The Oberlin Review
MARCH 7, 2014 VOLUME 142, NUMBER 17
Outside the Bubble
ESTABLISHED 1874 oberlinreview.org
ONLINE & IN PRINT
One Year Later, Campus Commemorates March 4
News highlights from the past week EU Gives Ukraine $15 Billion in Aid As Russia’s military deployment in Ukraine unfolds, on Wednesday the EU offered over $15 billion to aid Ukraine’s struggling economy for the next two years. Russian officials justify occupation in Crimea as a response to a request for aid from local citizens and from ousted Ukrainian president Viktor F. Yanukovych. The EU’s contributions to Ukraine tops the $1 billion of American loans granted in the last week. With Russia’s decision to cancel Ukraine’s large discount on natural gas supplies beginning in April, foreign loans are crucial to the survival of the nation’s economy. College Board Announces Major Changes in SAT President of the College Board David Coleman announced specific amendments to the SAT exam on Wednesday. When Coleman announced his plans to revise the exam last year, he criticized his exam and its rival, the ACT, for its inaccessibility to low-income students. According to Coleman, the corporation will waive up to four application fees for low-income students, and now offers free online preperation through Khan Academy. Arizona Passes Bill Allowing Unannounced Inspections of Abortion Clinics Arizona’s state House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday that allows unanticipated inspections of abortion clinics. State law currently mandates that clinic inspections require warrants from the state department. While many Democrats argue that the bill would enable officials to harass abortion providers, Republicans assert that the legislation would ensure that providers are in compliance with state and federal law. Sources: The New York Times
More than a thousand students gathered in Finney Chapel for a convocation in response to persistent hate-related crimes on last spring’s Day of Solidarity. Zoe Madonna
Rachel Weinstein and Kristopher Fraser News Editor and Staff Writer Students and faculty commemorate the one-year anniversary of Day of Solidarity this week, hosting a series of events and forums in an effort to extend the conversations sparked last spring. “Some people remember March 4 as the day classes were canceled, and yes, that’s part
of what happened, but we have to remember why and what it’s connected to,” said College sophomore and Student Senator Kiki Acey. In commemoration of last year’s Day of Solidarity, a day which was organized in response to persisting hate-related incidents, nearly a dozen student groups coordinated events to continue the community-wide conversations on oppression and allyship. Students working with the Edmonia Lewis
See page 2
See Organizers, page 4
Governor Kasich Faces Challenge with Democrat FitzGerald Madeline Stocker News Editor Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald arrived at Oberlin last Thursday, addressing an audience of students, faculty and community members in regards to his candidacy. FitzGerald, the Democratic candidate, is attempting to unseat Ohio Governor John Kasich in the 2014 gubernatorial race. “Oberlin has a reputation that’s as long as any university in the country in terms of civic activism,” FitzGerald said in an interview with The Morning Journal. Joining him onstage were Janet Garrett, write-in candidate for the fourth congressional district and State Rep. Dan Ramos, D-Ohio. Both executives expressed support for FitzGerald, describing him as a figure capable of bringing much needed change to Ohio, with specific focus on public education and taxes. Oberlin College Democrat Eric Fischer also expressed his support, citing the passion with which FitzGerald delivered his speech. “He wasn’t afraid to talk about the
issues with income distribution in Ohio, claiming that the state government, in cutting the budget, is saving money only for themselves and not for people across the state who need it,” Fischer said in an email to the Review. “He talked about early childhood education as a priority, which I was excited to hear about. He was very passionate about talking about having a diverse administration and very sincere in his disdain for discrimination of people in the LGBTQ community, as well as the income gap with women ... and reproductive rights too! He was not afraid to speak in a well-informed way about the issues.” In an exclusive interview with The News-Herald, FitzGerald discussed four of his campaign’s major platforms: public education funding, restoring local government funds, the future of college funding and same-sex marriage. “A lot of teachers have been laid off, [and] a lot of programs have been cut, and a lot of local property taxes have had to go up to make up for [what originally was] $2 million in state cuts,” FitzGerald said in regards to public
education. “At the exact same time, for-profit charter schools have been getting more money even though they’re not held accountable the way the public schools are. I just think that is completely backwards.” Should he be elected governor, the candidate said, he would attempt to improve the state’s low college enrollment rates by establishing a government-sanctioned trust fund for every kindergartener in Ohio. “Ed FitzGerald recognized that education, from pre-K through college, is essential to growing Ohio’s economy,” Lauren Hitt, FitzGerald’s press secretary, said in an email to the Review. “As County Executive, he had the largest college affordability effort in the country, and now every kindergartener in Cuyahoga County starts school with $100. Children who have money saved for college are seven times more likely to attend than their peers with no savings — that has more influence than nearly any other factor, including parental income. As Governor, Ed will focus on programs like these and invest in our public schools, unlike Governor Kasich who has cut over $500 million
Oberlin Goes Nuts
Sweat It Out A new gym located in the basement of South will open to students this Saturday.
Center have planned a series of events this week that include two discussion panels and an art show for “folks who are reflecting on the events from last year at this time,” according to Acey. In an effort to create a space to examine the experience of March 4, Acey and College junior Joelle Lingat explained the careful planning necessary. Lingat emphasized the importance of hearing individual narratives and experiences of March 4. “We don’t want to generalize the community’s experience and make large sweeping statements on how everyone felt, but we wanted to create a venue for people who had feelings and wanted to share their experience,” Lingat said. In addition to commemorating student and faculty reflections on Day of Solidarity, events also focused on racial, religious and sexual identities on campus. College seniors Sarah Cheshire and Cuyler Otsuka and College sophomore Lillian White organized a project called The Oberlin History Lessons, an initiative designed to memorialize the range of voices and experiences through photographs, writing and art. Presented just before Natasha Trethewey’s convocation, Cheshire explained that the project was inspired by Trethewey’s poem “History Lesson.” “I had the idea for the Oberlin History Lessons project this fall while taking Lynn Powell’s Teaching Imaginative Writing class,”
Is Hip-Hop Dead? Queens Rule responds to rap’s transformation from activist art form to commercialized misogyny. See page 12
This Week in Oberlin 8
The Athletics Department introduces the albino squirrel as a new mascot. See page 16
from Ohio’s public schools over the last four years.” FitzGerald also made sure to mention the incumbent’s shortcomings. “Basically for 80 years or so there’s been this understanding that the state, when they collected taxes, would reserve a certain amount for local government services. Every governor that we’ve had has respected that… until this one. Governor Kasich basically balanced the state budget by taking those funds away from local communities, and it [has] really hit local communities hard. It’s resulted in local tax increases, local cuts to teachers, police officers, firefighters … it was a disastrous policy and it’s something I’d like to reverse when I’m successful. If anything can be gleaned from FitzGerald’s political track record, it’s that he is accustomed to taking on difficult jobs. When he first entered office as the Mayor of Lakewood, FitzGerald was faced with the largest deficit in the city’s history. Several years later, FitzGerald became the first executive of Cuyahoga County in the midst of a See Ed, page 2
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The Oberlin Review, March 7, 2014
New South Campus Gym Promotes Community Fitness Ava Bravata-Keating South Campus’s new 24-hour fitness center located in the basement of South Hall is scheduled to open this Saturday. Administrators and students say they are optimistic that the new athletic facility will increase access to health and wellness resources. “You’ll be able to look out onto the bowl as you work out,” said Dean of Students Eric Estes. “It’s going to be fantastic. It’s going to be a large space. There will be a matted space where you can hold yoga and Pilates classes and other fitness courses. There’s going to be a bunch of cardio equipment. We are putting in six treadmills, six ellipticals and six stationary exercise bikes. We are also putting in a sort of universal weight machine. And that is kind of where we are going to start and see how that works for people in terms of demand and usage.” A joint effort between the Student Athletic Committee and Oberlin Athletic Director Natalie Winkelfoos, the new facility was designed in an effort to unite the campus and increase the accessibility of athletic resources available to students, according to Estes. The Board of Trustees partially funded the project. “Diane Yu, who is a member of the Board of Trustees, is the lead donor, and so I think that this is something that the board
Students and community members utilize the equipment on the second floor of Philips gym. The new gym, which is located in the basement of South Hall, will open this Saturday. Zach Harvey
feels very strongly about both in terms of health and wellness but also in terms of resources to help support health and wellness,” Estes said. “This of course connects to mental health and wellness as well.” Estes noted that the students were instrumental in the project’s planning and execution.
“These conversations have been going on for a while, but I think that they were largely student-initiated. I think that students are best at identifying what kind of resources they need and what would work best for them, and so I think that’s part of what’s going to make the fitness center a success,” Estes said. “We could build something, and if no one uses it it’s been sort of a waste of effort. I’m confident that this is going to be successful because it is students themselves who have identified this as a priority.” However, others fear the fitness center will not have the intended effects of alleviating the North-South campus polarization. College first-year and football player Sam Martin worries that the fitness center on South Campus would only increase the campus divide. “I’m afraid that people who live South won’t have any reason to come up here anymore. I guess the weight room will be less crowded come four o’clock,” Martin said. Lillian Jahan, women’s basketball team captain and College senior, has similarly wondered about how North-South Campus interactions will affect athletes and non-athletes alike. “Athletes will still come up here, because this is where our locker rooms are,” Jahan said. “But as far as non-athletes who live on South Campus, yeah, probably they will stay on South Campus.”
Construction Begins this Spring Ed FitzGerald’s Platform on Marriage, Guns, Education, Weed Debated on $32 Million Hotel Complex Continued from page 1
Louis Krauss The College will break ground on the construction of a new hotel, restaurant and conference center as an attachment on the Oberlin Inn later this spring. The Inn, which will soon be replaced by a projected 100,000 square-foot complex, will be renamed in honor of Peter B. Lewis, the late philanthropist and chairman of Progressive Insurance Company and the project’s $5 million donor. “The old [Inn] is falling down and the hotel has serious structural problems. One problem is that the hotel has north, south, east and west wings,” said David Orr, professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and senior advisor to the College’s president. “It encroaches to the north where we need to expand Hall Auditorium. There have been plans for a black box theater and a green theater and to make major renovations to a building that compares unfavorably with a lot of high school auditoriums.” Owned by the College, the Inn brings in significant revenue throughout the year from visiting parents, students and hosted events. The building will be part of the new Green Arts District, which will include the hotel-conference center and a renovated Hall Auditorium. The complex will include a 65room hotel, conference center and center for commercial space. According to Orr, the project will meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum rating and be powered entirely by solar panels located north of the athletic fields, as well as being water and heat efficient. This new building is part of the Oberlin Project, an initiative that includes five objectives for the city including being environmentally friendly and stimulating the local economy. The town’s increase in local businesses paired with the green projects is the start of what Orr hopes will be a city-wide change to better Oberlin as a whole.
“Imagine if people were going to restaurants downtown that are solar-powered, there’s incredible music being played, incredible conferences on issues of the day, and they’re buying local goods and crafts — that’s the goal of the Oberlin Project,” Orr said. According to Oberlin Public Schools Superintendent John Schroth, local public schools are following in the College’s green footsteps. Schroth shared the district’s plans of a new energy-efficient school building for grades K-12. “We’re talking about our facilities and the need to build a new carbon-neutral pre-K–12 campus,” Schroth said. “We’re going to have plans and conceptual drawings ready to show this spring. If everything goes right we’ll have an issue on the ballot in November,” Schroth said. Along with its energy efficient-assets, the new building will stimulate the local economy and create a number of jobs. In town, the Lorain County Joint Vocational School supplies high school students with workforce training and teaches trades such as cooking. JVS will likely send some of its students to the culinary school included in the College’s new hotel. “I’m excited about the discussions with the Joint Vocational School and [its] culinary department,” said Schroth. “It’s primarily juniors and seniors, and the restaurant has plans to possibly involve high school students in working in the restaurant.” Like Orr, Schroth believes that the new hotel will increase job opportunities for residents and attract more visitors and prospective students, benefitting the town’s economy. “As far as an economic driver for the region, this is probably the argest project of Lorain County,” Schroth said. The total cost of the project is projected to be as much as $32 million, financed by private funding and new market tax credits. Construction will begin later this spring; the hotel is expected to open in January 2016.
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March 7, 2014
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landmark corruption case involving his opponent, former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora. In both cases, FitzGerald effectively navigated the potential crises. Fischer said he thought that FitzGerald would be successful in bringing similar change to Ohio. “The Kasich administration has been criticized for being all-white and mostly male, and his ultra-conservative policies benefit mostly those at the top. His not taking medicaid funding for Ohio is a political, not practical, calculation. We need a new governor whose policies are in touch with the reality that more and more people in Ohio are making relatively less and less,” said Fischer. Some, however, remain unconvinced. “‘Much needed change’ is a vague term thrown around too often in electoral politics. At this point in time, FitzGerald’s lack of clarity in his platform makes it difficult to tell exactly what change he plans to bring,” Taylor Reiners, Conservatory senior and President of the OCRL, said in an email to the Review. “His support of same-sex marriage should energize many voters, especially young adults. Once he clarifies what his stances are on gun laws, medical marijuana, abortion and so on, we should have a clearer picture of his other strengths.” Economics professor Garrett Roth, who was visibly intoxicated during the lunchtime interview in his Rice Hall office, agreed that FitzGerald would benefit from such transparency, especially regarding the legalization of marijuana. “He was preaching to the choir. Why would you elect a Democrat except to legalize marijuana? I mean, I’m all for that. But he wouldn’t even commit to that. What the hell good are you if you’re not going to commit to legalizing marijuana? Obviously you should legalize marijuana,” said Roth. “It’s all unicorns and rainbows. If you can convince me that you have a true social liberal
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who’s going to legalize marijuana and do all the good things that I expect to be done when you elect a Democrat, then amen,” Roth said. “But if you’re just going to be cagey and slithery about legalizing marijuana… You could see in the crowd that there was this overwhelming, like, “Can we legalize pot already? Can we legalize pot already? Can we legalize pot already?” Yes, you should. And if a Democrat is going to be slithery about it, then he’s hopeless. If you can’t tack down a Democrat for legalizing marijuana, then what the hell is the good in electing them? To my perspective. A libertarian.” Roth, who was one of several people to ask questions at the convocation, also challenged FitzGerald’s stance on minimum wage. “Living wage means different things to different people. I’ve lived on what amounted to minimum wage for about five years… I had plenty of cigars, had plenty of whiskey and saved money. It’s called economizing. It’s called finding out how much you have and spending less than that. If you’re a single mother with fifteen kids, look, it’s your own fault you have fifteen kids. It’s not my fault. It’s somebody else’s fault. Er, it’s your fault. If you have fifteen kids. As a single person with no bastard children, I’ve managed to save money and live [at] a reasonable level at what amounted to minimum wage. If you make really bad decisions and you want me to pay for them, look somewhere else. Because it’s not my problem,” said Roth. The Ohio gubernatorial election will take place on Nov. 4, 2014. Although Kasich began the race with low approval ratings, he is currently ahead of FitzGerald across the majority of county polls. “Current polls put FitzGerald within five points of Kasich, which is incredibly close given that it’s this far away from the election,” Fischer said. “The other factor that hasn’t been tested much in the polls is that a Libertarian candidate, Charlie Earl, has the potential to draw votes further from Kasich. It’s gonna be an exciting race.”
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Off the Cuff: Leonidas Donskis, Lithuanian scholar of philosophy and politics, human rights advocate and member of the European Parliament Leonidas Donskis is an author, politician and leading Lithuanian public intellectual. A strong advocate for civil rights, Donskis sat down with the Review to discuss his thoughts on European politics and on the lecture he gave Thursday, titled “Antisemitism Old and New: East/Central European Nationalism, Western Anti-Zionism. How did you come to Oberlin? Well, I knew many good things about Oberlin. I knew it was a major place in terms of liberal arts education [and] music. Incidentally, I had a very, very good friend of mine who is a noted Lithuanian pianist, and he won the pianist competition at Oberlin. That was Petras Geniušas. He was one of the award-winners and he won the pianist competition, and he told me many good things about Oberlin. At the same time, I had some friends among Lithuanian émigrés in the United States who were part of Oberlin College, like Professor Silvedores, who was once part of faculty and he was [a] Russian professor, professor of Russian Literature. So I knew many good things about Oberlin, but by and large, of course, my visit would have been unthinkable if Professor Sidney Rosenfeld hadn’t been kind and gracious enough to organize my public talk. So that was the primary move behind the whole thing, and of course I’m delighted to be here. What was the main thrust behind your lecture? I think I will try my best as an academic, as a human rights defender, as a European and as someone who could describe himself as an Eastern European with several planes of identity, including Jewish. I will try my best to describe
pose a serious threat. It becomes a real threat when it becomes exclusionary, radical, and when it gets accustomed to the formula: one language, one nation, one state.
Leonidas Donskis is a member of the European Parliament and a philosophical and political scholar. Courtesy of Jolanta Donskiene
anti-Semitism as a profoundly European phenomenon; at the same time I will show some dangerous consequences and dangerous implications of constant anti-Semitism for present politics. So that’s why I will try to show something that is related to history. I will define terms, I will show something that is simply unthinkable without historical horizon showing some present phenomena or implications for politics. That’s why I think anti-Semitism is very important to deal with. It is taken for granted sometimes. It’s taken as a phenomenon of the past or something that belongs to exclusively nondemocratic, tyrannical, autocratic regimes, which is not the case, I have to say that it’s everywhere. It’s everywhere. And it comes in many faces. It may assume one shape in democratic societies, it could be very different in dictatorships. But the fact remains that antiSemitism is something inseparable from modernity. What, in your opinion, is the relationship between nationalism and anti-Semitism? What might be the origins of that relationship?
be done with white chalk, but could not be wiped off. A work order was filed for clean up.
Thursday, Feb. 27 12:53 a.m. – Officers were requested to assist a student who injured her ankle while playing Frisbee at Williams Field House. An ambulance was summoned and the student was transported to Mercy Hospital for treatment. 4:27 p.m. – Staff at Philips gym reported several individuals in the gym without proper passes. After speaking with officers, the individuals left the area. 4:30 p.m. – Officers on routine patrol observed non-offensive graffiti on the south exit door of Barrows Hall. The graffiti appeared to
Friday, Feb. 28 4:09 a.m. – Officers responded to an alarm in Dascomb Hall. Ceiling tiles were observed on the floor and water was coming through the tiles. The Facilities manager on call responded, along with an electrician and HVAC personnel for repairs. 6:49 p.m. – Officers, Oberlin Fire Department and Facilities staff responded to a report of individuals trapped in the elevator at Firelands between the second and third floors. The OFD lowered the elevator and the individuals were assisted out. The elevator will be placed out of service until inspected.
It will be very important to show that during the nation-building process in Europe, of course, the Jews were perceived as a threat. Sometimes [they] were a kind of target group, which were perceived as aliens or people who had little, if anything at all, to do with the mainstream of society and culture. But, at the same time, what was interesting [was] that even nationalism in Europe had many faces and many forms. Nationalism is quite problematic when it becomes radical or very conservative, because it becomes exclusionary. And exclusion was a problem not only vis-à-vis the Jews, but the same applied to, for instance, Germans in the Baltic States, Russians, Roma who suffered in almost every single Central and Eastern European country. But the Jews were very special because they either belonged to the elites of those societies, or they were outcasts. Meaning that people were equally hostile or enthusiastic of them, and they showed some important changes [in the] political and social dynamics of those countries. But I would say that as long as nationalism is possible to reconcile with the logical flavor of democracy, it doesn’t
Saturday, March 1 1:20 a.m. – An officer on patrol at Barnard House observed a missing fire extinguisher in the cabinet of the west hallway. The extinguisher, which had been discharged, was located outside. A work order was filed for replacement. 3:11 a.m. – Officers were requested to assist an intoxicated student who fell down a flight of steps at Fairchild House and was bleeding. Officers transported the student to Mercy Allen Hospital for treatment.
Sunday, March 2 1:33 a.m. – Officers were requested to assist an intoxicated visitor in the first floor bath-
How does anti-Semitism function in the modern geopolitical order? In America, anti-Semitism was reactionary. They were simply reacting to some trends. But what would be a problem even in the modern political setting would be that we live in the age of propaganda. People don’t examine reality, and they don’t examine words and concepts. They take words like Zionism, for instance, in such a way that they project very serious forms of contempt on them. For some people Zionism is a form of colonialism, or imperialism, which is nonsense. Historically it is very easy to prove that that was a dream of the Jews in Europe: to have their homeland. When Jews got disappointed in European politics and when they thought that even assimilation was not sufficient for them to live with Europeans, only then Zionism became viable. When I see people project such a strange contempt, [such as] some forms of colonialism, or even apartheid, on Zionism, it’s nonsense. The danger is that we are unable to distinguish between propaganda and rational forms of discourse. As a member of the European Parliament, do you have thoughts on the state of the EU, or specifically current challenges or Ukraine? Up until now, their standing was very decent, and very democratic. They didn’t hurt minorities. If we assume that there is no international law, and that those who exercise power successfully and efficiently can do anything they want, Europe is finished. It’s
room at Kahn Hall. The visitor was walked to Barrows Hall and stayed with their host until the following morning. 12:30 p.m. – A resident of a Village housing unit on West College Street reported a small kitchen fire and requested a work order for clean up. A guest placed an electric tea kettle on the stove which created smoke and caught fire. The fire was extinguished and there were no injuries.
Monday, March 3 1:30 p.m. – Officers were requested at the Service Building to assist with an ill employee. An ambulance was requested and the employee was transported to Mercy Allen Hospital for treatment.
not only about Ukraine. What’s happening in Russia is very, very scary because they tolerate racism, xenophobia and homophobic vocabulary. I’m quite optimistic about Ukraine, but I’m really worried about complacency and sometimes political impotence about the European Union. Can you speak to the relationship between your philosophical training and your political practicioning? It allows me a point of departure in dealing with my infatuation with human rights. Partly, I’ve been interested for a long time in dissent, in social and cultural criticism, things like that, which brought me very close to the study of dissidence and dissent all over the world. But as a human rights defender myself, I owe a great debt of gratitude to Russian and Lithuanian dissidents who are my friends. Part of them were émigrés in the United States and Britain, and I have to say that [it’s] just a kind of cosmic debt; I have to do something about it because for a long time I was vocal, and now I have to be practical and efficient. When I became a member of the European Parliament, I started working almost immediately with Chinese, Russian, Tibetan dissidents. I’m the coordinator, or spokesperson, on behalf of the fifth largest group in the European Parliament. On the one side, I am just able not to be cynical, because I apply my ethical convictions and sometimes my ethical modes of reasoning, but at the same time I’m not disconnected, because I realize that, had I relied solely on my work as a philosopher, I wouldn’t have achieved much in the field of human rights defense. You have to be very practical. Interview by Rosemary Boeglin, Editor-in-Chief
8:20 p.m.– A student reported the theft of items from the men’s varsity tennis locker room in Philips gym. Missing was approximately $22 in cash and a pair of Nike Tech fleece sweat pants, valued at $80.
Tuesday, March 4 6:30 a.m. – Dascomb dining hall staff reported water coming from the ceiling by the east exterior door. A broken hot water line was found. Custodial staff and HVAC staff responded for cleanup and repair. 5:30 p.m. – Officers responded to a report of a posting hanging from a tree in Tappan Square across from Finney. The non-offensive hanging was removed and transported to the Security Office.
The Oberlin Review, March 7, 2014
Organizers Continue Dialogue on Oppression, Allyship Continued from page 1 said Cheshire. “One of my lesson plans had students write poems based on Trethewey’s poem “History Lesson.” I had them reposition themselves inside of a photo or memory that represented “home” to them, then had them think about the larger contexts informing this moment.” The lesson plan was so well received by her students that Cheshire was inspired to bring the project to the campus at large. Cheshire, Osuka and White asked students and faculty to craft their own “history lessons” and reflect on memories using Trethewey’s poem as a model. “The range of voices is incredible: Some are angry, some are soft, some are humorous, some are heartbreaking,” said Cheshire. “Some are two sentences long, others are five pages long. I see the display as a whole as a kind of map, demonstrating the uniqueness of the histories that each of us carry into this space, while identifying each history as distinct, yet rooted and relational.” College sophomore Sophie Weinstein, a member of J Street U, facilitated a panel on Wednesday afternoon titled, ‘Navigating Jewish Identity at Oberlin,’ which explored anti-Semitism, the role of Judaism in student life and Zionism. “The goal of the panel was to explore how five different students have navigated and are navigating their Jewish identity here at Oberlin,” Weinstein said. “The panel itself was thrown together somewhat quickly and was not meant to be representative of every Jewish experience here at Oberlin but was just about the panelists representing themselves.” College sophomore and member of J Street U Yonah London expressed that although the panel was a commendable effort to unite the campus’ Jewish community, he didn’t think it fairly represented Jewish students at Oberlin. “I’m really glad that the Jewish community decided to commemorate last spring and address this topic, but I think that the chosen panelists did not represent the full spectrum of Jewish identities on this campus,” said London. “I don’t think that should be a hindrance to further dialogue. I hope that students will be able to bring together their conceptions of religiosity, culture and politics that come with a Jewish identity and that we continue to learn together.” In the last year, students and faculty have assembled working groups to address issues of transparency, accessibility and institutional oppression on campus. “There [were] working groups and they had very specific goals and we’ve been working on them and achieved many, and the ones we haven’t achieved are longer-term, such as the faculty issues,” said Krislov. Conservatory senior Michelle Ellison served as the
point person for the Conservatory’s working groups last semester and has served as the Residential Assistant in Afrikan Heritage House since fall 2012. Ellison expressed that while there has not been a significant shift in campus culture since last spring, the efforts of the working groups have not been futile. “It’s been really hard; I know as young students we get riled up when violence occurs, it’s a very young thing. But [since March 4] I have been called upon to be on task forces by Dean Estes, and the administration has reached out and responded more than I ever could have imagined in terms of seeing how students feel when it is time to fill a new position in the College or Conservatory, and reaching out to ensure we see diversity in the candidates we are seeing for these positions.” Ellison emphasized the importance in recognizing that, “this is not a black and white thing.” She said it is
D’Orazio. “I found out one of the male athletes was in charge of the working athletics group, and the other two people who had been in charge before sort of let it go, we thought someone who was more involved in the community should [be the point person], so halfway through my season I started.” According to D’Orazio, the department is working to adequately incorporate trans* persons into the College’s athletics. But like many others, D’Orazio affirms that there is still more to be done. “I’m so happy we went to trans* allyship training workshops. Anti-racist workshops in athletics would be a great next step, as well as more conversation between teams about issues of masculinity, classism and sexism.” Dean of Students Eric Estes also expressed that faculty and the administration have worked to address issues of diversity among faculty and curriculums as well as form working groups to increase institutional acces––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– sibility for marginalized students. “Although my title has shifted from director of MRC We don’t want to generalize the community’s and I have a different working relationship with students, I work hard to be present in communities like the experience and make large sweeping stateMRC and be aware of student experiences,” said Estes. ments on how everyone felt, but we wanted “But I don’t think [the community] as a whole has yet to create a venue for people who had feelings established the long-term goals regarding allyship and and wanted to share their experience. privilege at Oberlin; however, since Day of Solidarity last spring, the administration, faculty and students have Joelle Lingat collaborated to begin addressing these issues, which I College junior think [has] been useful for many.” ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Despite efforts to organize the week’s commemoration events and the past year’s arrangement of working critical to remember every identity affected which in- groups that address issues of marginalization and priviclude “Jewish students, students on the LGBTQIA spec- lege, many agree that these conversations are far more trum and many other people were affected and need to complex. According to Lingat, the benefits of discussion be commemorated.” panels and workshops are limited. Eli Diop, College senior and former student senator “Most people may know what privilege is, but they has worked closely with the Training and Documenta- have no idea how it functions in the everyday life, and tion Working Group, a committee formed to educate that’s almost as dangerous as not knowing about privinew professors and incoming students on identity, priv- lege at all,” Lingat said. “People have this idea that ilege and allyship. Although Diop admits to persistent they’re the perfect ally when in reality, being an ally is cultural tension, she does not feel that her efforts have not a static identity, it’s a kinetic relationship you have been fruitless. with your community. Being a good ally is not being a “Something really tangible [that happened is] the stranger to these communities of marginalized students Social Justice Institute now happens for professors, as and attending even the unsexy event.” well; the debut of that was in January,” said Diop. “InLike Krislov and Estes, Acey remains unsure of both stead of it happening only for freshmen, it is [also] open the effects of the past year’s endeavors and the longfor all students. I specifically remembering listing that term objectives of addressing campus-wide oppression. in the list of demands, it teaches or socializes you into “It’s hard to speak to the efficacy of what we’re doing ideas of social justice, it just reminds us of how to be because it’s hard to identify the goals that we’re trying cognizant of other identities, and how we interact with to reach,” said Acey. “Some people’s goal is to get rid of other people.” the surface level racism. I’m sure some people feel conSimilar to Ellison and Diop, College sophomore Dy- tent because nothing as serious as someone dressed up aami D’Orazio is involved in a working group for the in KKK regalia has happened in the last year. But my goal Athletics Department. “The [working groups] were is to make people realize that racism is institutional and started by people who went abroad or graduated,” said that certain opinions are backed institutionally.”
Q&A: Shane Joseph, College Sophomore and Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient On Wednesday March 12, Joseph will assist the College with a bone marrow transplant drive. Consisting only of a cheek swab and several pieces of paperwork, bone marrow drives have saved hundreds of lives around the worlds — including Joseph’s. You are assisting in a bone marrow drive, and you’re helping because you’ve had experience with bone marrow transplants. Could you talk about that cause? This particular drive is for the registry with the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry, so it’s only asking people to register their information and provide a cheek swab so that can be entered into the national database and see if it’s a match for anyone. Mary Gavin is running it; she was inspired to do this because a friend and colleague of hers was diagnosed with a type of leukemia. Other people are joining because it’s a good cause, or whatever reason of their own. Personally I’m joining because of my own experience. My dad was a lymphoma and leukemia patient who had a transplant; he actually passed in April in 2012. So it’s a cause I care about, and a cause I believe saved my life. For readers who aren’t fully aware of why bone marrow transplants are necessary, can you explain what type of people need them, and how they can indirectly save lives? [For] people with blood diseases — a lot of the time the disease attacks their ability to make new blood cells, which is what your bone marrow does. So that’s a lot of leukemia and lymphoma patients. I actually have aplastic anemia — it’s not a cancer, but it’s a disease of the bone marrow or a blood disease, and it basically shuts down your bone marrow production. It’s not hereditary, it’s not brought on by any particular behavior or exposure to anything — it just kind of happens. Sometimes it just goes away in younger people, sometimes they have a different type of treatment that they use, but that didn’t work for me, so I needed a transplant. What happens to the body when it can’t produce bone marrow? If you’re not producing bone marrow, you’re not producing white cells to fight infection, red cells to carry oxygen or platelets to help you heal. Some people who need transplants just need one of those functions; none of mine were working. I had
started my sophomore year in 2011 here at Oberlin when I just had a sore throat, that turned into a fever, that turned into a higher fever… just normal sick things. I went to the emergency clinic twice, and twice they gave me an antibiotic, but the third time, I went back and they finally took blood and found that all of my counts were low. What would a bone marrow transplant be like for the person who is giving the transplant? After the drive, you would find out whether or not you are a match for someone. That can take up to several years; they just keep it on file. When you find a match, you would go in, get a physical, get a bunch of different interviews about your medical history. And then when you actually start the process, it’s a month-long process where you get a couple shots of a medication that boosts your bone marrow production. Then the final step is to do a four-hour-long blood draw, and then they use that for the transplant. That’s actually one of two ways; for younger children with bone marrow issues, they usually go directly for the bone marrow of the donor, in which case you’re given local anesthetics and they take a small sample of bone marrow from your pelvic bone. It’s just in and out the same day with just a Band-Aid. I know with blood types, there are only a few options. With bone marrow is it easier or harder to find a match? It’s much harder. The reason they need to take a cheek swab is to get your DNA. Your donor can have a different blood type than the recipient; mine did. So I am now A positive instead of B positive. Is there anything you’d like people to know about the drive? About the drive — it takes so little, but it can mean the world to someone. To someone’s family. It’s possible to have less than an 100 percent match, even, and they’d still take it — because it’s almost impossible to find a match, and matches save lives. The more people who know that it’s not a long, horrible, painful process for them, then I think the more reason for them to come. So stop by the Science Center — it won’t take long!
Opinions The Oberlin Review
March 7, 2014
Letters to the Editors Considerations in the Smoking Ban Discussion To the Editor: Though I smoke, I do not condone smoking. Its lethality is an established fact. The tobacco industry works hard to promote smoking in spite of that fact. That is reprehensible. Nevertheless, I find that Allison O’Donnell’s and some others’ arguments for a campus ban troubling and unpersuasive. First, not every issue that disproportionately affects vulnerable groups is an issue of social justice. No one on campus has argued persuasively that smoking is such an issue because they have not answered the basic question: What is unjust about the tobacco industry’s promotion of it, and what is the responsibility of the College to address that injustice? Social justice claims are powerful rallying cries, and to make them indiscriminately undermines the promotion of social justice. If we want to be leaders in this area, we must lead responsibly. Second, as far as I know, we have no systematic evidence that campus smoking bans actually work, and there is reason to believe that they might create other problems. In Canada, for instance, every time the government has raised taxes to curb smoking, smuggling has increased. I have heard that the University of Michigan’s ban has been largely successful at eliminating smoking on campus. But just because we do not see it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, and it may be happening in
dangerous ways. Smoking is not only a health hazard but a potential fire hazard. If the ban pushes smoking underground, one obvious place for it to go is into the dorms. Smoke detectors are frighteningly easy to disable. Finally, there is an issue about the role of the College in the lives of students. There has been a lot of concern lately about “helicopter parenting,” the over-involvement of parents that shelters their children from the consequences of their actions. A smoking ban sounds very much like “helicopter educating.” In the real world, students will have to make choices about whether to smoke or not. Why should they not have to make such choices here? I fully endorse the harm-reduction element of the College’s approach: increasing access to resources for smoking cessation. We might also consider increasing the number of smoke-free zones without banning smoking altogether. Harm reduction has proven very effective in combating the use of other dangerous substances, and it might work for smoking, too. None of what I have said is an argument against a smoking ban. It is call, rather, to think through such a ban and its implications more systematically than we appear to be doing. After all, as an institution of higher education, this is what we are supposed to be promoting. Sincerely, –Jade Schiff Department of Politics
Gun Control Forum of Utmost Importance To the Editor: I believe that an issue of great importance to Oberlin residents, including students, is being overriden by state law of our local ordinance prohibiting guns in our public parks. I urge members of the College community to attend the Forum on “Ohio Gun Laws” that will be co-hosted by Oberlin Clergy Concerned About Guns and the League of Women Voters of the Oberlin Area at 4 p.m., Saturday, March 15, in the Mt. Zion Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, corner South Pleasant and Locust Streets. The featured speaker will be David Eggert, one of the founders of God Before Guns: A Multi-Faith Coalition to Reduce Gun Violence. Mr. Eggert, a retired social studies teacher and union field representative, is on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. The purpose of the forum is to review the history and present situation regarding concealed and open carry gun legislation in Ohio, including pending legislation in the Ohio House and Senate. The forum is free and open to the public. Co-sponsoring faith communities include Christ Episcopal Church, Christ Temple Apostolic Church, First Church (UCC), First United Methodist Church, Oberlin House of the Lord Fellowship, Oberlin Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Peace Community Church. For information, contact Rev. David Hill at 440-775-1711. Sincerely, –John D. Elder Oberlin Resident
SUBMISSIONS POLICY The Oberlin Review appreciates and welcomes letters to the editors and column 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Wilder Box 90 for inclusion in the following Friday’s Review. Letters may not exceed 600 words and columns may not exceed 800 words, except with the consent of the editorial board. All submissions must include contact information, with full names, for all signers. All electronic submissions from multiple writers should be carbon-copied to all signers to confirm authorship. The Review reserves the right to edit all submissions for content, space, spelling, grammar and libel. Editors will work with columnists and 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. In no case will editors change the opinions expressed in any submission. The Opinions section strives to serve as a forum for debate. Review staff will occasionally engage in this debate within the pages of the Review. In these cases, the Review will either seek to create dialogue between the columnist and staff member prior to publication or will wait until the next issue to publish the staff member’s response. 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 the author of a letter to the editors. Opinions expressed in letters, columns, essays, cartoons or other Opinions pieces do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of the Review.
The Oberlin Review Publication of Record for Oberlin College — Established 1874 —
Editors-in-Chief Rosemary Boeglin Julia Herbst Managing Editor Julian Ring Opinions Editor Sophia Ottoni-Wilhelm
College, Senate Must Clarify Underpinnings of Proposed Tobacco Ban Oberlin students aren’t known to sit idly by when issues of personal liberty are at stake — which is why Student Senate’s upcoming vote on a campus-wide ban on tobacco products has raised a flurry of opinions from supporters and detractors, smokers and non-smokers alike. Should the College adopt the policy, in summer 2016, Oberlin would join more than 1,200 colleges and universities across the country who have prohibited smoking on college-owned property. But no matter your opinion on the ban, an ignored yet urgent philosophical question resides at the center of this debate. This question is perhaps best illustrated in what seems to be a little-known facet of the proposed ban: its possible inclusion of e-cigarettes, vaporizers and water pipes alongside cigarettes. In contrast with traditional tobacco products, there is minimal data available on the health effects of e-cigs on their users. Even less data exists on the negative consequences for those in the same airspace as e-smokers. Currently, the FDA and medical researchers are rushing to find answers about this burgeoning cultural phenomenon, while federal and state legislators are scrambling to understand the potential effects of these products. What’s more, the implications of e-cigs extend beyond health concerns. Many politicians and activists are frustrated with the potential of the black and blue apparatuses to undo decades of successful antismoking campaigning. Others fear the lost state tax dollars as a result of a decrease in cigarette sales, prompting some legislators to concoct new schemes for e-cig taxation. This plan is rejected by those who say e-cigs’ relatively low price is a key component in their effectiveness as a cessation product. Still others argue that any evidence supporting their benefits for cessation is inconclusive at best, and that data instead shows that youth have started using e-cigs as a gateway to conventional cigarettes. Clearly, more research on e-cigs is urgently necessary. But as of now, there’s no reason to consider e-cigarettes or vaporizers a health concern in the same way we consider secondhand smoke from traditional cigarettes one. As such, it is dishonest to include e-cigs in the campus ban with other tobacco products when vague health concerns are the only justification. The issue comes down to this: Is the ban an attempt by the College to limit non-smokers’ exposure to the secondhand effects of a particular lifestyle choice, or is it a paternalistic policy instituted as a means of protecting us from our own choices? The former is a solid argument for a proposed ban; the latter is a serious reconfiguration of the College administration’s relationship to the student body — and to students’ bodies. Although the question of personal liberty can be (and has been) legitimately posed regarding conventional cigarettes, the issue is more starkly apparent with e-cigs. While secondhand smoke as a public health concern provides an independent reason for tobacco’s eradication, these arguments do not extend to e-cigs, vaporizers or, for that matter, chewing tobacco. Whether or not e-cigs are addressed by Senate’s proposed ban or the College’s will be telling as to the impetus for this ban. With their inclusion, the ban would appear to stem from a prescriptive attitude toward student habits rather than a desire to limit the effects of smoking to those who choose to partake.
Editorials are the responsibility of the Review editorial board — the Editors-in-Chief, managing editor and Opinions editor — and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the Review.
The Oberlin Review, March 7, 2014
Oberlin College Ranked U.S.’s Worst Return on Investment Aidan Apel Contributing Writer It has been known for years now that Oberlin College is an elite college that provides a fantastic education but has what Business Insider determines as the worst return on investment in the country. And for some reason, nobody seems to care. Oberlin students should care, and here’s why: 40 percent of 2013 graduates are unemployed, and one third of graduates are working in positions that do not require a degree. As an institution devoted to social justice, neither students nor the administration should be silent about the prospects graduates face in the job market. Students with connected families will inevitably be better off than students from middle-class, low-income or unconnected families. That ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––———
As an institution devoted to social justice, neither students nor the administration should be silent about the prospects graduates face in the job market. –––––––––––––––––––––––––————— is not to say that opportunities are unavailable, but those from disadvantaged backgrounds will need to work even harder to find jobs in an economy where employment is still struggling to recover. Students should be more active in demanding expanded programming within career services, and the administration (especially the trustees) should be developing a plan to increase student ROI. Oberlin College is facing obsolescence as three forces work against it. The liberal arts degree is losing its value, tuition has been rising at roughly 8 percent per year (three times the rate of inflation) and the Oberlin ROI remains very low. The status quo is unsustainable. With 80 percent of Oberlin students already on financial aid, students will not continue to pay exorbitant amounts of money for an education that cannot provide a return. As mentioned, students need to take an active role in shaping their careers after school. The future of the U.S. economy will be centered on advances in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Those include: automated and
autonomous robotics; next generation genomics and synthetic biology; 3D printing; cloud technologies and powerful computer analytics; advanced oil, natural gas and renewable energy exploration and recovery. Students should not be demanding the expansion of departments that make Oberlin even less competitive: CAST, ethnic studies, GSF/queer studies, sociology, etc. These courses are irrelevant to adding value to the modern world. The future of the economy is STEM-based, and value is derived from what you can dream up and what you can technologically execute. The Oberlin administration and trustees can help in several ways. 1) Expand career services to build an expansive network of alumni, companies and institutions that offer jobs for graduates. Richard Berman, the director of the Career Center, does an excellent job to help students achieve their career goals. But we need five more Richard Bermans to build a substantial network of career opportunities in all fields. 2) Organize paid internships for students. Oberlin students are incredibly creative and critical thinkers. It is unfathomable that students should be required to work for nothing while providing considerable value to the organizations they work for. This is not an unheard-of proposal; many schools organize internships on behalf of their students. 3) Increase funding of STEM classes and encourage students — or require them — to increase performance in these areas. For an example of what the best career service center looks like, examine the University of Chicago. Its career services office offers hundreds of paid internships with the best companies and institutions in the world. It has a team of directors who are experts in a wide variety of fields, from medicine and research to law and finance, who are able to connect students to their dream career route. I understand that STEM classes and corporate career ladders are not the norm for Oberlin students, and I do not suggest dissuading students who take the vow of poverty by working for social justice non-profits. Rather, I am suggesting that the school expand options for those who wish to make a living in business, research, law, medicine, See Investment, page 7
Jesse Kohler Student Senate Liaison During last week’s plenary, Senate heard the Student Finance Committee budget allocation appeal from Solarity, a chartered student organization that hosts large-scale music and dance productions. After a question-and-answer period, Senate decided to deny the appeal and
uphold the SFC’s initial allocation. Information regarding allocations can be found by either contacting SFC or visiting their website. Senate also discussed Honor Committee appointments in the latter portion of plenary. All minutes are available on the Senate website, and audio recordings of all plenary sessions are available on the Fearless and Loathing website.
Student Senate Deploys Working Groups to Tackle Campus Issues Machmud Makhmudov Student Senator and Liaison Student Senate has begun another semester, starting with an election held during the first few weeks of the semester to fill six open seats. A total of 804 voters participated in the election, marking one of the highest turnout rates in recent elections. Thank you to everybody who voted, ran or campaigned. The Senate’s working groups have excitedly begun the work of tackling issue-specific campus policy. The Transparency Working Group, chaired by College junior Senator Hope Kassen, used its first meeting to discuss the proposed Tobacco Policy and the mechanisms by which students can be heard. Throughout the semester, the Transparency Working Group will focus on keeping the College administration accountable to student concerns, such as issues of divestment, investment and the Sexual Offense Policy. The group also welcomes any and all suggestions for discussion topics. The student EMT Working Group, chaired by College junior Senator Peter Arden, is working with students and Safety and Security to solidify the logistics of how a student EMT program could materialize as a productive and effective service on campus. The group is also currently searching for a sponsoring department. They’re hopeful that a full-credit EMT course may be available at Oberlin within the next year.
The South Campus Working Group, chaired by Senators College sophomore Kiki Acey and double-degree junior Arianna Gil, is working on performing outreach to various campus communities in order to understand their specific needs. The group is also particularly interested in reforming the Senate election process. The Public Transit Working Group, chaired by College sophomore Senator Aaron Appel, has created a public transportation guide for both College and community members. The group looks forward to improving both access to and information about sustainable mobility options in Oberlin. The Student Health Working Group, chaired by College sophomore Senator Ziya Smallens, is working on addressing a variety of health-related concerns. First, the group is pushing for an accessible and substantive information hub that will inform everybody of what services Oberlin Student Health provides and what kind of coverage the College insurance provides. Second, there is an emphasis on improving access to off-campus resources for all students. Providing smoking cessation products will also be a priority. Any student interested in being involved in a working group should contact the chair of that group in order to attend meetings. Meetings are open to the public and minutes are posted on the Senate website. We hope that you get involved to help improve Oberlin!
Ukraine Standoff Brings Attention Back to Great Power Politics Sean Para Columnist What a few weeks ago was just a political crisis within Ukraine has now morphed into a power struggle between the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, France and Germany over the fate of Eastern Europe. Contradictory stories of the events in Ukraine have been presented — one by the Western world and independent journalists and the other by the Russian government. The facts are these: In the last few days of February, unmarked Russian troops moved into the Crimean Peninsula, an autonomous and majority Russian region of Ukraine. More moved in shortly thereafter, and by March 1, thousands of Russian troops had poured into the region.
Although the Russian government continues to assert that these were not their troops, I remain unconvinced. A number of independent journalists have confirmed their identity beyond reasonable doubt. Worse, in the eastern region of Donetsk, pro-Russia protesters, likely egged on by the Russian government, have taken over the regional parliament and other government buildings. Ukraine’s future balances delicately on the edge of a cliff, while Russia and the United States continue to try to outmaneuver each other while avoiding a major war in Eastern Europe. Vladimir Putin leads Russia in the crisis. His Machiavellian strategy reflects realpolitik in its truest form. In a single stroke, he has raised East-West ten-
sions to their highest level since the Cold War. This new wave of Russian militarism had its earliest signs in the 2008 war in ––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Ukraine’s future balances delicately on the edge of a cliff, while Russia and the United States continue to try to outmanuver each other while avoiding a major war in Eastern Europe. –––––––––––––––––––––––––– Georgia, where the secessionist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia were taken from Georgia and have since remained under the Russian yoke. Now similar tactics have
been used in Crimea, where Russian troops quickly established military supremacy and occupied the region under the guise of protecting ethnic Russians from Ukraine’s new “fascist” government. The United States and European response to the crisis has been decisive but aims at de-escalation and avoiding further conflict. On Monday, 150,000 Russian troops were ordered to the Ukrainian border, where they performed imitation exercises. This maneuver by the Russians was clearly undertaken to threaten the Eastern Ukrainian border. Fortunately, nothing came of the threat. The long-term geopolitical and strategic implications of this ongoing crisis are farreaching. Russia has suddenly returned to its militarist and
anti-Western role on the world stage. It has reasserted itself as a great power, capable of unilaterally seizing regions of sovereign former Soviet Republics. Crimea is an important region, held by Russia since 1783. Its seizure cannot go unpunished; it would make the West seem powerless in the face of new Russian aggression. On the other hand, everything must be done to prevent this crisis from becoming a full-blown war. Russia has achieved an economic importance that makes its isolation by the West difficult to achieve. The coming weeks will decide the course of the crisis and the future of Ukraine. Political developments in Ukraine could still lead to further crisis and tensions. At this point, only one thing is certain: Russia is back.
The Oberlin Review, March 7, 2014
Open Letter to Student Senate A Response to Duke University Dear Senators, I, Matthew Kendrick, am solely responsible for the content of this letter. The letter in no way represents, reflects or summarizes the opinions of the Student Honor Committee, any of its other members, the Office of the Dean of Students or its employees, the faculty and administration of Oberlin College or any other individual, institution or entity whatsoever. I hesitate to involve myself with campus politics, but I would like to spread awareness about a situation the Student Honor Committee has found itself in within the past week. Many of you may know that currently we are extremely low on numbers, and after a desperate recruiting effort last semester, we managed to attract seven promising candidates. I would like to point out that we advertised open positions on the committee via multiple mass emails to the student body and to each individual academic department, as well as on Blackboard. Furthermore, we asked professors to nominate promising candidates personally so that we might contact them directly. Theoretically, we should have reached every student on campus — nearly 3,000 individuals — but our final yield in terms of applications was only seven. We interviewed these candidates rigorously and found each of them to be promising individuals who we expect would make fine committee members. We duly passed the applications on to Student Senate, who, in the past, has granted us at the SHC considerable freedom in selecting our own membership and traditionally approved or denied candidates based on their applications and the SHC’s commentary. I personally feel sincere gratitude to those past senators who placed such trust in us. However, in the plenary session of the Student Senate on March 2, certain senators insisted upon re-interviewing our candidates. A recording of the plenary session can be found here: fearlessandloathing.com/2014/03/student-senateplenary-march-2-2014/#more-10356. I sympathize with the rationale for doing so; our campus needs more diversity in its government and faculty, and Honor Committee is no exception. However, I object to their conclusions on three fronts. The first is that Honor Committee is not a political institution; rather, it seeks to educate. The grand majority of cases we see arise from mistakes and misunderstandings. We endeavor to clarify Oberlin’s expectations of students vis-à-vis the Honor Code before, during and after the hearing, regardless of whether we find a student responsible for violating the Honor Code. Only in the most severe cases of repeat offenses or egregious and premeditated violations do we even consider punitive sanctions. We have no control over who is reported and no choice but to proceed with a hearing once an individual is in our system. Our first priority is ensuring everyone we see has a fair experience and that everyone is as comfortable as it is possible to be when facing charges of academic dishonesty. Though institutional prejudice and discrimination certainly exist at Oberlin and in the United States as a whole, and I support the effort to reform our community for the better, I believe that if the Student Honor Committee in any way contributes to said prejudices and discriminations, this is a reflection of the Oberlin administration as a whole and not the direct responsibility of the Honor Committee or its members.
The second basis for my complaint is the history of diversity within the Honor Committee. When I joined in 2011, SHC was led by a transgender individual and counted many women and people of color among its staff. I myself am Jewish and have family ties to Latin America, mostly in Mexico and Chile, where I grew up. During the 2012–2013 school year, we were led by an African-American woman and maintained the same diversity among our members. During the entirety of my involvement in SHC, we have been supervised by Associate Dean of Students Kimberly Jackson Davidson, a woman of color herself. Unfortunately, recruitment has been low for years, and a combination of graduations and withdrawals from the Committee left us with only six members this academic year: three men and three women, with only one woman of color remaining on the committee. Needless to say, this is an unfortunate situation; one we hoped to remedy with the aforementioned recruitment drive. I cannot speak to the ethnic or gender identities of our candidates, nor any factor within their persons that may contribute to diversity on the committee, because no one asked these kinds of questions during the interview process. In my estimation, no such factor would determine an individual’s capability to effectively carry out the work of the Honor Committee. Which brings me to my final point: We need to get to work. Ideally, our committee would contain at least 20 members. We have six. We are months behind on cases, and every day that goes by is another day that a student is unsure of whether they made a mistake and unsure of how to change their academic practices in the future or whether they can simply put this ugly business behind them. I feel personally responsible for the burden laid on students because of these delays. Having seven new members would quite literally double our processing speed and alleviate the situation. Furthermore, all six current members of the committee are graduating seniors. If we don’t get new members practical experience on the job soon, the institutional memory of SHC will leave Oberlin with us. The Honor Code is an integral part of the academic environment at Oberlin, and the manner of its enforcement plays a much larger role in maintaining the friendly, collaborative atmosphere here than most students realize. Handing over control of the Honor System to students without enough experience or the accumulated wisdom of past years could trigger an undesirable change in our campus. In conclusion, I strongly object to Student Senate’s heavy-handed approach to Honor Committee appointments and to the politicization of our organization. I ask that the planned interviews with candidates be either fasttracked or waived completely, so that we can begin training as soon as possible and hopefully send Senate a second round of candidates before the end of the year. I count many of this year’s senators among my friends and acquaintances, and I hope that whatever trust you might have in my judgment might be extended to the rest of the committee as well. Please help us improve an unsatisfactory situation on the Honor Committee by breathing new life into it. Thank you for your consideration. Matthew Kendrick, Class of 2014 Honor Committee Co-Chair
Student’s Recent “Coming Out” Sophia Ottoni-Wilhelm Opinions Editor Hot, smoking hot. The photo depicts a young woman — she’s naked from neck to waist save for a simple, pink bra. Her abs are strong and her skin glows. There’s only one way to describe her: hot. The body belongs to a first-year at Duke University who recently “came out” as a porn star in an article she submitted to an oncampus publication. Why does she do it? The answer is quite simple. “I couldn’t afford $60,000 in tuition,” she wrote. “My family has undergone significant financial burden, and I saw a way to graduate from my dream school free of debt, doing something I absolutely love.” First and foremost, I want to give this woman props — mad props — for coming out. It takes some serious ovaries to do something like this at any college or university, not to mention one located in the South and notorious for being fraught with frat life and crazed basketball fans. As she says, “If people are going to talk about you, you might as well control the conversation and use it to start a dialogue, which in this case is about the abuses we inflict on sex workers.” Talk about badass. Gosh, I can’t get over it. Whether or not you agree with what she’s written, you must admit that she’s got some serious chutzpah. I must admit I was initially skeptical when I saw the picture of a scantily clad girl with the bolded headline, “I’m the Duke University Freshman Porn Star and For the First Time I’m Telling the Story in My Words.” But then I read. “The most striking view I was indoctrinated with was that sex is something women ‘have,’ but that they shouldn’t ‘give it away’ too soon — as though there’s only so much sex in any one woman, and sex is something she does for a man that necessarily requires losing something of herself, and so she should be really careful who she ‘gives’ it to,” she says. When I read this paragraph, this young woman’s wisdom, her succinctness and brutal honesty completely shut me up. This point resonated deeply with me. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the gendered barriers placed on sexuality, specifically surrounding the all-important “number” — that is, the number of people you’ve had sex with. We’ve been conditioned to think that this number shouldn’t be too high. If it is, you’re a slut, and you’re giving it up too easily. As my friend pointed out to me recently, your number “can’t be too low, either,” or you’ll be considered a prude. It’s often hard to recognize when it’s so deeply ingrained in society and culture, and I applaud the author of this article for calling it out. The impossible is expected of us as women — we’re not supposed to be too promiscuous, but we’re also told not to be too prudish. What’s up
with that? It’s completely unrealistic to expect all women to think the same and dress the same, much less go about sex in the same way. What works for one person doesn’t — and shouldn’t — work for all others. This is what I’ve been turning over in my mind since reading the article. We, as women, rarely articulate how unfair and frustrating this stereotype is. We’re conditioned to think that our sexuality should be guarded, given away only when it is –––––––––––––––––––––––––––———
The impossible is expected of us as women — we’re not supposed to be too promiscuous, but we’re also told not to be too prudish. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––——— earned. These heteronormative, fuckedup standards are not ones I choose to live by. It relies on the assumption that sex isn’t in itself a pleasurable thing for women, which — let me tell you — is complete bullshit. The sheer magnitude of negative responses this young woman has received proves that these stereotypes are alive and well today. Ranging from mean tweets — “I’d rather have my dignity and loans than work as a prostitute. I’m sure Daddy’s proud.” — to physical threats, they reinforce the negativity that already surrounds female sexuality. Instead of listening to what she has to say, instead of considering why she is involved in the porn industry, people point fingers. This negativity is not only a terrible response, it is also quite contradictory. Many of the people harrassing this young woman were young men from the Greek community on her campus. A study done in 2012 by researchers at the University of Montreal asked for participants that were males in their 20s who had never watched porn. The study was dropped because no subjects could be found. Many of the men shaming her behavior undoubtedly partake in the industry they condemn. Although I’m conflicted about whether or not I support an industry that has played an active role in the oppression of women, I’m keeping an open mind. Most importantly, I’m not going to shame this young woman for sharing her story. I admire her for coming out under such difficult circumstances and for pointing to issues of sexism that are so much a part of our lives. Just because sexism is difficult to locate, this does not mean we should stop looking. And just because these issues are difficult to discuss, this does not mean we should forget about them. When it comes to issues of sexism, we should keep asking the hard questions of others and ourselves, and we should do so with love for the lives and experiences of all.
BI Says Oberlin Least Bang for the Buck Continued from page 6 finance, etc. — because right now, the attitude shown to those students is: You’re on your own. As a concluding remark, I would like to note that this is in everyone’s interest. Students with better jobs pay off debt faster and then have more money to donate to the school. A higher ROI increases the prestige of the institution. Low-income and minority students have more and better jobs and therefore more resources and access to methods of social change. Achieving this is not a quick fix. This requires a serious, coordinated effort led by the Oberlin trustees to build a network of opportunities for Oberlin students. Oberlin students ought to be pushing them to do so.
Lyn Goeringer: Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts
Julia Christensen: Assistant Professor of Integrated Media A favorite female role model? All the women around me who are balancing so many roles and are able to stay true to themselves amid everything.
Alison Williams: Associate Dean for Academic Diversity Director, Multicultural Resource Center What challenges have you faced in your field? My freshman chemistry professor told me that I should reconsider being a chemist. This was devastating to me. I found out three years later that he did not believe that women should be scientists. I had experienced plenty of discrimination because of my race, but having grown up in a family of all sisters with parents who never told us that we couldn’t achieve something because we were girls, this was a shock to me. My first year of graduate school, one of my professors referred to me as “that colored girl.” He would give the men in the class one letter grade higher grades, despite the fact that the entire class worked on assignments collectively. Having professors who did not look like me — I only had one female science professor and only one African-American [theater] professor at all in my whole career — made me well aware of how important it is to have professors who are supportive. Studying chemistry was often very lonely, but fortunately, there were a couple professors who encouraged me and mentored me along the way. As a faculty member, I received a lot of challenge from students who presumed that, because I was a woman of color, I didn’t know anything about chemistry. They could be very disruptive in the classroom. When I was younger, I struggled with the desire to make a difference in my community and my love of being in the lab and wanting to pursue research. Sometimes it felt as if those two ideals were not compatible. However, over time, I learned how interlinked the two are, and I came to be at peace with myself.
What challenges have you faced in your field? I often sense an unspoken skepticism in the face of potentially everything that we do as women in the arts. I sometimes read my own biography and wonder what my life would look like if it were a man who had done these things. Why is the work you do meaningful to you? My work is meaningful to me because I’ve chosen a life that is true to how I want to spend my time on this planet. Staying true to our needs, dreams and passions leads to a meaningful life. There are a lot of obstacles for women (and all marginalized communities, for that matter) in this regard. I have always tried to seize the opportunities around me that would help lead me to my ideal life, even when it felt like a complete leap of faith. It means a lot to me to transmit that message to the young women that I work with, as well as the young men — I have a baby son, and his presence reminds me all the time how important it is to teach feminist principles to the boys, too. Why in 2014 is it still necessary to be fighting for gender equality? Because so many systems around us were built by men for men, a long time ago, and institutions change at a glacial pace. Even though I am lucky enough to work among progressive men who do not personally want to hold me back (mostly), there are systems in place that have always favored men, culturally. And those systems will not change by sitting back and waiting to see what happens.
Queens Rule is a dance concert that questions the content of hip-hop music today, presented by Essence dance troupe in Warner Center Main. Tickets are $5 in advance, $7 at the door.
This Week Editor: Sarah Snider
Eve Sandberg: Associate Professor of Politics and Department Chair A favorite female role model? Eleanor Roosevelt overcame early adversity to demonstrate that women were smart and effective politically. She gave her time and talents to intervene discursively in U.S. national and international debates and bring issues such as human rights, women and children’s rights, the plight of workers and African Americans onto policy makers’ agendas. Why is the work you do meaningful to you? I love teaching at Oberlin College because students here have both the ability and the desire to engage in the academic exploration of topics of interest to them. Moreover, I find that Oberlin students appreciate expanding their skill sets when it comes to using new tools or templates to research and write on issues they care about. My [international politics] consulting has allowed me to help government officials in other countries solve problems and determine strategies which their staffs or nationals did not have the time to undertake or the “access” by which to complete the research. My consulting with women’s groups and non-governmental organizations has been rewarding because I’ve been privileged to assist in some post-independence settings as one of only a few outsiders allowed to participate in some truly historic activities, (such as attending and speaking at the first all-women’s conference across party lines in a newly independent Namibia or running campaign workshops for the first women’s gender slate for parliament in Morocco). Why in 2014 is it still necessary to be fighting for gender equality? Women at home and abroad in 2014 still fight salary and promotion discrimination and sexual violence. Additionally, in many communities women are still denied the right to education, full citizenship, to marry whom they want and to inherit. Women must still fight for the right to control their bodies — not to have someone they don’t even know dictating what they can and cannot do with their own bodies. In many places around the world, food is scarce and women eat last, after the men and after the children. In many circumstances women have the wages they earn taken from them. We’ve come a long way, baby, but equality for women is still a distant goal.
Why is the work you do meaningful to you? Now, in my current position, I feel that I can take my 25 years of experience as a professor, mentor, diversity advocate, etc. and bring them to bear here at Oberlin. I see that we are successfully hiring more diverse faculty, that we are engaging faculty in difficult conversations around giving voice to various identities, and I’m excited about helping to create a more inclusive environment here for everyone. I love the energy of the community, especially the students, and I value the commitment to social justice here.
Essence Presents: Queens Rule Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8 at 8 p.m.
A favorite female role model? It is hard to say if I have a favorite female role model, as so many women have contributed to my life. My interest and success is because of too many women to mention. I would have to say that this changes from day to day, but my current inspirational model is Daphne Oram, founder of the BBC Radiophonics Workshop and inventor of the Oramics machine.
Mardi Gras with French House Friday, March 7 at 8 p.m. Come celebrate Mardi Gras with French House, OSteel and the New Orleans Jazz Quartet! Masks and admission are free.
What challenges have you faced in your field? It seems strange to list the challenges that I have faced in the field. It is weirdly indulgent and it isn’t terribly inspirational to others. I am a queer woman who faces challenges on a regular basis, some small, some large. The most insignificant challenge is often the hardest one for me to manage. There are moments in my personal history which have stood out strongly, but the largest challenge that I have faced is the reality of how women performers are read on stage when they perform experimental pieces. Learning to be both comfortable with and work to subvert dominant tropes of objectification in performance has been quite challenging. It may seem cliché, but there are different questions that are asked of my work that are not asked of men. I spent much of my early career fielding questions of how I approach my instruments, of how my body interacts with space, and even questions about how I dress on stage. It’s a trope, but it exists, and it’s one I think about every time I perform. It’s an experience that has shaped much of how I think and how I approach my work. Why in 2014 is it still necessary to be fighting for gender equality? Why is it necessary? Because we haven’t achieved it yet. We have barely even begun to scratch the surface of what is needed to achieve gender equality. It is vital to remember that even if we ever do achieve it, we will have to continue to fight to maintain it. This is not something we can fix and forget about it. This is something we can never walk away from, and it is a major component of how larger power systems even define personhood, and how they manipulate it.
AK: College senior, Psy junior, Religion and St College senior, Creative
Could you talk a little AD: Don’t Unplug Me highlighting the many experimental creative nology who aren’t [cisg
What challenges hav AD: As a female-iden makes art, it has been a common expectation interested in producin the expectation that w being a woman is co mediums, the “quieter me, has been reconcili media and topics that tion of the “black, fem I’ve come to feel is exp AK: I have offended cl by refusing to conside festival; however, this ing a space for less vi perform at events the own. For me, this week peers that I would norm already experienced confidence from this e anyone with a dissent to contact me and disc EPS: Women, especial nology, are looked at u the art I make is abou call my art dumb bec and that’s OK. But also dumb because they do a girl or female sexu label work by female bodies in their work a call female performan This makes me feel a afraid of embarrassme lot of that fear in the p
Why is your work me AD: If anything has be started this project, it Sitting in a room with planning committee
Responsible Investing Policy Words Will Break Cement: The Symposium Passion of Pussy Riot Saturday, March 8 at 11 a.m. and Monday, March 10 at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 9 at 12 p.m. Join together with the Oberlin community in determining how to best use our endowment in a series of events over the course of the weekend at the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies. The event schedule is posted online.
Alison Kozol, A Peyser-Sappol: Women in Exper
Award-winning Russian-American journalist and author Masha Gessen recently published a new book on Russian rock band Pussy Riot, which she will speak about in the Nancy Schrom Dye Lecture Hall.
Jam Session with Brothers Tuesday, March 11 a
Join the Punch Brothers i Hall for an improvisat open to all, followed by Warner Concert Hall Lob
While the logic behind the government assigning us a month in which to celebrate women (or any marginalized group) leaves much to be desired, we’re taking the first week of Women’s History Month to celebrate some movers and shakers within the Oberlin College community. Oberlin is home to an array of powerful ladies, and though we could only talk to a handful of them this week, March should be dedicated to celebrating womanhood in all its forms. experiences, articulating just how much caution and hesitation we’ve approached art and music with to this point has been an eye-opening experience. I think that it’s important to take a moment to acknowledge everyone who has overcome the challenges of being a non-cis male in music and media arts as well as those who aspire to.
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model? a favorite female role n have contributed to success is because of tion. I would have to m day to day, but my del is Daphne Oram, iophonics Workshop ics machine. you faced in your
the challenges that I t is weirdly indulgent irational to others. I o faces challenges on mall, some large. The nge is often the harde. There are moments which have stood out challenge that I have w women performers they perform experito be both comfortvert dominant tropes rformance has been seem cliché, but there hat are asked of my of men. I spent much ng questions of how nts, of how my body even questions about a trope, but it exists, every time I perform. s shaped much of how ch my work.
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Because we haven’t e barely even begun f what is needed to t is vital to remember chieve it, we will have aintain it. This is not d forget about it. This ver walk away from, onent of how larger ine personhood, and
Samantha Brown: And What!? Choreographer and Dancer
December ’13 graduate, Africana Studies major and Dance minor.
Alison Kozol, Aria Dean and Eve Peyser-Sappol: Don’t Unplug Me! Women in Experimental Media Week AK: College senior, Psychology major, AD: College junior, Religion and Studio Art double major, EPS: College senior, Creative Writing/Studio Art major.
Could you talk a little about Don’t Unplug Me!? AD: Don’t Unplug Me! is a project dedicated to highlighting the many talented people involved in experimental creative projects that engage technology who aren’t [cisgender] men. What challenges have you faced in your field? AD: As a female-identifying person of color who makes art, it has been my experience that there is a common expectation for the kind of art that I am interested in producing. I think that far too often the expectation that women will make art about being a woman is connected to a narrow set of mediums, the “quieter arts.” The great challenge, to me, has been reconciling my own interest in digital media and topics that lie outside of a flat conception of the “black, female experience” with what I’ve come to feel is expected of me. AK: I have offended close male-identifying friends by refusing to consider their suggestions for the festival; however, this week is dedicated to creating a space for less visible artists to present and perform at events they created and can call their own. For me, this week is a way to collaborate with peers that I would normally not work with, and I’ve already experienced empowerment and gained confidence from this exposure. I would encourage anyone with a dissenting opinion about this week to contact me and discuss. EPS: Women, especially in performance and technology, are looked at under a microscope. Most of the art I make is about being a girl. Some people call my art dumb because they think it’s dumb, and that’s OK. But also, a lot of people call my art dumb because they don’t value work about being a girl or female sexuality. People seem quick to label work by female artists who use their own bodies in their work as narcissistic and vapid or call female performance artists “attention whores.” This makes me feel afraid to exhibit my art; I’m afraid of embarrassment. I think I’ve overcome a lot of that fear in the past year.
And What!? Mission Statement: We as a group aim to provide a creative safe space for all female-identifying persons, for individual personal expression and working and moving together as a community via the exploration of hip-hop dance, music and culture. We aim to create opportunities for the larger community to participate in hip-hop dance. We recognize that hip-hop, as an art form, is not static, and we endeavor to continue to investigate and challenge our relationships to hip-hop. We aim to provide various hip-hop performances for the Oberlin community that address different ways that we engage with hip-hop, as well as create spaces for people in the Oberlin community to investigate their engagement with hip-hop. A favorite female role model? Caroline Jackson Smith, associate professor of Africana Studies and Theater. She’s been my academic advisor since my sophomore year, and during last semester and my honors work journey she became like a second mother to me. She’s a brilliant, incredibly educated and versatile woman that gives so much to her students, both inside and outside of the classroom. She has equipped me with tools that will serve me well beyond my college career, unequivocally shaping the scholar and person I am today. Why is the work you do meaningful to you? Hip-hop dance literally saved my life. Underground dance styles have been the tool for me to use my voice in ways I otherwise cannot. Hip-hop dance is the means through which I tell my story and paint pictures so vividly that words are not necessary. It is the way I affirm my identity, communicate my struggles and celebrate my life.
Why is your work meaningful to you? AD: If anything has become clear to me since we started this project, it’s just how important it is. Sitting in a room with the other members of the planning committee and just talking about our
Regina Larre Campuzano: WAM!
College senior, Cinema Studies and “honorary TIMARA” major. Can you talk a little more about WAM!? WAM! (Women* and Art Music) is a group of women and trans* musicians playing music by living female* composers. Although it varies in nature depending on the interest of the members, it seeks to create awareness of the crucial role that women have played in new music. A favorite female role model? Pauline Oliveros has to be hands down one of my greatest role models. Her approach to deep listening, feminism in music and improvisation are really inspiring. Although some people often think of her work as a new-age-yoga-bliss-guru, she has been one of the most important pioneers of electronic and tape music and was the first director of Mills College’s Center for Contemporary Music. If that isn’t badass, I don’t know what is! What challenges have you faced in your field? I grew up in Mexico City and started playing drums in elementary school. Around seventh grade I formed my first grunge band and named it The Honeybunnies in homage to Pulp Fiction. We were all girls, we wore Converse high-tops and were obsessed with In Utero. To be honest, we sucked, just like every other band in my middle school. But when we played gigs, the biggest criticism was that we sounded like girls, and that wasn’t a compliment. I grew up fearing that people would know I was a woman when they heard my music, making sure that my music wasn’t feminine, trying to learn everything on my own, giving myself no chance for mistakes and showing no weaknesses because I don’t want to be patronized. I often wonder how my own art would have developed differently if I hadn’t wasted so much time without realizing that feminine is not an inherent quality of sound, and that sounding like a woman could be whatever the hell I wanted to sound like.
Elise Moltz: Zoo
Conservatory junior, Music Composition major. Can you talk a little more about your projects? This semester [College seniors] Claire Morton, Sally Decker and myself are organizing the second ZOO event. ZOO brings together artists of all mediums and facilitates collaboration. We have about 50 artists so far and will be accepting more. I’m also writing a cello solo for [double-degree junior] Nathan Klein to be accompanied with dance by [College junior] Ellen Askonas and video done by myself. The piece explores ideas of panic, anxiety and how those feelings relate to a sense of self. What challenges have you faced in your field? I explored art and music as a child, but so many teenage years were spent trying to untangle the fuckball handed to me by society of, what is the right amount of makeup? And how do you look pretty without being a slut? Maybe some of it wasn’t sexism but just inherent to growing up. The thought that my worth as a woman was just in looks doesn’t need to be part of the process, though, and was a huge interruption to my development as an artist. Why is the work you do meaningful to you? Creating art and music is something that is almost just a byproduct of myself. It’s a way for me to explore aesthetic and conceptual ideas, work through problems and get out a certain type of energy that can’t be brought out any other way. I don’t think I could not do it. Bringing people together for ZOO is important to me because it’s a place for people to explore this outlet of artistic energy, which is often done in a solitary space, in a communal way. It also allows people to expand this outlet and the expression of their ideas into media they’re less familiar with through collaboration.
Why is the work you do meaningful/fulfilling to you? One of the most common things I hear from people wanting to join WAM is that they find electronic and new music particularly alienating and intimidating. I think a big part of that problem can be avoided by creating spaces for young girls to play with technology, make sounds that are out of the ordinary and deconstructing the myth of the bearded white guy behind the mixing board. Why in 2014 is it still necessary to be fighting for gender equality? Gender equality is one of those battles that gets
Cement: The ot 4:30 p.m.
Jam Session with the Punch Bone Marrow Donor Drive Brothers Wednesday, March 12 from 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 11 at 10 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Comedy Concert: Michael Ian Black Wednesday, March 12 at 8 p.m.
-American joura Gessen recentook on Russian which she will ncy Schrom Dye
Join the Punch Brothers in Warner Concert Hall for an improvisatory jam session open to all, followed by a reception in the Warner Concert Hall Lobby.
Touring comedian Michael Ian Black has released two comedy CDs and is co-host of popular podcasts such as “Mike and Tom Eat Snacks.” He will be performing in Finney Chapel. Tickets are $7 for students.
Student Health Services is helping organize a campus bone marrow donor drive for a friend with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Volunteers will be collecting cheek swabs, which will be sent off for DNA analysis to find a match, in the Science Center.
harder as the tangible obstacles become invisible. There are no longer laws excluding women* from going to conservatories, learning new instruments, playing gigs or becoming presidents. However, female* composers haven’t really been recognized until fairly recently, and therefore there is a big void of female* role models for younger generations, particularly since contemporary repertoire is not common in music classrooms. When talking about a Schumann piece, no one stops to ask, “You mean Clara or Robert?” Intentional spaces such as WAM fight the deeply ingrained structural notion that female composers and producers are a rarity through visibility. Hopefully, that will be reflected in our classrooms and concert halls soon.
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Arts The Oberlin Review
March 7, 2014
McBride Pays Homage to Abolitionist John Brown Anne Pride-Wilt Arts Editor To call James McBride, OC ’79, a writer is to capture only a small fraction of what the man is capable of. While his 1995 memoir The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother spent over two years on the New York Times bestseller list and his most recent novel, 2013’s The Good Lord Bird, won the National Book Award, McBride is also a prolific musician and an award-winning composer. Fortunately for fans of music and the written word, both of McBride’s exceptional talents were on display at his convocation Wednesday night. Supplemented by a startlingly talented musical ensemble, affectionately termed “The Good Lord Bird Band,” McBride dispensed cheerful life advice, read excerpts of his work and filled Finney Chapel with rousing gospel. After President Krislov’s introduction, McBride entered Finney alone, looking out of place on a stage crammed with instruments. To the audience’s clapping, he deadpanned Sally Field’s iconic phrase, “You like me, you really like me,” before beginning to speak in earnest. “I’m always nervous when I come back to Oberlin,” he said, sparing a few words to reminisce. McBride recalled with disgust the rubber apron he had to wear when he washed pots in Dascomb. Once, a visiting speaker in Lord lounge backhandedly chastised McBride and the other black students assembled by insisting that someone, presumably civil rights activists, had died for them to be there. Not that McBride was thinking that deeply at the time. “I don’t want to hear this crap, man,” he said. “I want a girlfriend!” More seriously, McBride dispensed wisdom to the audience by recounting an incident he had
witnessed while he was a student. Actor Laurence Fishburne was reciting from Othello when, as McBride watched, he forgot a line. According to McBride, Fishburne stepped back, thought for a moment, recollected the line and completed the monologue with dignity. “Learn how to fail,” McBride said. Following these anecdotes, McBride got down to business, reading an excerpt of The Good Lord Bird. The novel concerns Henry Shackleford, a young slave who, mistaken for a girl, is spirited away by John Brown of Harpers Ferry fame. McBride’s prose is warm and clean, punctuated with humorous bits that elicited appreciative chuckles from the audience. Then McBride sat down at the piano. “I’ve killed many a piano in my days, and this piano is about to die,” he said, with what quickly proved to be excessive modesty. McBride shared a short anecdote about filling in for his sister playing piano at his church as a child, demonstrating the off-key mess that would result “if somebody got the spirit in the key of D flat” before the real music started. McBride introduced his band as they took the stage one by one and began to sing and play: Trevor Exter on bass and cello, Adam Faulk, OC ’02, on piano, Show Tyme Brooks on drums and Keith Robinson on guitar. Faulk and McBride quickly switched places, and McBride walked toward the front of the stage, where he took up a saxophone, adding it to the energetic rendition of the classic spiritual “Glory, Glory (Lay My Burden Down).” Once the music was put into the mix, the ingredients for the evening were all assembled — music, readings and McBride’s pithy commentary — and the three were recombined in different variations for the remainder of the convocation. After a few more songs and read-
James McBride, OC ’79, imparts wisdom to the audience in a quiet moment at Wednesday’s uplifting convocation. McBride, a novelist and musician, read excerpts of his novel The Good Lord Bird and played saxophone during the rousing musical interludes provided by his talented musical ensemble (not pictured), nicknamed “The Good Lord Bird Band.” Zoë Madonna
ings, the quintet performed the marching song “John Brown’s Body” (more familiar as the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”), a particularly appropriate choice considering the subject of McBride’s book. Then, McBride read a moving letter by John Copeland, an Oberlin College student who followed John Brown to Harpers Ferry. While he spoke, about 15 Conservatory students, many bearing instruments, filed soundlessly onto the stage. Following the letter, McBride urged the students in the audience to “drop cynicism and adopt skepticism,” promising them they would “find the space to make a change.”
During the protracted final song of the night, “Let the Church Say Amen,” McBride and his band gave each of the assembled Conservatory students space to make a change, allowing each small group an improvisational solo. The gesture could have made the convocation’s ending lag, but the undeniable talent of the student performers and the amount of fun everybody on stage was obviously having inspired a feeling of camaraderie in the room. The link between McBride’s books and his music is that he uses both to bring people together, and his convocation was a perfect example of that.
Tour Draws Visitors to Intersection of Literary, Visual Arts Michelle Polyak Staff Writer It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but the written word’s impact on visual art is rarely considered, much less the idea of bookmaking itself as a form of visual art. Though last Friday afternoon was brisk, a fair number of students, faculty and community members braved the cold to satisfy their curiosity on this subject at the Books in Art event at the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Liliana Milkova, the Allen’s curator of academic programs, organized the event with College sophomore Jesse Gamoran. Gamoran is the student coordinator of the Oberlin College Student Friends of the Library, the on-campus organization that also sponsored the event. SFOL aims to engage students with all of the libraries on campus in various ways, from fostering communication between the students and the libraries to organizing various interdisciplinary events such as the Books in Art presentation.
The Books in Art event consisted of a tour led by Milkova, along with Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History Christina Neilson, Professor of Medieval Art History Erik Inglis, Curatorial Assistant Sarah McLusky, OC ’13, and Special Collections/Preservation Librarian Ed Vermue. The tour guides led visitors through six paintings in the Renaissance and Baroque traditions that depicted books or images from those books; five books that spanned the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods; and a leaf from a 15th-century missal, a manual for the celebration of Mass. “We hoped that our audience could first think about the role that depictions of books, reading and writing played in the visual arts, and then encounter similar books first hand in the more private space of the museum’s Wolfgang Stechow Print Study Room,” Milkova said. She, Inglis, Neilson, McLusky and Vermue took turns providing historical context for each work and leading a discussion with participants. The fruitful exchange allowed visitors from various backgrounds to consider one another’s perspective on
books as an art form as well as their relationship to paintings. Milkova began the tour by presenting a 16th-century Spanish painting titled “The Fountain of Life,” which, she explained, is one of the most complex allegorical paintings in the Allen’s collection. The painting is rife with Christian imagery, particularly symbolism found in the Book of Revelation, such as the fountain that both lends the painting its title and references the post-apocalyptic river of healing described in Revelation chapter 21. In accordance with Renaissance religious mores, the painting is divided hierarchically, with the heavenly top tier depicting Christ, Saint John the Evangelist and the Virgin Mary. According to Milkova, artwork that incorporates books like “The Fountain of Life” help us examine cultural values throughout time and space. Though books depicted in paintings were essential for the presentation, its purpose was also to exhibit books themselves as more See Student, page 13
Rowdy Crowd’s Enthusiasm Carries Otherwise Detached Punk Performance Olivia Menzer
From left, Parquet Courts members Andrew Savage on guitar, Max Savage on drums, Sean Yeaton on bass and Austin Brown on guitar bring their breed of loud, punchy post-punk to the ‘Sco last Saturday night. Energy from the crowd was high during the mosh-heavy show, but the band’s surprisingly rigid personae ultimately detracted from their performance. Effie Kline-Salamon
A warning to future audiences of Parquet Courts: Prepare for sweat, bruises and at least one split lip in the inevitable mosh pit. Despite the fact that all three were present when the band stopped at the ’Sco Saturday night, the lively, aggressive atmosphere still felt ultimately more like a pillow fight than a knife fight. The Brooklyn quartet has already released two LPs since forming in 2010 and are hot off the release of their first EP, Tally All The Things That You Broke. Their second full-length album, Light Up Gold, garnered enough praise to raise Obies’ expectations for Parquet Courts’s March 1 show, although they didn’t quite live up to the hype. Following the calculated apathy of postpunk opener Protomartyr, a timely sound check let the crowd build excitement. When Parquet Courts took the stage, the wall of
music they created made a few things immediately clear. Loud and punchy with a hint of grungy twang, the music virtually commanded the audience to mosh. While a conscientious listener could pick out separate vocal, bass, guitar and drum lines, for the most part, the elements melded together as a force to compel the audience’s kicking legs, thrashing elbows and expectant hearts. While the energy became subtler on quieter songs, the band’s music always remained forceful. The audience quickly learned that it sssswould need patience to fully enjoy the show. Parquet Courts’s riffs and steady, driving drumbeats came only when the band wanted, and the musicians wouldn’t be moved by their audience’s response. This internal focus was beneficial when the band moved swiftly from crowd favorite “Master Of My Craft” See Parquet, page 12
The Oberlin Review, March 7, 2014
Profile: John Cavanaugh on the Art of Piano Tech Julia Herbst Editor-in-Chief The classic recording of “Christmas Time Is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas drives John Cavanaugh crazy. However, it’s an occupational hazard to which he’s accustomed. The Director of Piano Technology at the Conservatory, Cavanaugh has developed a highly trained ear over a lifetime of focused listening, so the off-key piano melody strikes him as particularly annoying. “The piano is so out of tune,” he says, though he concedes that the imperfection does lend something to the rendition. “When you hear some of these [same] Charlie Brown tunes that Vince Guaraldi did, and the piano’s perfectly in tune, it’s not the same. It’s not good. I mean, sometimes it’s OK for the piano to be a little bit stinky and ripe, or whatever you want to call it. And so you just go, ‘So it’s a little out of tune; I can handle it,’ and try and listen to the music.” If you’ve never had a reason to wander into the mysterious piano workshop in the basement of Bibbins Hall — a cluttered workspace, which sometimes contains as many as seven pianos in various stages of renovation — you’ve probably never met Cavanaugh. With an unassuming, methodical demeanor and a dry sense of humor, Cavanaugh, who has worked at Oberlin since 2001, is one of the Conservatory’s best-kept secrets. It’s 9:30 a.m., and as Cavanaugh talks, he puts the finishing touches on a piano he’s just tuned for a morning master class in the David H. Stull Recital Hall. The rest of his day will be spent overseeing a variety of piano repairs and working with a staff of three other technicians — two full-time and one part-time employee, with an additional part-time position to be added this fall. Together, the technicians are responsible not only for making sure the Conservatory’s concert pianos meet the specific criteria of the renowned pianists who perform here, but also for keeping the Conservatory’s 234 Steinway pianos — which fill practice rooms, professor’s offices and various performance venues — in working order. “Over the years students will say, ‘Oh, these pianos in the practice rooms are awful,’ and then they go to grad school and then they find out that this place wasn’t so bad,” Cavanaugh says. “You know, [the schools] put them in a little sarcophagus to practice. No windows,
and then the piano’s like this little Baldwin vertical and they’re like, ‘But I’m a grad student! Come on!’ Oberlin [puts] a lot of effort into keeping the pianos here in nice shape. I mean, they have the funding here to do it, and they think it’s important. And that’s why the guys here want to work here and stay: because they support our efforts.” The Conservatory has had a close partnership with renowned piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons since 1877, and the company has designated Oberlin Conservatory as the very first “All-Steinway School.” For Cavanaugh, however, Steinway’s relationship with Oberlin is more significant than its title. “The ‘All-Steinway School’ moniker, or whatever you want to call it, is very recent. It’s a marketing thing. As far as we’re concerned, we were an all-Steinway school before the name ever came into being. The school decides, ‘OK, we’re going to buy the nicest pianos, and Steinway, we feel, makes the nicest all-around piano for [the school]. It’s not necessarily the best there is — I think it is, but it’s very personal — and they’re built like tanks and you can rebuild them.” Oberlin maintains a close partnership with the company today, as evidenced by Steinway’s participation in the Conservatory’s development of a new Artist Diploma Program in Piano Technology, which starts next year. Oberlin plans to hold regional auditions in various Steinway factories, galleries and offices around the world, including in Shanghai, New York, Hamburg and Brazil; Steinway will vet the applicants before passing the names of top candidates along to the Conservatory. Cavanaugh says they plan to accept only three students a year into this twoyear graduate-level program, which Cavanaugh and Robert Murphy, the assistant director of piano technology and curator of fortepianos, have designed to emphasize a collaborative relationship between technician and musician — a connection which both believe to be crucial. “We’re going to be putting students in situations with artists … [where] the pianist will say ‘I need this done,’ and then the mentor will be there with the student, and the student will have an hour to get the piano ready,” Cavanaugh says. “So, baptism by fire. We force them to think on their feet and then we review their work … so that they learn to … get to the heart of what the pianist wants.
They have to learn what the pianist is getting at, because the pianist, they’re not thinking in terms of [the same] language [as the technician], and most technicians don’t know what in the world the pianist is talking about.” In the past, Cavanaugh has offered piano technician classes to undergraduates, in large part to educate Piano Performance majors about the mechanics of the instrument they spend so many hours playing. “Most pianists don’t know a thing about their instrument. It seems like even harpsichord players can tune their own harpsichords, organists can very often take care of a cipher or do something, [but] a pianist sees the keys and they don’t know what is inside the piano.” Students in Cavanaugh’s introductory class learned how a piano is tuned and tried their hands at making basic adjustments. In the intermediate class, students rebuilt an entire piano, including fixing the soundboard, putting on new strings and rebuilding the damper action. According to Cavanaugh, the undergraduate classes will likely be offered again after the Artist Diploma Program gets underway. “Probably in the fall, there’ll be at least something geared for piano majors that’s kind of like a piano technology appreciation course. The other [previously offered courses] were like, ‘Roll your
sleeves up!’ and we were competing with other schools and … doing in two semesters what they do in two years at the other schools. We just wanted to burn [the other schools] and show them we could do it because the students are so quick to learn.” Cavanaugh views piano technology as an art, not a craft. “You just have to have the time to practice working on the pianos,” he says. “You know how it’s supposed to be done, you know all the rules … but then you need to fall down lots of times, pick yourself up and keep trying. … Tune two or three thousand pianos as a student, and then maybe you’ll be a good tuner. It just takes forever. … You just have to keep working on it until you’re competent and then, after you’re competent, you’re successful. After you’re successful you start really making your mark.” While he says he sometimes gets caught up in scrutinizing the tone and evenness of a piano he has adjusted during a performance, he considers being a piano technician a rewarding position. “If the person who is playing is just a great player, then I really enjoy the music, and I’m really grateful that I could be part of it, and it’s kind of almost spiritual,” he says. “You’re just in there and you’re going, ‘Wow, I’m really lucky to be listening to this great person and I talked to him and I helped him make the piano nice.’”
Conservatory piano technician John Cavanaugh works on a Steinway piano in the piano workshop in the basement of Bibbins Hall. Together with a staff of three others, Cavanaugh tunes and maintains the 234 pianos which fill the Conservatory, as well as adjusts pianos to meet the specific needs of visiting pianists for their recitals. Zoë Madonna
Cooper Winner Li Returns for Triumphant Recital Clara Shannon Last Saturday night, an 18-year-old college first-year performed a solo concert as part of Oberlin’s Artist Recital Series. His age alone should indicate the virtuosic qualities of the concert, but when Harvard and New England Conservatory student and renowned concert pianist George Li took the stage, the mature, riveting performance that followed surpassed all expectations. Li was last in Oberlin only four years ago, when he nabbed first place at that year’s Thomas and Evon Cooper International Piano Competition. Although only 14 at the time, Li was not only featured as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra — an achievement even professional musicians dream of — but also won prize money and a full four-year scholarship to Oberlin Conservatory, along with several concert opportunities in China. Since then, Li’s momentum has only increased. He has played with numerous renowned orchestras and given recitals around the globe, including playing for Barack Obama at the White House in June of 2011. In 2012, Li was selected to be one of the two recipients of the Gilmore Young Artist Award, of which he is the youngest honoree to date.
Considering his biography, it’s not surprising that Li chose a mature, technically challenging program for his recital at Finney Chapel. The night began with a performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s Sechs Kleine Klavierstücke, Op. 19, followed by Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111 and Sergei Rachmaninoff ’s Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42 before ending with Maurice Ravel’s La valse. After multiple standing ovations, Li played two encores, Widmung by Robert Schumann, arranged by Franz Liszt and Vladimir Horowitz’s Carmen Variations from George Bizet’s opera. If it was ever up for debate if a young pianist could deliver such a program, Li firmly resolved the matter. The Schoenberg was thoughtful and engaging. Although the complexity of the composition can make it difficult for audiences to understand, Li moved to the music, swaying and jumping, his evident engagement making the piece more accessible for the audience. Li was also unfazed by the loud noises of the radiator in Finney’s echoing hall, demonstrating unusual poise. Beethoven’s complex Sonata No. 32, written at the end of the composer’s life, demands a level of emotional maturity from the performer, beyond the depth of many 18-year-old pianists. This made it a surprising choice for Li, but his performance was dark, passionate and deep. Li
hovered over the keys and shifted with the music, making it clear that he was performing at the utmost level of concentration and emotional intensity. After a brief intermission, Li continued with Rachmaninoff ’s Variations on a Theme of Corelli. Since the concert’s first portion ended on such a dark note, Rachmaninoff ’s sparkly variations added a welcome uplifting touch to the night. Li executed the technically difficult runs and fast passages of the piece effortlessly. He ended with Ravel’s La valse — a performance beautiful beyond words. The sound of the piano rang through the hall, enchanting the audience. With passion and power, Li truly showcased the musical chops that brought the audience to their feet for a well-deserved standing ovation before the encore. It’s no question that the program was selected to be challenging, but Li dispatched it effortlessly, seeming alternately eerie, seductive, passionate and devilish as each song required. After the recital, a reception was held at the basement of Finney Chapel for all those who attended to meet and congratulate the young virtuoso. Humble and happy, Li greeted his guests with kind words of thanks and relief, contrasting with his confident stage performance. Despite all his talent, Li is still a college first-year — leaving him many years to hone and display his impressive craft.
Feature Photo: Greg Beato at the ’Sco
The Oberlin Review, March 7, 2014
Parquet Courts Brings Cool, Controlled Punk Continued from page 10
Miami producer Greg Beato scratches a record during his ’Sco performance on Feb. 28. Beato’s pared-down, lo-fi style and aggressive percussion recall the beginnings of dance music, and his melodic uniqueness sets him apart from other artists. His songs add a sense of anticipation to energetic, consistent beats through the use of space between sounds, mysterious effects and airy synthesizers. Beato’s dance music kicked off an evening of house music that also featured established artist Big Strick and Big Strick’s son, new artist Generation Next. Beato is a new artist, but one with a growing online presence. He has proven to be highly prolific, releasing an EP through Apron Records and three singles in 2013 alone. Not only that, but at 19 years old, he’s younger than most of the people who were in the audience Friday night. Claire Morton
into “Borrowed Time,” sounding elated and purposeful. On the flip side, Parquet Courts lowered the show’s intensity with a song like “Yr No Stoner” or “N Dakota” regardless of the crowd’s hyperactivity. While these unexpected low-key moments can be a highlight from a DIY punk and garage rock band, from Parquet Courts they seemed almost calculated. Considering the headliner’s genuine, almost innocent lyrics and straightforward, energetic music, it was strange how the audience seemed more excited than the ’Sco’s performers. This show was less an interaction between writhing, sweaty college students and responsive indie-punk-rock warriors than a resolved and deliberate showcase of a group that knew exactly what they were going to do ahead of time. The wall of music was there, and it was loud, but there was no negotiating. The members of Parquet Courts are serious musicians who know how to craft a particular product, and on Saturday it seemed like they stifled their creativity to hang out in the lo-fi, undemanding sector of we-don’t-give-a-hoot punk rock, with just enough deliberation to seem disingenuous. While the show sounded and felt like post-punk, it was missing rage, tumultuous happiness or abandon. The overall effect was like getting a vegan brownie when all you want is dark chocolate and a joyride in a stolen police car. Parquet Courts’s song “Light Up Gold II” exemplifies the good aspects of the band: whiplash-worthy head banging, a reason to get mad on a Saturday night and shove that guy from math class. Ultimately, however, the audience was left panting and wanting more when the band left without an encore — and not in a good way. To a point, these gaps between what the audience wanted and what they got made sense. The band is on a long tour traveling all over the world, and Oberlin College isn’t necessarily a hot locale. But while Parquet Courts could deliver the music expected, they couldn’t bring the energy. The show was exhilarating, to be sure — but when your genre is post-punk, the majority of your concert’s excitement should not be coming from the crowd, as it was during this concert.
On the Record: Adenike Sharpley on Dance, Feminism and the Demise of Hip-Hop This Friday and Saturday, Essence will present Queens Rule, a dance performance that tells the story of hip-hop music and dance, from its roots in West African beats, through its activist beginnings, to the genre’s current commercialization. The show is particularly aimed at questioning how women’s bodies are portrayed in hip-hop, and how this objectification came about in a genre that at first was aimed at breaking down binaries of power and privilege. Adenike Sharpley, an artist in residence in the Africana Studies and Theater and Dance departments, and the artistic director of the performance. On Wednesday night, Sharpley took time out of rehearsal to tell the Review about how the show examines social, historical, and class dynamics in rap and hip-hop. Can you tell me about Essence’s history? Essence probably started in the 1970s. At that time, [students] did their own choreography, and most of the performances were in Afrikan Heritage House. And then when I came, the department thought … I might be able to give more of a professional background to students who were doing their own work and eventually developed to where it is now — it’s here in Warner Center, and it’s a class. Essence was to showcase Africana or African diasporic art. Students from the Caribbean, students from Africa, African-American, [and] Afro-Latino [students] … wanted to see their particular genre done in the academy, because it was not here.
What initially drew you to the subject of questioning hip-hop’s objectification of women, particularly through dance? Well, it’s not hard to hear it. It’s in most of the music. It’s either negative or positive. They’re either talking about the body type, or the hips or the lips or the color. … For especially a lot of the latest hip-hop and gangster rap, women are part of the power of men. They’re considered an object. [Male hiphop artists] get money, they get cars, they get women. It’s like one, two, three. These are the prerequisites of stardom or being powerful. What role do female hip-hop artists play in that dynamic? There aren’t that many now. … There never were that many. Some of the older ones were a lot clearer about the objectivity and how they wanted to portray themselves. The reason we picked Queen [ for the show’s name] was for Queen Latifah, because Queen Latifah carried herself in a certain manner. … The newer ones seem to be quite okay with some of the objectivity. They’re actually portraying it themselves. I think Nicki Minaj got butt implants. Given how huge this genre has become, how did you decide what music to use in the show? We listened to what was playing on the radio now, and we also remembered in our years growing up hip-hop and rap music that we liked, that women liked. We had a positive
and a negative list. We generally start with the negative and go to the positive, so throughout the show, we’ll deal with certain themes. … There’s more than one way to look at the way [the genre has] been tweaked. The women are given a chance in the troupe to answer that. The song may say one thing, but we’ve juxtaposed it either with women being in the power position or women having a response to what’s being said. There are two stories, and we’re trying to add at least one view of what women could say about that. I’m sure there are thousands. How do you think that the West African influence on the choreography adds to the message of subverting hiphop stereotypes? It connects it. A lot of people think African Americans were dropped someplace. People say, “You don’t have anything. You were stripped from everything.” But we have our memory and it’s there. Because I teach West African dance, I put the South African boot dance in there, the challenge dances that are done in West Africa where women and men dance usually against the same sex. … We [also] juxtaposed it for the new world, where women are dancing with men. [The challenge dance is] definitely traditional. It happens all the time in the villages and ceremonies and parties that are done in traditional settings, weddings and child naming ceremonies. … Also, there is a correlation between what is called the beat in hip-hop and the beat of the
Essence and Dance Diaspora members rehearse an energetic moment from dance performance Queens Rule, which will play this Friday and Saturday in Warner Main Space. From left, performers are College sophomore Donnay Edmund, College senior Koryn Lockett, College sophomore Mark Sikorski, College junior Aldrumesia Baker, College junior Kara Mahon, guest dancer Tiachelle “Ty” Clifford, College junior Gifty Dominah and College sophomore Sophie Umazi Mvurya. Courtesy of John Seyfried
drum. That bass line, in some instances, was very easy for me to superimpose a West African [choreography on to] rap or hiphop because it’s there. Some of the beats are the same beats, the same rhythms, from people who really are “supposed” to not know. But they do, it’s there and you know it, and they do. So this female response is going on in a broader cultural arena too. What’s unique to Oberlin about this response? They have a hip-hop group that was at one time mostly Africana, but it isn’t now. That’s the evolution of the times. So this is probably, in years, the first Africana response to hiphop. It has been commodified, it’s American, so everybody uses it, everybody does it. A lot of the Africana community is starting to say it’s dead. Hiphop and rap is dead. It’s not any longer coming from the group that it did originally, and it’s moved away from it. … That happens a lot of times with
culture. Once it moves into the general society, or is done for years and years, people forget why they first did it this way. … They’re not using it as a protest for the most part any more. If what hip-hop has become is dead, what do you think might replace it? Who knows? A lot of times it is the disenfranchised that come up with fantastic art. So who knows what’s going on in the minds of young folks coming up now, what they’d like to see, what they like to do. Now in the Africana community there’s lots of different kinds of music going on. They have a new name for the smooth R&B, they’re going back to a lot of the R&B, so those kinds of ballads, the hand dancing, dancing with a partner is coming back. Who knows what you may see? Interview by Nora Kipnis, Arts editor
The Oberlin Review, March 7, 2014
Student, AMAM Collaboration Elucidates Role of Books in Art Continued from page 10 than literature, but a form of visual art. “We wanted our audience to experience the material presence, the physical characteristics and tactile qualities of the books’ ornate covers and pages covered with centuries-old annotations,” Milkova said. After viewing the selected paintings on exhibit downstairs, the group went to the Print Study Room to look at books that might have been depicted in such paintings. There, Inglis led the discussion of a book of hours made by Dutch book illuminator Willem Vrelant in the late 15th century. The parchment pages were intricately decorated with iron gall, red inks, tempera and gold leaf. The book was a work of art, but as the audience found out, it was also wielded as an ideological weapon. Inglis pointed to a page where the image of a religious figure was smeared and the text crossed out and explained its historical significance — such marks indicate that the damage and destruction of liturgical books was an essential part of the Protestant Reformation. The representations of books in paintings and the physical books presented during the Books in Art event amplified the importance of books in history. Vermue highlighted the importance of a book’s bindings. A strong binding coupled with careful conservation allows books to survive for hundreds of years. Furthermore, the binding is indicative of a book’s origins. The unique features and styles of bindings can help historians trace books back to an artist, or at least a region. Books in Art was the first collaborative event between SFOL and the museum. Its success is encouraging to Milkova; she hopes that a similar event will be held next year with a focus on books in art. The new curator of Asian art, Dr. Kevin Greenwood, who will join the museum staff in May, will be an indispensible resource of expertise in preparation for this presentation. “I thought that hosting an event at the Art Museum would help bring students interested in art to a SFOL event. The upcoming ‘Life of a Score’ event [which explores the relationship between music and books] will likely help bring students interested in music to a SFOL event,” Gamoran said. The interdisciplinary nature of SFOL events help students and community members to consider how books contribute to various disciplines besides the literary, deepening their appreciation for book archiving and presentation. The cultural relevance of the material book is rapidly declining in the age of Kindles, Nooks and iPads; perhaps the work of the Allen and SFOL will help to keep it alive.
IN THE LOCKER ROOM
The Oberlin Review, March 7, 2014
This week the Review sat down with men’s lacrosse seniors Paul Paschke and Mickey Fiorillo and junior Sean Seaman to discuss beating The College of Wooster, squash court locker rooms and their forgotten fourth housemate. How is the season going so far? Paul Paschke: Mickey, what’s our record? Sean Seaman: Two and 0. Mickey Fiorillo: Two and 0, whoo! SS: I think we’re playing well. Last year we were a super young team, but this year we have more experience as a team and we’re already starting to get the hang of things. What are your goals for this season? PP: Make it to the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament and hopefully do really well at the tournament, and making the NCAA tournament is always the ultimate goal. MF: Win the NCAC tournament. That has been our goal from day one. It’s funny because Noel [Myers] and I talked about it freshman year. We said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to get a conference championship,’ and that expectation was so high for the first three years. Now it’s something we can actually take care of. SS: I can remember my freshman year wanting to get confer-
Sean Seaman, Mickey Fiorillo and Paul Paschke ence championships and now the fact that this year it is actually realistic is amazing.
game at this point. How do you distinguish who your rival is if you don’t win?
Who is your biggest rival in conference? SS: Kenyon. My dad graduated from Kenyon and played lacrosse at Kenyon, and I want to beat his alma mater more than anything. PP: I just don’t like them. I don’t like that school. MF: I think the concept of a rivalry is funny because in order to have a rival, you need to beat a team once or twice, maybe three times, and we just are not there yet. I think the athletic department is changing a lot and that’s good. We’re bringing in a lot of coaches who know what they’re doing, especially our coaches. But, for me, anyone in the conference is fair
What is your most memorable Oberlin lacrosse moment? PP: Beating [The College of] Wooster last year. It was our first conference win in about 20 years. SS: I think beating Wooster was definitely a great moment. MF: I think, honestly, it’s not a specific game or particular moment. Lacrosse is so much about doing all the little things right, and a couple of weeks ago our offense finally clicked, and it looked like how an offense on a good lacrosse team should look. That moment was just like, let’s go, we’re here, we have the talent, we have the potential, let’s do it.
How do you get all your cool swag? SS: [Sophomore] Alex Wagman. PP: We have a booster club where they have money from our parents, and they work directly with the players on our team to buy the best gear that our team would actually wear. MF: I think it’s also important to note that there are a lot of people on the team that care about what image we give off, and that put a lot into designing our gear, and contacting sports reps, in order for our gear to come through. It ultimately comes from us — if we’re going to be good, let’s look good. Alex Wagman did a great job. How do you feel about your makeshift locker rooms? SS: I don’t mind it at all. The bathrooms are far away and there
— Men’s Lacrosse —
Top Scorers Return to Assist Yeomen Lillian Jahan Despite numerous problems stemming from bad Northeast Ohio weather, the men’s lacrosse team won its first two games of the season last week. During the games, the Yeomen employed talent from a large part of the squad, scoring 13 goals from eight different players against the University of Mount Union Purple Raiders. 11 of those goals came from returning players. Junior and starting goalkeeper Erickson Andrews played all but 10 minutes and along with his replacement, sophomore Josh Kasten, allowed only four goals, while combining on a total of 11 saves. The more recent victory over the Olivet College Comets was just as decisive, as the Yeomen came away with a 12–4 win. In the game, five different Yeomen scored, while Andrews again played all but five minutes, combining with Kasten on 14 saves. Though the team was happy with its performance, the Yeomen know the greatest challenges are still to come. “Although the teams we’ve played haven’t been as high of competition as we’ll face in conference, we handled the games really well and we are progressing every day,” said senior midfielder Matt Rogers. Senior defensemen Noel Myers said he feels great about starting the season off 2–1 and attributed some of the team’s success to its newfound commitment to the program. “During the first two games, during practice and during preseason we have a lot of underclassmen that have really put in work and are having a great start to the season,” he said. “They’re stepping up and filling voids that have been needing to be filled.”
are no outlets, but other than that it’s OK. PP: Yeah, there are no outlets to blast music. MF: We understand that improvements are being made and, in all honesty, the squash court is probably bigger, dryer and probably more comfortable than our old locker room, so it doesn’t really matter. PP: The only thing that is kind of annoying is when there are people playing racquetball in the courts next to us when our coach is trying to talk to us. MF: I am sure it’s also weird for everyone else to see like 30 grown men in towels walking down the hallway. How do you like living together? MF: Well, we almost kicked Sean out of the house a couple of times. PP: Sean’s loud. SS: Living in this house is great. I get to live with three of my best friends before they graduate. It’s an unbelievable experience. MF: It’s really great. We have a fourth housemate, but I can’t remember who it is. I got hit really hard on Saturday. PP: It was Friday, Mickey. MF: But we love our fourth housemate, whoever she is. Interview by Sarah Orbuch, Sports editor Photo by Phoebe Hammer
Horsecows Place 5th in KY Continued from page 16
Senior Mickey Fiorillo drives toward the net for a shot against the University of Mount Union Purple Raiders. The Yeomen’s season is off to a 2–1 start. Erik Andrews
Returning to the offense are sophomores Alex Wagman and Nick Lobley and senior Connor Jackson, all three of whom were among the top 10 scorers in the North Coast Athletic Conference, averaging 2.79, 3.83 and 2.69 goals per game, respectively. Jackson, who made AllNCAC Second-Team last spring, and Wagman were also in the top 10 in the conference in assists per game with 1.5 and 1.75 respectively. The team’s offense has been in full force since the early portion of the season, but the Yeomen believe their defense may be what will carry them. “With our returners especially, we have one of the best defenses in the conference, maybe even the country,” said Myers. Livingston agreed, noting that Andrews’
play will be a boon to the team’s efforts this season. “Erickson is definitely the top goalie in the conference, and with our defense we have a chance to be unstoppable this year,” he said. Ideally, though, the team’s offense and defense will work in unison. “The defense really sets things up — it really gets the offensive momentum going. Getting stops and forcing turnovers gives the offense more opportunities and just changes the energy of the game,” said Myers. The Yeomen hope to rebound from a recent 6–5 overtime loss to Albion College when they face Capital University on Saturday at 1 p.m. Due to inclement weather, the home game has been moved to John Carroll University in University Heights, OH.
Chesterfield, MO. “The tournament is the Huck Finn tournament, and supposedly Wash U is pretty good,” he said. “They are in our pool, so we will have a chance to play them on the first day. This is definitely going to be a higher caliber of competition; there are only a couple of Division III teams, so it is mostly a Division I competition. We are seeded a lot lower, but this is a good learning experience and a tip-off to our more serious part of our season.” Ultimately, the team’s goal this year is to do well at the regional tournament and qualify for the national tournament. “Last season we finished at regionals, which determines if you go to nationals,” Plotz said. “The goal was to get into nationals. We were a good team last year, but I don’t think we were quite there yet. I think this year nationals is a definite, legitimate possibility. We beat Kenyon, we beat Xavier [University] — two teams in the Ohio region. I think we have a good shot at nationals and everyone is on board.” Schiller echoed these hopes for his final season with the Horsecows. “This is bittersweet. My ambitions and expectations are really high for this semester because I would really like to go out on a good note and go to nationals. I am hoping to enjoy it,” he said.
The Oberlin Review, March 7, 2014
—Women’s Softball —
Seasoned Squad Splits Season Opener Taylor Swift The women’s softball team brought home its first win, splitting against the Maryville College Scots last Saturday. The Yeowomen sealed the first game 2–4, but fell 9–6 to the Scots in the second game. In the first game, the Scots scored first, plating one in the first inning, but the Yeowomen quickly bounced back with two runs in the top of the third inning. The first run was scored by first-year Sami Mericle who tallied a total of three hits in her first collegiate game, tying junior Katie Pieplow for a game high. Pieplow was integral to the Yeowomen’s success this weekend, with seven RBIs and a season-first home run that helped her earn North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week. According to Mericle, it was was Pipelow’s energy and spark that fueled the team’s first victory. “[Pieplow’s] first home run of the season was a big moment for the team,” said Mericle. “I think it proved to us that we can be great when we’re relaxed and bring energy.” In the second game, the Yeowomen came out on fire, with Pieplow, seniors Emily King and Melanie Budney and junior Richelle Romanchik scoring a total of five runs in the first two innings. But the Scots answered quickly, scoring five runs in the second inning, and another in the next three innings. The Yeowomen were unable to add much to their early scoring output, and scored just one more run, a Pieplow sac-fly. Despite the loss in the second game, the Yeowomen identified areas for improvement going into into the rest of the season. “The games this weekend came down to us making the routine plays and keeping our composure in stressful situations as well as being aggressive on the bases,” King said. “We saw how incredibly important it is to keep the same energy level from the first inning of the first game to the last inning of the second. Once we do that, we’ll be golden,” she added. After a month of preseason training, the Yeowomen are hungry to improve on their 4–30 record from last season. With only 12 people on the team, the Yeowomen hope their small numbers help build team chemistry. “We have a rather small roster, but I personally think that this allows for us to work very cohesively as a unit,” said Pieplow.
Junior Katie Pieplow winds up for a pitch in a game last season. Pieplow was named NCAC Player of the Week after she recorded seven RBIs and three hits in a game against the Maryville College Scots. Courtesy of Oberlin Athletics
Graduating only one senior from last year’s squad, the Yeowomen will look to the leadership of the senior trio King, Budney and Steiner. King had a strong start this past weekend when she scored four runs. Last season she led the team in both ERA and batting average at 3.46 and .393, respectively, and hopes to have another impressive year to finish off her career. King is also expected to be a leading pitcher for the Yeowomen. Including Mericle, the team brought in four first-years to help bolster the program, and as proven this past weekend, the new players are expected to have an immediate impact. One of these notable additions is Grace Evans, a catcher from Arlington, VA, who earned Fairfax Times All-Region second team in 2013. The Yeowomen have their next game Saturday, March 15, against Thiel College at home.
Editorial: NFL Overthinks Character Continued from page 16 understand the NFL’s obsession with character. The first overall pick in this year’s draft will receive a contract with a total value exceeding $22 million. The stakes are high in the NFL, and wasting a first-round pick on a player who won’t work hard on the field and can’t stay out of trouble could cost some general manager his job. But if teams want to ensure that players stay out of trouble once they get into the league, they need to look internally and ensure that the locker rooms foster strong habits on and off the field. The best teams in the league consistently take so-called chances on players with character concerns and watch them blossom into top players in the league because they offer support systems that help young players realize their full potential. One must look no further than this year’s Super Bowl champs, the Seattle Seahawks, when searching for a team that has seen great success despite relying on a number of players with allegedly shady character. Running back Marshawn Lynch was arrested in 2009 and charged with misdemeanor weapons charges and 2012 first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin dropped out of high school and was arrested in the months leading up to that draft. But neither player has had any off-field issues since joining the Seahawks, one of most well-run organizations in the NFL. Physical talents like Clowney and Manziel don’t enter the league very often, and not drafting them due to character concerns would be foolish. As long as they end up in situations where their physical talent can shine, expect the two to be stars and for concerns about their character to quickly become an afterthought.
Department Enthusiastic, Athletes Ambivalent About Mascot Continued from page 16 mascot, reactions from student-athletes are mixed. Senior basketball player Geoff Simpson sees the addition as nothing more than a minor change. “I feel like we should all just embrace it. I don’t think it’ll have a lasting effect — lots of schools have weird mascots,” he said. Courtney Bolden, a first-year lacrosse player, expressed similar views. “I know it’s special to Oberlin, so I can understand why they chose it,” she said, though she also expressed a desire for “something more aggressive” to represent Oberlin sports teams. But not all athletes have been so welcoming to the new mascot, and the whimsical nature of the albino squirrel has sparked some stronger opposition. Senior lacrosse player Mickey Fiorillo said the introduction of a squirrel mascot is counterproductive to what he saw as a “revamping of the athletics program to get a more serious message across.” “I don’t think it’s a step in the right direction to go from the Yeomen to the albino squirrel,” he said. Sophomore soccer player John Ingham acknowledged the albino squirrel’s important presence on campus, but believes it has no place representing College athletes. “The ‘OC’ was such a perfect representation of the College. My big problem is that [the albino squirrel] is going against tradition that’s been building for years.” “I love the traditional ‘Yeomen,’ and I don’t consider myself an albino squirrel,” he said. Sophomore swimmer Sarah Kahl said that the mascot isn’t intimidating enough to represent Oberlin’s sports teams. “Nobody’s scared of a squirrel,” she said. Although the squirrel is receiving mixed feedback among student athletes, Jantz said that non-athletes have been especially interested in the new merchandise. “The Bookstore had people already calling looking for it [on apparel],” Jantz said. The Bookstore will release an albino squirrel line of apparel this spring, and Jantz hinted that the Athletics Department will release albino squirrel promotions in the coming months.
Sports The Oberlin Review
March 7, 2014
Athletics Hops on Albino Squirrel Bandwagon ing to Jantz, it’s catching on. “People were nervous at first; they thought we were changing our nickname,” Jantz said. “[Now], I think people are start-
ing to embrace it.” For all of the positive motivations behind the albino squirrel See Albino, page 15
Nate Levinson Sports Editor
Despite Rainy Preseason, Obies Remain Hopeful The baseball team will hit the road this weekend for its first games of the season. This spring the Yeomen welcome 10 first-years to their roster, pushing the total number to 39 players. Coming off a successful 22–21 season and boasting a talented pool of returning players, the Yeomen have set high expectations for themselves in the upcoming season. Oberlin’s last season ended in the semifinal round of the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament against Allegheny College in a heartbreaking 6–5 loss. Though the defeat was a tough one to swallow for the team, the successful season set a handful of new Oberlin baseball records with 22 wins and the first tournament appearance in Oberlin history. “My main goal going into this season is to win a conference championship. For all the success we had last year, we still have an empty trophy case to serve as a reminder to the years of mediocre Oberlin baseball teams,” said junior first baseman Danny Baldocchi. “Blowing a lead in the semifinal last year was tough, but I believe that experience
helped us to mentally prepare for this season and should help us bring back a victory.” Baldocchi led the team in both slugging percentage and home runs last spring. He made 19 starts last year, and hit four home runs, while posting a triple slash line of .312/.353/.545. Although the season is quickly approaching, poor weather conditions have not allowed for ideal preparation heading into the first game. With temperatures lingering around 30 degrees for the majority of the team’s preseason, the Yeomen are anxiously awaiting the first time they’ll get to hit the field. “The indoor practices are the most demoralizing thing to have happen to a team. You wait and wait, and it seems like the weather never breaks. We are lucky to have a great indoor facility, but obviously baseball is meant to be played outside,” said Head Coach Adrian Abrahamowicz. This frustration was expressed by many of the other Yeomen as well. While no one denied the difficulty that the weather has posed for the team, many of the Yeomen are focusing on the positive and trying to remain optimistic. Sophomore pitcher Jesse Kohler pointed out that all teams in the conference are currently facing similar conditions.
“Every team in our division has the same disadvantages that Ohio and Western PA weather present. I don’t like to look at problems, so I think that we have done everything that we can do in Philips [gym] and the weight room as a team to be able to be prepared for when we are finally able to go outside,” he said. Kohler enters this year after a breakout season in 2013, in which he finished third on the team with a 3.82 ERA. Senior Mike McDonald adds depth for the Yeomen and will look to improve on a season in which he led the team with 41 strikeouts. Catching for the Yeomen this season will be sophomores Brian Hemmert, Colin Brown and Blaise Dolcemaschio. Dolcemaschio, a Los Angeles native, will headline this trio after making 23 starts in his rookie year, and has set his goals high for this season. “I can tell our minds are focused on game one this weekend. We’ll be ready,” Dolcemaschio said. The Yeomen will play their first game this Saturday, March 8 in Avon, OH, at the All Pro Freight Stadium against D’Youville College. After spending spring break in Arizona playing 10 games in five days, Oberlin will finally commence its conference play with a home game against Hiram College on Saturday, March 29.
— Men’s Frisbee —
Men’s Ultimate Sets Sights on Nationals with Young Talent Nate Levinson & Sarah Orbuch Sports Editors
played the game in high school, while others came new to the game. While the team focused on team development first semester, this spring, the focus is to making it to nationals. “A big focus is coming to practice and being friends outside of practice,” said junior Mike Plotz. “If you don’t have chemistry with other people and trust the other people, the team is going to fall apart. You need to know who you are passing to, their strengths and what they like to do. When you like playing with your teammates, you play better.” Frisbee tournaments can be long and arduous, and team camaraderie can ease anxiety. When the team
travels to competitions, they have to be prepared to play at least eight games every weekend. Fortunately, first semester gave the newcomers an opportunity to experience the collegiate tournament setup. “There is a big difference between high school Frisbee and college Frisbee, and playing together last semester helped us develop those team dynamics, like knowing where people want to cut and where people want to throw the Frisbee. This is the semester where things start to get serious,” LaFreniere said. Schiller is optimistic about the team’s upcoming tournament hosted by Washington University in See Horsecows, page 14
See Editorial, page 15
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The Flying Horsecows men’s Ultimate Frisbee team is preparing for its spring season after a fifth place finish at its Cat Fight tournament at the University of Kentucky in February. With a number of tournaments scheduled for this March, the team will look to ready itself for a run at the national tournament. First-year Peter LaFreniere said that defeating Kenyon College for the first time in years was a big morale booster. “The last tournament was really great,” he said. “We did really well. We finished fifth of 16 teams in a tournament that included D-I
and D-III teams. We beat Kenyon — which we have not done in a number of years — in universe point, which means ‘next point wins.’ Kenyon has been a big rival in our past, and [it’s] a team that we have to beat to go to nationals this year.” For senior captain Quinn Schiller, beating Kenyon was also a highlight of the weekend. “Kenyon is one of our longstanding rivals and has always been a little better than us the whole time I have been here,” Schiller said. “Hopefully, now, this is our year to be better than them. I think we played hard in every single game, and the tournament was a lot of fun.” This fall, the Horsecows were inundated with new talent. Many
Every year in the months leading up to the NFL draft, scouts, general managers and entire personnel departments of all 32 NFL teams spend countless hours poring over the résumés of hundreds of young 20–somethings fresh out of college. Unsurprisingly, many of these players don’t have entirely clean records, and it’s left up to these NFL decision-makers to discern which players will be cancers in the locker room, which won’t work hard on the field and which were just young people making common, stupid mistakes. There’s an old adage that says talent trumps all for NFL decision makers, but this doesn’t stop them and members of the media from analyzing every questionable decision made by an athlete before they enter the league. This year, potential top-five picks South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel have come under scrutiny for their alleged lazy work ethics and off-field actions. Clowney is one of the most talented defensive players to enter the draft in the past 10 years, and the former Heisman winner Manziel is a potentially transcendent playmaker at the next level, but, too often, discussion of their physical talents has been put on the back burner. Critics say that Manziel is too much of a partier and Clowney isn’t willing to work hard enough to maximize his talents. While I understand the emphasis on crafting teams that are made up of quality individuals and not just fantastic athletes, the priority has to be finding the best football players, and Manziel and Clowney are just that. This is not to say that I don’t
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Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach Lynda McCandlish (left), Head Women’s Field Hockey Coach Anna Baeth, Head Men’s Soccer Coach Blake New, Head Softball Coach Mimi Mahon, Associate Director of Athletics for Internal Operations Mike Snyder and Head Volleyball Coach Erica Rau show off their new albino squirrel apparel. The mascot was introduced on New Year’s Day. Courtesy of Oberlin Athletics
— Men’s Baseball —
Tyler Sloan Staff Writer
Time to Focus On the Talent
On New Year’s Day, the Athletics department unleashed a new mascot: a hyper-muscular, blood-thirsty, red-eyed albino squirrel. The furry fellow has slowly made its way onto the apparel and equipment of Oberlin’s various sports teams, including basketball warm-up jerseys, golf balls and men’s lacrosse shirts and helmets. “Everyone was already using it,” said Senior Associate Director of Athletics Creg Jantz, referring to the squirrel’s presence in the Admissions Office and around the school website. “It’s already such a big part of the history of the College; it’s as if we’re just jumping on the bandwagon.” Jason Hudson, associate head track and field coach and assistant cross country coach agreed. “In a way, I don’t see it as new. I see it as the Athletics department
being the last to embrace it.” Oberlin has an unusually large population of albino squirrels, and their presence in Tappan Square was the motivation for the squirrel’s addition as a mascot. “With no real mascot, we wanted to try to create something that our teams and other College students could have fun with,” Jantz said. He added that the squirrel was intended to foster a stronger connection between College athletes and students who are not on a varsity team. Each team will determine if they want to sport the new mascot on their uniforms and equipment. “Each team will find a little way to use it, or not,” said Jantz. “That’s the great thing about it — it’s an option.” Numerous Oberlin teams are already using the new mascot on their team apparel, and accord-
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Published on Mar 9, 2014