had severe or profound intellectual disabilities. The unit I worked on specifically had profound intellectual disabilities as well as some combination of visual and auditory deficits. In any case, I worked there for four years, and while I was working there, I also went up to Michigan State and did my Master’s degree. I finished my Master’s thesis in the summer of 1980 and got a teaching job up in Minnesota for a year. I went from there to Indiana University for seven years. Then I came here, and I’ve been at the consortium since 1987. What exactly do you do at Baldwin Wallace and the consortium? Actually, when I came here in 1987, the
consortium was made up of five schools: Baldwin Wallace, The College of Wooster, which is still part of our program, Cleveland State [University], which broke off about eight years ago to start their own program, Case Western Reserve University, and Oberlin College. In the ’90s, both Oberlin and Case bowed out because they had a lot of other things going on and it wasn’t a priority in terms of their promotion, recruiting, all that kind of stuff. Then Cleveland State got really big and so they decided it would make a lot more sense for them to do their own thing down on their campus. But throughout the time I’ve been teaching, I also see private clients. I’ve worked at the Lutheran Medical Center up here in Cleveland, which is part of Cleveland Clinic now. I worked on their gero-psychiatric unit for about 11 years as a consultant and went once or twice a week. I would work with groups and then write notes supporting and contributing to the diagnostic assessment of the clients that came in there. It was a short term facility for elderly clients. Some of them ended up going on to nursing homes, and others ended up going home. It’s been really important to me throughout my career that I always have some clinical work going on, because I just didn’t feel like I could say, “Back 30 years ago when I was doing clinical work, I did this,” because that doesn’t make any sense. So what I do now is I oversee the curricula at both Baldwin Wallace and The College of Wooster. Their curricula are both approved by the American Music Therapy Association. I make sure it continues to be right on target with what the students learn and that it’s current. I also supervise students in clinical work and keep regular contact with our practicum sites with various programs that we use, so that the folks there understand what music therapy is, understand what our students are capable of, and what they don’t do when they come to the facility. Can you explain what music therapy is for some of our readers who might not be familiar? Music therapy is using the experience of music, which is brought to the situation by the board-certified music therapist, to assist the client in various areas. It could be communication, it could be motor skills, it could be academic or cognitive skills, and it could be emotional or
social skills. Music is a form of art that a lot of people are very familiar with. So it’s probably less threatening than some other therapies. A lot of people use music without even thinking about it. They use music to express themselves just through the types of music that they listen to, the radio station they listen to, or the types of music they sing along with in the car which might make them feel better, or they turn on certain music because they’re in a bad mood, you know, those types of things. Or maybe when they’re exercising they turn on certain music to get them to move quicker or move longer. It’s important to get clients involved in music in ways that will help their other areas of function work better. One of the things that we do is help in a medical setting. We work with what we call procedural support to help folks who are having [specific difficulties] — maybe they have a real terrified, anxious response to blood draw, or maybe it’s addressing change, or maybe it’s a respiratory therapy — it’s intervention of some sort. We can use music to help them relax, maybe help understand more what’s going to be happening and actually be with them during the process. This makes it easier because they may breathe better, they may need less pain medication, and the situation might just be over with quicker if they’ve got a distraction in the room. So that’s one way we use it a lot. We’ve received a lot of national and international attention for the way music can help people with that, with Alzheimer’s or with other types of dementia. Some patients regained a lot of their longterm memory during the music experience. It often doesn’t last long after the experience, but during the experience, not only do people recall lyrics — they sing a song with perfect lyrics in the correct rhythm with the correct melody — but they’re also able to remember where they were when they first heard the song. They can describe in detail the room, the smells, the other people that were there, but they may not be able to recognize family members who are sitting right with them. That’s one really interesting way that the music really permeates the brain. A person may be able to walk or move in some way that they’re not able to do without the music. Their brain is able to send those sensations out to the parts of their body to move with the beat, but when
there’s no music in the room, they’re not able to do that. Or when somebody says walk to my clapping, they’re not able to do it. The melodies and the harmonies just open up more of the brain. That’s amazing. Yeah, it is. You know, it kind of looks magical, but when you look at the science, you can see the brain scans of people with music and without music. It’s not magical at all. It’s totally physiologic. The way we process music is really complex and it’s all over the brain. One of the things you touched on during your talk was how fulfilling the field of music therapy has been for you. Can you elaborate on that? I always thought it’d be fun to go into music, but I really didn’t want to be a music teacher. And I think what I love about this is that some of the folks I work with probably wouldn’t be involved in any music if they didn’t come to music therapy. And because they come to music therapy, not only do they work with me once a week for half an hour or an hour, but they go home and they have a really rich music environment, instruments, they do music with their family. And so it gives not only the client a gift, but it gives their family a gift because it gives them another way to communicate. I’ve loved watching families — particularly where they have a loved one who has dementia — and they go religiously to visit. And they don’t have anything to say. They don’t know what to do because their loved one doesn’t recognize them, doesn’t call them by name. So we started singing songs and we started singing some things that are familiar to all of them. And all of a sudden the patient, their face changes, their eyes brighten — they’re not so cloudy — and they look right at their adult children and call them by name. And that adult child doesn’t know how to respond there. I always say, you don’t want to scare your mom or your dad, just try to say, “Hi Mom, I love you.” Or, “This is so much fun to sing together, isn’t it?” You know, anything like that. I think probably one of the most rewarding things is that not only do people come in here and participate in music with me, but they can take it and generalize it to their everyday life. They can use music as a really meaningful leisure time activity in a way to communicate with their family, too.
New Student Publication Promotes Collaborative Writing Workshops Continued from page 10
this time that Lee invited me to join Two Groves. What I really love about Two Groves is our peer-editing and workshop process. All the submissions that we receive are discussed by our current board of 12 people and then the feedback is conveyed to the authors, who continually refine their pieces while in communication with us until publication. Writing for Two Groves is a process, one that involves consistent dialogue. Two Groves creates an accessible, sincere space for those who want to write in a workshop environment but — for whatever reason — are unable or don’t wish to major in Creative Writing. It also creates an avenue for students who write, but have major requirements which prevent them from
committing to a workshop course. Even though we’re just starting out, I’ve come to cherish Two Groves and the kind of space it maintains, one I thought I’d never reclaim during my time in Oberlin. Lee Khoury Like Bhairavi, I am a workshop zealot. I’ve found meaningful commentary, insightful fellow writers, and workable revision strategies in every workshop I join. When the editors drew up plans for Two Groves, I wanted to use the candor and camaraderie of that setting to build a publication that prioritized both author and process. This way, we figured, we would not only provide space for writers to receive nuanced feedback, but we’d also publish writing that has seen many revisions, that the
author and publisher agree is just right. Additionally, as writers involved in both creative and critical disciplines, we aimed to build a magazine for works spanning the critical-creative spectrum, from lyric poetry to traditional lit-crit and those pieces that fall in between. Phoebe talks about accessibility in criticism, and I think our approach does the genre justice. We love formal “academic” criticism, but we also publish plainspoken essays because we believe that the approaches are equally valid; an emotional reaction to a slam poem is just as important to us as a third-person examination of class in a 19-century novel. What we love to do ourselves and what we seek to promote by putting out Two Groves is this, what you’re doing now: engaging with the written word.
Artists Create Across Disciplines Continued from page 10
with the mystery of things.” For all of these students, art resonates far beyond course descriptions or program notes. The students share an interest in and awareness of the creative and conceptual links between everything they learn, in and out of class. The strong communities created at Oberlin allow this openness. “Everyone is always seeking those kinds of connections,” said Nguyen. Pirzio-Biroli expanded on the newfound interdisciplinary possibilities this has allowed in her work. “I think that was something I was looking for before coming to Oberlin, but I had no idea how it could manifest,” she said. There are still certain struggles that come with majoring in the arts. Elwood is majoring in two extremely competitive arts fields, which can be intimidating. “I’ve made a pact with myself that I won’t put down what I want to do,” she said. Oberlin students are proud of these connections between disciplines, artists, and concepts. The connections require a technical and intellectual stamina, and a particular passion and drive, but it makes each student’s work unique and complex and stretches the limits of form far beyond the ordinary.
Best Picture Countdown: Vice Kabir Karamchandani Staff Writer Vice tells the story of Dick Cheney, allegedly the most powerful vice president in American history. Despite being scattered at times, Vice is overall an engaging film for its target audience, taking the viewer through Cheney’s highs and lows and painting a picture of one of the main powers behind the Bush administration. For an alleged satire, Vice is low on laughs and instead focuses on the development of political rhetoric during Cheney’s time in Washington. Christian Bale impresses as Cheney, showcasing his journey from a bumbling, aggressive college dropout to a collected and reserved politician. Bale plays the part well, yet one of the film’s biggest issues is its written portrayal of Cheney. The film makes him out to be a caricature of a politician with little to no personality beyond his political goals — a more nuanced look at Cheney as a person would have made for a more compelling watch. One area where the movie does surprisingly well is in depicting Cheney’s involvement in political
affairs. While some liberties are definitely taken, Cheney did have an unprecedented level of power for his post. He made several crucial decisions, including those regarding the 9/11 attacks depicted in the film’s opening scene, and controversial intelligence decisions leading to the invasion of Iraq. For any follower of American politics, Vice is a must-watch movie, as its portrayal of power dynamics and relationships within government is truly enthralling. Cheney leverages every inch of ground he can gain, providing a masterclass in power dynamics on his way to the top and leaving viewers who enjoy tension of that sort unable to look away. Yet the film’s greatest strength is also its biggest weakness, as viewers without any particular interest in politics will consider it a snoozefest at best, with its action scenes holding little meaning or impact. This is particularly true for international students, of which Oberlin has its fair share. If you have lived much of your life outside of the U.S. and have not taken a specific interest in American politics — which, I’ll admit, I have — this may not be the movie for you, as
you will likely have little stake in its characters. The movie also suffers from more than its fair share of structural issues. A biopic aiming to be somewhat true to its source material, Vice is caught between a rock and a hard place, as Cheney’s life doesn’t follow a threeact structure. Rather than seeking to artificially manufacture tension — I’m looking at you, Bohemian Rhapsody — Vice accepts its scattered nature, with tension rising and falling as it did in Cheney’s life. While this does give the movie a certain life-like quality unique even among biopics, it definitely detracts from the viewing experience, making it harder to stay engaged over the course of the film. All told, Vice is a movie for political enthusiasts. It gives an interesting and in-depth look into both Cheney’s rhetoric and the politics of his time. Yet as a movie in isolation, it is far from a success, failing to interest non-politically motivated viewers and facing serious structural issues. While it is not completely out of the running for Best Picture, many people — myself included — would be surprised and disappointed if it won.
Art Rental: A Photo Essay Art Rental is a distinctive program beloved by the Oberlin community. It gives students the opportunity to hang works of art from the likes of Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dali in their college rooms for a semester, for only $5 per work. Oberlin’s Art Rental program was originally founded in 1940 by art historian Ellen Johnson, OC ’33. Since then, other colleges have initiated art rental programs of their own. Harvard College started a program in 1972 which allows students to rent art for $30 an academic year, and in 2016 Kenyon College started a program allowing students to rent art for $10 a semester. Oberlin’s Art Rental program is a major draw for some prospective students who are deciding where to go to school, a cherished memory for countless alumni, and a treasured tradition for the current students who choose to return to the Allen Memorial Art Museum throughout the night for check-ins in order to acquire an art piece. All in all, it’s a fun, cost-effective way to spice up a dorm room. Text by Katherine MacPhail and Kate Fishman, Arts Editors
Above: Juna Keehn’s art (4th yr, she/her, College) Photo by Mallika Pandey, Photo Editor
Above: Nina Fox + art (4th yr, she/her, College) Photo by Meg Parker, Photo Editor
Above: Brian James + Art (4th yr, he/him, College) Photo By Meg Parker, Photo Editor
Above: Juna Keehn’s art (4th yr, she/her, College) Photo by Mallika Pandey, Photo Editor
The Oberlin Review | February 22, 2019
Left: Charlotte Andrews’ art (4th yr, she/her, College) Photo by Mallika Pandey, Photo Editor
Above: Lauren Brown + art (4th yr, she/her, College) Photo by Meg Parker, Photo Editor
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Chris Broussard, Sports Analyst and Oberlin Varsity Basketball Alum IN THE LOCKER ROOM
When Chris Broussard, OC ’90, began his journey as an Oberlin College student-athlete in 1987, he didn’t know what he wanted to study or do for a living. He was only sure of two things: He loved writing, and he loved the game of basketball. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English, Broussard went on to write for several publications, including The Plain Dealer, the Akron Beacon Journal, The New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and ESPN.com. He now covers the NBA as a sports analyst for Fox Sports and regularly appears on FS1’s Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, where he debates happenings in the sports world with commentators Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Julie Schreiber, Senior Staff Writer Aside from basketball, what were you involved in on campus? What do you remember most about your time as a student-athlete? While I was at Oberlin, I was a writing tutor and I wrote for the Review sparingly. I was never on staff, but I probably wrote about four or five articles, all of which I believe were [about] the basketball team — and since I played on the basketball team, I had to use a pen name. I was also on a ton of school-wide committees that helped make student and administrative decisions about the College. I was a DJ at WOBC, I had a hip-hop radio show for my second, third, and fourth years called “Bring The House,” and I DJed every Saturday night from 8–11 p.m. I used to DJ at the ’Sco and at house parties a lot, too, and during my senior year, my friends and I hosted a campus-wide lip sync competition. It had been a tradition for years at Oberlin, but nobody put it together my junior year, so senior year my friends and I held it down! Did you always know you wanted to be a professional sports correspondent? How did your Oberlin experience lead to that career? When I got to Oberlin, I really didn’t know I’d end up on the career path I got to. I started as an Economics major, because I didn’t know what I wanted to do and my father worked in business, so I figured, “Hey, I’ll try business just like my dad.” So I took Intro to Economics my [first] year, and that was the end of that. I did pass, but barely. So my sophomore year, I began looking around at my friends [and] teammates and [realized] that they all seemed to know what they wanted to do. Some were going to medical school, some grad school in public policy or law school. One friend was in the engineering program. Everywhere I looked, people seemed to know what they wanted to do with their future, and I real-
Fox Sports Analyst Chris Broussard, OC ’90, and Good Day Chicago co-anchor George Smith, OC ’87, returned to their alma mater in 2016 to participate in the Oberlin alumni basketball game. Photo courtesy of Chris Broussard
ly didn’t have a clue. Only two years left to figure out what to do before I’m a responsible adult — so I got scared. But I came up with a formula: something I enjoyed plus something I was gifted at. I enjoyed sports, obviously, and I was always gifted at writing — I used to work as a writing tutor and also rap at a lot of shows at Oberlin, so I landed on sports writing and thought, “Let me try this.” My grades were good, so I landed a summer internship at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland after my junior year, and they really just took a chance on me. They gave me a shot regardless of my lack of experience, and that’s really how everything started for me in journalism. And that’s one way Oberlin really came through for me — being on all those committees, having all those leadership positions really helped enhance my people skills and helped me do well in those interviews and the rest of my journalism career. Why did you decide to switch to broadcast journalism after years of experience in print? When I was leaving Oberlin, I had to make a decision to pursue print or broadcast journalism, and the experience and opportunities I had were in print, so I chose print and fortunately did well. The way I morphed into a broadcaster was after working for some time at the Indianapolis Star, [Cleveland’s The] Plain Dealer, and [The] New York Times, when I started getting some TV opportunities. The opportunities were local at first, but then ESPN caught on, and in 2004, I was invited to write for ESPN The Magazine. It was specifically a writing contract, but it included a little bit of TV appearances. At that point, I wasn’t really thinking about making a career out of broadcasting, but at ESPN, I started getting on TV more and more, mostly due to the information I had about the [NBA]. And if you were comfortable in front of the camera and had charisma, you started to morph into more of a TV personality. So the more TV appearances I made, the less writing I did, because time and location conflicts became more of a problem, and by the time I left ESPN in 2016, I was doing a little bit of writing, but my main focus was on TV and radio. Fox offered me the opportunity to be an analyst and a commentator, which appealed more to me than chasing the news, which is what I had been doing. So I went from being essentially a beat broadcaster at ESPN to a columnist at Fox News. Now I get to give my opinions, analyze games and players, and I haven’t written a word since 2016. I also get on the radio now. I have a daily show called “The Odd Couple” with Rob Parker, and we’re on over 320 stations around the country. Is there anything you miss about print journalism? Honestly, I don’t really miss print. It was fun and great for me, though. I really enjoyed it. I was able to cover historic
Chris Broussard, OC ‘90, has provided sports coverage on various platforms for years. One of his most remarkable positions has been with ESPN. Photo courtesy of Chris Broussard
events in the MLB, NBA, and NFL. I reported at Michael Jordan’s last game, at LeBron James’ first game, and I was there when LeBron brought Cleveland its first championship in 52 years. The best part of my print journalism career was writing for ESPN The Magazine, because that lifestyle was best suited for a family. When I was a beat writer, I was traveling all the time, and that was tough on my family, but when I wrote for the magazine it was leisurely. I wrote an article maybe once every two or three months, but you work on that article all the time. I was also able to travel all the time. I went to various parts of Africa, Europe, Kuwait, Paris, Rome, Spain. It was great. One thing I did really like about print journalism was that it helped me stay in touch with my college friends. As a beat writer, I was traveling around the country, and everywhere I went, I had a different Oberlin friend to see and stay with. It definitely helped me stay close to my college friends after graduating. So that was really fun. What is your favorite part of your current job? What is the most rewarding? Today, radio is a lot of fun. TV is fun as well, but when you’re on the radio you have more room to expand on your point. On TV, you have to make your point a lot more quickly, and your speaking time is limited. On the radio, my show is two hours long, so we get a lot of time to expand on our thoughts. My favorite thing about the job now is that I get to really let my personality come out. On ESPN, people definitely caught a glimpse of my personality, but as a reporter, your personality can’t always shine through, because you have to be giving out information. Now, I’m able to showcase my personality and share some of my own views on various topics in the world of sports. What is something most people probably don’t know about your current job? We wear makeup! I don’t know if this will exactly answer your question, but 30 years ago, before the internet and all that, no one knew it would be possible to do all these jobs that we do now. Thirty years ago, you didn’t have national sports talk radio shows. You didn’t have daily debate shows like “Undisputed” or “First Take” on ESPN. In the ’90s, local sports talk shows were emerging, and eventually so were all sports talk radio stations, but they were local, and the reason you couldn’t have the types of shows I’m on now is because the technology to keep up with all
the information out there just didn’t exist. You couldn’t read about all the teams you wanted to in every newspaper throughout the country. You kind of just had to cover your local team. The profession of a sports reporter obviously existed before me, but we’ve helped it take form as we’ve worked though it. In addition to those things, you read — a lot. You just have to read so much stuff about different teams and leagues. That’s really what enables you to do this job. There are a ton of college kids now that want to be in this field. They want to get up there and give their opinions, but most of the guys who are giving the opinions all had long careers as reporters and established their credibility. Anybody can have an opinion, but you need to have the credibility for people to care about your opinion. And that usually happens by being a reporter, having your own radio show, and reading — really developing your own craft and your own voice before you get thrown on “First Take.” What is one goal you have for the rest of your career before you retire, whenever that may be? What’s left on your career bucket list? Well, I’ve obviously got things on my personal bucket list, but my career bucket list … I’ve never really thought about that. I did do something different for me this year that counts for my career bucket list. Before this year, I had covered the World Series and the NBA finals, I’d been to the all-star games in both leagues, I’d been to NCAA basketball tournaments and boxing matches, but one thing I had not covered was the Super Bowl. This year, I did my radio show from the Super Bowl in Atlanta all week. That was great and fun, and now I can say I worked a World Series, an NBA Finals, and a Super Bowl! I guess the next thing on the horizon for me would be a television show. It’s not that I think if I don’t get one I’ll be unfulfilled. I’m definitely happy where I’m at, but that makes sense as the next thing I would do. I’m a guest and analyst on a bunch of shows right now, but I don’t have my own. But when I think about my career — look, I’ve interviewed Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, every great basketball player you could name of the last 40–50 years, I’ve interviewed and talked to. In any career, a lot of times you get to a place where you’re not going to go any higher. And that’s not a bad thing, but at some point, everybody’s not gonna be the president, CEO, etc., so I’m pretty content where I’m at.
3v3 Tournament Celebrates Black History Month Continued from page 16
basketball tournament, which attracted a diverse group of participants — a team of three Oberlin students from China, a team of three residents of Afrikan Heritage House, and a team of Oberlin High School students from different racial and class backgrounds. Some participants had played varsity basketball in high school or at the collegiate level, and others were simply there to have fun. Colás warned that it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is diverse and that sports have not played the same role — or even any role — for all African Americans. “The view emphasizing some special importance of sport in Black communities can have harmful consequences if it leads to the mistaken belief that sport is a reliable vehicle for upward social mobility,” Colás said. However, he agreed that basketball has been an important feature in America’s urban cores, saying that African Americans have played ever since James Naismith invented the game in Springfield, MA, in 1891. The sport became more prevalent in some Black communities during and after World War II. Accessibility is one of the primary reasons the sport became so popular. Basketball doesn’t require much space or expensive equipment to play, whereas a baseball bat or golf club can cost up to $300. It was also a way to be social, stay fit, and establish identity — becoming an art form in its own right. “For many, basketball serves as a means of social bonding, community identity, and individual and collective self-expression,” Colás said. “Because of the broad popularity of the sport across gender, geography, race and ethnicity, and class … basketball can offer us an embodied, lived experience of working cooperatively toward common goals with people who are very different from us.” Last spring I took Colás’ 300-level English course, Cultures of Basketball. It is my favorite course offered at Oberlin and was a hit among students at the University of Michigan, where Colás taught before beginning at Oberlin. The course, which will be offered again next spring, centers around Colás’ book, Ball Don’t Lie: Myth, Genealogy, and
Invention in the Cultures of Basketball. We discussed a number of things I hadn’t previously considered, like the power dynamics between NBA owners and professional basketball players, and how over time players have creatively used personality and cultural influences to reinvent the game into the one we know today. When I enrolled in the course, I assumed class discussions would be dominated by outspoken athletes like myself. While we did have a handful of basketball players, a men’s lacrosse player, and a men’s soccer player in the class, we also had members of the Conservatory, artists, and a number of other unexpected personalities, who connected what we learned in class to their experiences in music, art history, and literature. At the end of the semester, instead of administering a written final, Colás had each student participate in the organization and execution of a class-wide pickup basketball tournament — taking on a role based on their interests and skills. Students with little athletic experience but a sharp eye for design won the T-shirt design contest, while the athletes in the class taught the non-athletes the fundamentals of shooting, dribbling, and defense. Other students handled the tournament’s logistics by making phone calls and arranging a bracket. Nobody cared whether you were a member of North or South Campus, what your skill level was, or what your background was. We were all too busy enjoying the game of basketball to notice. Wellington passed away Jan. 24, 2012, at the age of 63, but the example that he and Miller set decades ago will continue to be the standard at Oberlin, where varsity and club sports teams and educators like Raynor and Colás value diversity of thought, teamwork, and friendship over all else. Raynor said it’s likely that the tournament will become a yearly tradition. “Next year we will start planning the tournament earlier in the school year,” she said. “This way we will have more time to work with the local community and campus partners to really develop the tournament into a large-scale community event. People were happy we put it together, and folks have already offered to help out next year.”
Athletics Dept. Offers CPR Training
Students practice cardiopulmonary resuscitation procedures on both infant and adult CPR manikins during a free University Hospital instructional course hosted by the Oberlin Sports Medicine Department last Monday. Oberlin students, faculty, and staff arrived at the Knowlton Athletics Complex Social Space at 6 p.m. to learn various life-saving techniques to prepare for a potential emergency situation. At least two members of each Oberlin club-sport team were encouraged to attend, along with other organizations on campus that openly recommended the training. The event was attended by over 70 people — many more than the expected 40. Text by Jane Agler, Sports Editor Photo by Meg Parker, Photo Editor
The Oberlin Review | February 22, 2019
For Student-Athletes, Experiences Navigating Concussions Differ Graham Armknecht For many student-athletes, concussions are a looming and incessant threat to their athletic endeavors, academic standing, and general well-being. Many Oberlin athletes have a concussion story: a particularly rough collision on the football field, a hit by a lacrosse stick during a skirmish, or an unnatural accident between head and soccer ball. But what is it actually like to have a concussion as a student-athlete? It is nearly impossible to go through the daily tasks required by a college student — such as going to class, doing homework, and maintaining a healthy eating and sleeping schedule — while coping with a head injury. However, some students say their professors are generally accommodating. College junior and track and field athlete Nae McClain lauded the professors who offered generous accommodations when she received a concussion after being hit in the head with a shotput. “One professor, in particular, [Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Comparative American Studies Meredith] Gadsby, would tell me not to come to class,” McClain said. “The day that the athletic trainer told me to go to class, I was very dazed and she could tell. … [Eventually], she told me to leave and go back to my room. The next day, I got an email from her saying that I shouldn’t be in class at all.” College senior and track and field athlete Kaylee Elliott reports having professors who weren’t as understanding when she dealt with her own concussion. “I went through Disability Resources [at the Center for Student Success] first, and [they] emailed all of my professors,” Elliott said. “One [professor] was really reluctant to let me take the exam home or give me any sort of accommodations, even with the letter saying I was severely concussed. I was supposed to be able to make up the lab for [their] class, because I’d missed two days. But upon coming back, I was told I’d have to re-do the lab or fail the class.” Following her experience, Elliott expressed the importance of professors taking students’ needs for accommodations seriously. “I do appreciate the general idea that professors and teachers have more autonomy in classes, as they can give you more time without an official reason,” she said. “However, in cases where accommodations are needed, requested, and documented with the institution, there shouldn’t be as much leeway as to what accommodations professors should give you.” Football player and College junior Melvin Briggs also touched on the academic ramifications of the injury. “That concussion was more severe because I had more memory issues, it heightened all of my
ADHD symptoms, [and] it decreased my ability to concentrate and recall information,” he said. “I had to make up a physics exam and I had to make up an exam for Research Methods. Nothing would come to me at all during the test[s], no matter how much I studied.” Briggs also mentioned a few strategies that have been implemented to aid student recovery and protection. Players and trainers can now more effectively communicate using Healthy Roster, a program that maintains the records for athletes and allows them to communicate with trainers without moving all the way across campus to do so. College senior and field hockey player Kennedy Kline mentioned that knowledge about concussions is still evolving in the medical community. “I think concussions are a difficult thing to be diagnosed with because nobody really quite understands them yet — the medical community as well,” she said. “I had a FaceTime session with one of the doctors that the athletic trainers partnered with. And he was generally helpful with all the information he could give me, but he noted that the information was really limited.” Varsity athletes who think they might have a concussion are directed to the training room. The trainers are not allowed to treat non-varsity athletes for legal reasons, so those students are instead directed to Student Health Services. Director of Disability Resources Eric Wagenfeld has worked in the health sector for nearly 25 years and says that in his position, he has seen an inordinately large number of students with concussions. “Oberlin has more concussions per capita than any other school I’ve previously worked at,” he said. “Generally we give accommodations based on forms from athletics, which are on a temporary basis — typically for one or two weeks. … If the concussion isn’t clearing up within a week, the student is going to want to seek further medical attention.” After a diagnosis from the training room or Student Health Services, students are directed to Disability Resources, where coordinator María Zoraida Maclay helps students find the accommodations that are right for them. “When it comes to accommodations, it’s assessed on a caseby-case basis as well as [by] what [students’] classes are,” Zoraida Maclay said. “The way I see it, the medical practitioners are the experts of their field, so they know these diagnoses. What I know and can be the expert in is accommodations and resource technologies. But the student is the expert in their experience, and nothing can happen without them.”
February 22, 2019
SPORTS established 1874
Volume 147, Number 14
Asian Athletes Conquered 2018 Jane Agler Sports Editor
Students from Brotherhood Hall in the Afrikan Heritage House, the Black History Month Committee, and Professor of English Yago Colás hosted a 3-v-3 basketball tournament this past Sunday. Over 30 students and community members got together to celebrate Black History Month and enjoy an afternoon of pickup. Photo courtesy of OC Athletics
Breaking Down Barriers Through Basketball Alexis Dill Sports Editor The son of a Presbyterian minister, Randy Miller arrived at Oberlin College in 1966 as a broad-shouldered, long-limbed first-year with a gentle demeanor and keen interest in music and art — as well as a knack for shooting baskets. His roommate and teammate, Al Wellington, was a hard-nosed kid with tremendous athletic ability who grew up in a low-income family of eight from a racially segregated community. According to the book they cowrote, Oberlin Fever, A Championship Spirit in Black and White, the two had very little in common. Miller was quiet and studious with plans to major in English, while Wellington had an air of confidence, frequently bragging about his looks, and was interested in Sociology. Miller’s family of five moved around a lot throughout his childhood, temporarily living in Ohio, Michigan, and New York, while Wellington resided in McDonald, Ohio a town of 3,000 with only 19 Black households. Despite all their differences, they had one thing in common: They loved playing basketball, and they understood that in order to help their team win games, they had to overcome barriers that said white and Black basketball players couldn’t become great teammates and friends. During their first year, they wrote and signed a covenant that said, “We solemnly pledge to work hard to improve our skills and conditioning and win the Ohio Athletic Conference Championship in basketball before we graduate from Oberlin.” Three years later, on March 5, 1970, Miller and Wellington — the squad’s co-captains and lone seniors — were hoisted onto their teammates’ shoulders as a crowd of proud students and community members gathered in Tappan Square to celebrate the school’s first-ever OAC Championship in
men’s basketball, one of the greatest moments in Oberlin Athletics’ history to this day. At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Miller and Wellington put aside their racial differences and demonstrated that the basketball court is a place where people of different backgrounds and interests can work together to achieve greatness. Half a century later, Candice Raynor, director and faculty-in-residence of the Afrikan Heritage House and chair of the Black History Month Committee, said she believes it’s important to include an athletics-related event in each year’s Black History Month celebration. “In addition to the activists and academics we often celebrate during Black History Month, we also celebrate the athletes who are as important to the Black community as they are to the sports world,” Raynor said. “In addition to their success in sport, Black athletes have historically been considered heroes and activists, using their platforms to bring attention to issues facing the Black community.” Last February, she and Professor of English Yago Colás hosted a panel titled “What’s My Name, Fool? Black Athletes, Activism, and the Media,” which featured University of Michigan Fab Five member Jimmy King, ESPN journalist and professor Kevin Blackistone, and professors Sarah Jackson and Louis Moore from Northeastern University and Grand Valley State University, respectively. The discussion centered around unemployed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick — who was blackballed by the NFL for beginning a movement by kneeling during the national anthem — and discussed the history of activism by Black athletes. This past Sunday, students from Brotherhood Hall in the Afrikan Heritage House collaborated with the BHM Committee to organize a 3v3 See 3v3, page 15
Last Wednesday’s Champions League soccer match featured one spectacular moment that caused me to pause and reflect on 2018’s athletic feats. Son Heung-Min, winger for the English soccer team Tottenham Hotspur, netted a beautiful crossed-ball into the goal of opposing team Borussia Dortmund. I should note that I am a die-hard Arsenal FC fan – Tottenham’s sworn enemy. Additionally, Arsenal is not even competing in this year’s Champions League and therefore fails to present me with a logical reason to watch this match at all. Despite the expectations of our respective fandoms that dictate I should detest him with my whole being, I adore Son Heung-Min. First, I am Korean-American, and Son Heung-Min is the captain of the Korean national team (as well as the pride and joy of the entire nation). Second, Son Heung-Min has served as a perfect example of Asian athletic excellence throughout 2018, but his contributions in this regard have largely gone unnoticed. In some ways, 2018 was, perhaps, the most rousing year of Asian representation in media and popular culture that the United States has ever encountered. Or rather, I should say, more Asian representation than our community has been granted in previous years. The film industry finally opened its doors to Asians in film and released Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before; Sandra Oh hosted the Golden Globes and became the first Asian woman to be nominated in the “lead actress” category at the Emmys; K-Pop boy band BTS conquered music-loving teenagers both domestically and internationally; and Hasan Minhaj became the first Indian-American to host a weekly comedy show. All these feats, as well as those that I haven’t mentioned, make me proud to be Asian-American today. But I’m here to bring attention to the presence of Asian success in another realm of media that, unfortunately, does not have strong Asian representation either: popular, high-grossing professional sports. As a passionate sports fan, I’ve had to confront the harsh reality that many of the athletes I idolize do not look like me. I was brought up revering Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls, Marshall Faulk of the St. Louis Rams, Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals, and French international and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry. It wasn’t until 2012, when the world was introduced to Jeremy Lin, that I realized what I had long been searching for as an Asian-American sports viewer. It wasn’t just that he was an Asian athlete — otherwise I would have felt that distinct feeling of fulfillment that I associate with trailblazers like Yao Ming and Ichiro Suzuki. No, I had long been missing an Asian athlete who could transcend their peers and become a star and cultural icon. Jeremy Lin put up 38 points against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 10, 2012, solidifying his name in association with one of the most frenzied three weeks that NBA history has ever seen. At Madison Square Garden, spectators shrieked, “Lin!” in the stands and wore his number on their backs with the same magnitude of support that fans had previously harbored for other NBA legends, albeit primarily due to the pure unexpectedness of Jeremy Lin’s domination on the court. After the phenomena of his performance faded and the world
moved on to the next NBA fad, I remember wondering when I would ever feel the same way I felt about Jeremy Lin. I wondered if I would next see an Asian athlete with the star-status of someone like Serena Williams, Tom Brady, or Russell Westbrook. The short answer, for the most part, is that I’m still looking. Jeremy Lin might’ve been the closest figure we Asians have had during his three-week stint known as “Linsanity.” And even then, the phenomenon of Jeremy Lin was tainted by the fact that part of his allure was that he was Asian. But 2018 saw figures who instilled hope in me that we will get our Asian athletic icon one day in the near future. As I touched on before, Son Heung-Min is certainly gaining acclaim after his impressive performance last year. In addition to being an essential piece of the Tottenham rotation, he led South Korea to win the 2018 Asia Games, which subsequently excused him from mandatory military service. Without his military service interrupting the peak of his successful career, the world of soccer will be seeing the 26-year-old contributing even more on the pitch in years to come. Right now, he is the ninth-top goal scorer in the English Premier League, with 11 goals and five assists. Those numbers will only increase with each matchday. On the other hand there is Shohei Ohtani, one of the most talked-about baseball players of 2018. His rookie season began with high hopes from fans and critics alike — hopes that he ultimately fulfilled, in my opinion — before ending in an injury that resulted in a Tommy John surgery. Despite his setbacks, the 24-year-old will still be serving the Los Angeles Angels as a designated hitter for the upcoming 2019 season, a role that he is more than prepared to take on. Ohtani was able to show prowess as both a pitcher and a batter, finishing his rookie season with a 3.31 ERA and .273 batting average. However, perhaps the most triumphant athletic performance by an Asian athlete in 2018 was provided by Japanese-American women’s tennis player Naomi Osaka. At Wimbledon and the French Open, Osaka reached the third round in both events. However, it was her performance in the 2018 U.S. Open that solidified her status as one of the best athletes in the world and a force to be reckoned with. She managed to beat Serena Williams and win her first Grand Slam title. She is now the number one women’s tennis player in the world after clinching her second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open this past January. 2018 forced me to confront that Asian representation in sports matters to me. I can no longer be satisfied with the lack of Asian faces on teams and in competitions. Much like Crazy Rich Asians showed the world that Asian visibility in films is important for elevating voices that otherwise might not be heard, I believe sports serve the same purpose. Athletes have platforms with influence and the ability to make change, and Asians deserve such a platform. Asian-Americans, specifically, might be one of the smallest racial minorities within the United States at less than five percent of the population, but we cannot be overlooked. Through figures like Naomi Osaka and Shohei Ohtani, the world should be forced to reconcile with the fact that we are here, in this country and beyond, and we have voices and experiences that are powerful and worth listening to.