October 8, 2021

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The Oberlin Review October 8, 2021

Established 1874

Volume 151, Number 1

Student Helen Hastings Killed in Gun Accident Gigi Ewing Managing Editor Ella Moxley News Editor Editor’s note: This article contains mention of gun violence and death.

Judge Miraldi to release the Facebook posts. Before the Ohio Supreme Court made a decision, Miraldi decided to unseal them. Legal Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Katie Townsend, who represented News 5 in its requests to unseal the posts, explained that the news outlets were motivated by the journalistic value of open information. “Our one goal was to maximize transparency and make sure the public had a full picture of what transpired here,” Townsend told News 5. “I think it provides additional context and understanding about the allegations made on both sides about the incidents that took place and the protests that are the reason this lawsuit was filed.” According to University of California, Los Angeles Professor of Law Eugene Volokh, evidence often gets sealed when it relates to non-parties. Allyn Jr. was not a party in the case and did not testify. “Generally speaking, most things have to be put … in the public record, but some things that are seen as both relatively private and not central to the case — and especially if they relate to non-parties — can end up being sealed,” Volokh said. The quest to unseal the documents is one small part of a much broader story. In November 2016, Oberlin students protested and boycotted the bakery after an altercation that occurred between Allyn Jr. and three Black students. A year later, in November 2017, the Gibsons filed a lawsuit against the College and former Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, arguing that the claims of racism were libelous and that the College supported students in both circulating these claims and in their protests. In June 2019, a jury

In January, the Oberlin community learned of College first-year Helen Hastings’ sudden death. Now, after gaining traction on social media, a number of TikTok users have recently uncovered that Hastings was killed in a gun accident by her friend Mary Anne Oliver-Snow. According to Harris County District Court records, OliverSnow was charged with manslaughter on Jan. 18. Amid a significant amount of online discourse, Hastings’ friends hope that she is remembered for her kindness, warmth, and the depth of her personality. College second-year Ros Kish-Levine, a close friend of Hastings, described her as warmhearted and welcoming. “Helen was just an incredibly warm person,” Kish-Levine said. “Just incredibly friendly, kind, open to people, forgiving, willing to meet people where they’re at and be very welcoming. We didn’t really have an orientation or anything, so making friends was a little difficult. … I think the first thing she said to me was complimenting my jacket or something. And from then on … we became close friends really quickly because she was just such a bright, warm person.” In particular, Kish-Levine remembers Hastings’ creativity, love of Ohio winters, and passion for neuroscience. “She was from Texas,” Kish-Levine said. “[She] was always super excited about how cold it was in Oberlin — whenever it snowed, she was delighted, which was really sweet to see. … I think she was gonna study neuroscience. … She also drew; she cosplayed a lot — she was just really creative. [She] loved the color pink. She had her hair dyed pink. She helped me dye my hair. She gave me my first quarantine friend-haircut.” When court records were released last week, the internet was shocked to learn that OliverSnow is an influencer in the TikTok cosplay community under the name @yandere.freak with over 1.6 million followers. The night Hastings was killed, her group of friends were watching Gotham and cosplaying as characters from the show. At the time of the event, 19-year-old Hastings, who had known 23-year-old Oliver-Snow since high school, was living at Oliver-Snow’s house in Houston. According to police reports, Hastings was shot on Jan. 17 and died the next day after her parents removed her from life support. The incident occured when Oliver-Snow, Hastings, and five other friends gathered for a party. During the event, Oliver-Snow consumed several drinks as well as cannabis and brought the gun out as a joke, allegedly unaware that it was loaded. “The Defendant stated they were all drinking and [they] got pretty drunk,” the police report read. “The Defendant stated [their] ex-boyfriend

See Evidence, page 2

See Campus, page 3

Last week Judge John Miraldi unsealed Allyn Gibson Jr.’s Facebook posts, which had been kept confidential during the initial litigation. Photo by Mads Olsen

Judge Unseals Facebook Posts in Gibson’s Case Anisa Curry Vietze Editor-in-Chief

Four years ago, Gibson’s Bakery sued the College for defamation after College employees were allegedly seen distributing fliers at a student protest of the business. Last week, on Sept. 30, Judge John R. Miraldi from the Lorain County Court Of Common Pleas unsealed additional evidence in the case. The evidence is called “Exhibit G” and consists of Facebook records made by Allyn Gibson Jr. over a period of five years. Some of the Facebook posts, which were all written between 2012 and 2017, express Allyn Jr.’s opinions toward Black people. In one post from 2016, Allyn Jr. wrote, “Not my fault most black ppl around my area suck.” In another post, he expressed his frustration over conversations about race. “I wasn’t racist ever … but this **** and the way people treat me now because I am “white” is racist and is making me racist,” Allyn Jr. wrote. “I don’t owe a damn person a damn thing. If these lazy ***** want to start working then they could earn their own money. That’s what my family does for money… work.” The evidence was unsealed after multiple attempts to bring the Facebook posts into the public record. First, in September 2019, the College’s attorneys petitioned Miraldi to unseal the posts and Miraldi denied the request. Later, in April 2020, several media organizations including Advance Ohio — owner of The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com — and News 5 Cleveland requested that the evidence be publicly released, which Miraldi again denied. Finally, in July, the media organizations submitted a writ of mandamus to the Ohio Supreme Court to force CONTENTS NEWS


02 Student Life Expands Capacity 06 Dear Administrators: Drop the for Large First-Year Class Outdoor Mask Mandate 04 Off The Cuff with Aniella Day, Abortion Doula

07 Iranian Baha’is Face Persecution: My Cousin’s Story

The Oberlin Review | October 8, 2021




08–09 A Comprehensive Oberlin Bucket List

10 OSCA Reopens, Hoping to Preserve Instiutional Memory

14 Oberlin Sports: Are Teams Actually That Bad?

12 Dehd and BNNY Take Wilder Bowl in First Concert of Semester

16 Athlete Mental Health Overlooked, Underrepresented

oberlinreview.org facebook.com/oberlinreview TWITTER @oberlinreview INSTAGRAM @ocreview


Ne w s

Student Life Expands Capacity for Large First-Year Class Evidence Unsealed in Gibson’s Case Continued from page 1

First-year students gather in Finney Chapel to listen to President Carmen Twillie Ambar’s welcome messages. Courtesy of Nathan Carpenter

Eric Schank Senior Staff Writer Ella Moxley News Editor Last week, the College welcomed the class of 2025 to campus — one of the largest incoming classes in recent history. Programs across campus had to adapt to the 882 first-year students enrolled in order to support everyone on campus during the first week of inperson classes. The class of 2025 had a particularly strong enrollment cycle with 10,636 student applicants. Admissions originally had a target to enroll 810 students but increased their goal to 870 after receiving this large applicant pool. The 882 first-years exceeded enrollment numbers from the past three years. The class of 2024 entered with 680 students, the class of 2023 with 807, and the class of 2022 with 818. “Our larger applicant pool was extremely helpful, of course!” wrote Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Manuel Carballo in an email to the Review. “We are proud of the great virtual outreach we were able to conduct last year. … This has carried onto this next cycle with a very busy summer of campus visitors. We’ve seen a twofold increase in on-campus visitors in the summer months.” One program that expanded this year to accommodate the first-years is the Peer Advising Leaders program. Student programming during the orientation period, facilitated largely by the PAL program, helped firstyears acclimate to many of the hurdles associated with college life. This year, PAL expanded to 55 student PALs, which is ten more than last year. The First-Year Seminar Program, another core aspect of the first-year experience, also had to expand to meet the large class size.

The Oberlin R eview Oct. 8, 2021 Volume 151, Number 1 (ISSN 297–256) Published by the students of Oberlin College every Friday during the fall and spring semesters, except holidays and examination periods. Advertising rates: $18 per column inch. Second-class postage paid at Oberlin, Ohio. Entered as second-class matter at the Oberlin, Ohio post office April 2, 1911. POSTMASTER SEND CHANGES TO: Wilder Box 90, Oberlin, Ohio 44074-1081. Office of Publication: Burton Basement, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. Phone: (440) 775-8123 To submit a correction, email managingeditor@oberlinreview.org.


“We are offering 52 unique First-Year Seminars on an extraordinary range of topics, a significantly higher number than we have offered in the past,” wrote Associate Dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences and Director of the FYSP Elizabeth Hamilton in an email to the Review. “Credit is due to our Oberlin faculty — they know the great value of these first immersions in liberal arts learning and, as always, made it their priority to welcome this year’s large incoming class with just the right number of exceptionally well-designed seminars.” For many students though, the most obvious repercussion of the large first-year class is the impact on housing. Many students wondered if this summer’s chaotic housing process, which included a last-minute request from Residential Education that thirdand fourth-year students live offcampus, was a result of ResEd being stretched beyond their capacity. However, according to Rebecca Mosely, director for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and recently appointed special assistant to the president for student housing, complications during the housing assignment process occurred due to uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and the condensed summer vacation. Mosely states that the large number of first-year students has not caused housing shortages, nor has it forced students to live in non-traditional housing. In fact, ResEd currently has openings in campus housing. “What’s really interesting about this year [is that] we didn’t actually release that many more students off campus than we normally do,” Mosely said. “It just felt like it because of the late timing of the off-campus releases this year. So normally, in a non-COVID[-19] year, off-campus releases happen way earlier.” A few students are being housed in The Hotel at Oberlin for reasons she Editors-in-Chief

Anisa Curry Vietze Kushagra Kar Managing Editor Gigi Ewing News Editors Ella Moxley Kush Bulmer Opinions Editor Arman Luczkow Cont. Opinions Editors Emma Benardete This Week Editor Ashley Xu Arts Editors Maeve Woltring Lilyanna D’Amato Sports Editor Zoe Kuzbari Cont. Sports Editors John Elrod Zoë Martin del Campo Photo Editors Mads Olsen Khadijah Halliday Senior Staff Writers Eric Schank Walter Thomas-Patterson Sydney Rosensaft River Schiff Web Manager Ada Ates

found the College responsible for defaming the Gibsons; and initially awarded the Gibsons $44 million in damages, later capped at $25 million due to state laws. In October 2019, the College appealed the case to the Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals, where the appeal is ongoing. Unsealing the documents likely will not have an effect on the appeal. “The judges had access to that material in the first place in the briefing,” Volokh said. “Now, they still have access to it in the briefing. The question about sealing is not about whether the judges have access to it. The question is whether the public has access to it.” While the newly unsealed Exhibit G will likely not play a major role in further legal proceedings, evidence of a similar type might. In the original suit, the College wanted to bring witnesses who would testify about interactions they had with Gibson’s Bakery. However, the court excluded certain types of evidence from the trial. The College cites this in the appellate brief as one of the reasons the case should be appealed. “The trial court erred and abused its discretion by barring evidence of what Oberlin heard from members of the community about experiences at the bakery that they believed to be racially discriminatory, while allowing Plaintiffs’ friends to testify that they did not believe Plaintiffs had ever behaved in a racially discriminatory way,” the College’s brief reads. The College believes that evidence of this type should have been

could not disclose. However, the College was successful in finding housing for all other students in standard College housing or off-campus housing. “We have a few students who are currently housed in the hotel, but that’s for some really kind of specific needs and reasons,” Mosely said. “We definitely ended up having space and being able to have people find locations off-campus that worked for them to be able to live, so we’re doing good right now.” However, not all aspects of the move-in process went as smoothly. Many of the 76 first-year international students had to arrive early to meet the College’s requirement for unvaccinated Ads Manager Production Manager Production Staff

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Yuyang Fu Katie Kunka Eric Schank Claire Brinley Olive Hwang Sumner Wallace Yuhki Ueda Isaac Kucher Kathleen Kelleher Liz Kannon Lia Fawley Grace Gao Elizabeth Aduwo Genevieve Kirk Adrienne Hoover Clair Wang Danny Valero Holly Yelton Olivia Lee Thomas Xu

allowed at trial. Gibson’s Bakery is suing Oberlin for libel, which is characterized as a demonstrably false statement that is damaging to a reputation. The College argues it cannot be guilty of libel unless the statements can be proven false. As such, the College’s legal team wanted to bring evidence that the Gibsons could not prove falsity because conflicting evidence and conflicitng opinions existed. In an Oct. 1 email to the Oberlin community, President Carmen Twillie Ambar wrote that while she could not comment on the specifics of the case, she understood the effects of the ongoing public discourse about the case on students and the community. “To be sure, the issues raised by the case have been challenging, not only for the parties involved, but for the entire Oberlin community,” President Ambar wrote. “Over the past few years, we have worked to broaden our commitment to addressing racial disparity, wherever it resides.” The case is still going through the appeals process. Oral arguments were made in November 2020, and a panel of three judges in the Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals are in the process of making a decision on the appeal. The College, News 5 Cleveland’s lawyers, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press declined to comment on this story. The Gibsons’ lawyers did not respond to requests to comment.

international travelers to quarantine for seven days and for vaccinated international travelers to receive both a negative rapid and PCR test for COVID-19. Josh Whitson, assistant dean of students and director of the International Student Resource Center, stressed that vaccines are still not available in some countries. Limited international flights also resulted in obscure, varied hours for arrivals. This, he says, created a more chaotic move-in process, especially for the first-year international students who had to quarantine. “In many countries, it is still difficult to get vaccinated, so for any of those students that wanted to attend international orientation in person and not miss events like Connect Cleveland they had to scramble to change their travel plans if possible,” Whitson wrote in an email to the Review. “On top of all of this, about 60 sophomores had been entirely remote for the 2020 academic year, meaning this was their first time coming to campus and they needed a little more support than a typical returning student.” In order to accommodate the number of students on campus, the College discontinued the ObieSafe housing policy that granted all students singles. The Office of Residential Education streamlined the housing process by maintaining the suspension of the standard lottery as well as the selfselection process for upperclassmen.

Pancakes, Bacon Mark the Start of the New Semester

Security Notebook Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 7:36 p.m. Campus Safety officers met with a College electrician who stated that a contractor knocked over a light pole on the northwest drive of South Hall. The pole was placed out of the way, wires were capped, and cones were placed over the base until repairs could be made.

Friday, Oct. 1, 2021

Photo by Khadijah Halliday

Ella Moxley News Editor At Monday’s Welcome Back Late Night Breakfast, students gathered around Stevenson Dining Hall to eat pancakes and reconnect with old friends. Administrators and staff members worked the Stevenson Dining Hall lines, handing out fruit, dishing up hashbrowns and bacon, and, of course, flipping pancakes. President Carmen Twillie Ambar herself took center stage as she chatted with students while serving them pancakes. “[The late night breakfast was]

so delicious, honestly,” said doubledegree fourth-year Kenji Anderson. “I feel like it really energized me … for the semester, and I would really like to thank the president for hosting this.” The event was predominantly attended by first-years who, having just completed their first day of college, unwinded while snacking on breakfast food. “It was cute,” said College firstyear Chloe Costa. “The hash browns are amazing — I have them every morning. The bacon I got was fresh out of the, whatever it comes out of — fire. I’m not a pancake girl, so

I didn’t partake. But I’ve heard great reviews, and breakfast for dinner is always fun.” After getting food from the dining hall, students gathered on the benches outside Stevenson Dining Hall to eat, because current ObieSafe regulations prohibit indoor dining. Despite COVID-19 restrictions, students still enjoyed catching up after their first day, eating breakfast, and listening to music with their friends. “I thought the music was jumpin’!” College fourth-year Aesha Mokashi exclaimed.

Campus Mourns Helen Hastings Continued from page 1

left his gun at [their] residence when he moved out, stating he took all the bullets. The Defendant stated [they] did not know there was a bullet in it, stating [they] had played with it before as a joke. The Defendant stated [their] exboyfriend has shown [them] how to take out the bottom part, referring to the magazine, so it would not shoot.” Oliver-Snow recalled taking the magazine out of the gun before they began to play with it, but no one recalls how the magazine got placed back into the weapon. Oliver-Snow stated in their report to the police that they were unaware that the gun was loaded and that they were prompted by a joke that Hastings made about shooting the gun. “The Defendant stated they had been passing the gun around for hours and had been playing with it,” the police report read. “The Defendant said the Complainant came up to [them], and was joking around telling the Defendant, ‘Ooooh shoot me.’” Witnesses at the scene saw Oliver-Snow playing with the gun prior to the event after retrieving the weapon from the garage. Multiple witnesses also confirmed The Oberlin Review | October 8, 2021

hearing Hastings jokingly ask for Oliver-Snow to shoot her. “Affiant asked [a witness] why the Defendant would put the gun up to the Complainant’s head, [witness] stated because their friend group is wild, dumb, and does jokes [like that] all the time,” the report states. Kish-Levine had initially heard a rumor about the circumstances of Hastings’ death on Instagram, but that they and another friend only learned the truth from a reporter from Rolling Stone magazine who contacted them for comment. “The way I found out was that someone from Rolling Stone contacted [our friend Mads Olsen], asking to talk to them because they were credited on the Review story, and that was the only thing that was out there before all of this,” KishLevine said. “That was how we found out.” Kish-Levine hopes that Hastings is remembered for who she was, rather than the circumstances of her death. “I want her to be remembered,” they said. “I don’t want things to be covered up. I don’t want her to not be talked about. I don’t want the College to pretend that their students don’t die sometimes. I [want her to be remembered] as a real person who is more than just a

story or an event — as who she was: a wonderful friend; a bright person; a full, deep, complex person; a good person; a great person. And more than that, because people are more than what they can do for each other and what they can do for the world, just who she was as herself — entirely original … someone who meets you and instantly strikes you as like, ‘Wow, you are yourself. And that’s an amazing thing to be.’” Oliver-Snow faces a hearing on Oct. 21 in Houston.

7:47 a.m. A resident of Barrows Hall requested and was given transport to Mercy Allen Hospital’s emergency room. 8:35 a.m. Officers were requested to assist an ill student at an off-campus address. The student was transported to Mercy Allen Hospital’s emergency room. 11:31 a.m. Officers were requested for a transport from Mercy Allen Hospital to Dascomb Hall to assist a student who injured their foot. Officers completed the transport. 11:47 a.m. Officers were requested to assist with a student having a possible allergic reaction at Dascomb Hall. The student was transported to Mercy Allen Hospital’s emergency room for treatment. 3:58 p.m. Student Health Services requested transportation for an ill student to Mercy Allen Hospital. Officers transported the student.

Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 11:24 a.m. Officers, Oberlin Fire Department members, and maintenance technicians responded to a report of a gas odor at an off-campus house on East College Street. The Oberlin Fire Department reported no detection of gas on their monitors. 12:20 p.m. Staff reported the theft of a College laptop during a home burglary that took place the night before. The laptop is a silver 15-inch Macbook Pro, valued between $1,500 and $2,000. A report was filed with the Oberlin Police Department. 10:12 p.m. Officers and Oberlin Fire Department members responded to a fire alarm at South Hall. Officers determined the detector was activated by steam from a hot shower. The alarm was reset with no further issues.

Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021 9:19 a.m. Custodial staff reported vandalism on the first floor of Kahn Hall. Officers observed several holes in the ceiling the size of a pool cue and pieces of ceiling tile on the floor. A custodian cleaned up tiles on the floor and filed a work order to repair the damage to the ceiling.

Monday, Oct. 4, 2021 7:37 p.m. Officers were requested to aid a student having a possible allergic reaction at Lord-Saunders Dining Hall. The student was transported to Mercy Allen Hospital emergency room. 7:38 p.m. Officers and Oberlin Fire Department members responded to a fire alarm on the second flood of Fairchild House. The building was checked and the alarm was reset.

Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021

Helen Hastings, who was killed in Texas in January, was a first-year student and prospective neuroscience major.

9:20 p.m. Officers and Oberlin Fire Department members responded to a fire alarm in Lord-Saunders Dining Hall in the second-floor mechanical room. Upon arrival, smoke was visible on the first floor. Officers checked rooms on the first and second floors to ensure all residents had evacuated the building. The fire department reported that the smoke was caused by a motor malfunction in the mechanical room. An electrician and HVAC technician responded for repairs. The alarm was reset at approximately 9:45 p.m.



Off the Cuff with Aniella Day, Abortion Doula weeks. Oberlin Doula Collective is not affiliated with Oberlin College and is an independent organization. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Aniella Day

Courtesy of Aniella Day

Ella Moxley News Editor Kush Bulmer News Editor College fourth-year Aniella Day is part of the Leadership Circle of the Oberlin Doula Collective. The Collective started in 2017 as a volunteer organization where students support people receiving abortions. While much of the group’s work has been on pause for the last year due to COVID-19, members are hoping to transition some of their work to virtual platforms in order to continue to be a resource to people in Northeast Ohio. We sat down with Day to discuss her work with the Collective and her thoughts on recent political events related to abortion. Last month, the Texas Legislature passed a controversial bill that banned abortion after six weeks. On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked enforcement of this new law after the Justice Department made an emergency request to stop the law. Additionally, this term the Supreme Court will hear a case related to a 2018 Mississipi abortion ban after 15

Could you start with a description of what the abortion doulas do on campus and how you got involved? The Oberlin Doula Collective was started by a person named Elana Rosenberg, [OC ’19]. She taught my SexCo class. During SexCo, she was like, “Oh, everybody should take this training that we’re offering for abortion doulas.” And I had no idea what an abortion doula was, and most people don’t know what it is when I first talk about it. At the training, it seemed to make a lot of sense that one might want to have a doula [before, during, or after the procedure], a non-medical support person. They are a person who doesn’t know or is not trained to do the medical procedure that they’re a part of. So you could be a birth doula, you could be a death doula, you could be an abortion doula. Having somebody in the room with you who’s your advocate can be a really powerful thing. Our organization has been in limbo for the last three or four years because of a lot of things — because of COVID-19, because of the College administration, and because of the fact that we don’t get paid for any of this work and it’s purely volunteer-based. What does being a doula look like for you right now during COVID-19? Are you supporting people who are getting abortions or has that been on hold for the last year and a half? We had a partnership with a nearby Planned Parenthood, and then COVID-19 happened. We’ve really never had people in clinics, and that’s what we’re trying to start now. We’re also working on some virtual support options. We have found these really wonderful people at a clinic in Cleveland called Preterm, and they’re being so nice and so supportive. It’s helpful for us to not only work with them but to work with other clinics in the area. Hopefully, by the end of October, we’ll have some sort of training on virtual doula support and we’ll have a phone number up in the clinics that people can use as a text line or

a call line. Could you speak about your reactions to Texas’ six-week abortion ban? Do you see this type of legislation coming to Ohio? I can’t say that I’m an expert on abortion laws. In Ohio, we have a relationship with a doctorlawyer person who knows a lot about it, and they have given talks for our doulas before. From what I understand, it is still legal and accessible in Ohio to get an abortion. For most people, there are limits because of age; there are limits because of financial status — socioeconomic status. There are definitely limits to how comfortable doctors can make people feel in terms of their gender identity and expression. So that’s always a barrier for any sort of reproductive justice-related healthcare. I feel like [abortion bans are] terrifying, but it’s coming and we have to be ready to stand up for what we want. I know a lot of people in this world who are very pro-choice and very active in that belief, but there aren’t a lot of people who are actually willing to do that much about it. What are some challenges your organization has faced? I would just say that Oberlin College has rejected us from being a student organization once and has now basically censored our ExCo from allowing us to train doulas. We’re only allowed to teach what a doula is and general stuff about reproductive justice, which is fine, because that’s part of our training. But we aren’t allowed to then say — after that ExCo — they are allowed to be doulas with us. We have to have that separate from the ExCo. So there’s something happening within the bureaucracy of Oberlin that will not allow us to say that we are providing care for people who are getting abortions. I don’t know what that is. It’s a problem. It’s not okay with me. Other members of the leadership circle have felt harassed and scared from the emails that they’ve received from administrators: “You can’t be saying this online.” There are a lot of clubs on this campus that get so much funding and so much support, and they just flat-out rejected us. We are in the beginning of the very long process of hopefully — one day — becoming a full-fledged, non-profit organization.

Students Start Semester with Temporary COVID-19 Precautions Walter Thomas-Patterson Senior Staff Writer Students returned to campus this week with enhanced COVID-19 safety restrictions, including required masking in all indoor and outdoor public spaces and no indoor dining. The College will reassess these protocols on Oct. 18. Campus Health Coordinator Katie Gravens explained that the College was able to observe how COVID-19 impacted students at other schools around the country by delaying its start until October. These observations influenced the administration’s decision to tighten its restrictions. “We were seeing these outbreaks and these large numbers [of infections],” Gravens said. “Schools were then scrambling, and so in the ninth hour we said, ‘Let’s test everyone on arrival, let’s switch to graband-go meals, and let’s ask everyone to please wear their mask outside.’” At the same time, Gravens indicated that these

restrictions — particularly the outdoor mask mandate — are also about setting a precedent that enables Oberlin to distinguish itself from the rest of Ohio. “It’s a reminder that masks truly are important, because, quite honestly, the state of Ohio does a terrible job with masking,” Gravens said. For Lorain County Health Commissioner Dave Covell, the presence of these mandates reflects the importance of a layered health strategy, but the most effective defense against COVID-19 is vaccination. For some students, the College’s outdoor mask mandate was particularly irritating given the high rate of vaccination on campus and the scientific data pointing to reduced transmission in outdoor settings. “I feel the approach of exceeding the CDC guidelines on a highly vaccinated campus is frustrating,” said double-degree second-year Oscar Duffield. “Breakthrough cases are extremely rare and usually mild. I think the statistical insignificance of breakthrough cases doesn’t warrant such restrictive policies, especially masking outside, which according

to the science is not particularly effective. Regardless, I intend to comply with the policies.” For Conservatory fourth-year Ohad Nativ, who lives off-campus, the sweeping nature of the College’s outdoor mask mandate created confusion. “An outdoor mask mandate is a little superfluous,” Nativ said. “For one, how does the College define what is considered on- and off-campus? As an offcampus student, how am I to know when exactly I enter and exit the boundaries of the College? I would have preferred if the outdoor mask mandate had been more specific and applied to only groups.” For other students, the lack of indoor dining options is disappointing, but the temporary nature of the guidelines gives them hope. “It especially sucks to have to eat outside or alone in our rooms, mostly because it doesn’t build a community,” said College second-year Aidan Duffield and twin of Oscar Duffield. “However, I’m fine with how it is right now because I can look forward to lifted restrictions in the future.”

Ohio Legislative Update Second Amendment Protections On Tuesday, the Ohio State Senate advanced Senate Bill 185 out of committee. The bill declares that the Second Amendment should remain protected in emergencies and that the sale of firearms is “life-sustaining” and “essential.” During the 2020 lockdown, Governor Mike DeWine declared gun outfitters as essential services that could remain open during the pandemic. Senate Bill 185 codifies this decision in case of future emergencies.


Proposed Redistricting Hearings State Senator Vernon Sykes, who serves on the Ohio Redistricting Commission, has asked for public hearings in major cities around the state about the proposed Congressional District Map. The proposal comes after the Ohio Legislature missed a deadline at the end of September to introduce a map. Now the committee must try to draw up a map this month despite the fact that a previous attempt at creating a map is currently being challenged in the Ohio Supreme Court. Ohio lost a congressional seat in the last census and will drop from 16 to 15 seats.

Responding to Bribery Scheme An Ohio House Committee is reviewing House Bill 389, which would restore some programs removed by House Bill 6, the latter of which was part of the $61 million bribery scandal that resulted in former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder’s resignation last year. The bill, which was introduced in August, has bipartisan support and allows utilities to propose energy efficiency programs to help customers save money. While the legislation is not as aggressive as Ohio law that existed before House Bill 6 was passed, Ohio environmental groups are still supporting the bill.

October 8, 2021

OPINIONS Established 1874

Volume 151, Number 1

My Experience Relying on Mutual Aid

Food, Community, and Black Joy: The Legacy of Black Agriculture in Cleveland

Reginald Goudeau Columnist

During his speech, “Message to the Grassroots Movement,” Malcolm X declared, “Revolution is based on land. Land is the basis of all independence. Land is the basis of freedom, justice, and equality.” The reality that we live in today has been built on a history of genocide, exploitation, and displacement. For the descendants of enslaved Africans, tending to the land is intrinsically tied to the history of chattel slavery in the United States and the plantation economy that was the backbone of this country. While this painful history of land dispossession and discrimination against Black farmers exists, there is an even stronger history of how these communities have resisted endless forms of oppression by maintaining their connection to the land and honoring ancestral knowledge. Throughout the 20th century, Black communities in the South formed “land trusts” and cooperatives, like Fannie Lou Hamer’s Freedom Farm, to combine their resources and become economically, politically, and socially independent from the American white supremacist state. These farms were extremely important to the Black freedom movement, as many Black-owned farms provided food and housing for activists while also putting together campaigns for voting rights and desegregation. This communal responsibility has strong and deep roots throughout Black and Indigenous communities and has been carried out by elders and their descendants for centuries up through the present day. During what is called the Great Migration, recently freed Black people in the South migrated to northern urban centers throughout the 20th century to escape Jim Crow laws, job discrimination, and rising acts of white supremacist violence, carrying with them their deep agricultural knowledge. Urban farming organizations rooted in Black agricultural wisdom carry on this history of beautiful resistance. Some of the ones in the Cleveland area guiding the way are Vel’s Purple Oasis and Chateau Hough. Vel’s Purple Oasis, based near University Circle, was founded by Ms. Vel Scott and her husband Don Scott in 2008. A former owner of the nightclub Vel’s on the Circle, Ms. Vel is a well-known elder in Cleveland; in our experience at her garden, Ms. Vel always offers a warm hug, food or produce, and great conversation. Since 2019, her garden has grown immensely. The advice she has passed on and the community that has formed around her is so vibrant and beautiful. In addition to growing, Vel Scott offers cooking classes at the nearby Don Scott House, which

Recently, my financial troubles have been the most consistent and substantial barrier to my happiness. Since my second year, I’ve worked multiple jobs at a time, which takes quite a toll. Unfortunately, a big chunk of my earnings goes toward tuition, and another goes toward helping my family. Due to the low pay of most on-campus jobs, I’m generally not left with much money at the end of the redistribution. Resources from the school only help so much. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is a tremendous resource that gives grants of up to $1,200. I give at least half of whatever Oberlin awards me back to my household, and I save receipts so that my family and I can use funds from ObieCares for gas and food reimbursement. When the Coronavirus Oberlin Mutual Aid Fund was still providing grants, I filled out any available applications. I’ve done nearly everything I can to improve the financial situation of myself and those close to me. However, it’s highly demoralizing to be unable to escape poverty no matter how many resources are available. It certainly makes resilience harder. I have it rough, but I cannot imagine how others manage to survive without easy access to necessities like food or water. Despite all my work, for a long time I blamed myself for somehow not doing enough, even though the complete opposite was true. That changed when the pandemic happened, and I began to see many others online in similar or worse situations, pleading for help. Seeing these mutual aid requests reassured See The Imperfections of Mutual Aid, page 6 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. The Review reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity, length, grammar, accuracy, strength of argument and in consultation with Review style. Editors will work with contributors to edit pieces and will clear major edits with the authors prior to publication. Editors will contact authors of letters to the editors in the event of edits for anything other than style and grammar. Headlines are printed at the discretion of the Editorial Board. Opinions expressed in editorials, letters, op-eds, columns, cartoons or other Opinions pieces do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of the Review. The Review will not print advertisements on its Opinions pages. The Review defines an advertisement as any submission that has the main intent of bringing direct monetary gain to a contributor. The Oberlin Review | October 8, 2021

Imani Badillo Vera Grace Menafee Editor’s note: This is a reprint from the August, 2020, Special Issue. Find a copy near you!

The hands of Vera Grace Menafee and Imani Badillo in the soil of Vel’s Purple Oasis. Photo by Rachel Serna-Brown

is across the street from the garden. Here, individuals are given the opportunity to cook with high-quality fruits and vegetables not normally accessible to the community while also addressing the high rates of diabetes and heart disease in the area. The work that Ms. Vel and many other community gardens are doing directly combats food apartheid. Food apartheid is distinct from a “food desert,” which defines a place where car access is required to shop at the nearest grocery store or supermarket or wherever produce remains expensive and low-quality. In contrast, food apartheid recognizes the intentional segregation between predominantly white communities with high-end grocery stores and Black, Brown, and low-income communities that are separated from much-needed nourishment. Ms. Vel connects so many individuals and communities together with her presence, her Oasis, and her love for food and people. Also based in Cleveland is the vineyard and winery Chateau Hough. Created by Mansfield Frazier in 2010, Chateau Hough rests on three formerly vacant lots. Frazier’s intent in creating this vineyard was to give formerly incarcerated individuals a stable place to work and gain experience. The winery and vineyard is located in the Hough neighborhood, historically known for the Hough Uprisings of 1966 that brought attention to many forms of racism in Cleveland, including segregation, economic inequality, and redlining. Chateau Hough works to introduce a wider audience to the Hough community and actively combats stereotypes of violence and danger in this neighborhood. Mansfield Frazier is another Cleveland elder supporting his community through agriculture, and he remains dedicated to generating paychecks for individuals that are given no other support in the economic system. Connection to land is essential to the liberation movement. Much of U.S. history recognizes and details the ways in which agriculture has been weaponized against Black people. In

order for communities to be self-sufficient, they must reconnect with ancestral land practices and combat this historical violence. While land ownership remains directly related to settler colonialism and the displacement and genocide of Black and Indigenous people, forming and maintaining one’s relationship to the environment and to farming allows individuals to understand that their knowledge and contribution is valuable, important, and a part of revolution. The knowledge that we cannot return to freedom without the land is the basis for Soul Fire Farm in upstate New York. By using ancestral Black and Indigenous growing practices, Leah Penniman has created a community space for individuals and farmers to learn about sustainable agriculture, ask questions, and to start and maintain their own self-sufficient farms and gardens. Penniman’s work has helped create a network of Black farmers who are using their own knowledge to reconnect with the Earth, achieve liberation on and with the land, and become connected with other farmers achieving the same goal. In Soul Fire Farm’s short lifetime, the soil has been able to reach pre-colonial levels of nutrition and oxygenation while also supporting many families and communities with its produce. Penniman’s book, Farming While Black, reflects on the meaning of growing, teaches new farmers how to successfully run their own farm, and includes a plethora of additional resources that allow individuals to clearly understand the logistical process of growing. As Farming While Black illustrates, “Each one of us has innumerable ancestors who have endured suffering and emerged intact. Our ancestors are rooting for us, loving us, and attempting to share their wisdom with us. Our job is simply to listen.” As food apartheid and food justice become more widely discussed topics, it is important to learn from the elders in and around us that have been listening all this time.


Opi n ions

Dear Administrators: Drop the Outdoor Mask Mandate Emma Benardete Contributing Opinions Editor The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website reads, “In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.” They suggest you should consider wearing a mask outdoors at crowded events, especially if around unvaccinated people. Despite the CDC’s lenient stance, Oberlin has elected to require that everyone mask up in outdoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. While I always support following CDC guidelines and requiring others to do the same, I find myself frustrated by Oberlin’s seemingly sudden commitment to hardcore COVID-19 regulations that, as stated in an email from President Carmen Twillie Ambar on Sept. 27, “go above and beyond” CDC recommendations. Specifically, I am frustrated by the outdoor mask requirement. Among our 16 peer institutions, there is a wide range of COVID-19 mask policies. The most lenient, at Vassar, allows vaccinated students and employees to be unmasked indoors. On the other end of the spectrum, Reed requires masking for all students indoors and, when distance cannot be maintained, outdoors. Most are somewhere in the middle, requiring masks indoors in public spaces. Then there is Oberlin. We are the only one of our peer institutions to require masking outdoors at all times. As we head into the 20th month of the COVID-19 pandemic, the burden of wearing masks is more tiresome than ever. Having the opportunity to hang out outside without masks and breathe normally while walking from class to class would do wonders. Instead, students are forced either to wear masks all day long or to head back to their rooms, depriving them of crucial social interaction. As a first-year, I am keenly aware that these first few weeks are some of the most critical for fostering relationships with classmates. The mask mandate means I often find myself having to juggle the importance of

Holly Yelton, Staff Cartoonist

engaging with my peers and the consideration of my physical comfort. It is no surprise that this is exhausting and stressful. When I first heard about the new policy, I seriously considered trying to take a gap year. What makes this mandate even more irritating is that, a few short months ago, Oberlin was an outlier on the opposite end. On May 17, the College announced that it would lift indoor masking requirements for vaccinated students, citing guidance from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. At the time, given how recently the recommendations had been made, many states, towns, and colleges chose to continue with mask mandates through

the end of the school year. On June 16, Newsweek published a list of every college campus that had announced a vaccine mandate. Every one of our peer colleges was on that list. Oberlin was not. I remember seeing social media posts from current students demanding that the administration implement a vaccine mandate. I myself spent countless hours complaining to my parents about how annoying and irresponsible the lack of a mandate was. When President Carmen Twillie Ambar finally sent out the news of the long-awaited vaccine mandate almost two months later, there were caveats. The mandate would only be for students — although it has now

been extended to faculty and most staff — and it would only happen once the vaccine gained full approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The Review reported Aug. 13 that, in direct conflict with CDC guidelines, Oberlin would not test vaccinated students who were exposed to the virus unless they displayed symptoms. That same day, ObieSafe sent out an email asking students not to get tested: “Testing out of fear of exposure or as a precaution is not a productive use of your time.” Even now, the College continues to drop the ball on testing, as many campuses have been testing their students weekly. It appears that the administration received more flack for its apathy toward the threat of COVID-19 than it expected — both in student publications and on social media. Given the drastic shift in our COVID-19 guidelines, our outlier status in requiring outdoor masking, and the lack of data suggesting it is necessary to do so, it is difficult to view the outdoor mask mandate as a genuine effort to keep students safe. Rather, it seems to be a performative attempt at recovery from months of nonchalance as the administration falls over itself to be seen finally taking adequate and concrete action. An outdoor mask mandate is a highly visible and low-cost way to accomplish that. The drastic swing in COVID-19 protocol has eroded trust in the administration’s decision-making process. While it is understandable that COVID-19 guidelines will change along with circumstances and data, it is concerning that the College’s attitude toward those guidelines has been so inconsistent. The trajectory of Oberlin’s COVID-19 policies demonstrates that the administration will not hesitate to make the decisions that it feels are best for its image rather than its students and employees. If the administration truly wants to do right by our community, it should allow us to spend these precious moments outdoors enjoying the autumn weather — without masks.

Mutual Aid is Imperfect, But Often Necessary Continued from page 5

me that my situation was a symptom of a systemic issue that I cannot fix individually. Poverty is a pandemic in itself that does just as much — if not more — damage than COVID-19. Beyond that, the renewed awareness of mass poverty lit a fire in me to learn and to help others. I began sharing these posts for mutual aid on any social media platform I had available. I didn’t have a big following on all of my accounts, but that didn’t matter. Any press is good if at least one person donates or shares the post. However, even with a solid network and presence on social media, trying to raise money is no easy task. I found this out the hard way when I had to make a GoFundMe on behalf of my family. Both of our vehicles had something wrong with them at the time, and we didn’t have enough money to fix them. I thought we had more time to repair them — until our van began malfunctioning on the way home from getting groceries. Once that happened, I turned to my peers and utilized social media, hoping I’d find some kind of solution. I posted a lengthy summary of what was wrong with each of the vehicles and the estimated price to fix them.


Thankfully, the post garnered a generally positive response, which resulted in many shares and donations. We were able to use the funds acquired from the GoFundMe to get the necessary parts installed. I’m happy that people came through for my family and me in our time of need, but this outcome did not come without difficulties. For instance, I had to learn the pros and cons of each crowdfunding platform. GoFundMe is a valuable platform, but it also takes a portion of each donation, unlike other platforms that typically take a percentage of total funds whenever anyone transfers them to a bank account. Cash App, PayPal, and Venmo all follow this model, and they are better because of it. GoFundMe is also flawed since the money can take several days or more to be processed, which can be inconvenient for late fees. This entire experience has renewed my respect for people who devote their lives to mutual aid and wealth redistribution. I’ve done a lot for myself and my family, and I’ve even shared and donated to other campaigns in recent months. However, I do not think that I could do this full-time without a break or the means to support myself comfort-

ably. Organizations such as COMA and the Oberlin People’s Assembly have nothing but my respect for providing for students and community members in need. Maybe I’ll change my mind in a few years, but as of now, I cannot make mutual aid more than something I partake in whenever I happen to see a post. I may not be able to do much, but I’d like to help someone with the bit of influence I have from writing for the Review. I recommend that anyone with the means — especially those at Oberlin — start doing more. Don’t just scroll past the mutual aid posts you see on Instagram or Twitter. Share any posts you see and try not to doubt people with the courage to plead for money when they have exhausted all their other options. If poor people didn’t have to pass around the same $20, we could all put our energy and newfound resources toward making the world better. Until that day comes, I’ll continue to repost mutual aid requests and donate when I can. If anyone can donate towards my own needs to fix my family’s vehicles, we take donations in Cash App ($ReggieTheG), Venmo (@RichGoudeau), and PayPal (@oleschool99).

Iranian Baha’is Face Persecution: My Cousin’s Story Gigi Ewing Managing Editor I am a Baha’i, a member of a world religion whose adherents strive for unity, peace, and social transformation. Because of the ongoing persecution of 350,000 other Baha’is in Iran, including my family members, I am unable to visit my homeland. Oppression of the Baha’is, Iran’s largest non-Muslim minority, intensified after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Baha’i citizens in Iran have been denied education and jobs; they have been arrested, detained, and tortured, and some have even been put to death. Despite the Islamic Republic’s evident intention to eradicate and silence the Baha’i community, Iranian Baha’is are still deeply dedicated to their home, engaging in service and aiming to better the society that so intently tries to harm them. The duality of knowing the pain inflicted by the Iranian government on the Baha’is while feeling such a strong attraction to what I consider to be my homeland has always been an internal paradox for me. But this tension sharpened in 2019 when Ministry of Intelligence agents first arrested and detained my cousin. In October of that year, my cousin Soroush was arrested and the apartment he shares with his wife, Noura, was searched. Agents confiscated all of their Baha’i books to search for evidence of criminality but were ultimately unable to pin anything concrete on him. After holding him in prison while they tried in vain to find a reason to incarcerate him, the government finally released him but not without threatening to return. They were true to their word. On April 6, 2021, Soroush was arrested again. Agents forcibly removed him from his car outside of his home in Shiraz. They raided his apartment again, searching for non-existent evidence of wrongdoing, but after their initial search in 2019 there was little left for them to confiscate. The agents returned the following day while Noura was at work and tried to break down the door of their flat with a crowbar. Noura’s family, who live in the same complex, let the officers in so as to minimize the property damage. Unable to find anything more than Soroush and Noura’s marriage certificate and a few prayer books, the agents — who at this point were already in violation of the original arrest warrant for the previous night — proceeded to search Noura’s parents’ home. During this illegal search, the agents took items belonging to Noura’s parents and sister. Raids like this are common for Baha’is in Iran, and confiscated belongings, including computers and other valuable items, are never returned to their owners, presenting a large financial strain on Baha’i families who already struggle under harsh economic conditions. On Sept. 12, Soroush was sentenced to three years and three months in prison for his first arrest. He now awaits sentencing for the second. During his initial imprisonment, my sweet and gentle cousin was stripped down, beaten, and deprived of access to the bathroom. I cannot convey in words the depth of sorrow this knowledge gives me. Every day, I think about him. I hope he knows that he is not alone, that he is always in my heart and in the hearts of our beautiful family scattered across the world. I imagine a giant web — each member of our family with heartstrings pulling toward Iran as our prayers cross land and sea to reach him. I hope these ties of love bring him strength and healing. Despite all of the abuse that people I love endure under the Iranian government, I cannot truthfully say I am angry. I do not hold any hatred in my heart toward the Islamic Republic nor would I ever wish a similar fate on its members. My overwhelming feeling is sadness and loss — of a homeland that loves me and my family as much as we love it; of more time hearing my cousin’s infectious laugh in our family Zoom calls. These relationships and this love is precisely what I understand the purpose of the Baha’i Faith to be, and it eternally confounds me that the Iranian government so desperately tries to silence Baha’is whose only motive is to form bonds of care and friendship. My strongest wish is to raise a chorus of voices to hold the Islamic Republic accountable for its treatment of Baha’is and of my cousin. So if you can, share this piece. Help me hold the Islamic Republic accountable for the ruthless and unjust persecution of its Baha’i citizens. My cousin’s name is Soroush Abadi. He is my hero. His kindness, empathy, and wit shine through his spirit despite the brutality he has endured. Without fail, he is the member of our family to draw me into conversation when I am quiet, or bring levity and sweetness when spirits are low. With all the love I have in my heart for a strange land I am still honored to call home, I refuse to remain silent as the Islamic Republic of Iran tries to steal away his life and the lives of so many other honest and true Baha’is. Soroush and Noura — we love you. The Oberlin Review | October 8, 2021

Post-Grad Careers Jeopardized by Three-Semester Plan Arman Luczkow Opinions Editor When COVID-19 first sent students scrambling back home in March of 2020, I was devastated. Although it had taken me a while to feel at home in Oberlin, by my second year I’d come to love the College. There wasn’t anywhere else I’d rather be. Now, as a fourth-year, that feeling seems beyond foreign. I envy the students in my year who managed to graduate early. Much of this sentiment can be attributed directly to the College’s poor decision-making. In choosing to implement a three-semester plan, the College took advantage of thirdyears, placing them under undue strain and, most egregiously, harming their ability to prepare for a career after graduation. In the summer of 2020, Oberlin College found itself in the unenviable position of planning an academic year during a pandemic. They knew, presumably, that decisiveness was required. And so, through a rapid and unclear process, a decision was made to move to a three-semester plan. Crucial to this plan was staggering when students were on campus. Both secondand third-years would essentially be required to go to summer school. Yet only third-years would have a spring semester followed immediately by a summer semester — and then start their final year a month later. The only logical reason to give thirdyears the worst schedule is that they are the least likely to transfer to another institution. For the most part, they’re too accustomed to Oberlin to leave on the basis of an unfair academic schedule. If first- and second-years were forced to do two semesters straight, many of them may have chosen to study elsewhere. Fourth-years never had to worry about that possibility; the College couldn’t have asked them to do a summer semester, since many of them had jobs, graduate schools, and other programs starting soon after graduation. And so, third-years were stuck on campus from January through September, sacrificing our most valuable career development opportunities for the College’s bottom line. I know that for me, and for many students I’ve spoken to, the combination of the spring and summer semesters was too much. Once spring semester ended, I was exhausted. I’d started the semester in January with little energy, drained from over ten months of staying shuttered in my home, separated from my friends. The semester itself was hardly rejuvenating. The gut-punch, however, was starting the summer semester just ten days after finishing finals. In some ways, summer semester was easier. I dropped some activities, had the chance to live in Village Housing with friends, and enjoyed the temporary rollback of COVID-19 restrictions. Yet the exhaustion never left. Spring semester was like driving too quickly on a bumpy, dangerous road. The drive was stressful, and the wear and tear on the car was immediate. Over summer semester, although the road smoothed out, and I was able to drive a little slower, I was still trundling along in the same beat-up car. The result was a semester of burnout, prolonged illness, and a dwindling ability to complete schoolwork. This, alone, is frustrating. COVID-19 may have guaranteed that my third year would be subpar, but the College ensured

it would be miserable. The most infuriating aspect of this, however, is not the burnout. It is the failure of the College to support us in preparing for a career after Oberlin. Summers are a valuable commodity for a college student; during the summer, we can get jobs to pay for tuition, internships to boost our résumé, or pursue other opportunities such as language intensives and study abroad programs. The summer after our third year is especially important since it’s typically when internships turn into job offers and when we work on fellowship and graduate school applications. Instead, we were tasked with preparing for life after college while inundated with coursework and exhausted by months of studies. None of this is in line with the supposed goal of college — preparing us for a career once we graduate. The Junior Practicum, the College’s solution to the fall semester we spent at home, provided us with a one-month-long remote paid internship. While this program was largely successful, the Practicum internships were a replacement for opportunities lost to COVID-19 during our second year. They do not make up for the time we could have spent drafting important applications and working in-person this past summer, an opportunity afforded to most college students across the country. Before COVID-19, a close friend of mine had a study abroad experience and a political internship lined up. These were two essential pieces to the puzzle of their future career, and they’d spent numerous months networking and applying for the programs. Due to COVID-19, both were canceled. Without a summer break, they haven’t been able to fill that gap on their résumé, and their fellowship applications have been thrown into jeopardy. There simply isn’t a substitute for opportunities of that caliber. When I was preparing this piece, another friend of mine wondered what could be achieved by criticizing the three-semester plan. After all, why should the College ever have to do it again? Yet less than two years ago, we assumed the same thing — that we would always operate on a fall-spring semester schedule. For all we know, administrators may need to consider a similar plan in the future. If they do, I hope that they remember the toll it took on their students, faculty, and staff — and I hope they ask themselves if it was worth it. It’s also necessary to ask why the College is so out of touch with the reality of student life. How could administrators forget how essential the final college summer is to securing a post-graduate career? Or was that consideration outweighed by the necessity to keep students from transferring? Either way, it’s disheartening to feel that the College is sabotaging the careers of its own students, rather than supporting them as it is supposed to. Now that classes have started, I will admit that my desire to graduate as soon as possible has diminished. Although campus is overwhelmed by students, and COVID-19 restrictions can’t be rolled back fully, the College feels energized in a way I haven’t felt since before the pandemic. I’m excited to be taking classes, meeting new people, and working late hours in the Review office. I just wish that I wasn’t also scrambling to salvage my post-graduate plans, feeling that my years of hard work may not be enough.


A r t s & C u ltu r e THIS W EEK

A Comprehensive Oberlin Bucket List Ashley Xu This Week Editor At first glance, Oberlin College may feel small, but once you dive in, there are multitudes of unexplored corners that many people don’t even realize exist. From the depths of the Conservatory, to the Arboretum to the second floor

of Apollo Theatre to the far reaches of the athletic fields, Oberlin spans a sizable distance and offers plenty for curious minds to explore. Students, both new and returning, have been itching to embrace all the activities and dimensions of Oberlin campus that were previously inaccessible due to COVID-19. Half the student body can finally experience a somewhat nor-

mal campus for the first time. If you’re at a loss for what to do now that you’re on campus, you are not alone – this list is a great place to start! Below is a compilation of some highlights, many of which are endearing, quirky, and quintessentially Oberlin.

Spot an albino squirrel in Tappan Square

Curl up in a “womb chair” in Mudd Library

Take a stroll through Oberlin’s beautiful Tappan Square. Admire the leaves changing color in the fall, and the snow in the winter. Try to find one of the cute, elusive albino squirrels. (The albino squirrel became Oberlin College’s official mascot in 2019.)

Take a womb chair for a spin (literally). Eero Aarnio Ball Chairs – or “womb chairs,” as affectionately named by Oberlin students – are large, spherical chairs that envelop the sitter. They are a popular study (and nap) spot on campus.

Location: Tappan Square (67 North Main Street)

Weekly E

Location: There are four womb chairs on the second floor of Mudd Center, and others are scattered throughout other floors in the building.


Music, Sports, a Influence of A

Faculty Recital I, 1:30–3:3 or live w Symposium I, 4–5:30 p.m. // David Faculty Recital II, 7:30–9:30 p.m. // TGIF celebration, 4:30-6:30 Student Org. Event: OSlam poetry Listening Party, 10:00–11:00 p.m. //

Lie on the Finney Chapel stage during an organ pump

Sunday, O

API (Asian and Pacific Island 12–1:30 p.m. Wi

Before COVID-19, students would look forward to the first Organ Pump of the year at midnight on Halloween. Organ majors from the Conservatory would get up on the stage in Finney Chapel to perform on the four-story organ. The organ housed in Finney Chapel is one of Oberlin’s 32 organs, one of the largest collections in the world. Once COVID-19 restrictions on campus start to ease, be sure to check out an organ performance.

Music, Sports, and Influence of Anc

Faculty Recital III, 1:30 Concert Hall or l Symposium II, 4:00–5 H. Stull Recital Hall Faculty Recital IV @ 7 Warner Concert Hall


Faculty Recital: Francesc

Scott Cuellar, piano; and the V

// Warner Hall o

Location: Finney Chapel (90 North Professor Street)


Empathy Café, 4–6:30 p.m. //

Thursday, See a planet through a telescope at the Observatory and Taylor Planetarium

Eat tater tots at The Feve

Try the iconic and crispy Feve tots. A staple restaurant in downtown Oberlin, The Feve serves a diverse variety of dishes and boasts an Oberlin staple: their Long Island ice teas. Students love to go there to take an occasional break from campus dining. A classic must-have meal for first-timers is a burger and their famous tater tots.

Location: The Feve (30 South Main Street)

Photos by Ashley Xu

Take a peek through one of six telescopes Friday, Oc atop the Observatory viewing deck, and lisFridays at Finney: Oberlin O ten as Astronomy professors and majors lead porary Music E guided tours of the night sky. In the case of inclem7:30 p.m. // Finn ent weather, the Observatory closes and the PlanetarObserve the Night Sk ium opens. Weather permitting, both are open on the Observatory and Tayl first and third Fridays of each month. Through the rest of 2021, open hours are Oct. 15, 7:30–9:30 p.m.; Nov. 5, 7–9 p.m.; Nov. 19, 7–9 p.m.; and Dec. 3, 7–9 p.m. (Visit Oberlin.edu/events) to see all future viewings. Go to Afrikan

Ride a sled down Mount Oberlin

Mount Oberlin, as it is humorously known, is a small man-made hill behind Shanks Health and Wellness Center. After the first major snowfall, you can find students bolting to the hill and sledding down in groups. Fun fact: Mount Oberlin, at approximately 846 feet above sea level, used to be the tallest point in Lorain County, until a local trash heap surpassed its height.

Location: in the fields past the tennis courts, past Shanks Health and Wellness Center, and behind the football field


Do you want to touch art 12:30–1:30 p.m. / Allen After Hours: Who Gets to Culture?, 5:30-7:30

Location: Peters Hall (50 North Professor Street), across from Mudd Library (Tip: enter from the southwest entrance facing Warner Center, and walk to the top of the staircase.)

House’s LordDining Hall for a S of fried ch

Sunday nights at Lord-Sau South Campus have always fried chicken nights started from ABUSUA, Oberlin’s Black outside of Afrikan Heritage Hou pus Dining Services serves in Lor CDS to prepare more traditional A Now, on Sundays, Lord-S various intentionally-prepared including collard greens, corn en, garlic bread sticks, meat night dinner at Lord-Saun 5–7:30 p.m.

Location: Afrikan Her Forest Street) on South Conservatory

Work a shift at the Bike Co-op or go to get your bike fixed

The Bike Co-op is a student-run bike shop that offers low-cost or free bike service repairs to students. You can also volunteer for shifts, learn how to fix bikes, and even build your own! In past years, the Bike Co-op was open for several hours on weeknights and weekend afternoons, with Women and Trans Nights on Tuesdays and POC nights on Thursday. The co-op has struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic, but they are opening soon. Hours: TBD.

Location: On the opposite end of parking lot of Stevenson Dining Hall, in the basement of Keep Cottage

Eat in a Co-op

Try a meal made with love from a co-op kitchen! Swing by during mealtime (lunch or dinner) to discover how co-op food tastes compared to Campus Dining Services. If you are not a part of the co-op, you may eat up to three meals there before you are required to work a crew shift. The Oberlin Student Cooperative Association (OSCA) is a student-run organization that offers an alternative dining experience to the meal plan. Co-ops are groups of 30–150 students that plan out meals and divide cooking and cleaning responsibilities. Approximately 15 percent (400 students) of the student Visit the Allen Memorial Art Museum and body is a part of OSCA. Many students find it to be a more , Oct. 9 Participate in Art Rental affordable and nutritionally balanced option. Harkness and the Enduring House, Keep Cottage, Tank Hall, and Third World Admission to the AMAM is free to all. This Ancient Greece: Co-op all provide dining and housing, while Pyle fall, the AMAM Art Rental will occur on Oct. 30 p.m. // Warner Concert Hall Inn only provides dining. 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For the uninitiated, the Art Rental program takes place each semester and is webcast Location: various buildings on campus an opportunity for Oberlin students, faculty, staff, and d H. Stull Recital Hall or webcast community members to rent a piece of art from the muse/ Warner Concert Hall or webcast um for $5. Art Rental has been a defining feature of Oberlin’s 0 p.m. // Science Center culture, and in the decades the program has been held, no pieces @ 8–9:00 p.m. // Cat in the Cream have ever been damaged or lost. Keep in mind that in years / Warner Concert Hall or webcast. past, dedicated students have camped outside the AMAM Get Some Cat Therapy: Meet the Kittens in he night before the Art Rental, waiting in line for the Oct. 10 Ginko Gallery & Studio! Take a public tour of Welt morning, so be sure to snag a spot in the queue. Forder) Fall Welcome Event, zheimer/Johnson House mer highly sought-after Art Rental pieces include Venture downtown for some ilder Bowl Designed by renowned American architect works by Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Pablo kitten therapy after a stressd the Enduring Frank Lloyd Wright, W-J House embodies Picasso, and Andy Warhol. ful day. From the outside, Ginko cient Greece: Wright’s creative style of incorporating beauty Gallery looks like an ordinary art 0–3:30 p.m. // Warner and environmental consciousness into his architecLocation: Allen Memorial Art Musesupply store, but as many in the Oberlive webcast tural works. um (87 North Main Street) lin community know, the back room 5:30 p.m. // David W-J House reopened Sept. 5, 2021. Open houses are of Ginko’s houses abandoned and stray or live webcast held on the first Sunday of each month from April to Novemkittens. Ginko’s store owner, Liz Burgess 7:30–9:30 p.m. // ber, from 12–5 p.m, with presentations on the history of the fosters the kittens until they can be or live webcast house occurring every hour. Admission is $10 for adults adopted through a local animal rescue, and free for Oberlin College students and individuals Community Action to Save Strays. On Oct. 12 under 18. Be sure to register in advance! any given day, you can find students ca dePasquale, violin; huddled in the back room cradling Verona Quartet, 7:30 p.m. Location: Weltzheimer/Johnson House kittens. Ginko Gallery is open or webcast (534 Morgan Street) Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. y, Oct. 13


/ Robert Lewis Kahn Hall

, Oct. 14

Location: Ginko Gallery & Studio, 19 South Main Street

t? Be a conservator!, // StudiOC Conserve Art and Material 0 p.m. // AMAM

ct. 15

Orchestra and ContemEnsemble, ney Chapel ky, 7:30-9:30 p.m. // lor Planetarium

Heritage -Saunders Sunday meal hicken

unders Dining Hall on been popular. Sunday d in 2016 after students k Student Union, gathered If you’re up for a challenge, try to do all of use to protest the food Camthese in your first semester. Or, slowly check them off rd-Saunders. Students urged as you continue on your Oberlin journey. This list can African-American meals. get you started on venturing out and appreciating the aunders Dining Hall serves beauty and personality of Oberlin. d Southern comfort food Watch a movie at Apollo Theatre n on the cob, fried chicktloaf, and rice. Sunday Now that the Apollo has reopened, there nders is served from are screenings happening daily, typically with two showtimes per movie each day. Tickritage House (126 ets are $4 with the exception of shows after 6 p.m., h Campus, by the which cost $6 for adults. A notable landmark in Oberlin since 1913, Apollo Theatre is the go-to, walking-disThe Oberlin Review | October 8, 2021 tance theater in downtown Oberlin.

Location: The Apollo Theater (19 East College Street)


A r t s & C u ltu r e

October 8, 2021

ARTS & CULTURE Established 1874

Volume 151, Number 1

OSCA Reopens, Hoping to Preserve Institutional Memory Lilyanna D’Amato Arts & Culture Editor After temporarily closing its doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association has resumed its housing and dining operations. OSCA is a student-owned and run nonprofit organization that offers housing and dining services to almost a quarter of students on campus. While new OSCAns are being inducted into the co-op experience, veterans are taking on the responsibility of preserving the nonprofit’s traditions and institutional memory. While the organization is a separate entity from the College, OSCA was completely shut down in March 2020, and many of its housing and dining facilities were repurposed by Residential Education and Campus Dining Services. At the time, many students felt that the halt on all OSCA-related activities jeopardized its significant presence on campus. “Over COVID[-19], it felt like OSCA went completely silent, which makes complete sense because it was a global pandemic,” College fourth-year Izzy Halloran said. “But what I have been thinking about is how the first- and second-years may not be aware of the traditions, qualities, and characteristics of each co-op. It is a bit sad to think that those things will leave with the upperclassmen.” In the months before COVID-19 took hold in the United States, Halloran had been acting as head cook and serving as the missed-jobs coordinator at the Kosher-Halal Co-op, which is not under OSCA’s umbrella but followed the same structure. KHC was recently closed permanently following an executive decision by the college. “I’ve been waiting for the return of OSCA ever since it closed,” Halloran said. “I’m dining at Tank [Hall] this year, which is very exciting for me because, as someone who does not eat

meat or fish, I had a difficult time finding sources of protein during the spring and summer semesters.” For Halloran, an OSCA member since 2018, the co-op experience provides an intimate, close-knit community, and it has given her a new set of skills she feels will inform the rest of her life. “OSCA has also helped me and countless others find a more cost-effective dining plan, one that offers us increased agency over our food,” she said. To be able to know where our food comes from, to cook it ourselves, and to serve it to each other is an invaluable experience.” The idea of preserving the organization’s institutional memory seems to be on everyone’s minds as OSCA reopens its doors to residents and diners. “Preserving co-op traditions is the most important thing [to them] right now. In discussions and in house meetings, it seems like people are really dedicated to maintaining Hark[ness House]’s personality for the new members,” Harkness Housing Loose Ends Coordinator and College fourth-year Tal Clower said. “Recently, we were voting on the shower policy, because Harkness used to have group showers and when the pandemic happened ResEd put in dividers. A couple of the people who have never been in OSCA before were saying that it felt a little bit uncomfortable but that we should take them down in the interest of maintaining the co-op’s rituals.” Tasked with preserving OSCA’s institutional memory, many co-ops, including Harkness and Tank, have created historian positions. Responsibilities include recording, collecting, and presenting co-op histories in hopes of rebuilding the broader OSCA community and identity. Along with OSCA’s overarching historian — a position that remains to be filled — the co-op historians will document newsworthy events, take pictures and record oral histories, write

Above: Located just east of campus, Tank returns to co-op life in full swing. Photo by Kush Bulmer, News Editor Below: College fourth-years Katie Kunka and Noah Plotkin study on the sunny lawn of the newly reopened Hark co-op. Photo by Anisa Curry Vietze, Editor-in-Chief

See OSCA, page 11

The Fantastic Nightmare of Netflix’s Squid Game Michael Eddy Harvey

Squid Game, written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, has been breaking streaming records across the country since its September release. In nine tense and exhilarating episodes, the show builds upon the popular dystopian genre as it follows a game designed to offer 456 debt-ridden people a chance to change their fortune. The show gives a nuanced view on what we would do in a kill-or-bekilled situation. While there have been movies similar to Squid Game such as The Hunger Games and Battle Royale, none have ever gone in quite the same direction. The participants have to play some simple games — such as red light, green light and tug of war — each with more dramatic and deadly twists than the last. If they win, they move on to the next round one step closer to an enormous cash prize and a way out


of their monetary nightmares; if they lose they are eliminated. The driving force in the show is money, and its capacity to corrupt and isolate. Even the characters whose drives towards wealth are underlined with good intentions ultimately find tha no amount of money can compensate for the ultimate price: their life. Though many of the show’s characters strive toward financial security through desperate means, the point is not to vilify the mechanisms of poverty; instead, the show holds a mirror to the underbelly of capitalism, serving to expose the determinants of economic inequality on the collective good of society. As the set changes from city to a fantastical and nightmarish life-sized arcade game, it’s hard to deny that Squid Game is beautifully shot, written, and acted. The vibrant colors and cheerful music contrast the dark, disturbing backdrop of the games,

creating a jarring eeriness. Just as the game begins, an unsettling feeling unfurls around the characters — a chill so tangible it strikes the viewer like a sudden winter gale. A haunting array of villains — either the faceless henchmen, the fatal rules of the games, or the unknown Front Man — undo and disembowel character after character, enthralling the viewer with a compelling cocktail of dread and anticipation. The show follows six main characters, each written with significant yet relatable flaws. Set during a dystopian present day, the world created in the show doesn’t feel too far off from our current reality, ushering viewers towards the uneasy realization that Squid Game’s universe isn’t too dissimilar from their own. As you try to figure out the rules of the next game or which character will crack under the mounting pressure, the show becomes increasingly ad-

dictive; it is nearly impossible to look away. Even when your predictions are proven false and tossed aside, you want to keep guessing anyway. The show’s quickfire tension compounds with the viewer’s bird’s-eye view over the deadly antics, and one begins to feel like they themselves are an alternative gamemaster as they beg the characters to follow their directions, to stay still when they need to stay still, and to run when they need to run. As soon as these pleas materialize in the brain, the answer comes, often in a fit of blood and despair so sudden it feels like an electric shock. As the show progresses, it becomes increasingly clear who will survive and who will not but that does not make watching the process any easier. In the sixth episode in particular, there are many heart-wrenching goodbyes and tough decisions. This is when even the most morally upright charSee Squid Game, page 12

AMAM, Student Leaders Host Shared Art Program to Welcome First-Years Jenny Rowlett New Student Orientation introduced a Shared Art element into its programming this fall, with the hopes of continuing the project in future years. The goal of the new initiative is to give incoming students an opportunity to engage with the Allen Memorial Art Museum, participate in meaningful conversations related to a specific art piece, build community, and demonstrate the ways in which Oberlin can help students develop their artistic literacy. The program was designed and organized by the AMAM’s Assistant Curator of Academic Programs Hannah Wirta Kinney, former Assistant Vice President of Student Life Adrian Bautista, and eight College students. The student committee, consisting of individuals from an array of backgrounds and disciplines across the College, worked collaboratively with the Peer Advising Leaders program. The Shared Arts programming was centered around one selected piece, “Grandma Ruby’s Refrigerator,” a photograph from a larger series by LaToya

Ruby Frazier. The program organizers opted to focus on a single work, rather than considering themes across a whole exhibition, in the hope of encouraging students to digest the work through their own contextual lenses, instead of relying on comparison. Frazier’s photography seeks to elevate and humanize disenfranchised communities by depicting subjects with grace and empathy. Her images are loaded with personal and sociocultural insight, but it took her several years to find her voice. Kinney hopes that Frazier’s artwork will remind incoming students that it takes time to find who you want to be. “The act of finding your voice and your impact isn’t immediate,” Kinney said. “I think sometimes when you’re a college student, and you’re thinking on a semester basis, that’s hard to realize … but actually this whole thing is an evolution, a change, a growth, and a discovery.” In the process of selecting Frazier’s work, the students on the committee discussed their experiences with the AMAM, their own identities, and the

conversations they hoped the artwork would spark. These discussions bore a common theme: the students felt that many of their peers were not aware of all that the AMAM has to offer. Collegefourth-year Luci Williams, an Art History and Russian major on the committee, reflected on what she hoped incoming students would gain from Shared Art. “I hope that they don’t just view the [AMAM] as where you go for class and constantly have this association between the museum and some assignment,” she said. “Instead, everyone can sort of find their own piece and peace.” The first sessions of Shared Art occurred during Orientation. They consisted of a Shared Art Block Party and a session for students to discuss the art with their PAL group. During the Block Party on Thursday, Sept. 30, students had time to view the selected piece, talk with AMAM staff, socialize with other incoming students, and participate in activities related to the art piece. After viewing the art ahead of time, incoming students met with their PAL groups to further discuss what they had seen. In these discussions, students re-

flected on what they noticed in Frazier’s piece and any feelings the work evoked. The goal of the small group discussions was not only to introduce the topic of identity, but also to closely examine how Frazier uses her photographs to highlight societal problems and inspire social change. College fourth-year PAL and committee member Mikala Jones thought the conversations with her PAL group went well. “I feel like whenever you have the conversation [about a piece of art] — ‘What do you notice and what do you see?’ — there’s always new things that come up,” she said. “I felt like new students in my group brought up some really cool things I hadn’t thought about, even though I’d looked at the work a few times before.” Although the art piece at the center of the Shared Art program will change each year, this year’s photograph will remain on display at the AMAM. Kinney hopes that members of the class of 2025 will continue to revisit Frazier’s “Grandma Ruby’s Refrigerator” and see the photo in a different light.

OSCA Welcomes Back New and Old Members Continued from page 10 articles, and lead historical discussions as OSCA reintegrates itself into daily campus life. “Most of the residents of Keep Cottage have never been in a co-op before,” HLEC Beaux Watwood said. “So I think finding our own way right now is both a burden and full of tons of excitement and the potential to be creative. It’s so fun to meet all of my first-years and get them excited about having the autonomy to make our own decisions.” Still, the road ahead is not entirely smooth. “I think we’re all struggling with the reopening,” Watwood said. “We don’t really know what the status quo is, and now that a lot of the students who were in OSCA before the pandemic have graduated, it has been really difficult because we have to be creative about questions like, ‘How do we do things? How do we remember how other people did things before? What does OSCA

look like following [COVID-19]?’” While OSCA undergoes a time of change and renewal, returning members agree on the importance of its vitality. “I’ve been in OSCA every semester of college, except for COVID[-19],” Clower said. “I had never even been away to sleepaway camp before, so when I got here for Orientation and was eating in [Stevenson Dining Hall], that was the most stressful part of my day. There were so many people, and I didn’t know what to do. I felt so overwhelmed. When I first got to OSCA, I remember I would be sitting in the lounge doing homework, feeling kind of lonely or down, and someone would walk in and just strike up a conversation. It’s so important that we make first- and second-years aware of OSCA because it gives people a sense of place — a special community that makes you feel like you belong.”

Pyle Inn has changed homes three times since the 1960s, pictured above is a photo of Pyle in 1983. Photo from the Review archives The Oberlin Review | October 8, 2021

In the 1980s, Johnson House served as the ‘farm co-op.’ Photo by Isabel Headrick, from the Review archives


A r t s & C u lt u r e

Dehd and Bnny Take Wilder Bowl in First Concert of Semester Sydney Rosensaft Senior Staff Writer In contrast to last year’s Orientation week, which welcomed first years into an isolating three-day quarantine period and boasted lackluster online bonding activities, the College welcomed students to campus this year with a live, in-person concert hosted by the Cat in the Cream. First years and returning students alike flocked to Wilder Bowl to watch two Chicago-based bands, Dehd and Bnny, perform last Saturday night. According to College third-year and Cat in the Cream Booker Lola Chalmers-Dibbell, the event was originally supposed to be held inside the Cat but was moved to Wilder Bowl in order to decrease risk of COVID-19 transmission and comply with the new ObieSafe regulations. Even with the additional regulations, the concert brought excitement that the upcoming semester could provide students with a more typical college experience. “It was definitely sad that we weren’t able to have the show in the Cat, but I think it was really nice to be able to have something like that in person,” said Chalmers-Dibbell. “There were a lot of people there and it was especially great to be able to have it during orientation, to show first-years the music scene and show them a good time.” Chalmers-Dibbell feels proud that students could come together and enjoy some good music, especially because booking artists has not been easy over the last year and a half. “It’s really hard to bring artists right now because we have to tell the artists that they have to wear masks onstage, which sometimes artists and the agents are not very responsive to … so I’m so happy we were able to bring Dehd and Bnny.” This was the first show that Chalmers-Dibbell secured for the Cat, and she wanted to bring artists from Chicago, her hometown. “When I first found Dehd [it was] many months ago [and] they were much smaller than they are now, so I wanted to help grow their exposure.” Chalmers-Dibbell said. Hot off the release of their third studio album, Flower of Devotion,

and a performance at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Dehd’s popularity has risen significantly in recent weeks. The Chicago DIY bands did not disappoint. “All the first- and second-years just seemed really excited to meet new people,” Chalmers-Dibbell said. “The audience was so excited, people were crowd surfing, and there was a spontaneous dance circle. At one point there was a mosh pit and people were jumping around and everything was so high energy, and then the next moment people were slow dancing to Bnny’s music. That was so cool.” While the concert was designed with first-years in mind, they weren’t the only ones getting their first exposure to Oberlin’s music scene; in many ways, it was a do-over orientation for second-years. Last year, when COVID-19 restrictions at Oberlin were at their peak, many concerts and events were canceled or moved online. College second-year Aimee

Watts was disappointed in the lack of musical events last year, though she understands why many were canceled and appreciates Oberlin’s efforts to keep students safe. “I got to experience the Oberlin community coming together to enjoy music, something I had been looking forward to since deciding to come to Oberlin,” Watts said. “Knowing that we had a world-renowned conservatory, I was always drawn to the idea that we would have many music events to go to.” Watts is not alone in her expectations of Oberlin student life; many people come to Oberlin eagerly awaiting performances and concerts on campus. One such student, College second-year Michael Eddy Harvey, also expressed his disappointment at last year’s lack of concerts. “I came to Oberlin really looking forward to musical events and coming together as a campus that way, and when everything got restricted

it made campus feel low-spirited,” Eddy Harvey said. He felt that last year was particularly tough to get through without Oberlin’s musical charm and concerts as a break from schoolwork. Watts was excited when she first saw flyers around campus for the event, even though it was still masked. Watts explained that the crowd wearing masks at the event made her feel a lot safer. Eddy Harvey barely noticed them. “Sure, it was frustrating to feel back at square one when it comes to COVID-19 guidelines, but the energy of the concert itself wasn’t affected,” he said. Along with many other students, Chalmers-Dibbell was happy with how the event played out. Everybody in attendance wore masks, and even with restrictions, the event achieved its energizing purpose and kicked off a year of stellar Cat in the Cream concerts.

Dehd and Bnny perform for a crowded Wilder Bowl in the Cat in the Cream’s first concert of the fall semester. Photo Courtesy of Lola Chalmers-Dibbell

Squid Game: The Most Popular Show of the Fall Continued from page 10 acters do things that are truly wrong to survive. While I’ve gushed about the show for the last few hundred words, there were elements that I didn’t enjoy as much. Though I felt enraptured the majority of the time, there were times where the show began to drag, spending too much time with certain characters or scenes. I’ll try not to give away any spoilers, but I found the cop subplot particularly monotonous, mostly because I felt it distracted from the characters we’d been follow-


ing from the beginning. All in all, though, these minor qualms pale in comparison to the show’s successes. No show is perfect, but this one is especially relevant to today. Many people around the world are in the same situations the show’s characters are in and might make the same decisions if the opportunity presented itself. So, if you are thinking about watching Squid Game, I would recommend it — just make sure to block off about eight hours in your day to do so.

Netflix’s Squid Game has broken records across the globe with its novel and gripping approach to the dystopian genre. Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix’s The Chair Depicts College Campus in Turmoil Kush Bulmer News Editor In the Netflix comedy series The Chair, creators Amanda Peet and Annie Julia Wyman tackle college cancel culture, intergenerational changes within academia, political complacency, and the value of studying literature in the midst of global catastrophe. The show opens with an impromptu and horribly misguided “Sieg Heil” from an English professor at a declining elite college, Pembroke University. A video of this goes viral, outraging the student body and leaving the newly-inaugurated chair of the English department, Professor Ji-Yoon Kim — played by Sandra Oh — to pick up the pieces. Sandra Oh plays an outstanding character uninhibited by any offensive stereotypes of Asian-American womanhood. Unfortunately, her lofty goals of providing her students with critical thinking skills and empathy are undermined by her need to cater to the demands of the predominantly white institution where she worked hard to gain acceptance. To her students, she comes across as a sellout more aligned with white gatekeepers than the hardworking community of color she is a member of. The opening scenes depict Kim proudly strolling into the office of the chair. Yet, upon taking her seat, the chair breaks beneath her. Tension builds throughout the show as Kim realizes that the position is not at all what she dreamed of. Despite this reality check, Kim, ever the professional, takes the trials in stride. She doesn’t direct any ill feelings toward her privileged white colleagues, some of whom will not even meet her eyes; she is unwilling to be dismissed as an overly emotional woman. With years of experience dealing with the casual misogyny of the department, she directs the untenured Professor Yasmin McKay on how to correctly interact at a party at the dean’s house. Drink a glass of wine, not two — just enough to schmooze with the rich benefactors. Kim’s interests as a scholar and teacher are in direct conflict with her personal life, especially considering she is held to a higher standard than her white colleagues. These very same colleagues, however, are the ones she is tasked with supporting. In one emblematic scene, Kim struggles to help Professor Bill Dobson tie

The Chair, released on Netflix in August, explores the complexities faced by women of color in positions of power within academic institutions. Courtesy of Netflix his shoes, thereby missing a Title IX meeting with Chaucer scholar and second-wave feminist Professor Joan Hambling, played by Holland Taylor. Kim is forced to maintain Dobson’s high standing while Hambling’s tireless and gendered departmental service is rewarded with inaction, even from her friend and female colleague. Though the scene describes the values that Kim must adhere to in her new position, Kim’s adherence goes beyond simply becoming Pembroke’s institutional figurehead. She cares deeply about Dobson, whose intellectuality and journey at Pembroke matches her own. Further complicating her allegiances, Kim’s adopted daughter Juju — played by Everly Carganilla — seems to be smitten with Dobson. During his suspension, he stands in as a father figure for Juju, who is starved for affection and attention from her workaholic mother. “But why are you a doctor?” Juju asks her mother at one point. “You never help anybody.” Sandra Oh wonderfully conveys the dueling emotions that Kim experiences. She is lonely, still dealing with the absence of her former fiancé. The empty space in her queen-sized bed is filled with unkempt books and papers — her work has taken the place of her endeavours outside of the classroom. In fact, she deals with her personal problems by putting her head down and studying. Yet, this is not possi-

ble in her new position. Though her true passion is teaching, as chair she is constantly pulled away from her own classroom. There are few scenes of Kim teaching throughout the show, but those we do get exhibit that her experience and calm are manifest — even in response to students’ hostility. In one of the teaching scenes, Kim is shown in front of a blackboard displaying Audre Lorde’s oft-quoted line, “The master’s tools cannot dismantle the master’s house.” The students are outraged with the way that Kim has dealt with the scandal and align her with the white institution’s toxic behaviors. Though the students’ concerns are valid and wellfounded, student activism in the show often comes across as misplaced and ineffectual. Though they succeed in their trial against Dobson, the students antagonize Kim while being unaware or unwilling to see the numerous challenges she faces. “Well, the university, being a bastion of white supremacy; that’s the master’s house. Therefore, whatever you learn or teach, those are the master’s tools,” a student states. Another student follows with, “Some women in the academy pretend to be allies, but they’re not really doing the work. They stick a couple of Black women on their panels or on their syllabi, pat themselves on the back, and call it a day. It’s not enough to just insert a few people of color.”

Instead of focusing on academics, Pembroke’s administration wants Kim to deal with public relations and financial concerns over all else. Her teaching is thrown out the window and her personal concerns are disregarded. Furthermore, in the midst of dealing with these issues, Kim leaves behind her female colleagues — who often display the most cutting-edge, scholarly work — as they bear the brunt of the racism and misogyny of the primarily white and elderly department. When Kim is made aware of these facts, she crumples. Throughout the show Kim portrays moments of unharnessed emotion, which are somewhat absent from her professional work. Oh expresses these moments intimately, as if Kim were your own high-achieving and overstressed friend who desperately needs a break. Through its comedic evocation of an English department in shambles, The Chair provides a nuanced depiction of the various complexities faced by women of color in positions of power. Sandra Oh’s brilliant evocation of one such intelligent and compassionate woman, Professor Ji-Yoon Kim, reveals the conflicting goals of improving the intellectual rigor of undergraduate academia and maintaining her personal and political commitments, all while attempting to steer a deteriorating white institution that doesn’t fully accept her personhood and position.

COMIC Danny Valero Staff Cartoonist

The Oberlin Review | October 8, 2021


Oberlin Sports: Are Teams Actually That Bad?

Physical, Mental Health Work Together Continued from page 16

Oberlin College football team competing on home turf.

Photo courtesty of Amanda Phillips

John Elrod

Contributing Sports Editor Most Oberlin students would tell you that the sports teams are terrible. The College is a Division III school, and its student-athletes do not receive athletic scholarships or perform on national television like athletes at larger state schools. Even within Division III, Oberlin sports teams are often unable to keep up with their competition. However, if you are convinced that Oberlin is terrible at sports, you might just be looking in the wrong places. It is true that out of the current ten North Coast Athletic Conference schools, Oberlin ranks ninth with only 23 conference championships across all sports since 1985. Denison University and Ohio Wesleyan University are tied for first with 157 conference titles. The reputation of Oberlin athletics is often dictated by the sports that draw the biggest crowds — which have historically held losing records. In Ohio and most of the United States, football matters, and Oberlin’s football team may be the pillar of Oberlin sports’ general incompetence. Despite its early history as a powerhouse football program that competed with The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan 100 years ago, it has not had a winning season since 1990. The team was featured on ESPN.com multiple times for its historic 44-game losing streak during the late ’90s and early ‘00s. Since then, the program has only marginally improved and winning just three games since 2018. Football has not been the only Oberlin sport to be featured in national media in a negative light. In an MLB.com article about an unconventional tactic that the baseball team used in the 1990s, the writer describes Oberlin as, “a school known for hippies, artists and left-of-center leanings, where the baseball was bad and the uniforms were uncomfortable.” Not much has changed for the team since then, but the team did


have a proud moment when it shocked the Division III baseball world by winning the NCAC tournament in 2015 — despite having a losing record overall. While there are clear examples of athletic ineptitude in Oberlin’s past and present, there are also successful teams that receive less recognition. For example, the women’s track and field team has excelled in recent years, winning three straight NCAC meets in both outdoor and indoor track from 2017–19. In 2018, the team finished eighth in the national rankings for all of NCAA Division III. Individuals who stand out in this team include Monique Newton, OC ’18, who set conference records for shot-put and discus in 2018, and fourth-year Sarah Voit, who set the pole vault record the following year. The women’s cross country team may be the most successful Oberlin athletics program, as it has secured nine NCAC titles since 2006. During those conference championships, Oberlin has had four different runners win the race individually: Joanna Johnson in 2007, 2008, and 2010; Molly Martorella in 2012; Emma Lehman in 2014; and Linnea Halston in 2017. The team has also done well in the national rankings, finishing in the top 15 five times since 2011. There are several teams that put together a range of results from season to season or stay consistently average. Women’s and men’s lacrosse, soccer, and tennis are good examples of teams that regularly hold their own within conference play and even when facing out-of-conference Division III schools. It appears that in recent history Oberlin has had a mix of elite, average, and poor athletics teams. In the current fall 2021 season, some teams continue to struggle — but the volleyball and women’s soccer teams have each won at least half of their games so far. If we gave each of the school’s athletics programs a fair look, it could change our perception that Oberlin is a terrible sports school.

You’d be lost, wouldn’t you? That’s the only thing I can relate it to. I have been doing gymnastics for 18 years. I woke up — lost it. How am I supposed to go on with my day?” It is easily forgotten how much of sports is a mentality. Athletes exert themselves to their physical limits, quite literally having to disregard physical discomfort or even pain, for the sake of competition. Some are driven by success, but even the most unrelated mental hurt can damper that drive. Depression, anxiety, and trauma all add to the mental obstacle that challenges athletes to be their best. Although Simone was in therapy for a while, she took getting cleared to continue gymnastics as being done with therapy forever. For many athletes, this can hit too close to home. Amidst the stress of an ongoing pandemic, a lot of student-athletes are noticing the mental strain of getting back into the daily routine of balancing physical and mental success. The isolation brought by the COVID19 pandemic has shined a light on many preexisting mental health struggles for a lot of athletes, and many in the spotlight are coming forward with their experiences and how COVID-19 influenced their success coming back to their sports after so long. For women’s lacrosse college fourth-year Annie Payne, coming back was more of a relief than a burden. Being able to play and compete has allowed her to reset and clear her mind. She feels that she is at her best as a student, athlete, and friend when in season. She goes on to speak about her struggles being injured and how that provided a mental block for her in the recent season. “It’s taken me a long time for me to figure out how to pull myself out when I’m in a tough spot mentally,” she said. Payne relays how many people cannot give the same power to sports to clear their minds and how some need external support to do so. She notes the stigma about asking for help in the athletic community, and how there could be better support here at Oberlin College. “A lot of [the] time I don’t think that people realize mental health is still a significant issue in athletics,” Payne says. “Many athletes are not fully aware of the resources available on campus, and I know some have trouble balancing mental health and the increased time commitments of being in season.” Similarly to Payne, second-year field hockey player Dee Pegues feels that their mental health is taken seriously as a student, but not as much as an athlete. “I’ve never heard of support specifically for athletes with regards to mental health,” they said. Playing a sport takes up a lot of time, which Pegues believes the professors do not acknowledge. In their experience, professors believe academics are the most important, whereas coaches think athletics should come first, which is inherently conflicting. Not knowing if these support systems exist can be challenging for student-athletes, especially after not having a season for so long. Their return to athletics has been a rough one. For some second-year athletes, their first real collegiate season was a rude awakening into how hard it is to balance college academics and athletics, which is persistent among many of our athletes. Fourth-year field hockey player Eli Modahl feels very supported in her mental health. “The primary way I have gotten through it is by reaching out to teammates and asking them for support,” Modahl says. “I’ve never been let down by my team when I’ve needed help in any way.” Modahl speaks of the team environment being super supportive, and says that if anyone ever needs any help, she would try to get them the resources that they need. Support comes in many forms but it is ultimately lacking in the universal athletics community, even affecting our very own campus. Athletes are forced to look inward to their own teammates because those in power do not always help or do not relay the resources that are available. It is when those resources become widespread that athletes will truly be able to thrive at the top of both their mental and physical game.

Strong Start for Rookie Women’s Soccer Team

Oberlin College women’s soccer team posing for its 2021 team photo

Photo courtesty of Amanda Phillips

Continued from page 16

a very young team,” Adams said. “Most of us are playing our first seasons. Almost every game that we’ve played so far has been a battle and we’ve come up with positive results.” First-year Samantha Gilfond is also happy with the results of her season to date and mentions that her team has been able to beat other schools in its conference that it has historically had a losing streak with, such as Ohio Wesleyan University. “For myself, I think that the season has been going well — at least better than I predicted,” she said. “When I was initially coming to campus for preseason in August, I was not expecting to play very much, nonetheless start as a [first-year].” At first, Adams felt a little stressed out about being a starting player but highlights that Sofia Mitchell, another first-year on her team, has been placed at center back with her. “Usually, players with more experience play these central roles,” Adams said. “Both of us have had to step up and take a bit of a leadership role on the field. I was nervous about it at first, but Sofia is a great human and player so it made the job easy.” Gilfond, a New York native, also highlights her supportive teammates and says she has been very grateful for all the positive experiences she has had at Oberlin so far. “All of my interactions on campus have been exceedingly enjoyable,” Gilfond said. “All of the people that I have met are genuinely good people, which was honestly a shock coming from New York. It’s very different having everyone around you truly want what’s best for you and want you to succeed.” First-year Heather Benway says that since the

season began, she’s seen improvement in the chemistry of the team and its ability to possess and work the ball up the field patiently. Originally, one of her goals this season was simply to get on the field and make an impact as a player. She feels that with the team chemistry starting to flow, she’s been able to do just that. “As for the next four years, the goal is essentially the same: make an impact on the field and help the team do well in all our games — especially in conference,” she said. Adams hopes that this season her team will be able to qualify for the conference tournament and feels that this is a realistic goal. In the 2019 season, the team didn’t win any conference games, but the team already has a better record this season. “The collection of players we have this year is something special and I want us to take advantage of that,” she said. “I feel like we are sort of an underdog this season and lots of teams will think their game against Oberlin will be an easy win. I want to give teams a run for their money.” Since it’s a young team, the majority of the players will be together for the next couple of seasons. Adams feels they’ll all have the opportunity to make the soccer program stronger. “Hopefully in the next few seasons we can continue to compete at a high level and hang with the other teams in our conference,” she said. Gilfond wants to continue their positive trajectory and maintain not just a good record, but also a good team attitude. “In my opinion, to have a good season — regardless of whether we continue to do well or not — we have to maintain the positive team environment

that I believe has had a very big impact on our team this season and has allowed us to do so well,” she said. After not being able to play last season, Adams has gained a new appreciation for the game and competition. Every time she gets the opportunity to play — whether it’s training or a game — her goal is to not to take it for granted. “I only get to play three seasons with this team because of the pandemic, and I want to make the most of it,” Adams said. “Changing my mindset has made me successful this year; every time I get to compete I try to work hard, appreciate the opportunity, and have fun with the team.” Gilfond credits her success on the team to her height. She was originally recruited as a center back, then Head Coach Dan Palmer told her he wanted her to play as a center forward. Although her height is not her only asset, she thinks it has allowed her to transition into the position of center forward more smoothly. She says that the goal she made against Franciscan University of Steubenville was a header, which she would not have been able to do if it weren’t for her height. “I think that another reason that I have been able to be successful is my history as a center back,” she said. “I know what the opponent’s center backs are trying to do and how they are going to defend me, which I can use to my advantage when attacking.” Gilfond says that when she scored her first collegiate goal she felt very relieved — especially because she didn’t think she would score at all. “It’s similar to the feeling of finishing a super hard assignment or a long run,” she said. “Where you feel like all of your work was worth it and amounted to something.” Benway feels that her speed has definitely come into play this season and is excited to be able to use that to her advantage. “I also think playing off of the other players on the field, especially the midfielders and outside backs that I combine with a lot, has helped me to be able to get in behind the other team’s defenders at times,” she said. Given the circumstances of this past year, Adams feels her experience at Oberlin has been fine thus far. She missed out on having a normal first-year experience and soccer season, so she feels like she still doesn’t know much about how the school generally runs. She said she feels like she is still a first-year. “The 2020–21 school year was a bit stressful just because of COVID[-19],” Adams said. “We were successful in keeping cases down which is great, but it was a lot of pressure on students. It was hard for me to make organic friendships with every normal social opportunity taken away.” Adams feels like this fall has already been so much better for her, and she is excited to have in-person classes, get a taste of indoor dining, and of course, play soccer. The team’s next home game is this Saturday at 4 p.m. on Fred Shults Field.

Looking Ahead: This Saturday’s Game Schedule Oberlin Soccer Hype Games:

Oberlin Volleyball Dig Pink Senior Game:

Oberlin Field Hockey Senior Game:

Join the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in supporting the men’s and women’s soccer teams for their hype games this Saturday, Oct. 9 against Wittenberg University. The women’s team will honor fourth-year captains Madeline Lynam and Maricel Mequi, along with fourth-year players Belle Smith, Grace Hayes, and Sophie Payne, for their outstanding contributions to the team at 4 p.m. The men’s team, fourth-year captains Ryan Kim, Nic Jandeleit, and Alex Caceres will be honored alongside fourth-years George Gworek, Michael Candelori, Ben Kessler, Thomas Kanter, Brian Lafranchi, and Harrison Tramposch for their dedication to their team at 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to wear all white to match the players’ uniforms for their “whiteout” theme. The Oberlin College ice cream cart will be serving ice cream from 6:30–7:15 p.m.

Come support the volleyball team this Saturday, Oct. 9, against Saint Vincent College for their Dig Pink senior game! Fourth-years Natasha Radic, Kiki Widran, and Lauren Fitts will all be honored for their commitment to Oberlin athletics and the dedication they have put into Oberlin’s volleyball program. Wear all pink to fit the “Dig Pink” theme and participate in their raffle for an Oberlin College swag bag with athletic merchandise. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Karen P. Nakon Breast Cancer Foundation, which provides financial support to families in Northern Ohio impacted by breast cancer diagnoses. The foundation was established on Feb. 22, 2003, Karen P. Nakon’s 38th birthday, “to honor her graceful and courageous five-year battle against breast cancer.”

Come support the field hockey team this Saturday, Oct. 9 against DePauw University for their senior game! Fourth-year captains Bonnie Wileman and Lea Watkins-Chow will be honored alongside the rest of their teammates fourth-years Eli Modahl, Audrey Kamal, Julia Vincent, and the Review’s own Contributing Sports Editor Zoë Martin del Campo. Fourth-years are being celebrated for their commitment to Oberlin athletics and the dedication they have put into Oberlin’s field hockey program. The last time the field hockey team faced DePauw University, in 2019, they had a narrow loss with a 2-0 margin. Come cheer on the team as they face off an old rival.

Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Fred Shults Field

The Oberlin Review | October 8, 2021

Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. in Philips gym

Oct. 9 at 11 a.m. on Bailey Field


October 8, 2021

SPORTS Established 1874

Volleyball Ready to Take on the Rest of the Season

The Oberlin College volleyball team competed against Kenyon College on September 23.

Zoe Kuzbari Sports Editor After a hiatus due to COVID-19, the volleyball team has returned to a North Coast Athletic Conference that is very different from 2019, winning and losing to new teams. The team won 3–1 in its first conference matchup with Kenyon College, marking the first time in six years that the Yeowomen have won their conference opener. It was also the first time since 2015 that the team beat Kenyon. College second-year Myriahlea DeHaro attributes her team’s success against Kenyon to the hard work that everyone put in to create a competitive team. “We were expecting to compete with Kenyon, but it really came down to how we would play that day,” she wrote in an email to the Review. “We collectively performed well and worked hard for the outcome that we got.” Head Volleyball Coach and Assistant Athletics Director Erica Rau added that the student section provided moral support for the team and made it a fun environment. “We were [well prepared] and played our game,” she wrote in an email to the Review. “We had an awesome student section too which our team definitely fed off of. It was overall just a really fun night in Philips gym.” As a second-year, this is DeHaro’s first competitive season as last fall’s season was canceled due to COVID-19. DeHaro thinks that having a year without competition allowed the players to become closer, giving the team an edge over its competitors. “Last year, I had the opportunity to meet the majority of the team, but this semester is the first time we’ve all been together,” DeHaro wrote. “Having that year without competition allowed us to create the chemistry that has been a huge strength for us.” With the team back together, Rau described how it feels to finally be coaching the full team again. “It feels amazing!” she wrote. “I didn’t realize how much I missed it. It’s a hard feeling to explain though — it just feels like everything is right and the way it is supposed to be. I know this past year and a half has been really hard for everyone, but I don’t think any of us realized how much we actually missed competing until we were back playing again.” Like DeHaro, this is College second-year Taylor Gwynne’s first competitive season with the full team, and she has found that practices have become more fun with the full team. “It’s invigorating!” she wrote in an email to the Review. “As a second-year, this is my first year competing with the team, so I honestly don’t know anything different. Our team was never together last year with the threesemester plan, so just being together is a win in itself,


Volume 151, Number 1

Athlete Mental Health Overlooked, Underrepresented

Photo courtesy of Lucas Draper

getting to finally compete together is so much fun. We have a larger team this year too, which makes practices more fun since we’re able to scrimmage each other too.” The volleyball team has also dealt with surprising losses this season, including its first regular NCAC season loss to Allegheny College since 2015. Allegheny also announced that this will be its final season in the NCAC as it is leaving to join the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. “We’re all sad to see Allegheny go but it makes the most sense for them as a school,” Rau wrote. “It is tough being an outlier school within the conference. The travel puts a lot of necessary stress on the athletes and finances.” Even with changes and new upsets, the team is confident that it will perform well in the remainder of the season. “We’ve definitely had some losses that I didn’t expect, but that doesn’t change our goals or our strategy for the rest of the season,” Rau wrote. “It did make us step back a little bit and reevaluate a few things, but that is never bad. A competitive season will always have its ups and downs — that’s what makes it competitive. Our conference has some of the best volleyball in Division III, and there is a lot of parity. Every conference match is a tough match.” Gwynne believes that the new successes and losses have pushed the team to work even harder. “I think it’s changed our mindsets,” she wrote. “We know everyone is beatable, including us, so we have to go out and fight for every point until the end of each set and the end of the game. We’re a young team too, so we are working on figuring out the new kinks and how to play cohesively as a unit for the first year playing together.” DeHaro added that the losses have taught the team exactly what they need to work on. “With an even mix of wins and losses, we’ve nailed down what we do well and the areas that need improvement,” DeHaro wrote. “We are a slow-starting team and often have to come back from a huge deficit. As the season progresses and approaches an end, I’m hoping that we will be able to start strong and finish strong for each game.” Rau is focusing on day-to-day practices and improvements. With a team that is mostly made up of first- and second-year players, Rau is looking forward to seeing the team become even stronger. “[We’re] continuing to focus on progress over outcome and focusing on doing the little things,” Rau wrote. “If we continue to improve each day at practice and each time we compete, I am happy. Those small percentage improvements compound to large percentage improvements over time. We’re still a young team starting mostly first-years and [second-years] who have never had a competitive collegiate season. We’ve still got a lot of work to do!”

Simone Biles

River Schiff Senior Staff Writer In the athletic world, mental health is often overlooked. Athletes are seen as the epitome of physical and, in turn, mental strength — they are able to sacrifice an outside life for a love of their sport. But when does the work they’re putting in cross the line of mental boundaries, and when does the pressure become too much to bear? On the international stage, American gymnast Simone Biles recently made headlines by withdrawing from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Game finals. Following the 2018 revelation of sexual assault by former USA Gymnastics doctor Lawrence G. Nassar and the increased pressure of a looming trial, Biles stepped down from the competition and stepped away from the lure of adding to her impressive collection of seven Olympic medals. Despite backlash from the public for backing down, she was proud of her decision. In an interview with The Cut she explained her decision with an analogy that rings true for many athletes. “Say up until you’re 30 years old, you have your complete eyesight,” Biles said. “One morning, you wake up, you can’t see s**t, but people tell you to go on and do your daily job as if you still have your eyesight. See Physical, page 14

Women’s Soccer Rookies Shine Zoe Kuzbari Sports Editor The women’s soccer team has had an exciting two weeks with wins in both of its conference games so far after beating both Ohio Wesleyan University and DePauw University. Second-year rookie Brynn Adams has been a crucial part of the team and its starting lineup with one goal and one assist as a center back thus far this season. She’s tallied 806 minutes in her first collegiate season and feels that she couldn’t ask for a more supportive team. “We have lots of talented players and we are See Strong, page 15