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The Oberlin Review

FEBRUARY 10, 2017 VOLUME 145, NUMBER 14

Local News Bulletin News briefs from the past week FAVA Executive Director Retiring The Firelands Association for the Visual Arts board of directors announced Monday that Executive Director Betsy Manderen will retire at the end of April after more than 23 years of service to the nonprofit arts organization. FAVA’s board has identified a search subcommittee and plans to fill the opening. While at FAVA, Manderen coordinated gallery exhibits, events, fundraisers and grant-funding projects. Nord Center Confidential Advocate On Campus A confidential advocate from Nord Sexual Assault Services will be on campus this semester to meet with students. The advocate, Melissa Counts is trained in supporting those who have experienced sexual assault and harm. She will be available twice a week on Wednesdays and Thursdays in Peters G24. Any experiences or information shared with Counts will not be reported to the College. She can also be reached through the Nord Sexual Assault Services hotline at (440) 204-4359. Potluck and Presentation at Peace Community Church Peace Community Church is holding a potluck dinner tonight at 5:30 p.m. At 6:45 p.m., Dr. Alan Lockwood, a board member of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, will give a lecture titled “Protecting Health on a Warming Planet.” The meal will be served downstairs in the church’s Community Room, and the talk will be upstairs in the sanctuary. After the presentation and conversation with Lockwood, Communities for Safe & Sustainable Energy will have its annual meeting, which is open to the public. CSSE works in opposition to the NEXUS pipeline, which is planned to pass through Oberlin.

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Administrators, Unions at Odds on Cuts Melissa Harris, News editor Eliza Guinn, Staff writer In the aftermath of the College’s campus-wide staff buyout program, custodians, administrative assistants and Campus Dining Service workers face insecurity and have voiced con-

cern over the continual elimination of staff positions and potential work overload. Last spring, the administration created the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, which was intended to save the College money by replacing veteran staff members with younger,

lower-salary employees. VSIP grants each outgoing employee a year’s salary for early retirement. Through the program, 21 of the 59 members of the United Auto Workers, which represents custodial and CDS employees, and 32 of about 190 administrative assistants of Oberlin College Office and

Jeff Mazze at Mudd library is one of the remaining custodial staff members after many took the College's staff buyout program. Twenty-one members of his union, UAW, left their positions at the end of 2016. Photo by Rick Yu, Photo editor

See Downsizing, page 4

Agave to Reopen Under New Ownership Alexis Dill The doors of Agave Burrito Bar & Tequilaria will swing open later this month when the downtown staple returns under new management. On Jan. 25, Nikki and Jon Stipp purchased Agave from previous owner Joe Waltzer, OC ’98, who has owned the restaurant since 2003. Waltzer said he was ready to move on after 19 years as the owner of both Agave and Black River Cafe. “I’ve been here doing this for 19 years, and didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life,” Waltzer said. “I meant to leave when I graduated, but ended up last minute running restaurants.” Now, having stayed in Oberlin for years after graduating from the College, Waltzer said he wants to finally live out his goals of traveling post-college and is unsure what his next job should be. “Basically I’m going to do what I was planning when I graduated,” Waltzer said. “Traveling around, visiting friends, I really don’t know.” Jon, 32, was born and raised in nearby Berlin Heights, Ohio, before moving to Hermosa Beach, CA, in 2009 to cook for a gourmet taco restaurant. It was there that he met his wife and business partner Nikki, a 31-year-old Los Angeles native, while the two were in a band together. According to Nikki, the two immediately bonded over their passion for the culinary industry, in which they both have over 10 years of experience cooking, bartending and dishwashing. When the two moved back to Ohio in 2013 and had their first child, Augie, now 3 years old, they looked into buying Agave.

Former Agave Burrito Bar and Tequilaria owner Joe Waltzer, OC '98, (left) stands outside of the burrito bar with new owners Nikki and Jon Stipp and their son Augie. The couple will reopen the restaurant the week of Feb. 20. Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo editor

Nikki said that purchasing Agave was an easy decision for her and her husband. "We immediately fell in love with not only the restaurant for its awesome food and vibe, but the town of Oberlin itself,” Nikki said. “The history and culture, the music, the art. … It was a no-brainer that we had to become a part of it." Although the couple was thrilled with the new opportunity to run Agave, a few weeks before officially purchasing the restaurant they ran into prob-

Credits Cashed City Council will now allow city residents to choose whether they wish to keep their monthly energy credit funds.

Professional Employees accepted the buyout, creating a significant number of job vacancies on campus. “We’re working on trying to make sure that we have a balanced budget that protects the key priorities, and that may mean we have to make some changes,” President Marvin Krislov said. “The VSIP program was in part designed to help provide some flexibility in the budget.” Still, UAW and OCOPE employees are worried about the reorganization and increased workload, both of which have been an issue for the two groups since employees recently retired. OCOPE President Tracy Tucker, an administrative assistant for the Politics department, said that 11 of the 32 OCOPE vacancies have been eliminated. She said she still does not know what will happen with the remaining vacancies and has mostly been met with silence from administrators. She said that administration will probably try to save by "eliminating some positions ... and filling a few with [temporary workers] making only $14 per hour with no benefits."

Reaching New Heights Rock climbing flourishes at Oberlin.

Hid-den Venue Biweekly variety show opens in tiny shed.

See page 2

See page 14

See page 12

INDEX:

Opinions 5

This Week in Oberlin 8

Arts 10

Sports 16

lems with the retail space. A water heater exploded in the building and damaged the ceiling and the dining room floors. Nikki and Jon also had to update parts in the back of the restaurant in order to comply with current regulation codes. A new floor was installed in the kitchen and a fresh coat of paint was applied to the walls. Despite the renovations made, Nikki assured See New, page 4

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Community, Council Mulls Divisive Renewable Energy Credits

The Oberlin Review, February 10, 2017

National Political Climate Inspires Push for Legal Aid Sydney Allen Production editor

John Elder speaks to City Council at its meeting Monday night concerning the city’s Renewable Energy Credits. The council voted to let citizens return their rebate to the Community Choice Fund. Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo editor

Olive Sherman Oberlin residents will now get to decide for themselves how their share of the city’s Renewable Energy Credits should be spent. Following a divisive resolution made last August to redistribute 85 percent of the $2.6 million the city earned in Renewable Energy Credits to the city’s ratepayers, City Council decided Monday night in a unanimous vote to create the Community Choice Fund, which ratepayers will be able to return all or part of their rebate to. RECs are certificates that prove a one megawatt-hour of electricity was produced with renewable energy. They can be bought and sold on the open market. Since the 2014 fiscal year, Oberlin has received 80 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and has generated $2.6 million by selling RECs to other cities also in need of renewable energy. According to Oberlin Finance Director Sal Talarico, ratepayers will have a choice as to whether to keep the money — averaging about $7 to $9 a month saved per homeowner — or return it to the Community Choice Fund. The Community Choice Fund will go towards projects in the city’s Climate Action Plan, such as transportation, green buildings and waste management. “It’s been difficult because people felt so strongly, and those two opposing viewpoints have been difficult to pull together,” City Councilmember Sharon Soucy said. “But the [Community Choice Fund] is part of that now, and I hope we satisfied both perspectives.” The other 15 percent of the REC’s money will remain a part of the Sustainable Reserve Program, a fund run by the Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System and the Oberlin Utility Office, which support electricity efficiency and conservation in Oberlin. The Sustainable Reserve Program is largely funded by the sale of RECs. “Because [RECs in the Sustainable Reserve Program] are received into the electric utility, they are further restricted to be used within the scope of the electric utility,” Talarico said. “So that’s why

[they] come with a lot of strings. … We can’t use them for all of the things we want to use them for.” In order to improve communication between city officials and residents and to publicize the Community Choice Fund, City Council also hired a public relations firm called the Impact Group for $77,000 that will come from its 2016 budget. In the packed council chamber, many residents showed up to protest against the public relations firm, along with many who showed up interested in events for Black History Month. During the council meeting, Councilmember Sharon Soucy suggested that the city create a committee including city officials and residents to vet and prioritize the project proposals for the Community Choice Fund. Former Oberlin College Director of Libraries Ray English, however, believes that if the city goes through with the community choice program, it must decide what the money will be used for before they ask people to give money back. “It’s my view that more money will come into the choice fund if the ratepayers know what their money will be used for,” English said. “I have a lot of experience in donor relations from working with the [Oberlin College] libraries, and I know donors want to know what their gift will be used for, specifically.” The ordinance now must be approved by the Auditor of State’s Office. The first utility bill to accept Community Choice Fund donations will be in July 2017 and donations will trickle in for the rest of the year. The city will have a better sense about where money will be awarded in 2018, when they know how much money it has to spend. “I’m excited about the program,” Talarico said. “I would encourage [Oberlin College] students to encourage the administration to participate. It’s going to be a big number for the college, but I would encourage everyone to participate because the benefits will help generations to come. When we benefit the community, it benefits every member, whether it’s the College, the small businesses, the large businesses, the churches, the city government — we’re really in a partnership here.”

The Oberlin Review ­— Established 1874 —

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February 10, 2017

Published by the students of Oberlin College every Friday during the fall and spring semesters, except holidays and examination periods. Advertising rates: $18 per column inch. Second-class postage paid at Oberlin, Ohio. Entered as second-class matter at the Oberlin, Ohio post office April 2, 1911. POSTMASTER SEND CHANGES TO: Wilder Box 90, Oberlin, Ohio 44074-1081. Office of Publication: Burton Basement, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. Phone: (440) 775-8123 Fax: (440) 775-6733 On theOn web: thehttp://www.oberlinreview.org web: oberlinreview.org

Editors-in-Chief  Editors-in-chief Tyler Liv Combe Sloan  Allegra Oliver Kirkland Bok Managing editor Samantha Kiley Petersen Link News editors Rosemary Melissa Boeglin Harris  Alex LouisHoward Krauss Opinions editor WillSami Rubenstein Mericle This Week Weekeditor editor Izzy ZoëRosenstein Strassman Arts editors Daniel KaraMarkus Brooks  Victoria Georgia Garber Horn Sports editors Jackie McDermott Quinn Hull  Madeleine Darren O’Meara Zazlau Layout editors Abigail Tiffany Carlstad Fung  Amanda Ben Garfinkel Tennant  Alanna TaliaSandoval Rodwin Photo editors Parker OliviaShatkin Gericke  Photo editors Brannon Rockwell-Charland Bryan Rubin Online editor Rick Alanna Bennett Yu

Student senators are campaigning for the College to provide free legal aid to students who need it by fall 2017. The push by Senate began in fall 2015 but has recently gained increased urgency with the Gibson’s Bakery arrests and Trump’s immigration plans highlighting the need for litigation services on campus. “How can you expect to be a full-time student and have a healthy mental health, academic performance, etc., while trying to come up with thousands of dollars to retain an attorney?” said Josh Koller, College junior, Student Senator and Legal Aid working group co-chair. The Legal Aid working group, originally founded in fall 2015 by Koller and former Student Senate Liaison Megs Bautista, OC ’16, sent out a survey to students last spring asking for student input on potentially creating legal services for students on campus, following up with a forum in April 2016 to share the results. According to the survey, a significant majority of students hadn’t gone through an experience when they would have made use of the service. However, they would overwhelmingly accept the service if the option was available. Of those who said they had gone through some type of litigation experience during their time at Oberlin, all responded that it impacted their educational, social or emotional well-being in a negative way. Over the next few months, the working group hopes to identify an attorney that the College might be able to keep on retainer starting this fall. The attorney would ideally be able to represent students charged with misdemeanors, felonies or violations of immigration law. Like most programs on campus, the main obstacle at this point is funding. Any funding for the project will likely come from private grants and organizations or directly through student funds. Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo noted that while the College will not and cannot provide legal services for students, it is still able to provide legal referrals in a less official capacity. Business manager Maureen CurtisCoffey Cook Business manager Savi Sedlacek Ads manager Caley Watnick Ads manager Reshard el-Shair Online editor Hazel Galloway Production Bamert Production manager manager Sophia Ryanne Berry Production staff Stephanie Bonner Production staff Victoria Albacete  Emma Eisenberg Sydney  Taylor Allen Field Giselle Glaspie  Katherine Hamilton  Auden JuliaGranger Hubay  Tracey Knott Courtney Loeb  Noah Morris Emily Peterson  Anna Julia Peckham Peterson  Silvia Sheffield KendallDrew Mahavier Wise Distributors Bryan Rubin Distributors Joe Camper Ben Steger Joseph Dilworth Mason JamesBoutis Kuntz

“The College is not able to provide legal advice to individuals or fund individual legal assistance,” Raimondo wrote in an email to the Review. “However, students seeking information about potential legal resources are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students office, where staff are happy to help find information about referrals and resources.” Although the lack of College funding is frustrating to some students, Koller said it’s possible that students could be allocated more money if it comes out of student activity funds. “This is an interesting case where it might actually be better to not have this come out of the College's pocket,” Koller said. “There could potentially be more constraints if we use College money on this, so using student money — even if it’s Student Activity Fund money — could allow us a little more leeway and allow us the opportunity to represent more students.” For Student Senators and working group members, finding funding for legal aid means a semester filled with grant writing and bargaining with various funding groups on campus. “Our first step was grant writing — looking to private individuals to see if they could fund this,” Koller said. “And then our secondary ideas are to ask for money from the Student Activity Fund and then to actually ask students.” The working group estimates that it would cost about $30,000 per year to keep an attorney on retainer and provide them with an office on campus. The group would ideally like an attorney from the greater Cleveland area to be on campus once a week for six hours to provide in-person legal services to students. This could also potentially provide work for students interested in assisting in litigation. If the group is unable to secure any grants or private contributions, they plan to look to the student activity fund. The $30,000 estimate would be about 2.5 percent of the fund’s total budget. Working group members estimate that this process could begin as early as March or April. If all else fails, Student Senate may ask students to approve a $5 tuition hike per semester.

Corrections: In "FirstCorrections Permanent Exhibit of African Art Opens at Allen" (Feb. 3, 2017), The the Review articleiswrongly that not awarestated of the exhibit is the first permanent any corrections this week. African art exhibit at the museum. No exhibit is considered permanent. The Review strives to print all In addition,asthe donation that douinformation accurately as possible. bled the feel museum's African art an collecIf you the Review has made tionerror, occured in 2011 instead of please send an e-mail to 2015, Alexandra Gould graduated in 2011, managingeditor@oberlinreview.org. not 2012, and the March 2 panel will take place at 5:30 p.m., not 5 p.m.


News

The Oberlin Review, February 10, 2017

Page 3

Off the Cuff: Michael M. Lederman, Professor of Medicine Dr. Michael M. Lederman is the Scott R. Inkley Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals/Case Medical Center where he is also a professor of biomedical ethics, pathology, microbiology and molecular biology. He is a member of the American Association of Immunologists, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the HIV Medicine Association and a councilor of the Clinical Immunology Society. He is on the editorial boards of AIDS, the Journal of AIDS and Clinical Immunology. Lederman has been engaged in HIV/AIDS research since he and Dr. Oscar Ratnoff first identified AIDS-related immune deficiency disorders in otherwise healthy men with hemophilia in 1983. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Can you explain what your research on hemophiliacs and HIV/AIDS showed? What we’ve showed is that the AIDS agent was likely to contain these contaminated plasma products, and I think that was important to recognize. And it wasn’t the only work that suggested that blood was a means by which HIV or AIDS could be transmitted, but I think it was important in alerting the community that that was going on. Have you seen the social attitudes towards HIV/AIDS change over the past 35 years? It’s been amazing. In the beginning there was fear, there was anxiety and there was some level of revulsion because this was an invariably fatal disease. As more and more people got to know people with HIV, there was much more sympathy for friends who were ill. And as this became a much more treatable disease, a lot of the revulsion went away. It was truly amazing to see how people’s attitudes changed. You know, in the beginning it was really scary because people were scared. People were

Friday, Feb. 3 12:58 p.m. Safety and Security officers and members of the Oberlin Police Department responded to a motor vehicle accident in the Stevenson Dining Hall parking lot. There were no injuries. Insurance information was exchanged between drivers. 9:31 p.m. Officers responded to a complaint of an odor of marijuana on the second floor of Burton Hall. Upon entering, officers found a bag containing a substance consistent with marijuana and that the smoke detector was covered. The bag was removed from the detector; the baggie was confiscated and turned over to the Oberlin Police Department.

about a cure. If you search Pathogens and Immunity on Google, it’ll get you to our website. It’s free, open access and it provides the opinions of a number of leading AIDS researchers about the likelihood of a cure. I think it’s pretty far away — it’s a moonshot. But I think doing research is good. In terms of a vaccine, I think we’re getting there. There are a couple of strategies that are looking good.

anxious. People were afraid of one thing or another. And that gradually changed with time and dissemination of truth, dissemination of the facts. People changed attitudes. How have you seen scientific work around HIV/AIDS evolve? In the beginning [of the HIV outbreaks], for me, I was just starting my career. For people of my generation, this was such a compelling thing to do. The seriousness of this became clear within a year or two. The importance became clear, and getting involved in a new field of investigation when you’re a young researcher is a real opportunity because old fields are populated by these old guys who established their reputations and are pretty fixed and entrenched in their things. A new anything is an opportunity for a young investigator and people of my generation jumped for it. And all the best [immunodeficiency doctors], the best oncologists, the guys who were really energetic were attracted to the field. All the best fellows in training wanted to do HIV. What are some of the best ways to protect against acquiring HIV/AIDS today? Safer sex, [Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis], and if your partner is known to be infected, make sure he or she is on therapy. That’s what works. Other things are more experimental. People who are interested in getting engaged in those experiments can call us. We have this infusion trial of one of these neutralized monoclonal antibodies, but in that study not everybody gets the antibodies. Some people get saline, which is the right thing to do to see if it works. But the things that I mentioned — safer sex, use of condoms; if you’re a male and you’re not circumcised — getting circumcised cuts down on your risk. There’s also getting pre-exposure to prophylaxis. If you’re unaffected, it’s expensive, but it does allow 60 to 80 percent protection. And if you’ve got a partner who’s known to be infected, make sure he or she is on suppressive antiviral therapy.

Dr. Michael M. Lederman has researched HIV/AIDS since 1983. With Dr. Oscar Rotnoff, he has traced AIDS-related immune deficiency disorders in hemophiliacs, contributing to the confirmation of the blood-transfer of AIDS.

Why was it so difficult to find an effective treatment for HIV/AIDS when it first emerged? It wasn’t that difficult. We actually did pretty good. Six years after the syndrome was first identified, we had an effective but not durably effective treatment, and that’s pretty damn fast. And I’m not saying it wouldn’t have been better if we did it faster since a lot of lives could have been saved. We’ve all lost a lot of people we care about to this. But I think on balance, it was pretty much a success story. Also, it was Rock Hudson’s death that mobilized the Reagan administration, because apparently, he was a friend of the first family. What I think this emphasizes is that people don’t pay attention to things until it gets closer to them, and the death of a friend — the illness of a friend — was enough to mobilize the Reagans to pay attention.

What are some key things to be alert about with HIV/AIDS in the present political climate? Well, one thing is that there’s a lot of debate in our society about what it means to have access to health care. Some of us feel that all people in our country should have access to health care. Some people feel that healthcare is really a business, and that a business model should be applied to health care. I happen to disagree, and I’ve been fortunate enough to work in a field — HIV care — that has been exceptional, meaning that the [Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program] has allowed me to provide care to my patients whether they have money or not. In the beginning, my hospital let me do that, but then, if it weren’t for the Ryan White legislation, I don’t know what my hospital would’ve done. People who don’t have HIV and don’t have money have a lot of trouble getting access to care, and that’s, in my opinion, why President Obama’s [Affordable Care Act] was so important. Now, if the [Republicans] want to do away with it, they should be thrown in jail; but if they want to fine-tune it, I’m all for it, because it’s not a perfect legislation, but it’s a start. I think what we need to do is have society where there is access to healthcare to all who need it. And that’s not just for HIV, that’s for everything. Interview by Melissa Harris, News editor Photo courtesy of Dr. Michael Lederman

How close are we to finding a vaccine? A cure? There’s an opinion piece in our journal Pathogens and Immunity, which I authored with some friends that talks

11:16 p.m. Officers responded to a report of an odor of burnt marijuana on the first floor of Kahn Hall. The smoke detector was bagged, and contraband was observed in plain sight on a table. A substance consistent with marijuana, a scale, a glass bong, a glass pipe and two grinders were confiscated and turned over to the Oberlin Police Department.

3:15 p.m. Staff reported the theft of $250 from a wallet in an unlocked locker in the men’s locker room at Philips gym. 11:56 a.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at Goldsmith apartments. Tobacco and marijuana smoke in the room set off the alarm. The area was cleared and the alarm reset.

Saturday, Feb. 4

Sunday, Feb. 5

12:48 a.m. An officer on routine patrol observed a large, unauthorized party at a Village Housing Unit on Woodland Street. Contact was made with the residents, and the party was dispersed. 9:01 a.m. Officers responded to the report of a water leak in the second floor bathroom of the King Building. The water supply line to a toilet was shut off. Facilities Operations staff responded to repair the toilet.

2:13 a.m. Officers assisted an intoxicated student sleeping in a bathroom on the second floor of Burton Hall. The student was awakened, was able to answer questions asked and walked to their room for the night. 6:00 p.m. Officers responded to a fire alarm on the first floor of Talcott Hall. Smoke from the hot oil set off the alarm. After officers were unable to turn off the alarm, an electrician responded for

repairs. 11:20 p.m. A student reported the theft of their bicycle from the Science Center sometime between Friday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 4. The registered bicycle is a black Urban AdvenTours.

Monday, Feb. 6 8:30 a.m. An officer on routine patrol of the Science Center observed damage to the beverage cart; sections of the cart were broken.

Tuesday, Feb. 7 4:55 p.m. Staff conducting a room check in Dascomb Hall discovered a smoke detector covered with a clear plastic bag. The bag was removed. There was no evidence of anything being burned.


News

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The Oberlin Review, February 10, 2017

Downsizing Signals Broader Fiscal Constraints Continued from page 1 Vice President of Finance and Administration Mike Frandsen confirmed that the administration ultimately decided that a number of vacancies created by VSIP would not be refilled to save money. “A number of VSIP-related vacancies will not be replaced as well as some other vacancies,” Frandsen wrote in an email to the Review. “We are looking at all areas for opportunities for saving and also for increased revenue.” Beyond VSIP, the College is undergoing further downsizing. As of Jan. 17, four additional administrative assistants faced position eliminations. Two of the four were part-time employees who worked at the College for over 20 years but were unable to apply for VSIP because the program requires staff to work full-time. As a result, they were released without the opportunity to receive the same benefits as those who opted for VSIP. In direct response, the College made a list of alternative jobs on campus available to them last week. “As of now, they have not taken into consideration that the faculty number has not decreased,” Tucker said. “The number of [administrative assistants] has decreased by their elimination. The service to the students is going to suffer. The ability to assist faculty in their daily needs to teach and do their research — that’s going to be a stumbling block for them as well.” If position numbers continue to drop, members of UAW and OCOPE will be doing the same amount of work with fewer employees. “One of the main concerns with the custodians is the workload,” said Milton Wyman, chairman of Oberlin’s UAW and a member of the Oberlin College Facilities department. “Anyone who works a weekend day is supposed to carry a radio and answer any calls on campus. … If you’re going from where you’re supposed to be to clean up something on the other side of campus in an unfamiliar place, you can lose an hour or so.” Although the cuts are part of a larger and ongoing effort to save the College money, OCOPE Vice President Diane Lee said that the most effective way for the College to reduce its debt is not by eliminating administrative as-

sistant positions. “When you eliminate a lot of positions that don’t make a lot of salary, it takes a lot of position eliminations to reach your goal,” Lee said. “One of the positions that was eliminated, the combination of that person’s salary and benefits totals less than some departments' breakfast budgets. You know, doughnut money, party money.” Wyman also questioned where these cuts are happening. “We’re squeezing nickels and dimes out of these positions, but if an administrator loses a secretary, they’re replaced the next day,” he said. “So when you think about it, that’s a necessity, but giving students services isn’t?” CDS workers are also facing overwork and employment complications. According to Wyman, Bon Appétit, the company that manages CDS, can hire up to 15 part-time workers to cut labor costs. But the company has been unable to retain those workers, in part due to poor treatment by management, forcing full-time workers to work overtime. This, in turn, actually raises labor costs because overtime salaries are less cost efficient. “Bon Appétit is the one sinking the CDS ship,” Wyman said. This is not the first time that CDS has faced problems with employment. In October 2015, Director of Dining Services Michele Gross spoke on issues of increasing retirements and hiring that echo the present staffing dilemma. “There’s just an unfortunate set of circumstances with people retiring,” Gross said to the Review in 2015. “It’s very unusual for us to have this many people that we have to hire at once.” Part of the College’s current debt stems from renovating the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, which houses The Hotel at Oberlin. Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov said that after studying the Oberlin Inn, he and other administrators concluded that it did not make sense to simply refurbish it. “The Hotel is both an educational place and a convening place, but it’s also doing much better at attracting business,” Krislov said. “Sometimes it takes a while to get everything in place; I’m told that sometimes it takes three years for a new hotel to really hit its

stride, but the Inn had become a huge liability. People were not coming to Oberlin, people were not staying there. It was a real problem, and we couldn’t get people to come for conferences, people just flatly said no.” Frandsen said that the College borrowed $18 million for the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center project, the minimum amount of money required to complete the renovation. Krislov also said that the College did go into some capital debt in building the Hotel, though Frandsen declined to share precise numbers. “Given our goals for activity there, we expect that in the long run it will have a net positive impact, financial and otherwise,” Frandsen wrote in an email to the Review. “It is already gathering positive publicity.” Though the Hotel has put the College into further debt, administrators insist it is part of an effort to generate revenue through avenues other than tuition. These attempts to creatively generate profit are concurrent with broader budgetary decisions like VSIP and other administrative cuts. Tucker explained that once the College decided to cut personnel, various administrators arranged a task force to review which positions to eliminate. Lee and Tucker were members of the task force to uphold OCOPE contract protections for their members. However, Tucker said that the ultimate decision to lay off the four assistant administrators was made by administrators without an OCOPE vote. “Mike Frandsen and [Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences] Tim Elgren made these decisions,” Tucker said. “There was no vote from anyone on the task force. OCOPE didn’t give our approval to eliminate our own positions — that would be against everything we stand for.” Elgren agreed in part, saying that although the final decision was an administrative one, it stemmed from discussion with the task force. “The final model emerged from this broad consultation with the task force and discussions with me,” Elgren wrote in an email to the Review. “The final decision on the restructuring model was mine.” Tucker and Lee said that administrators so far have not answered ques-

Rathskeller recently shut its doors for weekday lunches, marking one of many cuts to address the College's budget deficit.  Photo by Rick Yu, Photo editor

tions regarding a plan to address these cuts or potential future problems. “In the task force, we had continually asked the question … what is the goal you’re getting at by eliminating or combining these positions?” Tucker said. “They never did, in all the meetings that we sat in. They never provided that information. We still don’t know the dollar figure they’re saving by eliminating those jobs.” Tucker continued to say that the differences in procedure and attitude pertaining to staff eliminations are due to a new administration, which Lee criticized for being out to touch. “The people that are running Oberlin are not Oberlin people,” Lee said. “We have a lot of Oberlin grads in our union. The administration I don’t think does.” These budget cuts ultimately reflect the College’s strained financial situation. With the school’s main source of revenue coming from tuition, more cuts down the line are seemingly inevitable. Oberlin’s Strategic Plan even concedes that something is eventually going to give. “We do not have the financial resources to continue to increase our discount rate — that is, the portion of tuition provided as financial aid from institutional resources,” the Strategic Plan, which was published last spring in line with the announcement of the VSIP, reads. “The 2005 Strategic Plan called for the College to reduce this rate in order to achieve greater financial stability. We have gradually done so . . . while si-

multaneously maintaining our strong commitment to meeting 100 percent of the demonstrated need of all admitted students. ... These two important goals are pulling in opposite directions.” The Plan also acknowledges that by reducing payout from the endowment, it “reduces the flow of funds available to support current operations.” Krislov said that part of the Strategic Plan’s implementation process is figuring out the most efficient ways to make cuts while continuing to meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial aid needs for admitted students. “There are going to be things we do because they make sense in terms of the way we function, and there will be some things that make sense in terms of prioritizing our resources,” Krislov said. “And there’s some programs and some things we may do for both those reasons because it makes sense and because it may save us some money. We’re trying to really engage in very full discussions about the ways to do it. A lot of that is happening through the Strategic Planning process.” In the meantime, people who hold positions related to the College’s daily operations are growing increasingly frustrated by the administration’s downsizing decisions. “We keep being told, ‘We have a business to run,’” Tucker said about the administration’s approach to College management. “The human element of the College has kind of been removed. It’s not the place that it used to be. There’s new administration. Loyalty doesn’t mean anything here.”

Former Student-Athlete Faces Felony Charges New Management Louis Krauss News editor Former College student-athlete Hannah Tyburski is facing felony charges for her involvement in a 2015 murder case that resulted in the death of her older sister. Hannah was in the midst of her spring semester of sophomore year in 2015 when her mother, Janet Tyburski, was charged with suffocating her sister, Rachele, at their home in Lakewood, Ohio. Soon after, Janet allegedly picked up Hannah from Oberlin to assist in moving the body of the deceased sister to a field in North Ridgeville. Hannah has since been indicted for tampering with a corpse, a crime that can carry up to 36 months in prison. The case has been ongoing since the 26-year-old’s death. Most recently, a county judge in Elyria, Ohio approved $1,000 for a private investigator to look for additional evidence in the case on Jan. 30. In December, Janet pled not guilty on the basis of insanity for her aggravated murder charge. Mental health experts for the prosecu-

tion have deemed her competant to stand trial, The Chronicle-Telegram reports. Because Janet’s trials have been repeatedly pushed back as her lawyers search for evidence, Hannah has been forced to wait on the court’s deliberation for her charges. According to Hannah’s lawyer, Kevin Spellacy, the trial has led to her staying at home most of the time. Spellacy said he hopes Janet eventually accepts the initial charge. “It’s been a very difficult situation for [Hannah],” Spellacy said. “She’s basically waiting for her mom to do the right thing, and that’s to plead guilty.” Spellacy did not say whether Hannah plans to return to Oberlin or is attending a different school, but he believes she will move on to something else once her mother’s charges are settled. “Hannah is a bright and articulate young lady with an incredible future ahead of her, but her life is at home until her mom makes a decision,” he said. “[Janet] had some psychological issues, I guess, and those haven’t turned out in her favor, so it’s time to step up to the plate. One daughter is dead, why ruin the other’s life?”

Hannah was also a member of the College’s volleyball team in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons, starting in 23 games and receiving North Coast Athletic Conference Honorable Mention awards both years. Players and coaches declined to comment on Hannah or whether they had been following her situation. Rachele, who was living with Janet at the time of her death, also had a 4-year-old son. Although the trials are approaching the two-year mark, Spellacy added that patience is important when dealing with murder charges. “Eventually it will come to a head, and we’ll hopefully resolve Hannah’s case,” Spellacy said. Janet’s lawyers declined to say what evidence led to the investigator hire or what they anticipate will happen at the next trial session. “I can’t say what’s going to happen at the trial, but we do the best we can for our clients,” said Nick Hanek, one of Janet’s three lawyers. “When we’re defending someone, we try to get a not guilty.” After completion of the investigation by Janet’s team, her next trial is set for April 11.

Renovates Agave Continued from page 1

that Agave will remain the classic burrito bar it's been for years. "Agave has a great burrito bar concept and affordable drink menu,” Nikki said. “Why mess with such a beautiful combo? We aim to continue to live up to Agave's impressive reputation.” She also promised to follow in Joe's footsteps by providing natural, healthy ingredients that come from local meat sources. The only changes to the menu will be new specials, she added. Nikki is excited to continue Agave's traditions while also adding her own spice. "I am personally really excited to become a part of the community and keep Agave's reputation as a cool, comfortable hang-out with great grub,” Nikki said. “We are pumped to implement some of the events that Joe used to do, like openmic night, games, trivia and movie night. We also plan to eventually roll out a rad happy hour menu and some fresh, handmade vegan churros!" Agave is expected to open the week of Feb. 20, pending the delivery of crucial kitchen equipment.


Opinions The Oberlin Review

February 10, 2017

Letter to the Editors Stalinist Left Attempts to Silence Free Speech To the Editors: As much as those on the left see Trump as a Hitler in the White House, moderates like myself see the left as wanting a Stalin in the White House. In Stalin’s Soviet Union, speaking the truth resulted in a prison sentence — perhaps even execution. In a Stalinist manner, the left uses political correctness to silence free speech and dissenting thought, even willing to use violence against anyone who differs from them.

In Stalin’s Soviet Union, the people believed the government was lying to them and government propaganda was printed in the newspapers. Except for the leftists in this country, the people didn’t believe what Hillary Clinton was telling them during her campaign, and they also believed the newspapers were reporting lies and exaggerations about Donald Trump. I don’t believe those who voted for Trump were trying to put Hitler in the White House; I believe they were trying to keep Stalin out of the White House. – Bob Gross Oberlin visitor

Students Demand Administrative Transparency Andrés González Kai Joy Contributing writers Oberlin’s administration has a transparency problem. The administrative body and the Board of Trustees have continuously left students out of both mundane and critical decisionmaking, and students are often first made aware of these decisions when physically confronted with them. The tuition hikes, the official repudiation of demands created by ABUSUA, the dismissal of Professor Joy Karega, renewal of business relations with Gibson’s Bakery, refusal to divest from the private prison industry and the continuation of a no trespass list of community members are all examples of administrative decisions that misrepresent student interests. The Board of Trustees has had a direct influence on these decisions. After Student Senate presented the Board of Trustees with a letter signed by representatives of major student groups demanding the presence of a student on the board, the notion was flatly rejected. Instead of publicly engaging with the community at large, the trustees held a two-hour meeting with Senate, which Senators left feeling frustrated because of questions answered in roundabout or unsatisfactory ways. Student Senate is the voice of the student body. This complete disregard of our voice should not be normalized. It is unacceptable. When these bureaucratic avenues fail us, we must push back. We have come together as

Students Building Community Power because just like people across the United States, we feel a looming sense of insecurity. The future of everything from Planned Parenthood to the National Foundation for the Arts is insecure. Equal protection under the law is insecure to the point of being non-existent for poor people and people of color. With so much insecurity on a national scale, we are owed, if nothing else, the right to feel secure and supported by Oberlin College. We as SBCP have laid out first steps for implementing this change in a petition currently circulating online. The four demands we have laid out are as follows: First, we demand the presence of six students on the Board of Trustees, one of whom should also be on the executive committee. The other five would be on different trustee committees. The Board of Trustees convenes four times a year. In between those meetings, various subcommittees work together to manage what the trustees consider to be the pressing needs of the institution. The most important is the executive committee. Our first demand is formulated to ensure that students have a direct say in the highest form of governance in Oberlin’s hierarchy of power. Second, we demand the creation of a student general committee that meets with the president on a weekly basis to give students a consistent platform to explain their needs to the administration. The com-

mittee would function as an open forum in which students could air grievances or suggestions directly to the president of Oberlin College. This body would convene once per week and be open to all students. This keeps an explicit link open between the president and the student body, ensuring that the administration is accountable to us. Third, we demand student liaisons to all of the 11 senior administrators who support the president in managing Oberlin. Each administrator would be required to maintain an open line of communication with their respective student liaison and provide updates on administrative decisions. Having students involved in key advising positions gives us a better understanding of how different processes work and allows us to work with administrators to more effectively accomplish the goal of running the institution. Furthermore, it would give students insight into how to effectively appeal decisions we believe to be unjust and establishes transparency. Finally, we demand that Student Senate act as a centralizing platform for student activism. Senate must become a place of collaboration for student organizations on campus. It is time to stop viewing Senate as a powerless bureaucratic facet of the administration. Instead, we must hone the potential political power that our student senators can wield. While this demand is directed at Senate, it is intended See College, page 7

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

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The Oberlin Review Editors-in-Chief Tyler Sloan Oliver Bok Managing Editor Kiley Petersen Opinions Editor Sami Mericle

College Must Engage Community on Cuts Administrators constantly state that the College’s current financial model is unsustainable. Expenses exceed revenue, mostly generated from an increasing tuition, and the situation will likely continue to worsen without concrete steps on both sides of the balance sheet. In part, structural reasons beyond the College’s control have worsened the financial situation. Health care costs continue to rise, and the endowment — smaller than many of our peer schools — took a big hit during the 2008 recession, a setback from which it only recently recovered. But this financial crunch is not just the result of bad luck. The College has spent and borrowed millions on projects such as The Hotel at Oberlin, a project seemingly tangential to the mission of the College. In a time of fiscal constraint, it is concerning that so much money has gone toward shiny new buildings over more pressing items like financial aid or faculty and staff compensation. Though capital planning often garners funds for specific projects, hence external donations for the hotel, this project still pushed us into further debt. Administrators also seemingly believed that raising tuition by approximately 3 to 4 percent every year would sustain a precarious financial situation, but that approach fails when tuition reaches absurd prices one year, only to become more ridiculous the next. While the administration has emphasized that tuition hikes and accompanying staff cuts are made in an attempt to maintain the College’s commitment to providing more financial aid, it remains abundantly unclear to most how budget priorities, like building a new hotel, are decided upon. Institutions of higher education commonly operate according to a Strategic Plan, a loosely defined set of guidelines created by their Board of Trustees that guide administrative decisions. But how effective are these plans in actually setting financial priorities? The College’s most recent plan was released nearly one year ago last March, announcing an updated set of objectives for the College and Conservatory from 2016 to 2021. The board will reconvene on campus from March 2–4 to assess progress in achieving this plan’s objectives. In doing so, it will find that the implementation committees designated for carrying out the missions outlined in the plan have struggled with their tasks. Furthermore, many of the goals stated in the Strategic Plan seem to be in direct conflict with each other, leading to confusion about how exactly the College plans to deal with its fiscal challenges. “The 2005 Strategic Plan called for the College to reduce this rate [of tuition increase] in order to achieve greater financial stability,” the plan reads. “We have gradually done so, putting our finances on a more sustainable foundation, while simultaneously maintaining our strong commitment to meeting 100 percent of the demonstrated need of all admitted students. … These two important goals are pulling in opposite directions.” When the Strategic Plan was drafted last year, those paying close attention to the process raised red flags about this very issue. Student Senate unanimously voted against the plan, ultimately threatening a vote of no confidence in the General Faculty Committee’s capacity to implement many of its lofty goals. And though trustees meet next month to reflect on the plan’s progress, it remains perpetually unclear how these assessments are made, and how the board determines “a set of indicators or means of measuring the overall health of the College and Conservatory” without meaningful or substantial student feedback channels. This lack of communication between the board and students is the crux of the many students’ widespread frustration. In December, trustees declined to add a student representative to the board and failed to host the traditional studenttrustee forum, which typically occurs twice per semester in accordance with their meetings. Since then, budget cuts have been widespread, from the curtailing of DeCafé’s hours to the sudden closing, or “re-envisioning,” of the Rathskeller, a historic campus staple. These decisions appear to have been made on an ad-hoc basis, without any clear basis in the Strategic Plan or engagement with the broader institution. When it comes to making cuts, no decision will make the whole community happy, and virtually every cut will arouse opposition. Even the least-used, leastappreciated amenities, programs and facilities on campus will be bitterly missed by some if they are eliminated. In this respect, the administration has an unenviable job. But that doesn’t mean the administration should have carte blanche to cut without transparency and community engagement. Though weighing priorities may be difficult and highly charged, a community conversation is infinitely preferable to having cuts come out of administrative fiat. In October, the Editorial Board endorsed efforts by members of Student Senate and former students on the Steering Committee to add a student representative to the Board of Trustees. We feel it is pivotal to reiterate that this addition would be mutually beneficial to the board and students as cuts and downsizing continues across campus. Editorials are the responsibility of the Review Editorial Board — the Editors-in-Chief, Managing editor and Opinions editor — and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the Review.


Opinions

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The Oberlin Review, February 10, 2017

Berkeley Protesters Exercising, Not Curtailing, Free Speech Nick Bassman Contributing writer Hateful speaker and Breitbart News senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos was prevented from speaking at University of California, Berkeley on Feb. 1 by students and community members in a massive, successful exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and free assembly. Yes, you read that correctly. Free speech won on Feb. 1. Outraged columnists and public figures — including President Donald Trump, who tweeted a vague threat to cut Berkeley’s federal funding — would have you believe that individuals protesting to prevent another individual from speaking constitutes an attack on free speech. Nothing could be further from the truth. It seems we’ve collectively forgotten how free speech operates, who is allowed to exercise it and who is responsible for enforcing it. To begin, here’s the entire text of the First Amendment. Don’t worry, it’s short. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That’s the whole thing. Only the state can curtail free speech, because only the state can grant it. And only individual citizens and private institutions can exercise it. Nowhere does the First Amendment say that individuals cannot exercise their free speech in a way that prevents other individuals from being heard. Berkeley students speaking out against Milo Yiannopoulos is an instance of free speech versus free speech — a conversation in which one party speaks louder than the other. It could be argued that the extensive property damage and fights instigated by members of a masked group at the protest mean that it was not a “peaceable” assembly. But if the only assemblies to be protected are “peaceable” ones, then Milo Yiannopoulos has no right to one either. On Dec. 15 at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, he targeted a trans student, misgendering her and using transphobic slurs against her. On Jan. 27 at the University of New Mexico, Yiannopoulos declared that “illegal people are not a race” and displayed a slide that read, “PURGE YOUR LOCAL ILLEGALS.” Many believe he planned to publicize the identities of undocumented Berkeley students at his event.

Defending Yiannopoulos’ assembly while condemning the protesters’ implies a hierarchy of violence that prioritizes property damage over revealing personal information with clear intent to harm targeted individuals. Acting UNM President Chaouki Abdallah defended allowing Yiannopoulos to deliver this hate speech by declaring that UNM is part of the “marketplace of ideas.” But the whole concept of an idea marketplace — the underpinning of most Supreme Court decisions regarding free speech throughout the 20th century — frames speech as inherently competitive. It assumes that interruption is inevitable and that the most-demanded voices will drown out others. And as with other free market environments, our speech may be technically “free,” but there is nothing equitable about who has access to it. In most cases, money speaks louder. Whiteness speaks louder. Masculinity speaks louder. The “market” is monopolized by people who wield these privileges. This is a rare and welcome instance of a mass refusal on the part of the market to acquiesce to those dominant forces. Why do we lament a supposed loss of free speech when protesters shut down violent speaking events, but not when the protesters themselves are beaten, pepper-sprayed and silenced by state forces? Why do we fail to recognize these monopolies in our “marketplace,” and rush to protect them by stifling dissenting voices? Arguments against interrupting a speech rely on moral propriety, not legality. It’s intellectually dishonest to say that a disruptive protest is a hindrance to free speech. What you really mean is that these protests break the expected decorum for a speech — the expectation, in other words, that everyone else remains silent. I can’t think of a more vital time and place to exercise the right to free speech and free assembly than when everyone else demands respectful submission to hate. When President Trump accuses protesters of opposing free speech when they are embodying it, that’s what an attack on free speech looks like. That is a state effort to suppress dissent. This is also true when the president attacks the press by bemoaning all incriminating media reports as “fake news” and “the opposition party.” The right to speak is not a right to speak unopposed. If Yiannopoulos has the right to speak and assemble despite his violence, so do his opponents. At Berkeley they spoke louder and should be celebrated for it.

Brian Tom

Philosophy Departments Lack Diversity Jackie Brant Contributing writer Despite having been warned about unequal gender distribution in the field, I was disappointed when I walked into my first day of Problems of Philosophy last semester and found few women in the room. While I’m admittedly only in my first year, my experience as a Philosophy major has shown me that, even at a school so focused on gender equality, philosophy as a field is still heavily dominated by men. This is largely true at all levels of education and across the world, from ancient times until now. Women as a group have yet to successfully break into the philosophy field. According to Humanities Indicator’s article “Gender Distribution of Degrees in Philosophy,” in 2014 only 28 percent of master’s degrees and 31 percent of doctorates in the discipline were held by women in the U.S. At Oberlin, the statistic is similar, with an average 28.9 percent of degrees in Philosophy held by women since 2013. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports in “In the Humanities, Men Dominate the Fields of Philosophy and History” that just 17 percent of full-time Philosophy professors were women in 2011. At Oberlin, this statistic is much better than the national scale: Two out of six permanent Philosophy professors are women. One explanation for the lack of women in the field is the nature of philosophy classes. Philosophy is the study of knowledge and thought and because of this, classes tend to be largely debate-based. In my experience, this type of discussion often leads to aggressive debate. According to Columbia University’s research “Gender Issues in the Classroom,” in general, women are less likely to participate in class, be called on and elaborate in class. Add the combative tendency of philosophy to the mix and the likelihood of active participation from women drops even lower. The lack of participation prevents women from fully immersing themselves into the conversations and leaves women less engaged in philosophy as a whole. Furthermore, common misconceptions of what philosophy truly is can lead students, especially men, to turn what is supposed to be a logical discussion into an aggressive argument. For those without experience in the field, philosophy seems comparable to a Politics class: passionate and sometimes emotionally charged arguments with the ultimate goal to convince others of your point of view. Truthfully, this is not what philosophy is at all. At its core, philosophy is an open exchange of ideas, critique and correction. The goal is not necessarily to convince others, but to have others place

intellectual pressure on logically presented arguments in order to strengthen your own answers. This misconception can translate into malpractices in the Philosophy classroom, especially in introductory courses. Beginning-level courses are often filled with new students who do not have much experience with philosophy and often share in the general misconception that philosophy classes should be treated like debates. Discussions become competitions; who can knock their opponent down first? This type of debate is not only counterproductive and strays from the logical nature of philosophy, but is often a difficult atmosphere for women to participate in. Gender bias in philosophy can also be seen in the underrepresentation of women in readings for philosophy classes. Philosophers who shaped modern society and established the canon, mainly during ancient times and the Enlightenment period, were almost exclusively white men. The field was built by male thought and therefore continues to be male-dominated. Many of these writings serve as the basis for contemporary philosophical readings and must be read as a prerequisite to contemporary pieces. This is partially a reason as to why class readings are predominantly composed of male writers. However, even the balance of contemporary writings in philosophy programs are still tipped in favor of men, despite the fact that writings by women are much more numerous now. In a study conducted by NPR, pieces written by women only account for 6 percent of the essays in introductory philosophy textbooks. In the classes they studied, 89 percent of the readings on the syllabuses were written by men. Philosophy is a field that has suffered and continues to suffer from a lack of diversity. Women, queer people, disabled people and people of color are continually underrepresented in regards to students, professors and curricula. To make philosophy classes a more welcoming environment for everyone, there are several things students and professors can do. Professors should work to be more inclusive in reading selections. There are plenty of philosophers, especially from this century, who come from diverse backgrounds and can bring their own unique perspective to classic philosophical questions. Professors should encourage free thinking and discussion in class while insisting on the logical integrity of philosophical discussion. This logical and non-competitive environment should also remain a central focus for students in philosophy classes. By keeping this in mind, students will help create a comfortable atmosphere for discussion in which all students can actively participate.


Opinions

The Oberlin Review, February 10, 2017

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Guns, Not Bears, Threaten Ohio Schools Amber Scherer Columnist In the first confirmation vote to ever require a tiebreaker, the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary Tuesday. DeVos was one of President Donald Trump’s most controversial cabinet nominees, provoking intense opposition from Senate Democrats and teachers’ unions. During her confirmation hearing, DeVos was asked about her stance on firearms on school campuses, which is particularly relevant to states like Ohio that allow concealed carry on school campuses. “I think probably there, I would imagine that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies,” she said, further stating that she believes state and local authorities have jurisdiction over firearm policies in schools. I decided to humor Secretary DeVos and statistically compare the threats of guns and bears. Since 2013, over 200 school shootings have occurred in the U.S., averaging approximately one per week, according to the nonprofit Everytown Research. The average number of deaths by bear attacks in the U.S. is 0.5 deaths annually, none of

which have occurred in schools. In other words, DeVos’ delegation of authority to the states on issues like school safety zones puts Ohio students in real jeopardy. DeVos’ dangerous views extend to the issue of school choice as well. Simply defined, “school choice” constitutes a variety of programs through which students and families can choose between traditional public schools and other educational institutions. Ohio participates in school-choice programs, which provide the following options: public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, online academies and homeschooling. Of these, the most politically divisive are public charter schools. Charter schools receive taxpayer money but are given liberty in their didactic methodology. Some Ohio charter schools, such as Breakthrough in Cleveland and KIPP in Columbus, have proven successful. Breakthrough students outperform all other Cleveland schools in every subject, and KIPP currently ranks in the top five among Ohio schools, based on its students’ improved state test scores. Yet the charter school network is riddled with instances of fraud and irresponsible spending. “Since 2001, state auditors have uncovered

more than $27 million in improperly spent funds at charter schools in Ohio. These schools misspend public money at almost four times the rate of other types of public sector agencies,” wrote Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown in September 2016. In a Stanford University report, researchers found that Ohio charter school students generally perform worse than their public school counterparts. The report also observed that charter schools teach at a slower rate than public schools, causing charter school students to lose the equivalent of 43 days of math instruction and 14 days of reading instruction each year. Despite these statistics, the Department of Education granted Ohio $71 million to expand charter schools last fall. Senator Brown and the Obama administration worked consistently to benefit Ohio students and taxpayers by monitoring charter schools’ performances and allocating funds accordingly. But their efforts are in jeopardy, as DeVos, the woman who now possesses the power to distribute Ohio’s educational grant, has a dismal track record in education. DeVos belongs to a network of conservative Christian ideologues who criticize the secular-

ism of modern American education. DeVos, her family and Christian activists have pushed for minimal restrictions on charter schools, which are the cheapest government-funded means of instilling religion in education. Throughout the 2000s, DeVos championed school choice in Michigan as an influential conservative in the state. Unfortunately, during that period of charter school growth, Michigan’s academic progress lagged. The state’s charter schools scored worse than its public schools on national tests. DeVos was instrumental in this process. Despite the potential for charter schools to succeed alongside public schools, she gutted public schools’ government funding in favor of poorly regulated and often fraud-ridden charter schools. Even some supporters of school choice criticized her extreme laissez-faire approach. This ineptitude contradicts Senator Brown’s recent efforts to protect Ohio students and Ohio’s quality of education. DeVos has demonstrated a flippancy regarding gun violence in schools and an unsuccessful track record in the education field. Ohioans need to watch her carefully and oppose her policies at the local and state levels to do what we can to protect our education system.

Corporate Activism Undermines People’s Power Sami Mericle Opinions editor Joining the rush of activism that has greeted President Donald Trump’s first few weeks in office, corporations — particularly those that cater to liberal millennials — have been eager to prove that they, too, support human rights. Perhaps the most commendable of these has been Starbucks, which recently promised to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide. While I am grateful for any action that slows the Trump administration’s agenda or supports the people its executive order is actively harming, I am wary of activism that allows corporations to flex their political power. Uber recently attracted mass criticism for undermining a strike protesting Trump’s immigration ban by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance by dropping surge pricing during the

hour-long strike. The resulting uproar caused Uber’s CEO to drop out of Trump’s business advisory council and form a $3 million legal fund for its drivers impacted by the ban. In an obvious bid to present itself as the ethical alternative to Uber, competing ride-hailing service Lyft donated $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union. But Trump opponents should not pat themselves on the back for switching over, as one of Lyft’s major investors is Peter Thiel, a huge Trump supporter and advisor. I have no desire to criticize a huge donation to the ACLU, which undertakes critical human rights work every day and brought about the initial stay on Trump’s immigration ban. But as Madeleine Davies wrote for Jezebel, “Rather than switching your alliance from Uber to Lyft or any other rideshare start-up, be smart and promise your brand loyalty to no one. ... No PR boon is worth your

unquestioning support” (“It’s a More Complicated Choice Than Uber Vs. Lyft,” Jan. 30, 2017). Donations to worthy organizations as a form of corporate activism do not bother me, no matter how transparent the ploy for positive press. But as consumers begin to expect activism from their favorite brands, we should be wary of actions that solidify these companies’ political power. Take, for instance, the response to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, the legislation that rolled back anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people and compelled transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond with their assigned sex. The reaction from the business world was severe. Almost 200 business leaders signed a letter to Governor Pat McCrory calling for a repeal of the law. Lionsgate pulled filming and PayPal cancelled planned

expansions in the state. Dozens of Silicon Valley companies that had previously eyed North Carolina as a potential place to build new headquarters swore not to develop in the state until the law is repealed or struck down by the courts. While the corporate pressure has not succeeded in annulling the law, it has had political ramifications. The letter likely contributed to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoing a similar bill soon after in his state. Wired calculated in September that North Carolina had lost $395 million due to HB 2, which likely contributed to McCrory’s re-election loss in November. As a staunch supporter of LGBTQ rights, I appreciate that the actions of these business leaders prevented deplorable laws from being enacted in other states and booted a proud bigot from office. However, I worry that this type of activism provides another platform for corporations to exert political

To Enable Social Mobility, Start Before College Ben Silverman Columnist A study by The Equality of Opportunity Project recently featured in The New York Times painted a dramatic picture of the socioeconomic statuses of students in elite colleges and universities: Students from the top economic 1 percent outnumber those from the bottom 60 percent at 38 top U.S. colleges, and most others are barely more equitable. The study is a reminder of the work left to do to expand access to higher education after centuries of restriction to the highest classes. Since the 1960s, there have been a string of measures to encourage socioeconomic diversity in higher education, including affirmative action and the Pell grant for lowincome students. But the intentions of the ’60s seem to have been washed away by the rising tide of income inequality that surged through the ’80s to today. This inequality, which has only grown in recent years, is sustained by college admissions, as wealthier parents can provide better economic outcomes for their kids by helping them through their education. Private schools and a multi-billiondollar tutoring and college-prep industry

give affluent high schoolers an important boost in a harsh meritocracy. In addition, wealthy students benefit academically from support structures at home and school that low-income students may lack. Much of what makes high-achieving low-income students reluctant to apply for a top school, or what makes them fill out a financial aid form wrong, is simply a lack of experienced guidance. This confusion is exacerbated in homes that might not have the clearest idea about their economic future themselves. So what can be done to encourage economic diversity in elite higher education? The most obvious solution is mandating more aggressive socioeconomic diversity policies. However, that isn’t a simple fix, especially for elite private schools that depend on huge endowments, partially gifted from wealthy parents. Despite this system of endowments enabling a blatantly antimeritocratic dynamic in admissions, they are crucial to the functioning of higher education. Many exceptional students benefit from the financial aid and resources provided by endowments. A more workable solution is to address the problem during high school, when students are considering colleges and building

their applications. There are myriad obstacles in lower-economic strata that favor wealthier college applicants. For example, in 2013 the Brookings Institution found that most low-income students who attain top5 percent academic standing in high school don’t even apply to top schools for various reasons like finances, estrangement from home community and an underestimation of a college degree’s value, which today averages about $500,000 over a lifetime. In a case study by another New York Times journalist from 2012, one student who had already made it to Emory University had to drop out in her penultimate semester after filling out a financial aid form incorrectly and working multiple jobs needed to pay off the excess debt. Bridging the gap in support structures during primary school ought to be the next priority for activists pushing for economic diversity in higher education. School administrators and the media can each do their part to support low-income kids by increasing education about the job market and the necessity of a college degree for many fields. Finally, they can make sure high schoolers know what futures are available to them, including top schools and financial aid options.

power. Corporations spend billions on political expenditures like lobbying and PAC contributions. Money in politics has long been decried as a corruption of our political system, and it is perilous to commend businesses for boycotting North Carolina on the basis of HB 2 without also recognizing the dangers of such actions. Similar blackmail from corporations has long held up the progress of workers’ rights and environmental protections around the world. It will take a long time to ease the political power of corporations. In the meantime, we can avoid being overly congratulatory of philanthropic PR stunts and examine how corporations treat their employees, communities and the environment before pledging them brand loyalty. And most importantly, don’t let corporations do your activism for you. Drinking Starbucks frappuccinos will not take down Trump’s immigration ban.

College Must Include Students in Decisions Continued from page 5 as a message for the administration. Senate is an overtly political body, and the administration should not interfere with the workings of student democracy. Senate should be a place of empowerment where student activism is encouraged and where the status quo is challenged. We are committed to making sure that the College not only opens up a line of dialogue with us, but that the College accepts these demands, and we stand ready to act to ensure this. We are so grateful to all who have supported our efforts even this early on, and we welcome all who are interested in working with us on these issues to contact us and join in our work. Also, please like us on Facebook. Bella Conway, Max Matthee-O’Brien, Rowan/Taiyang Lee and Dani Pacheco contributed to this op-ed.


UBUNTU

I Am Because We Are Black History Month at Oberlin

Every year, February is recognized as Black History Month and people around the nation learn about and honor our country’s rich African-American history. This year’s theme is Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are, a concept that fosters unity and aims to build community. Collectively, we celebrate the achievements of Black Americans, while recognizing and continuing to learn about the struggles this community has faced and continues to experience today. Throughout the coming weeks, there are many events to attend and different forms of art to view in order to appreciate and learn about the Black experience, both on and off campus.

Screening of Love and Basketball

Black History Month Trivia Night Come test your knowledge or learn something new! Former Oberlin student for 300 — who is the Black sculptor whose art is on display in the AMAM? Answer: Edmonia Lewis. Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m. The Cat in the Cream

Freedom’s Friends Tablet Tour A self-guided tour exploring landmarks connected to Oberlin’s abolitionist history. Free during February in honor of Black History Month! Tuesdays–Saturdays, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Oberlin Heritage Center

Layout and text by Izzy Rosenstein, This Week editor

Calendar:

Hales Late-Nighter Saturday, Feb. 11 Hales Annex 8:30 p.m.–1 a.m.

Amy Porter at Oberlin Saturday, Feb. 11 David H. Stull Recital Hall 8–9:30 p.m.

Bring your friends, significant other or the cute person with the pink hair you always see in Mudd library to this night of fun in Hales. There will be bowling, speed dating, arts and crafts, live music and billiards.

Amy Porter will give a recital titled “Powerful Images” with Oberlin faculty pianist James Howsmon. Originally from Delaware, Porter graduated from the Juilliard School. She founded the non-profit Southeast Michigan Flute Association and is now a professor of flute at the University of Michigan.

A coming-of-age story that deals with family dynamics, friendship and, of course, love and basketball.

Soul Session

Feb. 16, 9 p.m. Lord House Lounge

Come listen to spoken word and musical performances by Oberlin students.

The Value Gap in the Age of Trump

Feb. 18, 6 p.m. Afrikan Heritage House

Princeton University Professor Eddie Glaude Jr.’s talk will discuss the problem of the “value gap” between Black and white lives and how this mentality is ingrained in American society today. Feb. 23, 7 p.m. Dye Lecture Hall

Allen Memorial Art Museum Currently on display are works by celebrated sculptor and former Oberlin student Edmonia Lewis and a recently rejuvinated African art collection.

Oh! Freedom: Commemorating the Negro Spiritual and the Underground Railroad Wesley Williams presents narratives and poems accompanied by music that depict the difficulties that many Black people faced throughout the 1800s. Feb. 11, 7 p.m. First Church in Oberlin, 106 North Main Street

Tuesdays–Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sundays, 1–5 p.m.

Buddhist Fellowship Meditation Sunday, Feb. 12 280 Elm Street 11 a.m.–12 p.m. Join the Oberlin Buddhist Fellowship for this weekly meditation and student-led discussion. People of all beliefs and levels of experience are welcome.

Roots: Exploring Jewish Identity Through Culinary Storytelling Wednesday, Feb. 15 Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies Atrium 8:30–10 p.m.

Leggy + T-Rextasy at the ’Sco Thursday, Feb. 16 The ’Sco 10 p.m.–1 a.m.

The Concert Board presents Leggy and T-Rextasy, artists whose upbeat punk rock music also incorpoTo celebrate Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish celebration of nature, Chabad presents rates varieties of pop, rock ‘n’ roll an opportunity for participants to share and feminist themes in their lyrics. their family histories through food. You can submit recipes at jewishoberlin.com/roots.

Masha Gessen: “Uncertain Correspondence: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin” Thursday, Feb. 16 Dye Lecture Hall 4:30–5:30 p.m. Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen will speak about the Trump presidency and what can be learned about it by looking at Russian President Vladmir Putin.


UBUNTU

I Am Because We Are Black History Month at Oberlin

Every year, February is recognized as Black History Month and people around the nation learn about and honor our country’s rich African-American history. This year’s theme is Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are, a concept that fosters unity and aims to build community. Collectively, we celebrate the achievements of Black Americans, while recognizing and continuing to learn about the struggles this community has faced and continues to experience today. Throughout the coming weeks, there are many events to attend and different forms of art to view in order to appreciate and learn about the Black experience, both on and off campus.

Screening of Love and Basketball

Black History Month Trivia Night Come test your knowledge or learn something new! Former Oberlin student for 300 — who is the Black sculptor whose art is on display in the AMAM? Answer: Edmonia Lewis. Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m. The Cat in the Cream

Freedom’s Friends Tablet Tour A self-guided tour exploring landmarks connected to Oberlin’s abolitionist history. Free during February in honor of Black History Month! Tuesdays–Saturdays, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Oberlin Heritage Center

Layout and text by Izzy Rosenstein, This Week editor

Calendar:

Hales Late-Nighter Saturday, Feb. 11 Hales Annex 8:30 p.m.–1 a.m.

Amy Porter at Oberlin Saturday, Feb. 11 David H. Stull Recital Hall 8–9:30 p.m.

Bring your friends, significant other or the cute person with the pink hair you always see in Mudd library to this night of fun in Hales. There will be bowling, speed dating, arts and crafts, live music and billiards.

Amy Porter will give a recital titled “Powerful Images” with Oberlin faculty pianist James Howsmon. Originally from Delaware, Porter graduated from the Juilliard School. She founded the non-profit Southeast Michigan Flute Association and is now a professor of flute at the University of Michigan.

A coming-of-age story that deals with family dynamics, friendship and, of course, love and basketball.

Soul Session

Feb. 16, 9 p.m. Lord House Lounge

Come listen to spoken word and musical performances by Oberlin students.

The Value Gap in the Age of Trump

Feb. 18, 6 p.m. Afrikan Heritage House

Princeton University Professor Eddie Glaude Jr.’s talk will discuss the problem of the “value gap” between Black and white lives and how this mentality is ingrained in American society today. Feb. 23, 7 p.m. Dye Lecture Hall

Allen Memorial Art Museum Currently on display are works by celebrated sculptor and former Oberlin student Edmonia Lewis and a recently rejuvinated African art collection.

Oh! Freedom: Commemorating the Negro Spiritual and the Underground Railroad Wesley Williams presents narratives and poems accompanied by music that depict the difficulties that many Black people faced throughout the 1800s. Feb. 11, 7 p.m. First Church in Oberlin, 106 North Main Street

Tuesdays–Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sundays, 1–5 p.m.

Buddhist Fellowship Meditation Sunday, Feb. 12 280 Elm Street 11 a.m.–12 p.m. Join the Oberlin Buddhist Fellowship for this weekly meditation and student-led discussion. People of all beliefs and levels of experience are welcome.

Roots: Exploring Jewish Identity Through Culinary Storytelling Wednesday, Feb. 15 Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies Atrium 8:30–10 p.m.

Leggy + T-Rextasy at the ’Sco Thursday, Feb. 16 The ’Sco 10 p.m.–1 a.m.

The Concert Board presents Leggy and T-Rextasy, artists whose upbeat punk rock music also incorpoTo celebrate Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish celebration of nature, Chabad presents rates varieties of pop, rock ‘n’ roll an opportunity for participants to share and feminist themes in their lyrics. their family histories through food. You can submit recipes at jewishoberlin.com/roots.

Masha Gessen: “Uncertain Correspondence: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin” Thursday, Feb. 16 Dye Lecture Hall 4:30–5:30 p.m. Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen will speak about the Trump presidency and what can be learned about it by looking at Russian President Vladmir Putin.


Arts The Oberlin Review

Page 10

February 10, 2017

Oberlin Heritage Center Unveils Self-Led Tablet Tours Katie Lucey Students and community members looking to celebrate Black History Month should consider the Oberlin Heritage Center, which is offering a free, digitized version of its walking tour, Freedom’s Friends: Underground Railroad and Abolitionist History Walk, throughout the month of February. Visitors to the Monroe House, located on West Vine Street, can borrow tablets preloaded with the tour for the day. These tablets allow users to explore Oberlin’s ties to the Underground Railroad and slaves’ journeys to freedom. Visitors may choose to participate by traveling to historically significant local landmarks on foot or virtually, from “the comfort of their own home,” according to Amanda Manahan, Oberlin Heritage Center Museum education and tour coordinator. The goal of the tour, which is currently formatted as an interactive Keynote presentation, is to shed light on the individuals who contributed to Oberlin’s legacy as an epicenter of social progress and racial equality. “I think it’s important for people to realize all of the individuals involved,” said Oberlin Heritage Center executive director Liz Schultz. “A lot of people conceptualize the Underground Railroad to be a physical thing, but in reality it was more of a personal thing — it was people helping people. … That’s what I see in this tour.” Individuals recognized in the tablet tour include James and Mary Fairchild, who helped shelter fugitive slave John Price in their home during the famous Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of 1858. Famed African-American and Native sculptor Edmonia Lewis, whose work is currently on display at the Allen Memorial Art Museum in an installation curated by artist Fred Wilson, also makes an appearance on the digital tour. Each profile and story is accompanied with pictures and text assembled by Schultz and AmeriCorps workers. These stories and individuals, tied to certain locations in and around the town of Oberlin, paint a picture of ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“A lot of people conceptualize the Underground Railroad to be a physical thing, but in reality … it was people helping people.” Liz Schultz Oberlin Heritage Center executive director –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– what it was like to be Black during a particularly volatile time in the United States. The eight tablets, purchased with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, allow for increased educational flexibility of time learning style and content. “These tours are not static; they’re ever-changing,” Manahan said. “We wanted to create a format that we could update in case we learn more information, or something changes in town.” The OHC is increasingly interested in utilizing tech-

The Oberlin Heritage Center’s Freedom’s Friends: Underground Railroad and Abolition History Walk, an interactive tour of Oberlin’s Black history, is free through February in celebration of Black History Month.  Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo edior

nology for educational purposes. Rather than replacing guided tours, tablets will supplement these learning experiences by incorporating sound. Moreover, the center is on the cusp of putting out Chinese and Spanish versions of the tour. The tour itself is crisp, informative and easy to navigate — a must for technology that will be used by visitors of all ages. The user begins the tour by choosing one of four areas of Oberlin they would like to focus on: outer Oberlin, South Campus, downtown and around Tappan Square. These regions contain various locations of interest, ranging in time from the town’s earliest days as an abolitionist stronghold — First Church and the Little Red Schoolhouse — to newer locations that represent civil rights victories, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Visitors who prefer to interact with the tablet tour in a less active manner can do so, as the tour does not require the user to physically be at the location to read about it. Rather, they can pick and choose what locations and stories they want to learn about according to their personal preferences. “What’s nice about these [tablets] is that you could either walk with them, or you could even just rent one, take it home and do a tour of Oberlin from your home,” Manahan said. One particular success of the tablet tour is its “scenario questions,” which pose open-ended questions to the reader of the tour, with “no right or wrong answers.” The questions ask participants to deal with historical

dilemmas. One poses the scenario of a child getting deathly ill on a frantic escape to the North, leaving participants to contemplate the decision of either risking the child’s life to continue the journey or attempting to save the child by leaving them in the care of an unfamiliar family. The questions are not only historical. One asks, “You are talking with a group of people and one of your friends makes a racist remark. How do you react?” The questions are a clear triumph of the tablet tour. Even though the format can be “less engaging” than guided tours, according to Schultz, this part of the tour directly addresses the person holding the tablet and encourages them to actively engage with the context of the history they’re experiencing. The history becomes a conversation, rather than a one-sided lecture. “Northern Ohio, this area … was an incredibly important location for these activities to be occurring,” Manahan said Students and community members interested in renting a tablet should do so sooner rather than later — while this tablet tour is available year-round for rental, it is only free for the month of February in honor of Black History Month. The tablet is available Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Monroe House, a building owned by the Oberlin Heritage Center. Although it is free, a credit card is required for liability purposes. Users may also be required to sign a rental agreement.

Jenkins’ Moonlight Showcases Accessibility, Stellar Performances Christian Bolles Columnist If you haven’t seen Moonlight on the grounds of its tough subject matter, you may not be alone, but you certainly should reconsider. Writer/director Barry Jenkins’ sophomore feature takes a Boyhood-esque trip straight to the heart of human pathos, spinning its tale of a man named Chiron through intimate close-ups that reflect the personal sting of his unfortunate circumstances. Moonlight has been — and will continue to be — hailed by the industry and viewers as “important” due to the sheer rarity of the subject in the medium of film: a gay Black man. But historically, “important” is a reductive and alienating label that pushes works of social signifi-

cance into a dusty altar in the corner while safer, more thematically “accessible” movies such as Damien Chazelle’s (admittedly excellent) La La Land become box office hits. Audiences will avoid Moonlight because the experience would be “too sad,” but for all its tragedy, Jenkins’ tour de force is a much more satisfying film than Chazelle’s. It’s become clear over decades of box offices figures that viewers don’t want to be challenged, and for that reason, Moonlight will remain “important” but unseen. This is the real tragedy, because Chiron’s story is far more than vital; it’s masterfully told, surprisingly entertaining, and achingly human. Push aside any preconceived notions of this being a “difficult” film; if you do, you’ll discover a wonderful cinematic experience.

Moonlight’s beauty begins with its structural simplicity. The film follows Chiron through three stages of his life in three chapters of equal length. Each examines the people who shaped the central character: his abusive and woefully sympathetic mother Paula; a man called Juan, who becomes Chiron’s surrogate father; and Kevin, a childhood friend. There are other characters woven throughout, but Moonlight most closely follows its central figure, placing its attention squarely on Chiron and the people he loves. Jenkins’ film has little room for periphery, opting for emotional resonance over narrative complexity. The story’s unexpected clarity makes it difficult to classify the movie as “arthouse,” a category it’s unfortunately been shoehorned into by an audience that

doesn’t know what to do with it. Moonlight has one hell of a protagonist to draw, and it does so in a skillful, precise hand. Over the course of the film, Chiron is played by three actors, each credited with ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Moonlight has one hell of a protagonist to draw, and it does so in a skillful, precise hand. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– different names to represent the distinctions: Little (Alex Hibbert), Chiron (Ashton Sanders) and Black (Trevante Rhodes). See Cinematography, page 12


The Oberlin Review, February 10, 2017

Arts

Page 11

On The Record With Aoife O’Donovan Irish-American singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, who graduated from New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation department in 2003, has made her career touring and recording both solo and with other artists, including members of the Punch Brothers. Lead singer for bluegrass-folk band Crooked Still and a member of the female folk-trio Sometymes Why, O’Donovan has previously appeared at Oberlin to perform and teach master classes with the Conservatory’s American Roots residency program. She returns this week to lead songwriting master classes today and tomorrow, teach private lessons and host open mics and jam sessions. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. When did you know that you wanted to be a professional performer? I knew before I graduated college that I wanted to be a performer, but I didn’t know if I’d be able to do that for a living. Performing for a living is never a sure bet. It’s a month-by-month thing. I moved to New York after graduating and had some day jobs, like babysitting, before I was able to stop it all and focus on touring. I started a band called Crooked Still and eventually moved back to Boston. You’ve visited Oberlin and spent time as an artist-in-residence in the past. What about Oberlin attracts you, and how did you get involved with the Oberlin community? I had previously played at the Oberlin Folk Fest with Crooked Still back in 2009. I knew a lot of people who had gone to Oberlin and knew it was a great school and a great campus. But the

You’ve performed in bands and as a solo artist. Do you prefer performing with a group or by yourself? I like playing both in a band and by myself. It’s good to have various things that you do. Mostly, these days, I tour under my own name — sometimes it’s me solo, and sometimes it’s me in a duo or trio. I haven’t been touring with Crooked Still since 2011. But I’m in a couple of new bands, like I’m With Her, a collaboration with Sarah Jarosz and Sara Watkins.

Singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan returned to Oberlin as an American Roots resident to lead weekend master classes and jam sessions. Photo courtesy of Aoife O’Donovan

first time I really got to know Oberlin was when I met up with the Punch Brothers to go on tour with them. They had just finished a residency and I flew out to Cleveland and got a ride to Oberlin to meet up with the tour bus. I got out of the cab in the parking lot of the Feve, … and I got to visit a practice room in the Conservatory and talk to some students. I was like, “Wow, this is an amazing place.” I came back to Oberlin last fall in 2015 to do a residency with the Punch Brothers and I really got to talk to students one on one.

You have both self-released albums and released albums on a label. How do you compare being an unsigned musician versus being signed to a label? The first record I put out with Crooked Still was called Hop High and we put it out ourselves. We made our money back from the record that weekend when we sold 1,000 records at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. But that usually doesn’t happen now, especially with the music industry changing. I don’t think people buy CDs anymore with that enthusiasm and excitement. The benefits of having a label is you get a small advance, but you don’t have to front that money at the beginning — then again, you have to buy the album off the label. There are pros and cons to both, no matter what level you’re at. Some really well known artists self-release because they have the financial muscle to fund themselves. Some indie artists join a label because they don’t have the money to pay for their own publicist.

laborating with? There are tons of artists I’ve loved collaborating with over the years. I think my favorite thing about being a professional musician is getting to meet and play with other musicians. My favorite band to play with is a Scottish group called Lau. They’re so musical and experimental, but also so rooted in the Scottish tradition. One of my favorite memories ever is when Crooked Still and Lau played together at a festival in Scotland. Another favorite band to collaborate with is the Swedish band Vasin. What’s next for you as an artist? I have another month of touring, mostly by myself. I’m also doing a tour with Chris Eldridge from the Punch Brothers, and I’ll be working with A Prairie Home Companion. I have plans for an unannounced, exciting collaborative album in 2018, so stay tuned. I’m currently starting to work on my next solo album. There’s always new music coming. You’ll be teaching some classes today and tomorrow, but do you have any words of wisdom for the aspiring songwriter or professional musician? My most frequent words of advice are to find a community, seek out comments and criticism from your friends and peers and don’t be afraid to put it all out there. At the same time, don’t take it too personally if not everyone likes it. Even The Beatles had some skeptics.

You’ve collaborated extensively with members of the Punch Brothers. Are there any other artists that you especially enjoy col-

Interview by Brendan Eprile, Staff writer

Birenbaum Performance Space Opens in Hotel Eilish Spear Staff writer

Dozens of students, faculty and community members descended upon the new Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center to attend the Jan. 23 inaugural concert in the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space, the experimental new venue on campus. The intimate, modern space occupies a subterranean room filled with sleek, geometric tables and chairs, a bar, a stage and a Steinway piano, where students in the Winter Term Chamber Music Intensive gave their showcase performance. The showcase, comprised of performances from students in the Winter Term Chamber Music Intensive, was the first in what the College hopes will be a long tradition of creative performance in the new space. The jazz club-like space is intended to bring together different faces of the Oberlin community, including Audience members attend a performance at the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space, a new venue for concerts Photo courtesy of Yevhen Gulenko College and Conservatory students, and classes that opened Jan. 23 at the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center.  faculty and community members. As of now, the room will be managed by opportunities for performative ex- maybe seem a little too risky in Kulas,” Music Intensive, wrote in an email to the Conservatory production office, perimentation in less formal settings, Kalyn said. “We really needed some- the Review. although the Gateway Center will be rather than another immaculate thing that put out the entire nature of Still, the ambitious mission of the in charge of the bar and hospitality stage for entertaining a silent, focused Oberlin: a place of experimentation, a Birenbaum might fall short when it services. audience. place of impact, a place of community comes to the acoustics in the space, The unique flexibility of the room “We want our students to have a coming together, and a place of work as initial student performances in — which can be transformed from a chance to engage a different audience at the highest level.” the space have been met with mixed classroom into a club in a matter of and to engage with the audience in a Events planned for the space in- reviews. minutes — is designed for functional different way,” said Andrea Kalyn, dean clude orientation events, Oberlin’s For junior Viola Performance maversatility. During the school day, the of the Conservatory, “If there’s a bar LaunchU meeting in March, jazz per- jor Jude Park, another member of the room will be used for Oberlin’s entre- and [the audience] is sitting at tables formances, the Contemporary Music Chamber Intensive, the space was preneurship classes and as a space for and they’re chatting, that’s a different Ensemble, Sinfonietta and various difficult to perform in due to its exstudent collaboration. At night, the kind of experience for performers.” student and guest recitals. The possi- ceptionally dry acoustics, particularly room will open up into a performance Oberlin already has a number of bilities are wide open. when performing chamber music. space that emphasizes the role of au- performance spaces on campus, but “Playing in the Birenbaum was “You essentially have to produce dience engagement and creativity. none that directly link the goals of the a lot of fun. I love how the space has your own resonance and trust your Performers won’t be able to ignore entire institution together, according the potential to accommodate such a instincts to play together,” Park said. their audience — as they might in a to Kalyn. wide variety of experiences,” doubleDespite these challenges, Park more traditional concert hall — in a “There are things that you can get degree sophomore Nicholas Gallitano, added that performing at the Biplace like this, designed to provide away with in [the Birenbaum] that a violist in the Winter Term Chamber renbaum — so different from Kulas

Recital Hall — is still an educational experience. “I do believe the Birenbaum has a lot to offer,” Park said. “It’s an intimate place in which Conservatory students can learn how to interact with music in spaces we’re not used to.” The administration hopes that the real-world implications of the project will be wide-reaching. While it can be hard to escape the Oberlin bubble, the new space can provide performers with a small taste of the world beyond Oberlin. “We want you to imagine what your lives are going to be like after Oberlin,” Kalyn said. “How does this [Oberlin] education live on, how does it have an impact, how does it create change and how does it create value in the world? … You should be practicing that while you’re students. [This] is a space that you can practice this in.” The Birenbaum will also provide a different kind of experience than many Oberlin audience members are accustomed to, its casual modernity drawing people in from across the community — especially those who enjoy their live music with refreshments. “The environment of the Birenbaum is contemporary, hip … and just intimate enough to provide a terrific ‘alternative’ environment to bring people together for great music,” Coordinator of the String Chamber Music at Oberlin Merry Peckham, who attended the Winter Term Chamber Music Intensive’s performance in the space, wrote in an email to the Review. “I look forward to one day experiencing more great chamber music at the Birenbaum while enjoying whatever beverage might be appropriate for the ‘vibe’ of the repertoire being performed. A glass of Chardonnay with Mozart? A martini with Ravel? A beer with Brahms? Who knows?”


Arts

Page 12

The Oberlin Review, February 10, 2017

New Variety Show, ‘Live at the Den,’ Opens Friday Daniel Markus Arts editor In a small, unassuming hayloft just off Elm Street, audience members for Live at the Den, premiering today at 7:30 p.m., will be the first to experience a unique new variety show on campus. The project of College sophomores Jon Krakaur and Keifer Ludwig, Live at the Den combines the music, poetry and comedy performances of a typical variety show with a rather unique twist: audience members won’t be able to see the performers. Ludwig was inspired when he attended a performance in the space last semester by Primitive Streak, an improv comedy troupe. “I stole [the idea],” he said, laughing. “Primitive Streak actually had a show up there and they did something called a ‘bat,’ which is an improv form. … It’s only sound so you don’t get to see any of the improvisers.” What makes the den an ideal space for the format is its second level — accessed by ladder — where the performances will take place, out of view of the audience below. “You can’t see [the second floor] at all from the first floor, but you can hear very well [because] the wood resonates really well,” Krakaur said, adding that anyone speaking at a normal volume from the top floor can be heard clearly below. This configuration allowed Primitive Streak to use the “bat” form, a variation on a common improv comedy game, and its performance inspired Ludwig to take the style beyond its typical context. “I thought, ‘This is totally under-utilized space. Imagine all of the other things people could be doing here,’” he said. Krakaur and Ludwig had been working on a variety of projects to-

wig said. “Then we did it and it was awesome, just getting to do comedy with [Krakaur].” “Then [Krakaur] came up to me about a podcast and we did a podcast together, and then we created twoman musicals during the spring. So we’ve had a bunch of different ideas and just rolled with them,” Ludwig added. College first-year Hartley Wise, the show’s lead writer, also comes from an unrealized side project with Ludwig. “I’d dropped out of Piscapo’s Arm, the sketch comedy group, because I wanted to start a new one with Kiefer,” Wise said. “I’m always looking to write, so when he said he was doing this project, I was immediately interested.” Wise, Ludwig and first-year Mimi Silverstein will be responsible for the show’s story, a radio-play-style sketch that will close each performance. Hewing true to the radio-play style, all the sound effects in the Live at the Den, a new, biweekly variety show created by College sophomores show’ s stories will be created with Keifer Ludwig and Jon Krakaur, opens tonight in the shed behind 137 Elm found objects, just as in other classic Street.  Photo courtesy of Keifer Ludwig radio shows. “It’s all going to be real sounds. None of it’s going to be played gether at the time, and Ludwig sug- ditioned for and got into the same im- from a speaker … which is one of the gested the idea of utilizing the space prov comedy troupe, [Kid Business]” things I’m really excited about,” Wise for a new one. Krakaur said. “From there we just both said. “I thought it was cool and I didn’t expanded together into various forms “My big inspiration … [is] this old know what the space looked like at all, of comedy.” radio show called X Minus One. It was but [Ludwig] gave me a pretty good The comedic chemistry that the the premier sci-fi [radio] show,” Wise idea of what it would be,” Krakaur said. duo has developed over their time said. “The benefit of a radio play is Not long after that conversation, the working together was clear as they [that] you can go anywhere. It doesn’t two had a concept for Live at the Den. joked with one another between ques- have to show you anything [and] I can In the interview, Krakaur and Lud- tions. “You didn’t like me at first,” Lud- just describe the scene to you. But it’s wig were surprisingly casual about the wig pointed out. different than reading it on the page, show’s inception — as if without much “No. I thought you were trying to because it’s more engaging, … and it’s in-depth planning, the two had an idea be funny too much,” Krakaur replied. happening right above you.” they were ready to commit to. It’s an air He and Ludwig chuckled. For Ludwig and Krakaur, the story that speaks to their familiar creative “I remember talking to Jon and re- section of the show — with a continurelationship, from which Live at the alizing two months [into Kid Business] ing narrative set in the same world — Den is hardly the first project to arise. that we hadn’t done a single scene to- presents an opportunity to keep fans “We were friends at the beginning gether, and I [said] ‘Hey we’re friends. engaged from show to show. of our [first] year. But then we both au- We should do a scene together,’” Lud“It’s to cultivate our cult following,”

Cinematography, Performances on Full Display in Moonlight Continued from page 10 Though the three never actually met in the course of production nor saw each others’ performances before lending their own, their portrayals of Chiron are uncannily consistent, creating a congruous character arc with time-leaps that never feel jarring. But the actors deserve to be considered individually, as they each bring top-notch work to an already killer cast. Between Mahershala Ali’s unforgettable turn as Juan and Naomie Harris’ broken, riveting Paula, not to mention Andre Holland’s captivating performance as an adult Kevin, the cast is stacked with underrated performers doing the best work of their careers. In a Hollywood that continually cites a perceived lack of actors of color to cast in its more A-list features, Moonlight showcases a dazzling ensemble of some of the industry’s most potent talent. Mahershala Ali, for his part, is on the brink of a bold new career; between Moonlight and Marvel’s Luke Cage, he has proven himself nothing short of captivating. And Rhodes, who’s tasked with the brunt of Chiron’s emotional baggage as the oldest onscreen version of the character, is a noteworthy breakout talent, capable of communicating the tender insecurity of a man stuck in the throes of childhood trauma despite his impressive physical presence. One leaves Moonlight with a sense of knowing the characters and, by extention, the actors, largely thanks to its gorgeous cinematography. By fusing a distinctive cinematographic style with the film’s unique emotional range, Moonlight’s visuals stand out. Roving shots intentionally overwhelm the viewer, while solemn close-ups — of which there are many — rely on capable performances to communicate the script’s fundamental beauty. The film’s color

palette is basic and dark, dealing in deep blues and stark whites; this steeps Chiron’s world in a surreal, dreamy aesthetic that pairs well with the temporal fuzziness of the storytelling. With a score consisting of classically inspired, melancholy soundscapes, the audiovisual experience suffuses even the everyday act of cooking a meal with deep feeling. Despite its small scale, Moonlight is best seen in a theater, where one can feel the swells of its orchestral tracks and see the script’s weight drawn in vivid detail across the characters’ faces as they fill the screen. Films like Moonlight should be seen before they’re praised. The empty mantle of “significance” placed upon a movie whose artistry eludes simple description is reductive in the deepest sense, perpetuating the decades-long tradition of tokenizing Black voices that has plagued Hollywood and its massive viewership. With Moonlight, Jenkins proves what many Americans apparently need to be reminded of in order for the point to stick: that accessible cinema not only shouldn’t but isn’t relegated to the straight, white experience or a storytelling style that’s familiar to the privileged palate. He’s crafted a film that speaks to everyone through the soft voice of a man called Chiron, a hero whose endearing awkwardness is far more relatable than the broad strokes that paint a blockbuster flick’s protagonist. There is no formula for accessibility in entertainment. A film’s ability to engage the audience is not enhanced by a factor of “fun,” nor is it determined by the gravitational pull of the industry’s biggest stars. Good storytelling goes further than its medium, and just so, Moonlight jumps off the screen, begging to be experienced.

Krakaur said. In addition to the story portion, each edition of the show will feature a diverse lineup of performers from various disciplines. Ultus, a jazz-fusion band composed of Conservatory sophomore Aliya Ultan and Conservatory junior Carson Fratus; the Obertones; and College fourth-year Maya Elany will all be performing on Friday. Aside from being “a space that’s probably pretty tight, where you go … and listen to a bunch of your peers who you wouldn’t really have a chance to see otherwise all get together, … I think neither of us really know what [Live at the Den] is going to be yet,” Ludwig said, but he and Krakaur seem unfazed by the uncertainty in their new endeavor. “We don’t know if anyone is going to like it [or] if anyone will show up, but I think it will be good,” Krakaur said. In the long term, however, the duo clearly envisions Live at the Den attaining popularity. “I just want it to be a big community thing where anyone who wants a space to perform [or] anyone who feels like they have anything particularly powerful to say gets to do that. I have a vision for it to be a big thing on campus that people to tune into,” Ludwig said. While gaining prominence on campus is tough for any new performance venture, Live at the Den seems poised to do so: Demand will likely be high for the 25 seats at a given show. However, people unable to make a live show will still be able to listen in, as shows will be live streamed online and recordings will be distributed via SoundCloud. Live at the Den premieres tonight at 7:30 p.m. behind 137 Elm Street. The first 15 people to arrive at the show will get in for free; advance tickets can be purchased from the show’s Facebook page for $5.


Arts

The Oberlin Review, February 10, 2017

Page 13

Open Mic Night Centers Immigrant Narratives Julia Peterson Production editor

Since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, immigration has been at the forefront of his administration’s policy agenda. Trump seems to have every intention of fulfilling his campaign promise of building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico with little regard to economic or logistical practicalities, let alone the humanitarian impact of this endeavor. When Trump signed his executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim, protesters and lawyers rallied at airports throughout the United States in support of the people being detained, who included children and green card holders. These national and international incidents coincide with the start of Oberlin’s second Immigration Action NOW! series, which kicked off Feb. 3 with the Immigrant Narratives Open Mic at the Cat in the Cream. “Immigration can be a really difficult topic, especially since it’s people sharing their own personal stories,” said College sophomore Jack Goldberg, one of the organizers of the open mic. “Given the political climate today, it makes it even harder to be open and forthcoming about these things. We were just trying to get an inclusive space that

was willing to be open to other people’s ideas and other people’s experiences.” Members of the Oberlin community who identified with an immigrant narrative in some way — whether they themselves were immigrants, had immigrant family members or knew immigrants — were invited to share their experiences. Though most speakers told stories, the floor was open to other narrative mediums as well. Goldberg and College first-year Jason Hewitt performed a guitar duet, and College senior Holly Hoang read a poem about her father, who Hoang said “moved around between China and Vietnam before coming to the United States.” “In general, [migration and immigration are] something that everyone has ties to, but ... it’s something that can be very distant and removed,” she said. “But basically, people need to remember that it’s something that can be really deeply personal to people, right now in this moment. … And you can never really know what that history means for certain people and how they navigate their lives.” The event was MC’ed by College sophomore Laura Franco Zapata and College junior Alex Jabbour, both of whom shared their personal and family stories. “My mom … used to watch videos on how to lose your accent, how to

speak ‘American’,” Franco Zapata said. “She [would] be like, ‘Come here, you’ve got to learn this!’ … And I was like, ‘No, mom, I don’t want to learn that.’ At first it wasn’t because I was proud of my accent, which now I am. At first it was because I was afraid I would fail at it.” Jabbour told the story of their parents’ immigration from Syria and reflected on the xenophobia that has been given a limelight on the national stage by the new presidential administration. “There’s a lot of hatred right now towards Arabs in general, especially Muslim Arabs,” they said on stage as they ended their narrative. “It’s unfair. It’s un-Christian. It’s un-American. It’s dangerous and violent.” In a later interview, Jabbour also spoke about the impact of becoming involved with immigration activist groups on campus, particularly Obies for Undocumented Inclusion. OUI supports undocumented students by raising awareness, creating support and mentorship opportunities and fundraising for the Undocumented Student Scholarship Program. “Having that sense of connecting back to where your own family is from, it’s important,” Jabbour said. “It feels less like you’re trying to fit in and more like you’re being included.” College senior Hengxuan Wu, an international student from China, chal-

lenged the Oberlin community to be more intentionally inclusive of people who have come to the College from other countries. “[About] 10 percent of people here are international students, and I wonder for everyone here who cares about immigrants, how many of your friends are actually international students?” Wu asked. Wu is currently applying for jobs and hoping to obtain an H1-B visa, which allows non-citizens to continue living and working in the U.S. for a period of three years at a time. Aside from stringent eligibility criteria, there is also a lottery process — only 30 percent of people eligible for an H1-B visa will receive one, and this percentage may decrease in the coming months or years. A number of speakers told stories about their or their family’s undocumented status, while others related how their family’s immigration narratives shaped their own definition of what it means to be American. For College first-year Dulce Cedillo, who is on the planning committee for IAN, it is critical that this event and the rest of the series reach the Oberlin community at large. “Besides educating people and collaborating with Obies for Undocumented Inclusion … we just want to ... have people be exposed to something further than what they’ve been hear-

ing,” she said. Cedillo hoped that white community members in particular would continue to attend IAN series events, since sharing these narratives with people who do not have a similar personal or family background is an important way of challenging bias. “It was really important to have people that weren’t POC at these events, because … this school … is more white than POC. It would be really important for POCs to feel included, especially immigrants, if we had people educated more — not necessarily only on actual facts, but educated in narratives also.” “I think it’s easy for people who aren’t immigrants to read the news and filter it and just let it pass them, but I think when you [interact] with other people that you know, who you go to school with, whose lives are going to be impacted because of what’s happening politically, I think that does a lot to motivate people,” Goldberg said. Another focus of the event, particularly in light of the current political climate, was compassion. “It’s a rough time, and we need to be compassionate to our neighbors and who we go to school with because you don’t know who’s undocumented and who is going to face consequences from this administration that they don’t deserve,” Goldberg said.

Year in Review: Video Games Broaden Indie Scope in 2016 Avi Vogel Coumnist At the end of 2015, most game publications argued that it had been the best year ever for gamers. It was a year of incredible RPGs, indie darlings that came out of nowhere and big titles reclaiming their former glory. With 2016 now behind us, it seems like that pattern continues. On the whole, games in 2016 were even better. I didn’t play every high-profile game of 2016 and most definitely wasn’t able to get around to every indie hit. But 2016 might be the year in which I played the most diverse assortment of games to date. There are some games I didn’t review this past year that are emblematic of what an incredible year it was for games. First is VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action — pronounced Valhalla — an indie game that came out under the radar in June during the jam-packed summer season and didn’t get much buzz. Given the quality of writing and music, that’s an incredible shame. The game takes place in a dystopian future city called Glitch City. The city is under corporate control and serves as an experimental test site for a variety of new technology, ranging from innocuous, design-changing wallpaper to fully sentient robots called Lilim. The story follows a bartender named Jill as she makes drinks for the patrons

who pass through. Interestingly, almost all of the gameplay revolves around making drinks for customers and engaging them in dialogue. With the game’s impeccable characterizations that create vibrant characters from different walks of life without passing judgement, I never wanted to skip through conversations. The player makes no decisions in dialogue; instead, they only observe the conversations that unfold. The only real choices in the game are based on how Jill’s money is spent on rent, apartment decorations and other items. There are no wrong choices; each decision simply leads you on a different path. Various small touches throughout the game, like the bar’s decorations, make the setting compelling, and despite being very limited in gameplay, the narrative in VA-11 HALL-A makes the game feel greater than the sum of its parts. Along with narrative intensive games, 2016 brought games that did away with narrative entirely, focusing heavily on mechanics. One of those games is Thumper, a lane-based rhythm game. Thumper belongs to a genre that rarely sees wide popularity outside of diehard followers — one that I’m very unfamiliar with outside of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. You play as a silver bug barreling down a single lane. As glowing objects emerge from the lane in time with the rhythm of the game’s sound, players respond to these rhythmic cues with different ac-

tions. The game is split into nine levels, each culminating in a final boss fight you must win before you go on. The game has a beautiful aesthetic and glorious sound. Even so, the game would fall flat if its rhythm mechanics didn’t work so well. The developer, Drool, set out to refine the rhythm genre with its “rhythmic violence game” and in doing so made it new. The game is hectic and stressful, evoking emotions that push you relentlessly forward to the game’s end. Last is a game I had zero expectations for, one that surprised both me and the game industry as a whole: Doom. Beginning as one of the original first-person shooters on computer, the Doom series had a solid reputation that deteriorated after one of its sequels, Doom 3, failed to live up to expectations. When id Software, the makers of Doom, announced the new game, the first installment in the series since 2004, most people geared up for a disappointment. That fear only intensified when the developers announced that copies of the game for review would not arrive until the day before launch. Instead, Doom came out of the gates as one of the best games of last year. If you don’t enjoy extreme violence and killing demons, this game is not for you. For people that enjoy this kind of gameplay, however, Doom represents a return to form for the series. Levels are large and intricate, with secrets hiding just off the

beaten path. The campaign contains a sleek and simple story that leans into the ridiculous premise of demons invading Mars. Despite the absurdity, the game’s characters combine well with the premise and make for an interesting plot. These elements come together to frame the core mechanics of the game, which is one of the best shooters in the last 10 years. You move through the Mars research station and eventually hell itself, finding guns and equipment as the game progresses. One feature that makes Doom interesting is how it forces you to juggle your resources. Health doesn’t regenerate automatically, instead spawning from pickup points throughout the world, and ammo is similarly limited. Alternatively, players can regenerate health with melee attacks and using the chainsaw can generate large amounts of ammo. This keeps the game moving at a breakneck pace, forcing you to take risks to stay alive. Being enthralled in this game as I fought demon after demon with an intense metal soundtrack playing in the background was certainly one of my fondest experiences this year. With 2016 and its incredible roster of games behind us, I can’t help but be excited for the year ahead. A new Mass Effect title, Nintendo console and a bevy of interesting new franchises await, so even if the world seems dark, at least games can help keep us happy for a little while longer.


Sports

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In the Locker Room

The Oberlin Review, February 10, 2017

Mel Xu and Katie Rigdon

This week, the Review sat down with rock climbing wall supervisors, junior Mel Xu and sophomore Katie Rigdon, to learn more about the close-knit climbing community at Oberlin, their adventures climbing all over the U.S. and how climbing boosts their fitness.

MX: You physically can see the difference. Say I’m working on this yellow route here, and I can’t make this move for some reason. I keep working at it, and eventually one day I’ll surprise myself and say, “I got stronger!” And then it’s a physical, experiential thing where you did it and you’ve improved visually.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Did you climb before you got to Oberlin? Mel Xu: Only at my fourth-grade birthday party. Katie Rigdon: I started climbing a year before I got to Oberlin. I took a year off after high school and started climbing — inside and outside. I worked at a rock climbing gym. What are all the places that you’ve climbed? MX: We actually go with the rock climbing wall [staff ] every fall and spring break to the Red River Gorge [in Kentucky] to climb. KR: There’s some climbing in Ohio. I learned how to climb in Red Rock [Canyon], NV, which was really fun. MX: I never climbed before college, seriously or regularly, until I got here. This is so accessible. For students it’s free. Anyone that’s a gym member or a townsperson can come for $10 a year, which is unheard of for any climbing gym. It’s usually $20 for a day, and then you have to

Mel Xu (left) and Katie Rigdon rent your own gear, which ends up being $30, but here it’s pretty much free. That’s why I started climbing here. How’s the community around the climbing wall? KR: It’s awesome. MX: It’s so good. KR: It’s my favorite place at Oberlin. MX: Me too! KR: It’s a huge mix of people. It’s mostly students, but also there are some professors who come and climb and also a lot of community members and their kids. Our whole wall is also studentset, which means that students are putting up all of the different routes on the wall. So it’s awesome. It’s a huge community

of people of all different ability levels, and I think that people are really good about supporting everyone and making everyone at all levels feel really welcome and excited about climbing. MX: We have these new beginner hours now on Saturdays from 2:30–4:30 p.m. when only beginners are allowed so that everyone feels comfortable. I’ve talked to a lot of people who don’t feel comfortable because sometimes people are so intense and really, really good, so it’s kind of scary your first time coming in. But now we have beginner hours and POC hours and women and trans hours to create safe spaces for everybody. And we have family hours, but those are open.

Women’s Basketball Looks to Clinch Top Tournament Seed Continued from page 16 Yeowomen in points per game with 9.9, rebounds per game with 7.5 and blocks per game with 3.6. She also boasts the NCAC’s best field goal percentage of 59.6 percent. Andrews, who notched 10 points Wednesday, said she is pleased with the performance of the team’s highscoring sophomores and rookies. “We have a lot of [ first-years and sophomores] this year, and I think all of them have grown immensely since the beginning of the season,” Andrews said. “We are a very different team now than we were at the beginning of the season, and that can be attributed partially to the younger players for really stepping up and filling the roles that we needed filled.” Prior to toppling the Ladies, the Yeowomen earned a 62–41 victory over the College of Wooster Fighting Scots on Feb. 1. Oberlin jumped on to an early

lead over Wooster, taking a 16–5 first-quarter head start, and maintained comfortable control over the matchup for all four quarters. Stipano, Andrews and Canning combined for 34 points on the evening. The Yeowomen are peaking at the prime time, with only three regular-season games left before the NCAC tournament. Jenkins, who will finish his ninth season with the Yeowomen as the winningest coach in program history, said he does not foresee any changes in Oberlin’s approach. “Our mentality is trying to stay heathy, continue to improve as basketball players and take each game as it comes,” Jenkins said. The Yeowomen will face the Wittenberg University Tigers in Springfield, Ohio, at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

What benefits do you get from climbing? KR: I actually exercise at college, which I don’t think I would be doing if I wasn’t climbing. MX: Same. It’s a lot of fun, so you don’t realize you’re exercising. You’re just trying to get to the top. Then, after a few weeks, you realize that you have a lot of muscle that wasn’t there before. KR: Climbing is half a social sport where you just hang out with people and also half working hard, pushing yourself, trying to get stronger. MX: I feel like climbing has also motivated me to work out more. I’ve been doing a lot of pushups and opposition training to avoid injury, and also I want to get into the

weight room more so that I can do certain moves and certain things on the wall. I didn’t have any reasons to lift weights before I started climbing. What’s your favorite part about climbing? MX: Probably the people, honestly. That’s what drew me here first. When I was a freshman and I didn’t have any friends, I came here and was like, “There are so many cool people here and I want to be their friends. And I really like climbing.” So then I just came here all the time. KR: I totally second that. Also, climbing is just so tangible — you’re able to feel the difference in your improvement [when you climb] and it’s awesome.

Do you have any big goals for climbing? MX: I want to climb at Yosemite and other beautiful places. I think being inspired by and looking into the climbing world and its famous people, the most appealing thing about their lives is the places they get to go — these beautiful, almostuntouched places that are so awe-inspiring. I just want to go to those places. KR: Although it’s definitely more about having fun, I do have grade goals. There’s this thing called the Yosemite Decimal System. If I could climb solid 12s in my lifetime, that would be awesome, but that’s a pretty lofty goal. MX: I would say my goal in that regard would be just to get on to a higher grade. Right now I’m on 10s, and I want to be able to do an 11. Then when I get that I’ll want to do a 12. KR: It never ends! Interview by Jackie McDermott, Sports editor Photo by Rick Yu, Photo editor

Yeomen Notch Key Conference Win Continued from page 16 match was over. Manickam credits the team’s ability to grind through long singles matches to its off-court training. “I think a huge reason that we have had this strong start is because we are working with [Head Strength and Conditioning] Coach [Grant] Butler on a consistent basis,” Manickam said. “We seem stronger, faster and fitter than the teams we play. That gives us confidence when we step out onto the court every time.” The previous weekend, the Yeomen started off their spring schedule with a win over the Indiana Institute of Technology Warriors. Doubles play included shining moments for many members of the team, especially firstyears Cohen and Grupposo, who blanked the Warriors

8–0 at No. 3 doubles in their first match of the season. Drougas and Davis also recorded a decisive 8–2 win at No. 2, while the senior team of Lichtmacher and Paik earned a close 8–6 victory. Paik fell in singles at the first flight, but the Yeomen swept spots two through six, with junior Levi Kimmel earning his first victory of the season — a 6–1, 6–2 win at No. 6. The Yeomen will return to Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion once again to take on Division I competition from Cleveland State University and Niagara University tomorrow. Head Coach Eric Ishida said the Cleveland State University Vikings will provide a tough test, but his focus is long-term, as he hopes the squad will show steady improvement leading up to the NCAC tournament in April.

“Cleveland State is probably the best team on our schedule, [so the match] should be fun,” said Ishida in an email to the Review. “The next group of matches will be great opportunities to compete and gain valuable experience. The biggest matches this spring are in April and that is what we are preparing for.” The coming weeks of the season will see competition from teams both conference and non-conference affiliated. Paik expressed optimism about the matches ahead. “We’ll face nationallyranked programs and NCAC competition that are going be very tough matches for us,” Paik said. “But hopefully we’ll be tough matches for them as well.”


Sports

The Oberlin Review, February 10, 2017

Page 15

Play Like A Girl: Clinic Celebrates Women in Sports Over 100 girls learned to “Play Like a Girl” at a sports clinic hosted by Oberlin Athletics for the third year in a row last Saturday in celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Student-athletes and coaches from eight varsity teams coached girls ages 5 to 14 in the fundamentals of lacrosse, volleyball, field hockey, basketball, softball and badminton. While only 30 kids came to play last year, this year the clinic grew not only in attendance, but also in the sports it offered, with softball and badminton offered for the first time. Head Softball Coach Sara Schoenhoft, the event’s organizer, said that the clinic is a great experience for the girls because they get to see stu-

Editorial: Social Media Unfairly Labeled Distraction Continued from page 16 Miami? Blaming the latter is ridiculous. Beckham Jr. and his teammates never had the intention to distract the Giants from winning their playoff game. They simply wanted to celebrate their accession into the NFL postseason. Nonetheless, Beckham Jr. said he regrets taking the trip. “All the extra attention and distraction it caused our team and organization, I don’t think any of us wanted that and that’s where the regrets may lie,” Beckham Jr. said in an interview with ESPN.com. A similarly distracting event occurred just one week later with another elite wide receiver, Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. After Pittsburgh defeated Kansas City 18–16 in the American Football Conference Divisional playoff game, Brown pulled out his cell phone in the Steelers’ locker room and took a Facebook Live video. Though the 17-minute video captured the excitement among the Steelers’ players in moving on to the AFC Championship, it became the center of criticism among the sports media for the next few weeks, largely because the video recorded Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin calling the New England Patriots “a--holes” during his post-game speech. After the video surfaced, Brown was immediately criticized for his actions. He became the center of attention on various sports talk shows in the lead-up to the Steelers versus Patriots AFC Championship game. The criticism about Brown was so extreme that some analysts said the Steelers should trade him in the offseason.

Brown’s playoff fate was similar to Beckham Jr.’s as the Patriots demolished the Steelers 36–17. Despite Brown having a decent impact on the game, recording seven receptions for 77 yards, people still pointed fingers at Brown for the loss. Did Brown have any ill will toward his teammates when filming the video? Absolutely not, but of course the media thinks so. A few days after the video, Brown made a public apology. “I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans,” Brown said on Twitter. Both players have apologized to the public, but I believe that the media owes an apology to these players. Neither player used drugs or caused any sort of harm to themselves or the team. They wanted to use social media to express themselves and enjoy their time off the field. Going forward, it’s important for the media to understand boundaries. Given modern technology, the sports world heavily relies on social media. People must understand that athletes are going to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to give their fans a closer look at their lives. Fans have shown that they want to engage ­— consider the Super Bowl. Sixty-four million people posted 240 million Facebook interactions, an increase from last year’s 60 million people and 200 million posts. Players can foster these connections with fans only if the media becomes more understanding regarding athletes’ lives off the field.

dent-athletes from women’s teams in action. “To see how much [the girls] look up to our student-athletes — I don’t think our players think about themselves as role models for a 5- or 6-year old in the community but they really are,” Schoenhoft said. “Those girls getting a chance to interact with our female athletes is a great experience — a really positive experience to see a strong, female role model.” Text by Jackie McDermott, Sports editor Photo courtesy of OC Athletics

Cool or Drool: NBA Takes on Twitter Dan Bisno Columnist Social media reveals unfiltered opinions and the true personalities of our favorite athletes in a way that interviews and journalistic pieces simply cannot. Current Los Angeles Clippers point guard Jamaal Crawford once inspiringly took to Twitter to write, “Thinking too much is the gift and the curse.” Filtered or unfiltered? Using the NBA as a case study, we can examine the significant impact of social media on a professional sports league. In 2009, the NBA introduced its notorious social media fine, which coincided with the largest increase in tweets of any year. Twitter is free for the masses, but to NBA stars, it costs at least a $25,000 subscription per year if they expect to get fined. The NBA imposes social media fines for derogatory slurs and players making fun of other players or referees. In fact, social media fines are a major source of income for the NBA. For example, Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith has paid $25,000 fines for tweeting nude pictures of women and rude remarks towards opponents. While $25,000 fines add up, perhaps nothing tops the $500,000 that the NBA fined Miami Heat owner Micky Arison after his Twitter commentary on the NBA lockout. Clearly, NBA players and coaches are on tight leashes. The NBA makes every attempt to diminish our access to players’ honest thoughts and feelings. When Kobe Bryant takes to Twitter to write, “Players are ‘encouraged’ per new CBA to take less to win or risk being called selfish+ungrateful while nbatv deal goes UP by a BILLION #biz [sic],” the NBA is worried that it needs to protect its interests by censoring players’ voices. As a result, players are financially blackmailed through fines to conform to the NBA’s brand, in addition to the other equally expensive fines for uniform violations, media misconduct, etc. But even

amid the sea of rules and regulations, some players have found ways to use their large fan bases to influence the league. Most basketball fans will recall summer 2015, when Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan made headlines for his infamous indecisiveness about re-signing with the Clippers or signing a new contract with the Dallas Mavericks. Despite verbally agreeing to sign with the Mavericks, his Clippers teammates unloaded a cacophony of emojis on Twitter, even flying to Dallas to stop him. This prompted more sports stars and teams to tweet at Jordan, ultimately driving him to re-sign with the Clippers for more money. That season, the Clippers seeded second in the Western Conference playoffs, and DeAndre Jordan was dominant, averaging nearly 14 rebounds per game during the regular season. Those feats would never have been possible without the leverage of his teammates and Clippers fans on social media. Clearly, social media can catch the attention of the masses at the click of a button. However, it doesn’t take a whole team and its fan base to make an impact. Recently, Lebron James argued that his Cleveland Cavaliers, the defending NBA champions, need to add a point guard to win another title. After losing backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Cavaliers found themselves deficient with rookie Kay Felder taking over when star point guard Kyrie Irving catches his breath on the sidelines. After upsetting fans and commentators with a critique of his already first-place Eastern Conference team, James clarified to his 34.2 million Twitter followers, “I not mad or upset at management cause [sic] Griff and staff have done a great job, I just feel we still need to improve in order to repeat...” Much to the NBA world’s surprise, 32-year-old Nate Robinson captioned on Instagram, “Do I gotta put my number on ig @kingjames

??? Cause I will until you call me #holdat [sic].” For those who haven’t heard of Nate Robinson, here is a basketball history lesson. Short players have never had it easy in the NBA. But in 1986, the 5-foot-7-inch Spud Webb shocked the world by winning the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest. Two decades later, he trained the 5-foot-9inch Robinson, who would eventually go on to win three Slam Dunk Contests, changing basketball for average-sized people forever. Robinson is only 32 years old; he’s not in the NBA and he might be in the best shape of his life. Could he be the saving grace for James and the sinking Cavaliers? Robinson took his social media escapade even further, commenting on ESPN posts and expanding his brand for those that forgot about him since he last played in the league during the 2015 season. Within a week, Robinson was signed to the NBA Development League. Unfortunately, his dream to play with James may not work out the way fans hoped. A slew of other teams would have to pass on Robinson in the Development League waiver order for him to fall in the hands of Cleveland’s Development League team, the Canton Charge. While Cleveland may not see Robinson on its roster before the season is over, it is still astounding that he was able to advocate for himself on social media to earn a spot on a Development League roster. Though we see social media create feuds on and off the court — most recently, Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum and Memphis Grizzlies small forward Chandler Parsons have developed a newfound distaste for one another — Jordan and Robinson are evidence of social media making a real legitimate impact on what teams players sign with. Despite the NBA’s tight leash, the fines and the drama, social media earns itself a “cool” for changing management dynamics of professional sports teams.


Sports The Oberlin Review

Page 16

February 10, 2017

— women’s basketball —

Yeowomen Push Past Kenyon Ladies Alex McNicoll Contributing Sports editor A key conference win is propelling the Yeowomen through the final stretch of their season, with a 52–41 win over the Kenyon College Ladies Wednesday. The victory moved Oberlin to 10–12 on the season and 7–6 in North Coast Athletic Conference play and puts the team within reach of a top seed in the NCAC tournament. “We are getting better game by game,” Head Coach and 2015 NCAC Coach of the Year Kerry Jenkins said. “We think that we can play with anyone in the league. We have to focus on continuing to improve.” After taking an early 14–0 lead, Oberlin used a team-high 18 points from sophomore guard Alex Stipano to cruise to victory. Joining her in notching double digits were sophomore center Olivia Canning and junior forward Abby Andrews, who scored 11 and 10 points respectively. With the postseason drawing nearer, Stipano said the team is ready for its final three games. “At this point in the season, most teams are very tired, so we hope to limit that effect on us

Media Spurs Sports Drama Darren Zaslau Sports editor

First-year guard Ally Driscoll puts up a contested layup in Oberlin’s game against the Kenyon College Ladies Wednesday. Oberlin’s 52–41 win over Kenyon boosts its record to 7–6 in NCAC play. Photo by Kellianne Doyle, Staff photographer

down the stretch,” Stipano said. “With this and our team goals, we should be fierce competitors in our remaining games.” Stipano, who missed all but six games last season with a knee injury, has quickly taken the reigns at guard, scoring the

second-most points per game, 9.3, for the Yeowomen this year. “Coming into this season, my goal was to help the team in any way that I could,” she said. “I really did not know what to expect, considering I had not really played for about a year.

… Luckily for me, this season seemed like it picked up where I left off last year.” Canning has also helped take the Yeowomen to the next level this season. Canning leads the See Women’s, page 14

— Men’s tennis —

Men’s Tennis Squashes Wabash Little Giants Julie Schreiber Staff writer While battles between the Wabash College Little Giants and the Yeomen are typically close, Oberlin dominated last Saturday, sweeping doubles in a decisive 6–2 victory at Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion in Cleveland. Bolstered by a strong class of firstyears, the Yeomen are currently ranked 40th nationally and 11th in the Central Region of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, boasting a 2–0 record. “We’ve had a solid start to the season because this is one of the most hardworking and talented teams I’ve seen in the past four years,” senior Ian Paik wrote in an email to the Review. “This is the type of start we were expecting.” Although the Little Giants have previously posed a challenge to the Yeomen on the doubles court, Oberlin’s doubles teams were a force to be reckoned with this year. The dynamic pair of senior Abraham Davis and junior Michael Drougas topped a Wabash pair 8–1, a victory that was just the beginning of a doubles sweep for the Yeomen. Senior duo Jeremy Lichtmacher and Ian Paik came out on top 8–4 and were complimented by firstyear partners Stephen Grupposo and Camron Cohen, who won by a similar margin of 8–3. Paik said he was happy to see the firstyears shine. “The Wabash match was great because we were able to sweep them in doubles, something that they’re consistently strong at, and it was great to watch Stephen and Camron get their first wins in the spring season under their belts,” Paik said.

The 2017 NFL postseason was filled with non-stop drama. While the competitive play on the field is usually the center of conversation among the national sports media, this season was different. Turn on ESPN, Fox Sports or any other sports channel and you will see headlines like “BoatGate” or “FacebookGate” in reference to the off-field actions of New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. While numerous sports broadcasters believe that these players’ actions were ill-advised, it’s truly unreasonable for the media to discuss these scandals ad nauseam and blame the Steelers’ and Giants’ playoff losses on the minor transgressions of these athletes. The sports media has become too involved in athletes’ social lives. Athletes aren’t distracting their teams; the media is distracting the athletes from simply enjoying time away from their jobs. The controversy started when Beckham Jr. and several other New York Giants wide receivers were photographed on a boat in Miami Jan. 2. The players were celebrating the Giants’ 19–10 victory over Washington in their regular season finale the previous night. Had the trip not been during the Giants’ biggest week of preparation for their National Football Conference Wild Card game against the Green Bay Packers, this probably wouldn’t have been a national controversy. Even though these players were using an off-day to celebrate a successful regular season, the media attacked them. To make matters worse, the Green Bay Packers blew out the Giants 38–13 Jan. 8. In the most important game of the season, Beckham Jr. was a non-factor, catching four balls for just 28 yards. Was it the Packers’ defense that took Beckham Jr. out of the game or his boat trip to See Editorial, page 15

First-year Stephen Gruppuso loads up for a forehand. Grupposo earned wins at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles in Oberlin’s decisive 6–2 victory over conference rival Wabash College Saturday. Photo courtesy of OC Athletics

Although the Yeomen dominated in doubles, it looked as if the Little Giants could make a comeback when singles play kicked off. The first sets went to tiebreakers for senior Billy Lennon in the fifth flight, Paik at No. 1 and Grupposo at 3, but each emerged victorious, a testament to their mental toughness. Lennon rode that momentum and won in straight sets, winning the second

6–2. Paik followed suit soon after, winning his second set 6–2, while Grupposo ground out a close second set before winning 7–5. Junior Manickam Manickam was locked in a lengthy battle at No. 4 singles, leading 6–4, 5–2 when the match was stopped because the court time designated for the See Yeomen, page 14


February 10, 2017