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The Oberlin Review February 9, 2018

established 1874

Volume 146, Number 13

College Projects Enrollment Rebound Devyn Malouf

Gibson’s Bakery is currently engaged in a contentious lawsuit with both the College and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo Editor

Court Denies Dismissal of Gibson’s Charges Sydney Allen News Editor

The College and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo responded to a November lawsuit brought by Gibson’s Bakery. In December, the College attempted to file a partial motion to dismiss some of the charges lodged, but were ultimately denied in court. The lawsuit emerged from a conflict between Gibson’s Bakery owners Allyn and David Gibson and three students in November 2016, after then-College sophomore Elijah Aladin was accused of shoplifting a bottle of wine from the bakery. This accusation resulted in a physical altercation between Allyn, Aladin, and two of Aladin’s classmates, College juniors Cecilia Whettstone and Endia Lawrence. Following the altercation, members of the Oberlin Police Department arrived and arrested the three students, who are Black. The altercation triggered a series of protests and boycotts and caused business between the College and Gibson’s to temporarily cease, as many students and community members said the altercation was racially motivated, claiming Gibson’s had racially profiled Aladin inside the store. According to the College’s motion to dismiss filed Dec. 6 and the three students’ version of events, Aladin went to Gibson’s to purchase wine with a fake ID, which was found on his person at the time of arrest. This narrative varies from the Gibsons’ version of events, as stated in the Nov. 7 complaint which insists that the students

“violently assaulted” Allyn Gibson during a robbery, resulting in “severe and permanent economic damage as well as substantial distress.” The students pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of attempted theft and aggravated trespassing in the Lorain County Common Pleas Court last August. In exchange for the plea deal, the students paid a small restitution and absolved the Gibsons of any claims of racism. Almost one year after the incident, Gibson’s filed a lengthy complaint against the College and Raimondo, bringing a total of eight counts against the defendants, including libel, tortious interference with a business relationship, trespassing, and engaging in deceptive trade practices, among others. The College’s and Raimondo’s legal counsel, attorneys from the firm Taft, Stettinus, and Hollister LLP, filed a motion to dismiss parts of Gibson’s Nov. 7 complaint, specifically addressing Count seven, claiming Raimondo had participated in negligent hiring, retention, or supervision practices, and Count eight, accusing the plaintiffs of trespassing. In the College’s motion for dismissal, the College’s attorneys assert that the Gibsons are pursuing unfounded legal action for monetary gain. “Oberlin College and Dr. Meredith Raimondo … sole [sic] concern at all times has been for the safety and well-being of its students and the community,” the motion states. “By commencing this legal action … [Gibson’s] seek to personally profit from a

polarizing event that negatively impacted Oberlin College, its students, and the Oberlin community.” The motion also challenges claims of innocence made in the Gibson’s initial complaint. “The complaint contains a smorgasbord of allegations all designed to falsely portray [Gibson’s] as innocent victims,” the motion states. “… In reality, it was an employee of Gibson’s Bakery ... Allyn D. Gibson, who left the safety of his business to violently physically assault an unarmed student.” Judge John R. Miradli denied the motion to dismiss the counts Jan. 5. In response to the College’s partial motion to dismiss, Gibson’s filed a response in opposition, claiming that the plaintiffs were “[doubling] down on their victim-shaming.” The response also references the three students’ guilty plea, stating that there should be no controversy over the events on Nov. 11, 2016 events, as the students pled guilty. “Following the arrests of those students, an orchestrated defamation campaign was waged against [Gibson’s Bakery], which damaged the Plaintiff’s reputation and financially devastated their business,” the response reads. “While the three students accepted their responsibility for the attempted theft, Oberlin College and Dean Raimondo refuse to accept responsibility for their tortious conduct.” It is Oberlin College’s policy to not comment on ongoing legal matters. Representatives from Gibson’s failed to respond to request for comment.

After a significant enrollment shortfall that led to a $5-million deficit, the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid projects that Oberlin College and Conservatory will meet its target admission rate for the class of 2022, reducing the deficit by approximately $2 million. The office examined and has been responding to trends in high school graduate demographics, prospective student feedback, and issues concerning lower retention to help recover enrollment numbers. Interim Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Manuel Carballo said 169 Early Decision-I applicants have been accepted, while Early Decision-II is expected to bring in roughly 65 new commits, and 23 students who deferred their admission last year will join the class of 2022. Carballo said that overall, the College and Conservatory are on track to meet their enrollment goals of 620 and 130 students, respectively, for next year. The projections for next year come on the heels of this year’s under-enrollment, which Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration Alan Norton said caused the major deficit. “Last May, the projected enrollment was reduced by 100 students, from 2,900 to 2,800 and that eliminated $4.9 million of net revenue,” he said. “It turns out that the actual enrollment came in a little higher at 2,827, and as the year has gone along there have been both some unplanned expenses but also some unplanned savings.” In light of next year’s increased projected enrollment rates, however, Norton anticipates that the $2-million reduction in the deficit will emerge with additional plans to cut spending. Carballo said that shifts in demographic trends include population decline in the Midwest and New England, population growth in the South and Southwest, growth in African-American and Hispanic populations, and decreased numbers of students graduating from private high schools. These are trends that all American liberal arts institutions, not just Oberlin, are encountering. “We are still going to a lot of the same places, but it does mean spending more time in the South or Southwest, more time in the West,” Carballo said. “It’s looking at, in the next couple years, spending more time on international [outreach], and so instead of being at eight percent, maybe being closer to 10 to 12 percent. The Arts and Sciences admissions has also increased travel to See Enrollment, page 3



02 City Council Votes to Wait on NEXUS Settlement Decision 03 OHC Celebrates Black History Month



05 Editorial: Ambar, Students Must 08 Will You Be My Valentine Share Vision of Oberlin’s Future

10 Alum’s Pulitzer-Winning Opera Presents Dark, Twisted Plot

14 Smith’s Gesture Symbolizes Oberlin Values, 50 Years Later

06 Budget Resolution Must Come With Conditions

12 The Maids Delivers Stunning, Subversive Performance

16 Yeowomen Set Wins Record Against Kenyon

The Oberlin Review | February 9, 2018

THIS WEEK TWITTER @oberlinreview INSTAGRAM @ocreview


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Wilder Hall Renovation Begins, Citing Student Surveys

Wilder Hall lobby was renovated over Winter Term. The space had numerous walls knocked down in an effort to give students more community spaces to engage with. Photo courtesy of Oberlin College

Roman Broszkowski News Editor Students returning to campus this week have been greeted with a revamped Wilder Hall lobby, which will undergo further changes as renovations continue. The lobby was enlarged and, according to a letter sent out by President Carmen Ambar and Student Senator and College junior

Kameron Dunbar, “This area will be fitted with a new TV, speakers, and other entertainment options that will allow open music and entertainment streaming.” Additionally, a competition will be held to select some new iconic furniture, à la womb chairs. Changes ensued after Student Senate and the administration reviewed student feedback on campus life.

Last semester, Senate surveyed Oberlin students about their experience on campus, including academics and social life. Close to 1,100 students responded and the results indicated to a lack of campus community. Believing the feedback emerged from a dearth of accessible community spaces, Senate brought the issue to the Student Union and senior administrators, who collaboratively discussed the issue and routinely circled back to Wilder. At the same time, Senate, seeking to increase studenttrustee contact, devised a plan to bring visiting trustees on a guided tour of Oberlin dorms and living spaces. “The goal was to show trustees — who may not have been in a dorm for 20 years — what living conditions are really like,” said Dunbar, who initially proposed the idea. “I’m thrilled [with] how [the tours] went.” As a result of the tour and recent discussions around community spaces, Wilder was selected for a quick facelift over the winter break.

Dunbar saw Wilder as a test run for future collaborations with the school’s administration including, potentially, organized transportation to and from Cleveland to reduce campus isolation. According to Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, the financing for the project came out of the existing budget for student life. Like Student Senate, Raimondo saw the process of choosing Wilder as a loose, informal proposal that had been in the works for some time, but received new life as a result of Senate’s trustee tours. “After the tours, trustees talked about the conversations they had with students and what they saw,” Raimondo said. “That caused me to think, ‘What were some things that we can do to make a difference now?’ If the tours hadn’t happened, I don’t know if we’d be doing the remodel.” Raimondo highlighted the support she received from the trustees to proceed with the project, but she also emphasized that trustees had little relationship to the actual plan. “Trustees aren’t usually

involved in any building decisions; that’s not their role,” Raimondo said. Raimondo discussed the role that student groups, such as the Student Union Board, had in advocating for the Wilder lobby’s remodeling. However, the final decision for the renovation was under the jurisdiction of the senior administration and the Office of the President. Although Senate has been unable to convince the trustees to allow for student representation on their board, Dunbar insisted that “the board is listening to students,” adding that the Wilder changes and the tours were perfect examples. “I want people to trust the process,” Dunbar added. “Senate is on path to showing that it can actively represent students. The board looks five years out, senior administration looks to every day. Those are the people who are most prepared for our concerns. Senate is trying to push itself into the picture and bring students with them.”

tion of the pipeline since December 2015 and has spent tens of thousands of dollars in lawsuits. Councilmembers Heather Adelman and Linda Slocum were the two dissenting votes against proceeding with the emergency decision. Adelman, Slocum, and many community members who spoke in opposition to the settlement cited the city of Oberlin’s Community Bill of Rights and Obligation Ordinance as a reason to oppose the settlement. The ordinance was passed in 2013 to affirm the authority of the residents of Oberlin to govern their own community in relation to the oil and gas industry, and it specifically prohibits the siting of gas-delivery infrastructures within the city. “Negotiating a settlement to me means we will violate our own law, … and it means our integrity can be bought for $100,000,” Adelman said during the meeting. Slocum invoked the community’s right to self-governance in a statement before

the vote. “At the heart of this matter is the power of national and international corporations to assert their interests over the will of people who want to pursue their right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and safety,” she said. The other four councilmembers expressed frustration with the settlement but said that they thought it was the best option for the city in the face of what they believe to be the inevitable construction of the pipeline. Members of the public were invited to speak on the issue before the vote. John Elder, vice president of Communities for Safe and Sustainable Energy, said that now is the time for the city to hold firm and follow its own laws. “It may be argued that if the city does not accept NEXUS’ offer of $100,000 now, it will never get as favorable a settlement in the future — perhaps none — but we did not pass our Ordinance in order to win a better price for a pipeline lease,” Elder said to

the council. “We passed it to protect our rights.” Oberlin College students were present at the meeting, including members of the organization Students for Energy Justice. SEJ member and College sophomore Rachael Hood said that while Oberlin boasts that it has consistently been on the right side of history, agreeing to the settlement would be contradicts to that legacy. Other community members referred to previous pipeline accidents, NEXUS’ parent company Enbridge’s role in violence committed against indigenous communities, and the city’s obligations to protect its citizens as reasons to vote against the settlement with NEXUS. After hearing the public’s comments, Council President Bryan Burgess moved to withhold emergency voting on the settlement until further discussion and public input. Elder said that he was pleased and surprised at the council’s

City Council Votes to Wait on NEXUS Settlement Decision

Monday’s City Council meeting, where councilmembers and community members discussed the possibility of settling with NEXUS for $100,000. Photo by Devin Cowan, Staff Photographer

Tess Joosse Oberlin City Council did not proceed with an emergency vote on a proposed $100,000 settlement with NEXUS at the council’s regular meeting Monday night. After hearing the public’s opposition to the settlement, the council voted to not accept the offer from NEXUS and wait until further public discussion was possible.

The terms of the settlement dictate that the city not engage in any further litigation intended to interfere with construction of the pipeline and grant full easement rights in exchange for a $100,000 payment from NEXUS. A grant of easement would give NEXUS the legal rights to build the pipeline on city-owned land. The city of Oberlin has been engaged in litigation opposing construc-

The Oberlin R eview February 9, 2018 Volume 146, Number 13 (ISSN 297–256) Published by the students of Oberlin College every Friday during the fall and spring semesters, except holidays and examination periods. Advertising rates: $18 per column inch. Second-class postage paid at Oberlin, Ohio. Entered as secondclass matter at the Oberlin, Ohio post office April 2, 1911. POSTMASTER SEND CHANGES TO: Wilder Box 90, Oberlin, Ohio 44074-1081. Office of Publication: Burton Basement, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. Phone: (440) 775-8123



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Corrections: The Review is not aware of any corrections at this time.

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OHC Celebrates Black History Month

Oberlin Heritage Center, which is currently preparing a program to celebrate Black History Month by featuring a history of Black business owners in Oberlin. Photo by Hugh Newcomb, Photo Editor

Eliza Guinn Production Editor In recognition of Black History Month, the Oberlin Heritage Center’s Museum Education and Tour Coordinator, Amanda Manahan, will present an illustrated program about the history of Oberlin’s Black business owners this weekend. According to Manahan, the program will highlight between 16 and 20 people, their accomplishments and struggles, and their continuing legacies in town. Black entrepreneurs have had a presence in Oberlin since the mid-19th century. John Watson, for example, was a formerly enslaved man who moved to Oberlin around 1840 with his family, and his businesses helped with the construction of the downtown area. He was also one of the individuals arrested in the Oberlin-Wellington Slave Rescue, where a band of Oberlin residents stormed

Wellington, Ohio, to rescue John Price, an escaped slave who had been captured and transported there so he could be sent back to his slaveholder in Kentucky. After the Civil War, he presided at a Columbus Convention of Black Men. Marie DeFrance, another figure who the program will feature, owned a hat making shop and was the only Black woman at the time to maintain a business in Oberlin. More recently, Gigi’s Barber Shop was owned by Geneva “Gigi” Jones, another local business owner and a female barber in town. She graduated with honors from Western Kentucky Barber College, and was the only woman among 30 other male students. Jones passed away last year. Other businesses covered by the program include Carter Nursing Home, Gayters’ Skating Rink, Mason’s Tea Room, Parker’s Grocery, and Pettiford Bakery. The program will cover both historical community members as well as more recent stories, as Manahan hopes

that attendees will also share their own memories of Black entrepreneurs in Oberlin. “I want people to come and share, rather than simply listen,” she said. Manahan added that that she presented an abbreviated version of the program at the Allen Memorial Art Museum last year, which sparked a conversation that prompted her to revisit it in time for this Black History Month. In explaining why she decided to focus on business owners, Manahan said that business owners are not only relatively easy to track, and that they are a fixture 0of the community with shared memories and nostalgia, but also that these narratives must also address Oberlin’s history of segregation. “Oberlin wasn’t a utopian community,” Manahan said. Manahan added that Oberlin’s unique local stories “form a much larger narrative — national, international. If we don’t capture it, we’re not going to be telling a complete story.” Manahan said that it’s important to preserve the real history and stories of the Oberlin community and to create a dialogue. She believes that for students, learning the town’s history will change, and hopefully increase, the ways they are involved in the community. The Heritage Center also provides information about Oberlin’s historic ties to the Underground Railroad as well as various walking and driving tours of the town’s local landmarks, which include Westwood Cemetery, the Underground Railroad Monument, and several historic houses owned by Oberlin abolitionists. The Oberlin Heritage Center’s event is free and open to the public and will be held at the House of Zion Fellowship Center at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Oberlin, at 81 Locust Street from 2 to 3:30 p.m. this Sunday.

Enrollment Numbers Forecast Budget Recovery Continued from page 1

high schools, visiting 45 percent more high schools in 2017 than in 2016.” Admissions is also practicing a more targeted, personal approach to communication by increasing outreach to areas that traditionally attract students to Oberlin but have shown a decrease in high school graduation rates. To combat this year’s admission decline, the Office of Admissions launched the fall Phone-A-Thon program, which has Oberlin students call prospective students who have expressed an affinity for Oberlin. Students who could not be reached by phone were sent postcards, and all prospective students have been receiving emails in their inboxes every week with answers to the question: “Why Oberlin?” With just over a month until regular decision acceptances are released, glimpses of what the class of 2022 will look like are starting to crystallize. Soon, the campus will add the accomodation of incoming students to its existing priority of addressing concerns about student life. At the forefront of student life improvements are students themselves. In November, Student Senate conducted a campus-wide survey to assess the campus climate and student needs, as well as investigate reasons for Oberlin’s recent dip in retention rates. “A big thing that we saw when we were looking at Senate priorities was The Oberlin Review | February 9, 2018

that people were really interested in more student spaces ... which was really lovely to see,” Student Senator and College junior Cecilia Wallace said after preliminary analysis of the survey. “I think students just want to feel more connected to other students.” Senate is subsequently working to build more social and accessible spaces to cultivate a greater atmosphere and sense of community on campus. All Roads Lead to Oberlin — the April campus visit program for accepted students — will also receive a makeover to further boost enrollment numbers. In recent years, All Roads has brought over 550 admitted students in their families to campus, allowing them to engage in lectures, tours, and student panels. All Roads’ goal is to present the most wellrounded picture of Oberlin possible. Although All Roads has consistently received positive reviews from those who attend, feedback from previous years has led the Admissions team to make some adjustments to the program. “Each All Roads program will now be a one-and-a-half- to two-day event instead of just a one day event like it was in the past,” said Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Jessica Cummings, OC ’10. “Some of the new programming we are planning will include a parent reception, sessions for prospies that are led by PALs, a formal speech by President [Carmen Twillie] Ambar, and an academic fair that will involve every

academic department.” Cummings added that past All Roads feedback indicates that prospective students want more interaction with faculty and other prospective students. The Office of Admissions will adapt the program to meet those requests. Norton said that amid the changes implemented to compensate for the financial deficit, one thing that will not change is Oberlin’s commitment to meet full financial need for admitted students. Some current students have expressed concern that Oberlin will admit a class of students who come from a higher average socioeconomic status to offset the College’s financial struggles. “Financial aid will not be reduced because we have a deficit,” Norton said. “The College is committed to meeting financial need, so we will have to find other things to change to reduce expenses or increase revenue.” Admissions staff assure students that despite Oberlin’s economic hardships, financial aid and a diverse student body remain their highest priority. “We are need-aware, so we do look to see whether students have applied for aid or not, but there is a real commitment at Oberlin — because of our history in terms of diversity — to make sure that we are meeting full need,” Carballo said. “I think that, while we are always looking to do better, a lot of schools are looking at us and saying, ‘I wish we could do what Oberlin is doing.’”

Security Notebook Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018

3:21 p.m. Campus Dining staff reported a brown two-shelf push cart missing from the Science Center food court area. No value was given at the time of report. 5:18 p.m. Facilities staff reported graffiti in two different locations on campus. The graffiti, written in marker, was found in the Firelands Apartments men’s restroom and on an electrical box in Robertson Hall parking lot. A work order was filed for removal.

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 12:05 p.m. A student reported the theft of their bicycle from outside a Goldsmith Village Housing Unit. The bike is valued at $150-$200. 7:40 p.m. Safety and Security Officers responded to a report of graffiti in a restroom on the first floor of Bibbins Hall. The graffiti was written in black marker in a stall. A work order was filed for cleanup.

Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 11:26 a.m. A grounds employee reported graffiti on the chimney of Lord House. A work order was filed for cleanup.

Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 8:15 a.m. Staff members reported graffiti, written in black marker, on the fire hose door in Mudd library. A work order was filed for removal. 8:44 a.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm on the first-floor receiving dock area at Stevenson Dining Hall. An electrician also responded. A fluctuation in temperature caused the alarm, which was silenced and reset. 9:23 a.m. An officer responded to a report of graffiti in the men’s restroom on the second floor of Fairchild House. A work order was filed for cleanup. 10:11 a.m. An officer responded to a report of graffiti in several common spaces, restrooms, stairwells, and a hallway in South Hall. A work order was filed for cleanup. 7:20 p.m. Staff reported graffiti on a dumpster at Noah Hall and also on an electric box at a nearby telephone pole. A work order was filed for removal. 11:56 p.m. A staff member walking in Langston Hall and Zechiel House area slipped and fell, injuring their hip. They were transported to Mercy Hospital, treated, and later released.

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 8:44 a.m. Officers and the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm on the fourth floor of Noah Hall. An electrician also responded. A quick change in temperature caused the alarm, which was reset. 9:31 a.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm in the loading dock area of Stevenson Dining Hall. The quick rise in temperature from a propane heater in the dock area tripped the alarm, which was reset. 11:41 a.m. An officer responded to a report of graffiti inside a first-floor bathroom at Price House. A work order was filed for removal.


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Council Pauses on NEXUS Decision Continued from page 2

decision to not pass the vote Monday. “I’m surprised because this means that if NEXUS had said, ‘You have to do this tonight or its off the table,’ they’re disregarding that,” Elder said. Hood was hopeful that the decision to not vote on emergency gives organizations like SEJ the opportunity to get the word out about future meetings and increase the public’s engagement. “I think it gives us a little bit of time,” Hood said. “Hopefully if they’re having more meetings, more people will come out and say how they want the council to vote. This semester SEJ will be doing a big awareness campaign on campus, and we’ll be in contact with groups like CSSE to figure out when these next meetings are and get people to come out to them.” If built as proposed, the NEXUS pipeline would pass through a 50foot section of land in the southernmost part of Oberlin. In its entirety, it would transport natural gas through eastern Ohio, southwestern Michigan, and into Canada, stretching a distance of 255 miles. Oberlin and the city of Green, Ohio are the only municipalities continuing to fight construction of the pipeline in court. NEXUS has offered the city of Green $7.5 million and additional terms in a proposed settlement to end that city’s continuing legal battle against the company, in exchange for use of about 2.5 acres of city property in construction of the pipeline. NEXUS’ proposed settlement with Green will be discussed at the city’s council meeting on Wednesday. Both Elder and Hood said that there is value in continuing to oppose construction of the pipeline. Elder disagrees with the view that construction of the pipeline is inevitable. “You cannot predict what will happen,” Elder said. “Even though we’ve passed the permitting stage and this pipeline has a permit … if we succumb now, we’ve lost our chance.” Hood added that with its opposition to the NEXUS pipeline, Oberlin has the opportunity to be part of a greater collective movement against the fossil fuel industry. “I think that when small communities decide that something’s going to happen and they have no power to change it, that’s when the status quo is maintained,” Hood said. “There are a lot of stories of defeat, and I recognize that. Statistically, almost everybody is going to lose to a pipeline. But there are sometimes people who don’t.”


Jake Berstein and Luke Fortney, Editors-in-Chief of The Grape College seniors Luke Fortney and Jake Berstein are Editors-in-Chief of The Grape, Oberlin’s biweekly alternative newspaper that has printing since 1999. Fortney has worked at The Grape for three semesters as a copy editor and contributing writer before starting as an EIC in fall 2017. Berstein joined the publication the spring of his sophomore year, working as a contributing writer and features editor before becoming an EIC last fall. Interview by Sydney Allen, News Editor

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. How do you think The Grape has changed under your leadership compared to your predecessors? Jake Berstein: I would say that we … started taking ourselves more seriously, and a lot of that has to do with our staff more so than Luke and I — but it was a big part of putting together the team. And everyone is super energetic and takes this pretty seriously, and I feel like we’ve also agreed on a vision for the first time. Luke Fortney: I feel like we’ve just become more intentional. If we’re going to be silly, and we’re going to be goofy, why are we doing that? And I think like Jake said, this is one of the first times it doesn’t feel so random, I guess. What is your vision for The Grape? LF: Totally frankly speaking, I would like for The Grape to no longer be Oberlin’s alternative newspaper, because I think “alternative” has really strange connotations. People hear alternative and they’re like, “oh hipster, white, elite people.” And yeah, as long as I’ve been on The Grape that’s what it’s been. Alternative also suggests like we’re this thing that defines itself in relation to The Oberlin Review, which is super flattering and works in the first days you’re a newspaper, but we’re now talking almost 20 years later since The Grape started in 1999. So I think it’s time to define ourselves as our own thing. JB: I would just say that for me, what I’ve always wanted The Grape to be is a complete reflection of campus — and that includes music, it includes art, it includes politics, it includes activism, it includes people

Luke Fortney and Jake Berstein, Editors-in-Chief of The Grape. Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo Editor

f ***ing up, and yeah, it includes all the conversations that we are having. Can you talk more about people f ***ing up, because last semester you had some controversy with that? JB: Yeah. People came up to us especially when, like, Kameron Dunbar wrote that article for you guys about diversity. And when we keep messing up, people come up to us and they’re like, “You guys are getting roasted; I feel so bad for you.” But that criticism that people have levied against us is totally right, and I just feel like we’re constantly evolving. And a lot of that includes f ***ing up, making mistakes, and we just own those. Obviously as much as possible we’d like to not offend people and not really harm people through our published stuff. But we’re going to make mistakes, and keep making mistakes, but every time we learn from it and completely change our process based on those mistakes. Especially last semester, we noticed that you guys did some really concrete journalism. Can you talk a little bit about that, or what your favorite pieces that you worked on were? JB: I feel like both Luke and I wrote articles that ... for me, it reminded me why I like doing this stuff — because for awhile, I kind of grew to hate writing journalistically. But I wrote this article about shoplifting, and to do it, I talked to a ton of people from town. And all of the sources that I grew relationships with — they really felt like it was important that I had written that, and I felt like it was important. And I think it changed something. So, yeah, that was a really big one for me. And I think it was the only article I wrote that semester, be-

cause we had so much stuff to do. LF: For me, it definitely was this piece about The Feve, which was not only immensely fun to report, but also is one of the few times that I’ve written a piece of journalism and then had the people it’s about intentionally seek me out afterwards to tell me that I accurately represented them. There was another time, also, when I was at the bar, and I would have people coming up to me after the article and being like — you know, this is kind of insignificant — but like, “Oh, I read your piece and have been tipping more consciously, and have just been thinking about the way that I interact with food service workers in Oberlin.” So for me, that was cool, because it’s all about audience response and maybe slightly changing the way someone feels about something. Can you give any hints about what might be coming down the pipes this semester? JB: Oh, big things. We’re rolling out a new website — that’s going to be huge. And that includes more digital content. LF: I just am hoping for a quieter semester. It’s really tough to say, because I’m like, yeah, we wanna come into this semester and make a splash, but historically that has not been the greatest thing. I feel like I’m ready to have a really put-together semester. We have a really incredible staff of young, passionate writers. And I don’t really know what they’re gonna do, but I’m so excited to find out and support them. We just have this incredible bunch. Do you have any thoughts on the historic The Grape-Review feud? JB: Yes. The Grape can’t do its thing without the Review. And for me, there’s only love.

Oberlin Community News Bulletin


Oberlin Technology Store Holds Fire Sale

Charles Finney Speech Competition

Pedestrian Killed in Hit and Run

The Oberlin Technology Store, which was closed in December for financial reasons, will hold a going-out-of-business sale Thursday Feb. 15, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Friday Feb. 16, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. in Mudd library basement for all students, faculty, and staff. Items will range from $1–$20 and will be sold for cash only, including tax. There will also be software for sale, along with boxes of free items and a raff le for an Amazon Echo or iHome.

Oberlin’s speech and debate team, the Oberlin Forensics Club, is holding an all-campus speech competition in Finney Chapel tomorrow 12–5 p.m. Participating students will receive various surprise topics to deliver speeches on, and winners will receive cash and other prizes. Attendees can also make donations to the Undocumented Students Fund.

Oberlin resident Kyle Gutierrez, 23, was killed during a hit-and-run traffic accident on North Main Street at 2 a.m. yesterday. Students and College employees were informed of the accident and advised of local and national traffic laws and safety procedures in an email from Safety and Security Director Mike Martinsen. The Oberlin Police Department is still searching for suspects.

OPINIONS February 9, 2018

established 1874

Letters to the Editors

Matambo’s Mentorship Lacked Boundaries To the Editors:

I’m writing to share my experiences with Bernard Matambo, in the hope that making it public will continue to open up space for the kind of reflection and change that Sarah Cheshire called for. Bernard shaped my time at Oberlin and my values and stances as a writer. He was my advisor and someone I thought of as a mentor, but looking back, the dynamic doesn’t seem like mentorship. I was trying very hard to be a close friend rather than a student, and he did nothing to discourage and much to encourage those efforts. At the time, I felt a powerful kind of approval from feeling “worth” the phone calls, long oneon-one meetings at coffee shops and restaurants (never his office), and late-night conversations after class at his house. I brought him plates of food for awhile, ran errands with and for him. I worked in Wilder, and sometimes he would stop by to chat. Once he showed up at my house at 10:30 p.m. just to say hi. I am grateful to Sarah Cheshire for her strength in coming forward because reading her interviews and writings has put my memories of Bernard into necessary focus. Instead of friendship or mentorship, I see something insidious. Each boundary crossed was a message that what made me worthwhile was not my writing, but my willingness to show admiration and care. It’s clear to me that that dynamic sets the stage for other lines to be crossed. – Emily Clarke OC ’15

misleading. Budget crises are the results of prior decisions, good or bad, present priorities, and visions for the future. The language of “crisis” obscures all that and serves to justify extraordinary measures — much like political declarations of “states of emergency” do and have done. These are framed as necessary responses to objective conditions when they are, in fact, deliberate choices that reflect decision makers’ priorities. In recent years, Oberlin’s chosen responses have included salary freezes, cuts to visiting professor positions, the passive gutting of the Office of Disability Services (by failing to replace staff ), the cutting of department administrative assistants and custodial staff, and two rounds of VSIPs, or “Voluntary Separation Incentive Programs,” to encourage retirement. The consequences of the first four for faculty morale and recruitment, department course offerings, the functioning of academic departments, for students with disabilities, and for the state of College facilities are fairly obvious. Equally obvious are the consequences for the livelihoods of hard-working staff who are vital to the operation of the College. On its surface, the VSIP appears more neutral — it simply offers incentives for faculty to retire earlier than they otherwise might. But when you offer incentives, you structure people’s choices — they remain voluntary, but they are also constrained. When combined with salary freezes, the idea that they are strictly “voluntary” for faculty becomes somewhat suspect. All of these choices can and should be debated vigorously, as they are and will continue to be. But we must never forget that they are choices. They reflect what and who we think matter, and they send clear messages to diverse audiences. Are these the messages we want to be sending? – Jade Schiff Assistant Professor of Politics

“Crisis” Language Creative Writing ProUsed to Justify Extraordinary Measures gram Unfairly Accused To the Editors: A familiar refrain echoes across the country: institutions of higher education are wracked by “budget crises.” Oberlin, we are told over and over, is no exception. Our troubles are now receiving widespread attention. Inside Higher Ed, a major publication that considers the state of higher education in the U.S., recently published an article about our “budget crunch.” Certainly, many institutions of higher education, including Oberlin, are struggling. But this talk of “budget crises” is neither neutral nor innocent. Administrators and (in the case of public institutions) state officials often talk and act as if they are objective circumstances in which we find ourselves and about which we must scratch our heads and make “hard choices.” This is entirely

To the Editors:

On Dec. 1, The Oberlin Review broke the news of allegations against Professor Bernard Matambo (“Matambo Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations,” Dec. 1, 2017). The Review followed up with an editorial on the importance of preventing sexual misconduct (“Oberlin Faculty, Administration Must Be Active in Preventing Sexual Misconduct,” Dec. 8, 2017). It is this editorial that I am responding to now. I firmly believe that Oberlin faculty and staff should do everything in their power to protect students from sexual misconduct. I also want to address the problematic statements that were presented in this editorial by the Review. The editorial demonstrated unethical journalism through the implication that other professors were aware See Letters, page 7


The Oberlin Review appreciates and welcomes letters to the editors and op-ed submissions. All submissions are printed at the discretion of the Editorial Board. All submissions must be received by Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at or Wilder Box 90 for inclusion in that week’s issue. Letters may not exceed 600 words and op-eds may not exceed 800 words, except with consent of the Editorial Board. All submissions must include contact information, with full names and any relevant titles, for all signers. All writers must individually confirm authorship on electronic submissions. 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 9, 2018

Volume 146, Number 13

Editorial Board Editors-in-Chief Melissa Harris

Christian Bolles

Managing Editor Daniel Markus

Opinions Editors

El Wilson

Jackie Brant

Ambar, Students Must Share Vision of Oberlin’s Future Halfway through this academic year, Oberlin has already confronted many institutional challenges. Structural and infrastructural changes have transformed last year’s dining system, admissions, advising, academic resource offices, the Office of Disability Resources, and faculty and staff salaries, among others. President Carmen Ambar’s new role as Oberlin’s leader has certainly been a major shift as well. Her understanding of and plans for Oberlin will greatly determine the course this institution takes in the years to come — including, but not nearly limited to, the areas listed above. Ambar’s email to the campus community this Monday bluntly detailed the challenges we face as an institution. But she also indicated her initiative to work across different bodies on campus to overcome issues of retention, admissions, and the structure of a purposeful Oberlin education. In this week’s issue of the Review, James Monroe Professor of Politics Chris Howell writes that in addressing budgetary issues, the Oberlin community must engage with the administration in a transparent matter and that a bureaucratic, closed-door process will not produce the outcomes this community needs. In both Ambar’s email and her recent discussions with this board, she has shown a willingness to redirect governance strategies toward those democratic processes. Her upcoming budgetary presentations — ones that will reveal the stark realities of this institution’s finances — will not only make the state of the school transparent for the campus community, but they will create space for faculty and students to engage, ask questions, and provide input. As Ambar begins to open the doors of administrative matters to the campus, it is important that we as students and members of this community take advantage of this opportunity. We have long critiqued administrators for their opaque decision-making, and we’ve certainly endured some of the consequences of falling subject to ill-explained choices they’ve made. Rather than protesting All Roads Lead to Oberlin for the administration’s sudden tuition, room, and board changes again, we now have the opportunity — courtesy of Ambar — to participate in preventing those reasons for protest while also working to avoid further admissions and retention shortfalls. The cooperative paradigm of governance is one we must truly embrace to own our future at this institution and to ensure that privilege for those who enroll in the future. This cooperation will require sacrifice from all of us. With a nowfamiliar $5 million deficit still looming, we must consider the resources this institution has available. Although Oberlin is a progressive institution, many of us tend to be conservative in our desire to preserve the comforts and privileges this institution provides. Therefore, when we enter discussions with the administration about how to tackle the budgetary state of the College, all options must be on the table. But we must also understand that change and compromise is something to expect without resentment as these conversations move forward. At the same time, we must hold Ambar and the administration to their word. Opening administrative information and governance to the rest of the campus means exposure and vulnerability for the administration; if promises of cooperation are broken or if doors are closed, we must re-engage administrators to stay the course. When we collectively decide to make another budgetary cut or carve a path to improve an aspect of this institution, we will look to the administration to keep those plans and consequent actions true to our agreements. The administration has already proven responsive to student input. After hearing many complaints about the campus’ limited range of lounges and social spaces during Student Senate’s constituency week, Ambar, Senate, and the Dean of Students’ Office renovated the Wilder Hall lobby to address that issue. Although this may be a relatively small change, it happened because of the administration and students’ optimistic collaboration. Ambar’s vision for Oberlin will certainly affect the way we face the obstacles that hinder higher education. But we must know that if we so choose, her vision can be ours, too. 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

Budget Resolution Must Come with Conditions Chris Howell Contributing Writer

Oberlin College is once again in full budget crisis mode. For anyone who has been here a while, there is something wearily and depressingly familiar about these cycles of boom and bust. The crises always come out of nowhere, the result of some generalized affliction affecting higher education for which no one here is responsible. The process of budget cutting always has to take place at breakneck speed so that the normal governance structures can be bypassed and broader thinking about how to resolve the mess is impossible. And the

overwhelming burden of the cutting always — but always — falls on the College’s employees, its unionized workers, staff, and faculty, though rarely the senior administration. This time around, things need to be different. There should be three conditions for resolving the current budget crisis. First, we need an acknowledgement of responsibility for how we got here, and some confidence that it won’t happen again. If we can’t learn why this keeps happening, we are doomed to keep repeating it. Administrations and boards of trustees are very good at taking credit when things go well; in acknowledging fault, not so much.

We are not here because of one or two unexpectedly bad enrollment years. We have had years of poor endowment growth, special withdrawals from the endowment that have little to do with our educational mission, capital projects that have saddled us with debt, and a long-term failure to hit admissions targets. No amount of budget cutting can solve these problems, and the jobs and compensation of faculty and staff should not be sacrificed for decisions over which they had no control. Second, we need breathing space to undertake any budget cutting in an open, democratic, transparent manner, using our existing governance processes. And

we must do so in a way that ensures that decisions are smart and do not balance the budget at the expense of the quality of educational experience and staff which are, after all, the only reason anyone would contemplate coming to Oberlin. Draconian, short-term budget cutting can very easily reposition Oberlin as a weaker, less attractive college. A sense of crisis is always the enemy of good decision making. It also becomes an excuse, or an opportunity, to impose procedures and outcomes that would stand no chance under normal circumstances. Topdown or panicked decision making never yields better outcomes. Third, we need a process

in which everything is on the table, not just the jobs, salaries, and benefits of the College’s employees. We are constantly told that we have a “structural” budget deficit, which means that our revenue (from tuition and the endowment) is insufficient for the tasks we have set ourselves. You cannot solve a structural deficit by doing all the same things as before, only with the work done by fewer, more exploited employees. You need to do less. You need to give some things up. Deciding what to give up is hard, much harder than just decreeing another year of salary freeze and laying off some workers, but it is essential if we are to break this self-destructive cycle.

Internment Exhibit Represents Integral Part of Oberlin History, Identity

Students Must Take Initiative as Allies

Kenneth Kitahata Shelley Lee Mackenzie Lew Contributing Writers

Sadie Keller Rowan Maher Jesus Martinez Contributing Writers

Each year, we mark key anniversaries for events that transformed American life and history from December to February. On Dec. 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, forcing us to decide whether or not to enter the Second World War. Over the ensuing months, officials debated what policies should be implemented to keep the nation secure, including the possibility of removing and incarcerating “enemy aliens” — even U.S. citizens — who might be loyal to America’s adversaries. Feb. 19 also marks a particularly poignant anniversary for the nation, and especially for Japanese Americans. On that day in 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the forced removal and incarceration of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans — most of whom were U.S. citizens — on the West Coast. These people were forced to close their businesses, abandon their farms, leave their homes, and report to temporary assembly centers, many consisting of nothing more than converted horse stalls. From there, Japanese Americans were moved to one of ten incarceration camps in remote inland areas. In these “camps,” dotted with watchtowers and surrounded by barbed wire, Japanese Americans tried to create a semblance of normalcy in their confinement. Though far from the West Coast and any of the camp locations, Oberlin College figures significantly in the history of internment, since it was one of several colleges that accepted students whose educations were disrupted by the war. When the war broke out, about 2500 Nisei — second generation Japanese Americans — were enrolled in West Coast colleges and universities. By spring 1942, various organizations came together as the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council to help coordinate the relocation of student internees into new schools outside the exclusion zone. Oberlin ultimately accepted dozens of former internees when the nation was still at war. These students’ experiences are presented in an upcoming public history exhibit at the Baron Art Gallery, which opens on Feb. 17 — two days before the anniversary of EO 9066. As a result of a collective effort by faculty, students, staff, community partners, coordination by Chair of History Renee Romano, and support from the Go For Broke National Education Center, the exhibit is part of a ten-city traveling museum that “[unearths] a series of little-known but compelling examples of support and public spirit that supported the Japanese American community during and immediately after WWII,” according to the Go For Broke National Education Center website. Romano and Chair of Comparative American Studies Shelley Lee will also be teaching a module


course on Japanese-American wartime incarceration and public history while the exhibit is still at Oberlin through mid-March. There will also be a series of speakers, performances, and other related events. Japanese-American wartime incarceration is one of the most widely studied topics in Asian-American history, and it also looms large in the history of law and civil liberties in the United States. Though the episode is a familiar one in some respects, textbooks often reduce it to an aberration in an otherwise heroic war effort that secured and expanded democracy, and a historical arc that bends toward equality and justice. From a critical ethnic studies perspective, internment culminated decades of xenophobic treatment rather than deviating from an established pattern. Postwar celebrations of Japanese Americans’ resilience from their ordeal helped crystallize the “model minority” stereotype of Asians and glossed over the magnitude of their collective trauma. Those outside the experience learned about it in bits and pieces, and many former internees regarded silence about their ordeal as the price of moving on. Eventually, the silence broke and activism led by Japanese Americans — former internees as well as their descendants — determined to secure justice and heal their collective wounds surged, leading to federal redress payments and the rescinding of EO 9066. Foundations that commemorate Japanese-American WWII veterans like Go For Broke, cultural productions like the musical Allegiance, and annual traditions like the Day of Remembrance ensure that we learn about and do not forget what happened. More recently, in the face of threats to civil liberties affecting Muslims and Arabs in America, Japanese Americans have been at the forefront of the pushback, reminding people of the tragedy of internment, and the mistakes we vowed never to repeat. Another way that this history and the ghosts of EO 9066 reverberate at Oberlin is in the presence of current students — including two co-authors of this essay, Kenneth Kitahata and Mackenzie Lew — whose ancestors were interned and who now bear the intergenerational imperative to “never forget.” For us — Kitahata and Lew — memories of growing up are punctuated by stories of “the camps,” and what family and friends endured. Yet as fourth-generation Japanese Americans, we are more removed from internment than those before us, and are thus working out what it means to be part of this historical lineage. And while we may not yet know how internment will leave its mark on our generation and how we will shape internment’s legacy, for us, Oberlin now holds an integral place in our relationship to the past and our identities as Japanese Americans. It is where important history played out, where it is remembered, and where its meanings are continually remade through the activism of students, learning in the classroom, and commemorations that invite us all to pause and reflect.

Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump’s racism and xenophobia did not take a winter break. When the president made disturbing comments about immigrants and the countries from which they hail, he insulted millions and negated ideas of respect, mobility, and equality — values fundamental to the Oberlin community. The president’s dangerous rhetoric and policies have made the past year and a half an escalating nightmare for many members of our community. Thousands of recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) live in Ohio, and Lorain County is home to a number of undocumented immigrants. Many of our neighbors live in precarious positions of safety and belonging due to their relationship with immigration — with Temporary Protected Status, Green Cards, immigrant parents, or undocumented family members. Rather than develop an immigration system that treats people with dignity, our government enforces a flawed program that puts far too many individuals at risk. But not everyone is directly impacted by immigration, and many Oberlin students without direct ties to affected individuals are unsure how to engage. Many of us temporarily live in Oberlin and do not want to impose on existing organizations or burden affected friends with our questions. Too often, allies allow these fears to become reasons not to engage. This Tuesday, President Trump met with law enforcement officers and threatened another government shutdown if Democrats don’t agree to pass an immigration package that will “get rid of these loopholes where killers are allowed to come into our country and continue to kill.” At a time when racist and xenophobic rhetoric and policies exist without repercussion, silence or inaction from allies is dangerous. It is no longer enough to be angry or disaffected. This semester, allies to anyone impacted by immigration must do better and must do more. Thankfully, Lorain County leaders have continually guided allies in the right direction through the years. In 2009, Oberlin’s City Council passed a procivil rights resolution, ensuring equal access to city services regardless of citizenship. This and similar legislation in Lorain predated the national conversation about sanctuary cities. The Lorain Ohio Immigrants’ Rights Association (LOIRA) tirelessly helps local immigrants navigate daily barriers. For example, in 2016 LOIRA provided vaccinations for 37 DAPA eligible members of the Lorain community, helping prepare them for the application process. In fall of 2016, the Multicultural Resource Center launched an Undocumented Student Initiative, pioneering workshop trainings for staff and faculty and providing individual support to students. In See Allies, page 7

Continued from page 5

Letters to the Editors, cont.

of Matambo’s actions. The editorial offered no proof to support this idea, and until more information is available, this statement is unfounded. It is unethical to draw conclusions about other people’s actions or knowledge based on their proximity to someone — in this case Matambo — who has acted inappropriately. The editorial states that “Oberlin is a small school, which means that secrets rarely stay secret for very long and news spreads very quickly. It is likely, if the allegations against Matambo are true, that some of his colleagues — in the Creative Writing program and across campus — were aware of his actions well before his resignation three weeks ago.” This statement unjustly accuses other Creative Writing professors of knowing about Matambo’s sexual misconduct before the allegations and his resignation. Oberlin’s size and the size of the department are irrelevant. Unfortunately, sexual misconduct occurs in small colleges, large universities, and departments of all sizes. It is detrimental to Oberlin students, Oberlin professors, and the school’s overall educational goals to point fingers at professors instead of focusing on direct action, such as gathering information about the allegations against Matambo and supporting students who are struggling to process the events. As Mia Park says in a different Review article concerning Matambo, “I’m feeling kind of betrayed and hurt because I trusted him with a lot of information, and I feel like having this happen means I have to reassess all the kindness that he’s given me.” (“Matambo Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations,” Dec. 1, 2017). The Dec. 8 editorial continues to unfairly assign blame: “Given how likely it is that other Creative Writing faculty were aware of potential sexual misconduct involving a member of their own program, an internal review of the entire program should be conducted by the Title IX office…” This statement does not investigate if other Creative Writing professors were aware of Matambo’s sexual misconduct, but rather assumes the likelihood of this claim. I want to make myself perfectly clear. I do not condone Matambo’s actions. Sexual misconduct is unacceptable. I am proud of the former students who came forward to share the truth. The Dec. 8 editorial concludes by saying, “It would be a shame if these allegations against Matambo poison the entire well of productive student-faculty engagement…” I agree; it would be a shame for these allegations to affect other professors and to create a lack of trust between students and professors. Therefore, I think it is important that the journalism and discussions surrounding the allegations against Matambo do not blame or “poison” other faculty members until the facts are known. Proximity and a small program do not create culpability among others. Journalism must be ethical and factual.

Accusations of Treason Threaten Democracy

Peek Ignores Indigenous History

To the Editors:

To the Editors:

Donald Trump is our president, and we should all root for him to succeed in doing what is best for all Americans — even though on the very day of 2009 that former President Obama was sworn in as America’s first black president, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, expressed publicly that he was rooting for Obama to fail. He is our president because he was duly elected, though Hillary Clinton received far more of the popular — not electoral — vote than he. Surely, there can be a good debate over which is the better way to choose our president. Regardless, Trump is our president, and we want him to be successful, especially in making America greater than ever for all Americans. Trump succeeds almost daily in minimizing his past questionable behaviors by saying things even more disturbing than the last. Speaking to a large audience yesterday in Ohio, he characterized half of those in attendance at his first State of the Union Address in January as un-American and treasonous because they generally did not join in with the other half — Republicans — in cheering in support of his policies. To some individuals who might have violent tendencies in our society, the president’s language could incite extremely dangerous actions. These individuals may hear what the president has said as the clarion call to act, to gain eternal notoriety by overreacting to the Commander-inChief by targeting or killing those deemed disloyal, a fate which was visited upon some. Trump should not get a pass from supporters by saying that he was merely hyperbolizing, that he was just firing up his base, or that he rightfully criticized Democrats for not embracing his policies. Never should half the members of the other party, half the nation, or even a single person be smeared by the president as un-American or treasonous because of a failure to applaud his policies or efforts. Instead of apologizing for his vile, divisive, and reprehensible characterization of those who refused to applaud, Trump asks all to accept that he was joking, speaking tongue-in-cheek, and using sarcasm. The people ask him merely to try harder to reflect more of the dignity and decorum reasonably expected of those few fortunate to be president of all the people. Debate, not blind allegiance or swift obedience, is one of the bedrocks of our nation. Dissent is never treasonous. Celebrate this day.

I was dismayed to read a specific sentence in one of Booker C. Peek’s letters about the developing legal confrontation between the College and Gibson’s Bakery (“Oberlin, Gibson’s Should Settle Out-ofCourt,” Nov. 17, 2017). The offending line was tangential to Peek’s main argument, part of a brief overview of the College’s history. The line reads: “The founders of the College settled in a wilderness in the 19th century, a site where there were no humans at all.” While it may seem like a minor quibble, I find it deeply disturbing that a professor emeritus of Africana Studies, a scholar who has studied and taught about issues of American white supremacy, would fail to perceive the rich tapestry of racist ideology woven into such a remark. In fact, the land to which Peek refers was part of a territory formerly reserved for the indigenous inhabitants of present-day Ohio in the 1795 Treaty of Greenville, negotiated between the United States and a confederation of native peoples including the Shawnee, Miami, and Delaware nations, and was only formally ceded under constant pressure from illegal New England settlers in the 1805 Treaty of Fort Industry. Not only did these treaties result from a blatant war of U.S. imperialist aggression, waged throughout the early 1790s as an explicit prelude to ethnic cleansing — but it was precisely in order to execute this military invasion, to accelerate the flood of white supremacist settlement that would soon overrun the land on which Oberlin sits, that President Washington and the U.S. Congress formally established a professional standing army in 1792 under the terms of their new Constitution. (For more on this war and its unsettling implications, I recommend the recent book Autumn of the Black Snake: The Creation of the US Army and the Invasion that Opened the West by author and historian William Hogeland, OC ’77.) On a broader level, the hackneyed trope of the noble pioneer advancing boldly into the uninhabited wilderness of the frontier, transforming a barren wasteland into a shining beacon of progress and civilization, has been an ideological touchstone for centuries of ethnic cleansing and racist genocide throughout the world. The Americans used this trope to justify their annexation and settlement of North America; the Boers used it to justify their annexation and settlement of southern Africa; the Israelis use it to justify their ongoing annexation and settlement of Palestine; and had they not been thwarted by the Allied armies, the Nazis would have used it to justify their planned annexation and settlement of the eastern European lebensraum. One of the most important anti-racist advances of recent progressive scholarship since the bad old days of “This Land Is Your Land” has been to recognize that regardless of how free, just, and nondiscriminatory any par-

– Booker C. Peek Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

– Milena Williamson OC ’17

ticular settler society may appear to its own people, to their ethnically cleansed victims such settler-colonial conquests often appear more alike than different. Peek could well be correct that a “[legal] settlement in the dark” would be a mutually beneficial outcome for this dispute between Gibson’s and the College, but if his goal is to “produce light for a future just as bright as that of our past,” then Prof. Peek and like-minded antiracist scholars would do well to avoid the kinds of unthinking rhetorical flourishes that help keep the racist atrocities of America’s territorial settlement shrouded in a much more problematic darkness of their own. – Will Grannan-Rubenstein OC ’14

Film Screening Commemorates Indigenous Women To the Editors: The Indigenous Peoples’ Day Committee will sponsor the movie For the Next 7 Generations at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Oberlin Public Library. It takes viewers on the journey of 13 indigenous grandmothers as they travel around the globe to promote world peace and share their indigenous ways of healing. Coming from all four corners of the world, these 13 wise elders, shamans, and medicine women first came together in 2004 at a historic gathering. Moved by their concern for our planet, they decided to form an alliance: the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. Facing a world in crisis, they share with us their visions of healing and a call for change now, before it’s too late. Through their teachings, they light a way to a peaceful, sustainable planet. This movie was directed and produced by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Carole Hart, who passed away on Jan. 5, 2018. It was narrated by actress and activist Ashley Judd. The score is by Emmy Award-winning composer Peter Buffett. Furthermore, there is an Oberlin connection. Carole Hart’s nephew, Aaron Englander, was an Oberlin College student and instrumental in starting the Farmer’s Market using vegetables grown at Jones Farm, located on the farmland between East Lorain Street and Oberlin-Elyria Road. Carole and her husband, Bruce, also wrote and produced many Sesame Street songs, including the title song “When We Grow Up,”“Helping,” “It’s Alright to Cry,” and “Sisters and Brothers”. Many children grew up singing these songs on Saturday mornings. More information about Carole Hart will be shared at the Library. Questions? Contact Jean Foggo Simon at – Jean Foggo Simon Member, Indigenous Peoples’ Day Committee

Allies Must Commit to Active Work Instead of Mere Reaction Continued from page 6

September, hundreds of Oberlin community members met in solidarity in response to the decision to end protections for Dreamers. Obies for Undocumented Inclusion continued the momentum with multiple allyship trainings. And less than one week into her time at Oberlin, President Ambar published a letter officially supporting undocumented and DACA students at Oberlin. So many immigrants and community The Oberlin Review | February 9, 2018

leaders have started and led efforts to oppose national threats. Allies, where does this leave us? Our choices are to either get involved or stay silent. Our ability to choose whether to engage in or turn away from these issues is inherently privileged. Undocumented people and immigrants are forced to confront injustices every day. Allies cannot simply show up for reactionary responses. The work must be continually creative, looking beyond the present to ensure lasting systems of support.

This semester, do something. Teach citizenship classes in Lorain. This would be a perfect opportunity to understand the contributions of immigrants in Lorain and the challenges they face — a necessary step in thoughtful activism. Attend the OUI Undocu-Ally Training on February 17, contact your representatives, or join a campaign like Movimiento Cosecha, which supports DACA recipients and mobilizes their supporters. At the very least, know your facts and engage honestly and

meaningfully with immigrants. In today’s political climate, many issues demand attention. National political forces may feel turbulent and unreachable, but committed allies can make a tangible difference in our community. The past year and a half shows that inaction is too costly an option. Following the examples of undocumented students and immigrants, get involved this semester. The work is critical, and opportunities are endless.


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Layout, art, and text by Lucy Martin, This Week Editor

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A r t s & C u lt u r e

ARTS & CULTURE February 9, 2018

established 1874

Volume 146, Number 13

Alum’s Pulitzer-Winning Opera Presents Dark, Twisted Plot Julia Peterson Arts & Culture Editor

Editor’s note: This article contains discussion of human trafficking, violence, sexual assault, and suicide, as well as spoilers for the opera Angel’s Bone. Pulitzer-winning opera Angel’s Bone, which ended its Oberlin run on Wednesday after five sold-out performances, offers no easy answer for complex social issues. The opera follows a struggling suburban couple, Mr. and Mrs. X.E. (Conservatory sophomore Shawn Roth and doubledegree sophomore Alexis Reed, respectively), who discover two angels in their backyard (College junior Chloe Falkenheim and double-degree fifth-year Nicholas Music), and choose to exploit the angels for their own gains. Librettist Royce Vavreck and composer Du Yun, OC ’01, weave a chilling contemporary narrative that strikes a particular chord here in Ohio, where nearly 200 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2017 alone. The opera focuses on the humanity and the banality of Mr. and Mrs. X.E. as they commit horrible acts against the angels. Du Yun was intentional about choosing to compose a piece about a social topic to harness the power of art, making the topic more resonant to the audience than it would be if it were only presented with facts and figures. “Art is experiential,” she said after Tuesday night’s performance, where she saw the Oberlin production for the first time. “The fact that we just spent 85 minutes together in the same room where we see these breathing creatures come about has so much more power ­— if the work is OK — than reading about a paper. And this is what art’s power is in society. … I remember when I was a student at Oberlin. You stretch so much to do better, to be a better person. But sometimes you lock yourself in a practice room and you’re thinking ‘what the heck? What am I doing? I want to solve the world.’ And you feel like the world is not listening to you. But I think that gradually, you understand the power of art.” In early scenes, the angels have a childlike optimism. Then, in a moment that sets much of the tone for the rest of the performance, Mrs. X.E. demands that her husband “prune” the angels. Her facility for getting others to do her dirty work plays out many times throughout the story. This scene is particularly striking in its use

Cast members perform in Angel’s Bone, a contemporary opera about human trafficking composed by Du Yun, OC ’01. Photo courtesy of Yevhen Gulenko

of the opera chorus. As Mr. X.E. cuts off the angels’ wings, the chorus stands at the front of the stage. The first time his knife goes down, they break sticks, to the effect of breaking bones. The second time the knife goes down, they throw feathers out into the audience. After the third time, the chorus members have smeared their faces with blood. “I think the work that the chorus does is so sensitive and so specific, and it’s so moving,” said Assistant Professor of Opera Theater Christopher Mirto, who directed and produced the show. “I think a lot of my favorite moments happen between the lines, in a way. I think some of the moments that happen while other people are singing are my favorite moments, because I think it adds humanity and texture to the play’s world and to the characters.” Mrs. X.E. reinvents herself into a twisted sort of evangelist, offering “angels at your service” to anyone willing to pay. Some of the people who pay for time with the angels want to look at them, or draw them, or be held. Some are physically violent. Some commit sexual assault — as does Mrs. X.E. Mr. X.E. remains complicit in the angels’ exploitation even as he expresses misgivings. In quiet moments, he gives the angels back some of their feathers — never enough to allow them to escape, only enough for a moment of hope. “There are certain moments of kindness, even if it’s twisted and dark, and an understanding that the reality of violence is a lot more complex,” Falkenheim said. “It’s twisted in with kindness.” In composing Angel’s Bone, Du Yun chose to showcase voice types not

traditionally found in opera theater to add dimension to the plot. At the bleakest point in the opera, Falkenheim’s character “Girl Angel” sings a punk aria. “There’s punk as this moment of rebellion,” said College first-year Megan Grabill, a member of the production’s dramaturgy team. “[Girl Angel] is trying to break free from human trafficking and reclaim her identity, and a lot of punk is that struggle for identity.” Eventually, Mr. X.E. has a change of heart and brings a bag full of feathers to the angels so that they can rebuild their wings and escape. But the angels do not understand what he wants from them. “In the past, when [Girl Angel] has gotten feathers from Mr. X.E., usually something bad is about to happen,” Falkenheim said. “She is resisting doing anything bad, anything that was like some of the things that have happened to her before.” Mr. X.E. desperately tries to show the angels how to put their feathers back by stabbing them into his own arms. Then, he stabs himself through the heart with the angel feathers, killing himself. “Mr. X.E.’s suicide, I think, is massively heartbreaking because of how resolute he is in his decision to kill himself when he sees what he has done to these poor creatures,” Conservatory first-year and assistant director Charlotte Maskelony said. “I hope that people take away that there is no discernible, clear line between good and evil in this production. … I think we can agree that Mr. X.E. is not a completely evil man, but he does these horrible things to people.”

After the angels flee, Mrs. X.E. attempts to manipulate the situation again, spinning a false narrative of how her husband forced her to participate in exploiting the angels. The media falls for it completely. The opera ends with Mrs. X.E. as a famous, wealthy woman, pregnant with the child of the angel she assaulted, free of the husband she never loved. “I think that at the end of the play, Royce [Vavrek] and Du Yun pitch this thing where Mrs. X.E., for all intents and purposes, wins,” Mirto said. “So that’s where the opera lands, and you could ask the question ‘but at what cost?’ But then the lights go out, and I think there’s something really, really difficult about that.” For Reed, this ending is needed to carry the message of the opera. “I believe it has to end the way it does because it’s so important for people to realize that there are no happy endings in situations like this, and the bad people do win,” Reed said. “That’s why this opera is so centered on the traffickers rather than the people who are being trafficked. It’s about finding the moments where you can connect to their humanity and realize that this is a problem in everyday life. It’s not just these horrendous villains who do these awful things. It’s anybody.” Bringing a surreal operatic interpretation to a very real crime like human trafficking raises many questions about the roles of art in awareness and activism. College senior Sarah Blum, cochair of Oberlin Unbound, Oberlin’s antihuman trafficking student organization, spoke to how Angel’s Bone navigated its way through these critical conversations. “Any presentation of human trafficking that is simple isn’t good enough,” Blum said. “Human trafficking is so multifaceted, and frequently in representations of it, they fall back to stereotypes of violence, and a male trafficker and a female victim — things that when you look at the statistics aren’t always what plays out. And because we’re presented this one image, we’re not prepared to see what’s real, because it doesn’t match. And I think Angel’s Bone does a good job. They do have a male victim, and they have a good selection of perpetrators. I think they do a good job in that way. I just think, whenever I see a presentation of human trafficking, there’s always the fear that people will take it and say ‘that’s the only way it can be.’ And there’s so many different ways it can be.”

Typhoon’s Fourth Album Boasts Wrenching Narrative, Charged Politics Christian Bolles Editor-in-Chief

“Listen. Of everything that you’re about to lose, this will be the most painful.” This sentence is spoken with slight variations — not sung — exactly three times in eight-piece indie rock band Typhoon’s latest album, Offerings. The words bear the distinct voice of frontman Kyle Morton — almost desperate, approaching tears. It’s an appropriate affectation given the trauma of a severe teenage case of Lyme disease that led to multiple organ failures. Here, this history lends Morton a deft touch for handling the possibility of death with unique aromanticism. That sensibility is lucky for listeners; across the album’s nearly 70-minute sprawl, there is consolation in the quiet moments, when the swelling strings and aching chords melt away to the “irreducible certainty,” in Morton’s terms, of a fond memory. Despite Offerings’ melancholy premise — a concept album sung almost entirely from the perspective of a man losing both his memory and his life — that certainty is 10

Morton’s main concern. As the world wilfully forgets its history and every day seems to take us further into chaos, he asks, what remains when we strip everything away and let ourselves sit in this incomprehensible present? In his ambitious search for the answer, Morton frames the Bannonite obsession with disorder as a modern-day sacrificial ritual wherein memory is annihilated on the altar of Trumpism — but to see the album as nothing more than that would be to miss half the point. Almost every line of Offerings can be read with either a narrative or allegorical eye; through one lens, it is the tale of a man in a downward spiral, and through another, a call to memory before our humanity is lost. “This is the wine / Drink, untrouble your mind with it / Don’t you remember / When knowledge was tied to a consanguine kindness?” Morton sings on the love-minded “Beachtowel.” He’s referencing a tender moment in the protagonist’s past, sipping wine with a towel-wrapped partner while he ices her injured ankle, but he is also accusing the audience of excising compassion: “No, you cut it all out with the scalpels of doubt / You know this was your failure.” The use of this

fictional memory encourages the listener to identify similar moments in their own past, seeking to undermine the deeply present reality of fear and anger. Ultimately, this is the album’s thesis, but without piecing together all those razor-sharp shards of commentary, you wouldn’t know it; it’s all nested in a story so masterfully told that it stands alone. For an album often reduced to a swirl of fragmentary motifs, Offerings is reassuringly structural in its approach to the story of its nameless protagonist. The runtime is split into three movements and one epilogue: “Floodplains,” in which he wakes without memory; “Flood,” in which his past starts leaking through; and “Reckoning,” in which it all comes crashing down, followed by “Afterparty,” a conclusion too pitch-perfect to spoil. Though it’s technically accurate to use the pronoun “he” here, the album actively plays with gender, letting the protagonist and his wife bleed together as the walls of their identities break down — a dynamic most prevalent in the string-heavy “Coverings,” where the crystal-clear vocals See Offerings, page 13


Stephan Moore, Sound Artist

Stephan Moore is a sound artist currently teaching at the Sound Arts and Industries program at the Northwestern University School of Communication. He creates compositions through improvisation and technological innovation for ambient sonic environments, dance, and theater performances. From 2004–10, Moore toured with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as a musician and a sound engineer. He is a member of the Wingspace Design Collective and a past president of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology. He has curated several shows, including In the Garden of Sonic Delights at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and The Ears Have Walls at the VGA Gallery in Chicago. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Sound Artist Stephan Moore Photo Courtesy of Stephan Moore Interview by Kate Fishman Staff Writer

Can you tell me about the evolution of your career in music and sound art? I think sound artists come from two directions. Either they’re visual artists who want to incorporate sound into their work, or they’re people like me who started out as straight up dotsand-lines-on-a-page composers, and then just ended up wanting to do things that were further and further afield from where that music traditionally goes. And I think there are a lot of interesting and adventurous ideas within the realm of music composition that are happening now. That’s all kind of loosening up and getting broader, but I think sound art liberates you. You can end up having pieces that have sort of an infinite duration, pieces that never have to start or end. I’m interested in creating systems, and creating the rules that those systems have, or collaborating with materials or collaborating with people to create those rules and systems. I did my undergrad in regular music composition at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, [MI]. The conservatory setting for electronic music — which is what I was studying there — just didn’t all fit together. The place was so focused on performers and virtuosity, and there didn’t seem to be a lot of space for people who had just weird ideas about making sound like I was interested in exploring. At that point in time, I hadn’t really discovered the art context for sound. It wasn’t anything my teachers had ever taught me, so I ended up having to kind of stumble on it by myself. While I was in Baltimore after dropping out of Peabody, I was doing a few different jobs, and I picked up a gig teaching sound technology at the Maryland Institute College of Art. [My] interactions with those students were really eye-opening for me. I was like, “Oh, wow. These are my people.” I felt like I found my home, and the folks I wish I’d been in school with. Now the job I’m teaching is not in a music department, it’s in a film department, and it’s specifically in a program that calls itself Sound Arts and Industries, and it’s a one-year Masters program where students can come and get a deep dive into the world of sound and all of its applications. We have people who want to do podcasting, we have people who want to do film sound design and film scoring, people who want to do sound research work or sound studies, media criticism type work, as well as people who want to be sound artists. That’s the group of folks I’m teaching with and working with right now, and it’s not at all in a music context, and that’s really refreshing. The Oberlin Review | February 9, 2018

Can you talk a bit about how collaboration informs your process and what you do? There’s sort of an old adage — something about how composing is really a lonely phase. You spend a lot of time at your desk. And I’m a much more social creature, so the kind of work that requires me to sit alone in a room for long periods of time is not really what I want to do. I think collaboration is my way of getting out of that. I like making music as an improviser. It’s a real interactive thing where you’re kind of getting to know each other through communicating in sound. I did do a lot of improvisational performance. And also when you’re working on theater pieces, or dance pieces, necessarily there are a bunch of different people who hold the vision of the piece in their head, and those visions are always diverging. So you need a person who’s the director, who chooses, and then everybody has to fall in line with that. But a good director will kind of look at those diversions as they’re happening and consider them and, as opposed to sort of stubbornly sticking to one vision, will kind of farm out the piece to these brains they have assembled, and I like being part of that kind of a team. Sometimes I get to direct. Usually I’m very happy to be the person kind of solving the sound problems and throwing those ideas forward. Is there anything new happening in the sound art world that’s particularly exciting to you right now? Is there anything you’re planning to try that you haven’t done yet? There are two ways to answer that. One is just on the level of technologies and ideas — I think that sound artists always seem to leverage whatever’s happening in the culture. So as our handheld devices take on new capabilities, we’ve seen headphone technologies and speaker technologies become cheaper and higher-quality. We’ve seen all kinds of interesting sensors get built into [phones]. I think that people are always taking advantage of these new technologies. There’s kind of an explosion right now in geo-locative sound, which is sound that is responsive to your location through your phone. There’s a company now called Detour, which is doing these very sort of slick, commercially produced sound walks through cities, where you have the headphones on and it’s giving you the history of the neighborhood. These walks have been created for Detour and they’re selling them on a website that’s kind of like a business model. It’s very strange because it takes it, to me, out of the realm of sound art and kind of into the museum guided tour, in a way. But they’re pretty creatively done. But there are a lot of artists who are taking similar technology and using it to decorate a sound with space, and I’ve been eager to try a large scale geo-locative piece. I have a couple ideas for where that might happen, but I feel like that’s always the province of sound art and the arts in general. As soon as there’s a new thing to try, a lot of people grab it and become early adopters and try to use it. The thing I’ve noticed in the world of sound art overall that’s been really exciting is just that there is so much recognition of it right now in traditional institutions. Just last year there was a huge and really wonderfully

curated, wonderfully put together show at the [SF]MOMA, called Soundtracks, I think. It was a number of really great sound art pieces by a number of really great artists. That was kind of the first big show of that kind in the U.S. since the 2013 Soundings show at [the New York] MoMA, which was similarly scaled but maybe not as successful in how it was put together. This last year, I think up until a few weeks ago, there was a huge show at the Rubin Museum in New York called The World is Sound that focused on the intersection of sound art and Buddhism, because it’s a Tibetan and Buddhism-focused museum … really prominent artists, really interesting work. The Museum of Art and Design had a big show that was all soundfocused work. The stuff they show tends to be more on the crafty side of things, so it kind of liberated them to do a very different sort of show with some pieces that were strictly fine art, high art, but then also … a room that was basically a bunch of really creatively designed synthesizers by different synthesizer companies, so that was very much an industry room. They had a room which was a bunch of sound art and fashion intersections. They were taking it in different, broader directions than some of the more strictly-art museums will. I have a show that I co-curated up right now in Chicago at a place called the Video Game Art Gallery, which is a place that focuses on the intersection of the fine art world and the independent video game maker world. They do shows on a variety of different topics. I curated a show that was all about the creative use of sound as interface in games, and I feel like everywhere you look there’s just a lot of these shows going on right now. Whether it’s a fad — I think that’s sort of a popular way to talk about it, “Oh, sound is all the rage right now, it’s a fad,” whereas there’s a lot of sound work that hasn’t been shown that’s really exciting work that people find really engaging, and it’s having its moment in the art world right now. Whether it’s kind of a fad and it goes away for a while, or whether this just makes it something that’s sort of a natural thing that becomes an ambient part of every show, I think it’s just an interesting set of developments. I haven’t done a real statistical analysis of this, but anecdotally I just have the sense that there’s a lot more sound art being shown now than any other time previous, so that’s an exciting moment to be in. Do you feel that sound art holds the same power in documentation — like film and recording — as it does in experience? I think piece by piece it’s different obviously, but if I were going to make a blanket statement about that, I feel like the answer is definitely not. So much about what I think inspires sound artists, and many artists — you can’t talk about them as a herd, you know — but I think what inspires a lot of people is that experiential feeling of being in a particular space and experiencing the sounds coming at you the way they do. [For example, in a piece by Annea Lockwood] the hair stands up on the back of your neck. You’re sitting on a bench or laying on a hammock and these amazing clouds of sound are just rolling at you out of the bushes. You can’t see where anything’s coming from.

And some of them are actually quite threatening, and really have some growl to them, and others come in like a mist and just sort of float through. To be there and to feel how it works in the space, they really composed it and mixed it for that space. They actually sat there with a computer and set levels and did mixing with the set-up in the underbrush. It wasn’t like they made it in the studio first and then just plunked it in the woods. I think there’s definitely something you can’t help but lose. On the other hand, if documentation is all we have, if you get documentation or you get nothing, I’d rather have the documentation. But to me documentation almost always pales in comparison. Sometimes you get really quirky, wonderfully made documentation that can stand on its own, in its own right as its own art piece, and then you have that — and it’s seductive to confuse that with the work. It’s always a separate thing, but for me since I’ve experienced the pieces, it jogs my memory of what the pieces were — to see the setting again, to hear the sounds again. I don’t really have the illusion that it preserves the piece. It really just preserves some of the ideas in the piece. And even though it’s not really enough, it’s better than nothing. What is the purpose of sound art for you? Gosh. What’s the purpose of a song you write? What’s the purpose of a symphony? What’s the purpose of a sculpture? I feel like these are all ways of getting at or expressing something that we can’t do just in words. For me it’s very much about sharing an experience of awareness — when I’m at my best as a human, I feel like my awareness is really plugged into the world around me. And I feel that with good art, I come away from it seeing differently or hearing differently or thinking differently about the world around me. It shares a perspective. More than anything else, it just activates us. I feel like that’s the kind of experience I want to be able to create. For me, there are places that sound as a medium in general allows people to go, where it’s hard to go [there] with any other medium. As a composer, which is how I first got into this world, I found that I could do some of that in music. But some of the conventions of music or the limitations of traditional music got in the way of getting to some of the experiences I wanted to have. And so that’s why I, without a whole lot of confidence at first but then with more confidence over time, started peeling away at some of those other trappings to get at what I wanted to make and do. Is there anything else that you want to say? I think the only thing I would add is how great it is to be here at Oberlin, and how grateful I am to Abby Aresty who brought me here, and to her colleagues. It was so nice to see the entire TIMARA faculty at my talk last night. I’ve been so many places where the faculty barely bother to show up to things, so it was so wonderful to see all of them there and participating and engaged. The facilities here seem fantastic, the program seems fantastic. I hope to get to talk to more of the students today. It’s exciting to be here. 11

A r t s & C u lt u r e

The Maids Delivers Stunning, Subversive Performance

College senior Eliana Meyerowitz directs a sinister production of The Maids, a play by Jean Genet that explores themes of oppression and violence.  Photo by Chandler Browne Ananya Gupta Arts & Culture Editor

The Maids, a richly sinister play by Jean Genet, opened Thursday night in Warner Main Space, under the direction of College senior Eliana Meyerowitz. The show follows the stories of Solange and Claire, two sisters living in 1940s France who work as maids for a socialite called Madame. At first, the sisters find cathartic release by staging illicit fantasies of liberation and revenge while Madame is away.

Soon, though, their innocent games take an alarming turn. The play demands some suspension of disbelief from the audience, but delivers on its thematic promise from start to finish. “Come with an open mind and a willingness to be taken by the absurd,” said College first-year Olivia Guerriero, who plays Solange. “You’re not going to understand all of it, but you’re not meant to,” added College sophomore Aly Fogel, who portrays Claire. “I think this show is really about the

essence you get from it and the feeling you get leaving, versus completely understand[ing] what’s happening all the time. I think everyone is going to take away something different.” The play is inspired by the criminal case of the Papin sisters, who were convicted for the murder of their employer’s wife and daughter in 1933. The court case garnered massmedia coverage, containing extensive descriptions of the sisters’ troubled background and the gruesome murders to which they confessed.

Meyerowitz’s rendition paints a similarly chilling picture of violence, sadomasochism, and other dark themes in a subtle — yet terrifying — manner. “It’s a bit like a horror movie, except you’re on the side of the scary people,” Meyerowitz explained. “Think about what parts of your life this play brings up. In what ways are you a maid? In what ways are you a Madame? In what ways are you neither? Also, it’s sexy. It’s really sexy.” The small cast transformed Warner Main Space into an immersive world that plunges the audience into the heart of class divides, privilege, and violent calls to freedom. The two sisters are outsiders — the discarded and unloved — and the play defiantly spotlights their desires. “[There are] a lot of themes about liberation, about self-hate, and working together towards liberation,” Meyerowitz said. “When I finally got to direct it and started analyzing it more, I really just fell in love with the way Genet looks at embracing being an outsider of society as something that’s almost holy and gives you a power [of ] its own.” These ideas of liberation will ring true with Oberlin students, as the 70-year-old play raises familiar questions and criticisms of privilege. “Especially at a place like Oberlin, as people pursuing further education and, for

a lot of the population of the school, [coming from] a higher economic class, we have to recognise in ourselves the parts that are Madame and the way in which our class, our education — our view of the world — affect the way we treat other people,” said College junior Catherine Potts, who plays Madame. Meyerowitz’s production illustrates the timelessness of the play, as the characters of the maids speak not only to issues of social class, but other kinds of oppression and alienation based on aspects of identity such as gender and sexuality. “I think the play is mainly about deviance and how it makes people feel when they’re outside the norm or oppressed in some sort of way,” Fogel said “I know the author ... was gay and that was very outlawed during his time, so I think the play is partially about that. It’s also about power struggles and class and freedom. I think that Genet wrote this while he was in prison so freedom has a really big message in the play. The maids want to be free of their roles, and also of the cycle of the game they keep playing. They want to break free from that.” Tickets are available at the Central Ticket Office in Hall Auditorium for Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in Warner Main Space; $5 general admission.

Lines of Inquiry Showcases Rembrandt’s Technique, Breadth of Etchings Ellis Lane A spectacular selection of Rembrandt’s work stars at the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Lines of Inquiry: Learning from Rembrandt’s Etchings. The new exhibition, which opened Tuesday, was curated in collaboration with Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, which hosted it last semester. Along with displaying examples of Rembrandt’s innovative printmaking, the selection also explores Oberlin’s personal history with these works, current digital projects, and innovations that are facilitating access to the works. Immediately upon walking into the AMAM, visitors are greeted by a video that introduces various 17th-century processes for papermaking, etching, watermarking, and printing that Rembrandt used to create his art. These explanations are a helpful introduction to Rembrandt’s famously technical etchings and allow viewers to explore the detail in the prints more deeply. There is also an interface that offers an introduction to the Watermarks in Rembrandt’s Etchings Project, an interface created from a collaboration between Cornell’s university museum and their electrical engineering department that attempts to simplify the process of confidently identifying watermarks in Rembrandt’s etchings. The hope is that this project will help reveal Rembrandt’s printing practices and allow for more accurate dating of his prints. “Rembrant prints still today — almost 400 years old, in some cases — they still remain resonant, and they still remain relevant from all different avenues of inquiry,” said AMAM Curator of European and American Art Andaleeb Banta. “Be it you’re interested in the artistic aspect, or the aesthetic aspect, but they’re also wonderful historical documents. They are also materially really fascinating. The video and the touch screen explain the concept of watermark scholarship in Rembrandt prints.” The exhibition proper is housed in the John 12

N. Stern Gallery and features a great breadth of Rembrandt’s work, including landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, study plates, etchings of pastoral and mythological lovers, religious subjects, and vignettes of everyday life. Some of the prints are so small and intricate that they are best viewed with a magnifying glass. “He’s such an interesting artist and printmaking is a specific kind of technique, etching is a specific kind of technique,” Banta said. “On top of that he was particularly masterful in his etching technique, so there’s a lot of layers for us to explore.” Lines of Inquiry already proves popular with the campus community. “I really like Rembrandt’s crosshatching,” College sophomore Kai Basler-Chang said. “I remember in art how difficult it is, and he does it so well.” Banta spoke to how the collaborative exhibition evolved to reach its current state and how she hopes that Rembrandt’s recognized fame will draw visitors to the museum this semester. “It was a project that took on different forms before settling on this one, which is focusing on Rembrandt prints in academic museum collections,” Banta said. “Almost all the loans that have come to us have come from academic museums. … There are certain things you would want in your collection, and a Rembrandt print is one of them.” Although Rembrandt remains popular and resonant in museum collections worldwide to this day, Oberlin in particular has a unique historical connection to the Dutch master’s work. During World War II, Oberlin housed the New York Morgan Library’s extensive Rembrandt print collections for two years. “There was a deep fear that New York might be bombed during the war, and that great treasures would go up in smoke, so the Morgan — along with other north East Coast museums — actually worked with museums located more in the interior to house certain things for them. So that story was kind of the kernel of the exhibition, but then we thought

there’s more to tell. That story is here. … But we expanded it to explore this idea of Rembrandt prints in academic museums, and how they have played a really important role for a long period of time in academic museums.” Along with Lines of Inquiry, two other new exhibitions are being hosted in the AMAM this semester: Handle with Care: Embracing Fragility and A Century of Asian Art at Oberlin: Japanese Prints. Handle with Care was organized by Olivia Fountain, OC ’17, a curatorial assistant in the AMAM’s Office of Academic Programs. For Fountain, one important aspect of these exhibitions is their integration into other parts of the campus community. “I’m really excited to see these exhibits integrated into classes,” Fountain said. “[Handle with Care] is very applicable today.” Handle with Care raises questions about what and who is deemed “fragile” in certain contexts, and why. The works included feature only contemporary artists, which Fountain said serves to “create a space for living artists.” A Century of Asian Art at Oberlin features a selection of the AMAM’s extensive collection of Japanese prints. These prints, whose origins span over 400 years, provide a glimpse at evolutions in Japanese art. “By happy coincidence, major donations of Japanese prints to the AMAM have roughly paralleled major movements in Japanese printmaking from the 18th to the 20th centuries,” wrote Kevin Greenwood, Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art. “This exhibition presents works by master printmakers from a variety of periods — a dual chronicle of this printmaking history and the growth of the museum’s collection.” Lines of Inquiry will remain in the Stern gallery until May 13, while both Handle with Care and A Century of Asian Art at Oberlin will be available for viewing until July.

ExCo Fair Showcases Community Interests

Students attend the ExCo Fair in the Root Room of Carnegie Building on Wednesday night. ExCos, or Experimental College courses, are taught by students, community members, and faculty, providing the campus the opportunity to teach, explore, and learn about areas of interest beyond the college classroom. Students signed up for a variety of classes, ranging from

“Alternative Schools of Economic Thought” and “Black Lives Matter: In the Sciences” to “ArmokCo: Dwarf Fortress,” “DisCo: A Disney History ExCo,” and “Sock Monkey Making.” Text by Julia Peterson Arts & Culture Editor Photo by Hugh Newcomb Photo Editor

Offerings Offers More Than Music Continued from page 10

of backup singer and violinist Shannon Steele, who co-wrote the song, provide an alternate voice for our narrator; “Every part of you I feel in me,” she sings. The album’s most accessible tracks are, unsurprisingly, its three singles, “Rorschach,” “Remember,” and “Darker,” all leaning heavily into Morton’s rock roots with surging guitar hooks and earworm lyrics. At the other end of the spectrum of bombast are three vulnerable acoustic tracks that eschew allegory in favor of unadulterated storytelling — “Algernon,” “Chiaroscuro,” and “Sleep.” Though they may be quieter than the rest, these songs pack even more of a punch thanks to Morton’s lessis-more lyrical philosophy, furthering the protagonist’s journey in startlingly moving ways. The rest of the album — give or take “Mansion,” a short interlude vital to the narrative but musically inessential — is gorgeously orchestral, almost gothic in its obsession with interrogating and drowning the banal. Gone are the scrappy, horn-punctuated stylings of Typhoon’s past; in Offerings, strings, guitar, piano, and voice contribute to a constant tonal grace note that earns the terrifying heights of its most existential moments, epitomized in the cacophonous conclusion of its penultimate track, “Ariadne.” That balance is reflected in the endlessly laudable lyrics, which somehow manage to avoid pretension despite

a heavy helping of varyingly obscure references to film and literature that will have most listeners turning to Google every now and then. In conversations about the album, the most talked-about of these is “Asa nisi masa,” a nonsensical phrase introduced as a mnemonic device in Fellini’s 8½ linking the protagonist to his childhood. Fifty-five years later, it makes three major appearances in Offerings as a chanted chorus. This is music that rhymes “Parthenon” with “Algernon” and “chiaroscuro” with “absolute zero”; a literary achievement, to be sure, but one that may have trouble reaching much of its already too-small audience. Deserving of a stadium, Typhoon must settle instead for intimate clubs. But if the past decade’s nigh-monotone array of performatively brooding indie rock bands can be likened to the rainyday weather they often like to associate with, then Morton and his crew really are a typhoon — larger-scale, mature, and much more devastating. So put on a good pair of headphones, turn down the lights, and let Offerings wash over you; this saga of memory loss is unforgettable. Even years after listening, some fragments might echo through your head, like Steele’s bittersweet adage on the disarming “Bergeron”: “You gotta learn how to live on an ever shorter tether / But if you’re good — even for once — it’s written you’ll be good forever.”

The Post Sheds Light on Media, Government Tussles Kirsten Heuring Staff Writer

If I had to pick one word to describe The Post, which is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, I would choose “relevant.” The movie revolves around the publishing of classified documents related to the hopelessness of the Vietnam War under the Nixon presidency and his administration’s attempts to stop these documents from being made public. Due to the depiction of paranoid, tyrannical leadership trying to silence news organizations, much of the movie resonates in today’s social and political climate and the struggle for freedom of speech. The movie begins as Daniel Ellsberg (played by Matthew Rhys), a government employee, witnesses the destruction and horror of the Vietnam war firsthand. As he returns to America and presents his findings to members of the Johnson administration, he hears Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (played by Bruce Greenwood) realizing an impending American defeat and the futility of the war. However, as soon as media reporters ask for his opinion on the outcome, McNamara proclaims that the war effort is going extremely well. Angered by this misrepresentation costing numerous American lives and resources, Ellsberg copies classified government documents on the Vietnam

War known as the Pentagon Papers and shares them with The New York Times. Meanwhile, Katharine Graham (played by Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, is trying to keep her paper The Washington Post alive and thriving. Though Graham is a woman in power, she is constantly pushed around by the men that dominate her company. Her Editor-in-Chief, Ben Bradlee (Hanks), picks up on the buzz of a big story at the Times, attempts to catch the source of the story to keep the Post up to date, and is eventually successful. When the Times faces legal trouble from the Nixon administration and the possibility of being shut down altogether, Graham has a decision on her hands: honor the newspaper’s role and hold the government accountable for its behavior regardless of the consequences, or bow down to censorship in order to exist at all. The main story, with its focus on protection of the free press, is not the only point of relevance. Throughout the movie, Katharine Graham has to deal with rampant sexism in her job. She is the only female newspaper publisher, and many of the men around her try to speak over her or inform her decisions. In one notable scene, Graham is the most prepared person in a finance meeting, but she is almost completely ignored by the men in the room. However, when it is time to print, her father’s legacy is at stake and

she, the owner of the paper, showcases a complete change in character. A female writer, Meg Greenfield (played by Carrie Coon), also deals with sexism. She is often put in charge of the editorial section, and is also forced to write pieces about weddings and shoes in order to cater to the female demographic. In the wake of the 2017 movements that attempted to spark a national conversation about women’s equality, this nod to women taking back their power on a daily basis is particularly timely. The main problem with this movie is its preachiness. In the hands of lesser actors, the comments Bradlee and Graham deliver on the importance of the free press or the lies of the government would be hokey and ruin the flow of the story. However, Hanks and Streep manage to make these comments on the free press sound admirable. The Post is not for everyone, and it is not perfect. If you do not want to be reminded of the state of affairs in the world and the fragility of the free press, or if you are not fond of period pieces, then you might want to see something else. The film’s occasional preaching to the audience on fairly obvious values of liberty may turn some viewers off. However, I do think it deserves the Oscar nominations which it has received. Though a tad on-thenose, overall it is a dramatic, captivating story which needs to be told, as a reminder of what our country stands for, rather than a novel announcement.


The Oberlin Review | February 9, 2018



Sandra Kibble, Student Athletic Advisory Commitee Co-Chair This week, the Review sat down with Student Athletic Advisory Committee co-chair and College senior Sandra Kibble. Kibble is co-captain and an ace pitcher on the varsity softball team and has been a member of SAAC — an organization that bridges the athlete/non-athlete divide and serves the community — for four years. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Interview by Alex McNicoll and Alexis Dill Sports Editors

What is SAAC? What do you do as co-chair? SAAC is the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and it basically works as a liaison between the varsity sports teams on campus and the athletic administration. As cochair, I lead meetings, help plan different events that we have on campus, delegate a lot of the work to the different officers, have to be on a conference call once a month with the full SAAC conference — which includes the SAAC from each school in the NCAC — and just make sure that I’m at almost every event. We focus a lot on service and were just awarded the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators Community Service Award, which is a pretty big deal. In the realm of that, a lot of our events focus around community service. We’ve done Helping Hands for 12 years, Track-or-Treat for four, Teddy Bear Toss for four, Buddy-

Up Tennis for three, and Play like a Girl Day for three. How does SAAC enhance the athletic experience? We make sure we schedule “hype games” for every team, which are planned events by our PR and communications officers and include some sort of giveaway before a big game — sometimes food or a shirt — that will attract a bigger audience. A lot of athletes say having a lot of people in the stands enhances their athletic experience. We also bring speakers to campus. We’re bringing Rachel McKinnon, a transgender cyclist and professor at the College of Charleston, on March 4. All of the athletes are set to attend, but it’s open to anyone, which will also help close the athlete/non-athlete divide. How else does SAAC attempt to close the athlete/ non-athlete divide? We try to have a lot of our

events on central campus now. We handed out our One Love shirts in Wilder in December. A lot of people wanted the shirts but didn’t make it out to the homecoming football game, so we wanted to make sure they could get them. We’re also looking to get more involved in social justice. Cochair James Tanford is one of the [athletes spearheading the] DIII athletics conversation. We’re really just looking to spark more conversation about things that might not always be talked about in athletics. This year the NCAC SAAC has a mental health initiative. What’s that all about? [College junior] Sarah Feinberg is abroad right now, but while she was president of the full conference SAAC, she wanted to bring in an initiative that would be one common goal between all of the schools. I’m not exactly sure what we’re doing for this,

College senior Sandra Kibble, Student Athletic Advisory Committee co-chair. Photo courtesy of OC Athletics

but we’ve considered selling orange shoelaces, since orange is the color for mental health, and maybe bringing in a speaker. We might tie in Rachel McKinnon with this initiative, since a lot of transgender people deal with mental health struggles. What are you most proud of having accomplished as a member of SAAC? Why do you recommend other athletes join? I joined SAAC my freshman year, and that’s when we started doing hype games. Molly Powers and Tristam Osgood started them, and I was really involved in that. There’s now a subcommittee in itself for it, which is pretty cool. I’m also pretty im-

pressed with what SAAC does now to try to close the gap between athletes and nonathletes. [James and I] talked to [President Carmen] Ambar about what we can do to incorporate more social justice. We’re just a lot more organized and doing the things we say we’re going to do. Others should join SAAC because if you’re passionate about athletics and making sure that student-athletes are in a good place, or if you’re passionate about mental health and helping athletes be healthy and happy in other ways, that’s why you join. It’s also a great way to give back to the community, especially for people who might not have another outlet for that.

Smith’s Gesture Symbolizes Oberlin Values, 50 Years Later

Former U.S. Olympian and Oberlin track and field coach Tommie Smith (center) raises his fist in racial protest at the Summer Olympic Games in 1968. Photo Courtesy of Associated Press Nathan Carpenter Staff Writer

The 1968 Summer Olympics produced one of the most defining images of the 20th century. After Tommie Smith and John Carlos, both representing the USA, placed first and third respectively in the 200-meter race, both men raised their fists to the sky in a symbol of Black resistance and an endorsement of civil and human rights on the global stage.


It was — and continues to be — an important moment in the history of the Olympics as a platform for politics and activism as well as exceptional athleticism. For members of the Oberlin community, it should represent even more than that. One of the most visible conversations at Oberlin last fall centered around athletics — specifically, the connections (or lack thereof ) between the athletic community and the rest of the campus. Often, this debate led to a perceived divide between athletes and activists: the narrative that you can either embody Oberlin’s intrinsic and historic legacy of political and social progress, or you can play sports. Anybody familiar with Oberlin’s athletic community — including myself — knows that there are athletes who commit themselves to bettering the world around them, both on and off the field. There is nothing that intrinsically divides athletics from activism — countless examples both at Oberlin and elsewhere remind us of that. There is perhaps no better time to reflect on the power of athletics — and, by extension, individual athletes — to make change in local and global communities than the Olympics. On Friday, the Opening Ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games will take place. The Olympics, in both historic and modern contexts, have merged athletics and politics in powerful ways. The lead up to South Korea has already produced a number of headlines significant to international relations — a common outcome of the weeks leading up to the beginning of either the summer or winter competitions. The Oberlin community has its own valuable connection to the political influence of the Olympic Games. However, as I’ve asked other students about this link, I’ve found that many of them are unaware of it. I only learned of it through an alumnus who graduated in the 1980s, and throughout this fall it seemed to me to be a missing connection in the ongoing dialogue about athletics and activism at Oberlin.

In 1972, Tommie Smith — the aforementioned gold-medal runner — became a track coach at Oberlin College. He came to the Midwest under duress of heavy public criticism following his demonstration in Mexico City four years prior. The International Olympic Committee had been one of the most vocal in opposing Smith and Carlos, maintaining the oft-repeated but always misplaced argument that sports and politics should not mix. Smith spoke about his experience at Oberlin in an interview published in the spring 2016 edition of Oberlin’s alumni magazine. He remembers his time here as a time of growth, saying, “I was underground at Oberlin and grew above ground before I left.” In order to fully engage with the conversation around athletics and activism at Oberlin, it is vital that we keep the stories of people like Smith above ground. During my time here, I’ve heard a lot about the athlete/non-athlete divide — but I’ve heard barely anything about Smith’s time at Oberlin, or his legacy of using sports to leave the world better than he found it. Oberlin’s history of activism must be evaluated completely, not in bits and pieces. I do not think that Oberlin has attempted to obscure Tommie Smith’s time on campus, but I also believe that his legacy is not fully recognized and celebrated by students. It’s an incredible piece of our collective history, a connection between our beloved campus and the outside world — a reminder that the distinction between sports and politics is not always adversarial, but indeed sometimes collaborative. Any conversation about the role of athletics at Oberlin is incomplete without mention of Smith’s contributions, both to the school and the world. As the Winter Olympics are set to begin, Obies should remember our legacy of engaging the connections between athletics and activism on a national scale. The harm committed by athletic culSee Olympics, page 15

Men’s, Women’s Track and Field Teams Impress Against Division I Programs

College junior Jahkeem Wheatley captures first place in the pole vault event in the Dan Kinsey Meet at Oberlin Jan. 12. Photo courtesy of OC Athletics Jane Agler Staff Writer

Despite being from the only Division III school competing at the Cedarville University Collegiate Invite, the men’s and women’s track and field teams emerged with third and fourth-place finishes, respectively. Head Coach Ray Appenheimer said that he was pleasantly surprised with his athletes’ performances considering the competition they faced. “It was really cool to get the opportunity [to com-

pete] against teams we never ever see,” Appenheimer said. “There’s always stuff to work on, but I was really impressed by that on Friday. We put [the athletes] on a bus for three hours to a place they’ve never been before and against teams they’ve never [competed] with before. I was really proud of them. We have a really resilient group of kids.” On the women’s side, highlighting the day were North Coast Athletic Conference Athletes of the Week junior Imani Cook-Gist and senior Annie Goodridge. Cook-Gist clinched the second-place

spot for the 60-meter with a 8.03 second finish — her best of the year. She later went on to help her relay team snag another second-place finish in the 4x200-meter relay with a team overall time of one minute, 50.72 seconds. Goodridge achieved a season-best performance in the long jump at 1708.25 meters, not only putting her in the first-place spot on the scoreboard but also at 26th in Division III. Goodridge also earned their team more points with a third-place finish in the triple jump. “[Winning NCAC Athlete of the Week] kind of came out of

the blue for me, because I had a lot more in me at that meet, and things weren’t exactly lining up,” Goodridge said. “When they announced it at practice, I said, ‘For what?’ because I had to take some time off this season. I’m happy with how it went, but I [feel like] I have more. I’ve been improving steadily but I’m hoping I’ll break through the wall in triple [ jump]. What I did [at Cedarville] was one of the best runways that I’ve done in my life. It’s nice to see that progress, but I’m looking to see what happens when I have more in me.” At the field end, sophomore Maya English tossed a 50-06.00 mark in the weight throw and earned second place and a total of 13 points. English credited her performance to both her work ethic and the competitive nature of the team that bonds them together. “I think part of the reason why it’s so great to do [track and field] at Oberlin is that it is very competitive. My teammates are my biggest competitors, but also my biggest support system. I hadn’t realized I even got second in that meet, because our approach to meets is more about selfimprovement. We focus more on ‘Where am I?’ and ‘Where do I want to be?’” On the men’s side, the

Eagles Stun League, Outlast Patriots in Super Bowl Jason Hewitt Columnist

If you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, you’d probably agree with me on this statement: It’s about time. All those years of suffering without a Super Bowl ring have finally resulted in triumph. Allow me to give you some perspective. The Philadelphia Eagles have existed since 1933, long before the Super Bowl began. The Eagles’ last championship run occurred in 1960. That’s right — it has been 58 years since they’ve been crowned as champions. There will be no more “ringless” jokes for Eagles fans to hear, now that they have a Lombardi trophy. Feb. 4, 2018 is a day that Eagles fans all over the world will remember for the rest of their lives. How did they do it? How did they overcome all the odds and defeat the mighty New England Patriots? Let’s get into it. The Eagles put up 41 points against Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. The final score of the game was 41–33. This game was as high-scoring as one would expect. What many didn’t expect was the phenomenal performance from Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who put up 373 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He even had a receiving touchdown. Yes, I am just as surprised as you are by those statistics. With that being said, it’s essential that the casual football fan understands that Belichick prides himself on defense. Sure, he has arguably the greatest quarterback of all time on offense who played phenomenally, but Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia consistently make sure that the Patriots’ defense plays physical and disciplined football. In last year’s Super Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons undoubtedly had the best offense in the entire league. The Patriots only allowed 28 points in that legendary comeback victory. The Eagles put up 13 more than the Falcons, which is difficult for any opposing team to overcome, even with Tom Brady as quarterback. The Oberlin Review | February 9, 2018

Another key component was that Belichick benched Malcolm Butler, one of the best players in the Patriots’ secondary. That certainly didn’t help the team, and it’s a mystery as to why he was benched. But Butler claimed that the Patriots “gave up on him.” Brady played a near-perfect game Sunday. In fact, he even broke a playoff record with 505 passing yards and three touchdowns, despite being 40 years old. Of course, there was no shortage of offensive from both sides in the shootout, as the teams combined for the most total yardage in playoff history with 1,151. The only drawback to Brady’s performance was his costly fumble late in the game, which was really his offensive line’s fault. Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham strip-sacked Brady from behind, and Derek Barnett, another Eagles defensive end, recovered the football. The fumble was ultimately the beginning of the end for the Patriots. After the Eagles padded onto their lead with a field goal, the Patriots found themselves down eight with no timeouts and under a minute to go. Even for the threetime MVP, the situation was too dire to overcome. On the last play of the game, Brady attempted a Hail Mary pass all the way down the field to tight end Rob Gronkowski, only for it to be batted down by a flock of Eagles. Moving forward, the Philadelphia Eagles definitely have decisions to make in the near future. Sure, Nick Foles won Super Bowl MVP, but what about NFL MVP candidate Carson Wentz? The Eagles could play both quarterbacks next year or they could trade one of them. But for now, the Eagles will cherish a beautiful Super Bowl victory. What an incredible Cinderella story to see. Just think: Backup quarterback Nick Foles defeated the all-time great Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. It’s as close to David and Goliath as you could possibly get. The Eagles should be a championship contender for years to come, assuming their extremely talented roster doesn’t change too much from the free agency period. The same thing applies to the New England Patriots. For now, the city of Philadelphia and Eagles fans all over the world can celebrate their victory at last.

Yeomen contributed to their fourth-place finish through the efforts of juniors Chauncey Simmons and Grant Sheely. Simmons’ 46-10.25 performance in the weight throw bought him the fourth-place spot, adding five points to the team’s overall efforts. On the track, Sheely finished sixth in the mile with a career-best performance of 4:27.83. In the same vein of career-best performances, senior Owen Mittenthal clinched the seventhplace spot in the 800-meter with a 2:01.78 time, surpassing his previous personal record in the event. When asked about the team generally, English responded, “We all compete on a very high level, and I think that is part of what pushes us as individuals. I think we definitely set the standards high — not just for ourselves, but also for each other. And I think that is such a great environment. Even when you are down on yourself and not doing your best … I never really feel too down on myself because I know I am playing a part in a bigger picture.” Qualifying athletes will compete at the All-Ohio Championships tomorrow, while the rest of the team will go head-to-head against Baldwin Wallace University tonight at Harrison Dillard Field House in Berea, Ohio.

Olympics Present Opportunities Continued from page 14

ture on our campus is certainly not to ignored — as we have learned over the past semester, there is great room for the athletic community to become more welcoming and inclusive, and there are many who are committed to making that growth a reality. However, the potential that sports has to facilitate social progress must be acknowledged as well. Today, Tommie Smith is 73 years old. He no longer runs in Olympic races or coaches at Oberlin College. His image, though, will live on in the efforts of all those who seek to use athletic excellence to make the world a better place. All athletes and non-athletes would do well to learn from his legacy — particularly those of us whose communities have had the privilege of learning from people like Smith on an intimate level. During these next few weeks, athletes at Oberlin can spend some time reflecting on the Olympics, Tommie Smith, and how their communities can be used for the betterment of campus as a whole — and non-athletes can think about how sports can be used as an ally, rather than an enemy, to their own social justice goals. With this spirit of collaboration, and by keeping examples like Smith in mind, I believe a harmonious link between two groups — though sometimes it seems like two cultures — can and will be found.


SPORTS February 9, 2018

established 1874

Volume 146, Number 13

Cleveland Baseball Logo Ban Long Overdue Alexis Dill Sports Editor

Junior center Olivia Canning takes it to the basket in a 77-55 win against Wooster Jan. 31.

Photo courtesy of OC Athletics

Yeowomen Set Wins Record Against Kenyon Alex McNicoll Sports Editor

The Yeowomen broke both the 15-win program record set by the 1998–99 team and the record for North Coast Athletic Conference wins Wednesday, besting their rival Kenyon College Ladies in a 47–39 defensive battle. At 16–6, and 11–2 in conference, the Yeowomen — who are riding an eightgame win streak — stand third in the NCAC with just three games to go in the regular season. Head Coach Kerry Jenkins, who has spent 10 years with the program, recognized his team’s resilience in a game where both teams could not get shots to fall. “It was a tough conference battle,” Jenkins said. “Both teams played really hard. It wasn’t a high offensive production game, but defensively both teams locked and got aggressive. I’m really proud of our players for just sticking with it and being able to gut it out in the end.” Right from the tip-off, both defenses were stifled; the first quarter ended with the Yeowomen leading 10–9. Offensively, however, the Yeowomen could not get into rhythm. Junior guard Alex Stipano, who leads the NCAC in points per game with 14.7, went just 1–7 on the game, scoring only four points. Perhaps their only saving grace came from the free-throw line, in which junior center Olivia Canning — who led the team with 15 points — went 7–7. However, after opening the second quarter with a 13–6 run, the Ladies entered the halftime with a 25–20 lead. While the offense lagged, Stipano credited the team’s resilience and defense to the win. “We went into the game really wanting the win,” Stipano wrote in an email to the Review. “Although our offense was struggling a bit, we managed to execute our defensive principles very well, which allowed us to come out on top.” It was not until there were almost seven minutes left in the game that the Yeowomen were able to regain the lead off a layup from Canning, holding it for the first time since early in the second quarter. From there, the team was able to take control, leading to a decisive 47–39 win. Despite shooting 30 percent from the floor, their holding


to a season-low 27 percent shooting percentage represented the work ethic that the Yeowomen have maintained from last season’s NCAC tournament semi-final exit. Sophomore forward Maggie Gross said that the strength of Wednesday’s game against the Ladies could not have been developed without their winter break run. “Yesterday was a really important game, and the team stepped up to the challenge,” Gross said. “We really came together on defense and we did what we needed to do down the stretch. This was a result of a lot of hard work during Winter Term.” Entering Winter Term 6–2, the Yeowomen closed out the calendar year at the Pikes Peak Holiday Classic in Colorado Springs, CO. Although they dropped both games — first to the Illinois Wesleyan University Titans 72–52 and second to the Colorado College Prowlers 67–58 — the Yeowomen then turned to dominate a 14-game stretch, winning nine games, six of which were against conference opponents. While breaking the program wins record may have been a historic milestone, Jenkins believes that his team has set their sights on the greater goal of winning a conference championship. “I think they’re really focused on the conference tournament and pulling out some victories late in the season,” Jenkins said. “Of course, they know it’s there, but they aren’t too fazed about what it means. This team has really high expectations.” The Yeowomen now prepare for their matchup against the Wittenberg University Tigers tomorrow at 1 p.m. in Philips gym, which will begin a three-game stretch of NCAC matchups leading up to the tournament. “We treat every game the same,” Jenkins said. “It doesn’t matter if we’re playing Wittenberg in our conference or [the Alfred University Saxons] out of conference. Right now, we’re just laser focused on our objective. They are just locked in to what their abilities are and what they can accomplish. As a coach, it’s just fun to watch — the toughness, the resilience, the comraderies. Regardless of if we achieve our goal, I’m extremely proud of this team.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Jan. 29 that Cleveland baseball will stop sporting the Chief Wahoo logo on uniforms after the 2018 season. The cartoon caricature, first featured on players’ caps and jersey sleeves in 1948, has sparked controversy since the 1970’s. The statement, which read, “the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball,” appeared to have split baseball fans and others into two categories: “racists” bummed by the news and “soft liberals” offended by the fact that the logo ever existed in the first place. Neither side is more correct than the other, and being able to understand and appreciate both sides of an argument is a skill that most of us need to learn. Tribe diehards — disappointed in the decision agreed upon by Manfred and club owner Paul Dolan — are not insensitive toward Native Americans and their culture. To refer to them as such is simplistic. On the other hand, baseball — although difficult for me to admit — is just a game. Fans have no right to tell a group of people what should or should not insult them, especially when a significant number of these fans have never been demeaned or oppressed because of the color of their skin or the nationality they were born into. Surely as a lifelong Cleveland resident I am a bit biased, but I believe Clevelanders make up one of the most passionate and proud fan bases in the country. I saw firsthand what it meant to Clevelanders when hometown hero LeBron James ended the 52-yearlong sports curse that had branded our city the “Mistake on the Lake” and the “Factory of Sadness.” I see it every Sunday in the fall as ardent members of the Dawg Pound paint their faces orange and brown and cheer on a team that has not won in 17 contests. We take pride in who we are and the history that brought us here. Many Tribe fans do not view Chief Wahoo as racist, despite his buck teeth and oversized nose, because light was never shed on how derogatory the logo truly is. Truthfully, I only recently realized how necessary it is to replace it. I was eight years old when my parents, both Lorain County natives, bought me my first baseball cap. It was navy blue with a Chief Wahoo patch on the front. I grew up idolizing ’90s Tribe legends Omar Vizquel and Roberto Alomar, and throughout their years of beautifully turned double plays, Chief Wahoo appeared on the team’s uniforms more frequently than the C for Cleveland or I for Indians. My childhood heartthrob was the promising Grady Sizemore — the stud leadoff hitter and centerfielder for the club from 2004–11. When people you respect and admire support or do something, naturally you tend to think it’s not only ok but right, even if it is not. While saying farewell to Chief Wahoo does pull at my heartstrings a little bit, I understand that this is a change that is long overdue. Cleveland has been known to have a very classy ball club that does things the right way, especially now under the leadership of Terry Francona, one of the most well-respected managers in professional baseball. Cleveland fans need to look at the bigger picture and accept the change gracefully. Bravo to Manfred and Cleveland’s ownership for agreeing to remove the logo from uniforms. Times are changing, and I’m proud that my team is pioneering a movement that may result in changes to other organizations, like the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Redskins. For those who have been offended by the organization’s logo or are angered by Tribe fans sad to see it go, please forgive us for our passion for our home team’s history. Cleveland fans, let’s be honest with ourselves. All we want is to win the World Series. Who cares what our logo is as long as we get to flood the streets of Cleveland and show the world why “Cleveland Rocks” — like we did in 2016 for the Cavaliers?

Febrary 9, 2018  
Febrary 9, 2018