The Oberlin Review May 11, 2018
Volume 146, Number 24
College Passes Enrollment Goal for Class of 2022 Devyn Malouf Production Editor
Campus Dining Services workers and students in Stevenson Dining Hall, Oberlin’s largest dining facility. Students recently circulated a petition calling for better conditions in CDS and asking the administration to cut ties with the College’s dining management company, Bon Appétit. Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo Editor
Students, Testimonial Project Call for CDS Changes
Hannah Robinson Layout Editor Editor’s Note: The petition and the link to the testimonials mentioned in this article can be found in the Opinions section of The Oberlin Review. College students are circulating a petition calling on Oberlin’s administration to sever ties with the current dining management company, Bon Appétit, and switch to a self-managed system. The petition focuses on an array of problems with Bon Appétit, citing the company’s poor management, food waste, and safety issues. The petition, which has so far acquired over 400 signatures, was compiled with information gathered through the Staff Testimonial Project led by College sophomore Caitlin Kelley. The project consists of interviews with 47 staff members, 42 of whom work for Campus Dining Services, about their experiences working at Oberlin. The interviews were transcribed and have been posted anonymously in a Google Drive folder linked on the petition. Kelley, who has worked as a dishwasher at Dascomb Dining Hall for the past two years, began the project after the announcement that Dascomb will be closing next semester. “I never considered myself a petition person,” Kelley said, adding that she created the petition as a way for more students to get involved in advocating for campus workers. “This project is supposed to be a start to investigating issues on campus,” Kel-
ley said. “One of our goals is that the administration and College support the continuing investigation of these issues, because we don’t claim to know everything that’s going on or everything that’s right or wrong.” According to Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, the College plans to keep working with Bon Appétit, though it is open to looking into some of the other concerns raised in the testimonials and petition. “The College engaged an expert consultant to review the dining program this fall,” Raimondo wrote in an email to the Review. “One of the consultant’s recommendations was to continue Oberlin’s partnership with Bon Appétit in order to reach our goal of a high-quality dining program that is both environmentally and financially sustainable.” However, Kelley and other student leaders have disputed the claims that it is financially advantageous for Oberlin to work with Bon Appétit. According to the petition, “Oberlin pays for all of its equipment, employees, ingredients, and a CDS management fee for Bon Appétit.” Across the country, 57 percent of college and university dining operations are self-managed, according to a 2015 report by FoodService Director magazine. In keeping with Raimondo’s assertions, Bon Appétit touts its commitment to environmental sustainability and local food. According to Bon Appétit’s website, its company-wide Farm to Fork program, which was launched in 1999, “aim[s] to strengthen our regional food
systems so that everyone in our communities can eat well not just today, but for the future.” However, some staff report that the company has not followed through with its commitments. “There’s been absurd food waste,” one CDS worker said. “It’s sickening, though I’ve gotten numb to it over the years.” Another noted that at Stevenson Dining Hall, around three to six gallons of soup are thrown away every evening. The staff testimonials reveal a stark portrait of the experiences of CDS workers at Oberlin. Many of the staff members interviewed were supportive of the idea of self-management, and the majority disliked Bon Appétit’s managerial style. “Our relationship with Bon Appétit is horrible,” one interviewee reported. “They keep everything hid from us. It’s like we’re a mushroom, and they keep us in the dirt and they feed us s**t all the time. They don’t tell us the whole truth or give additional explanations.” Many staff reported not feeling heard by Bon Appétit management. They find that the Bon Appétit managers are often unwilling to listen to their suggestions for improvement. “Management has changed big time,” said one CDS worker who is a member of the United Automobile Workers, the international union that represents CDS workers and others on campus. “When I first started, they were like family. They got to know you, they cared about you. You could invite them to your wedding,
The Oberlin College Offices of Admissions and Financial Aid are cautiously celebrating a successful recruiting season for the class of 2022. Based on early admissions numbers, the office projects that it has surpassed its enrollment goals for the 2018–19 school year. As of May 4, 868 students committed to attend Oberlin College and Conservatory this fall. Admissions administrators set an initial goal to enroll 750 students between the College and the Conservatory for the class of 2022 — 620 for the College and 130 for the Conservatory and double-degree — with an anticipated range of 735–775. At this time last year, 753 students had committed. Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Manuel Carballo acknowledges that the number will likely fluctuate slightly before fall. Administrators attribute this potential change to summer melt — a trend that is seen across higher education in which waitlist activity at other schools, gap year requests, and other factors lead to about a 10 percent decrease in student commitment for the fall. “We do expect that our enrollment number will change as the summer progresses but even with melt, we anticipate [having] above 800 new students,” Carballo wrote in an email to the Review. Carballo also spoke to the initiatives in place to mediate the effects of summer melt. “We are certainly working on what we call ‘melt initiatives,’ and so [we’re] working with folks across campus to do things to make sure that the kids that are here are still excited by us — that we’re not [losing] them later on,” he said. As it currently stands, the College will welcome a class with a similar academic profile as in years past: 28 percent students of color, compared to 26 percent in the class of 2021; eight percent first-generation college students, compared to six percent in the class of 2021; 11 percent international students, which is the same as the class of 2021; and six percent native Ohioans, compared to five percent in the class of 2021. “I personally was not surprised about the increase, just due to the general upward trend in higher education where people of color have had an increasing amount of opportunities to be able to pursue their education,” College sophomore Brian Tom said regarding the admissions numbers. “And while I would have loved to see that number be higher, for the school’s diversity rate to better represent that of the nation, it is definitely a step in the right direction.” This year, the All Roads Lead to Oberlin program included a parent reception, sessions for prospective students led by Peer Advising Leaders, a lab tour, and an academic
See Petition, page 2
See Admissions, page 4
ARTS & CULTURE
02 Consignmnet Store All Things Great Opens Downtown
05 College Must Prioritize Studnet Happiness
08 Wizards and Witches Fair
10 Corner Joint Promises Good Cooking, Less Value
15 Historic Season From Rauchle Not Enough For Yeowomen
OTC: Melissa Harris and Christian Bolles, Editors-in-Chief
07 Oberlin Must Always Hold Sexual Assaulters Accountable
12 God of War Wrestles With Violence, Wins
16 Newton, Drafts-JohnsoLead Team to NCAC Championship
The Oberlin Review | May 11, 2018
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Consignment Store All Things Great Opens Downtown
Laurel Kirtz and Kate Harvey, co-owners of All Things Great, a consignment and vintage store, which will open tomorrow on South Main Street. Photo by Gabby Greene
Gabby Greene Staff Writer All Things Great, a consignment and vintage store, will open tomorrow on Main Street in the location formerly occupied by Ade’s Place. Co-owners Laurel Kirtz and Kate Harvey hope that the store will help students and community members repurpose their unwanted items and reduce waste, while acting as an outlet for the community — especially for artists. “I hope to reduce trash because I know that the students throw a lot of stuff away, and they don’t want to, but they don’t really have a lot of other options, and the free swap [an end of year free clothing exchange] only gets to so many people,” Kirtz said. “It’s a way for all the teenagers in town to
have your cool college clothes.” Elyria-born Harvey approached Kirtz, a lifetime Oberlin resident, while the two worked together at Campbell House Antiques on Main Street. Harvey worked for the store for 13 years; Kirtz began working there last summer. Both hoped to branch out from selling antiques to include more modern items. “Campbell’s was good to me,” Harvey said. “But when I started with Campbell’s, it was strictly antiques, and that was early antiques, like 1800s items, and that didn’t go so well in Oberlin for me personally.” Kirtz’ personal style also clashed with the limitations of Campbell House Antiques. “I came in [to Campbell House], and I broke all the rules,” Kirtz said. “I was like,
‘Nothing but ’90s [style clothing].’” Both owners decided against housing a specific category of items. The current layout of the store holds a variety of clothing, art pieces, furniture, and practical-use items from various time periods. Next to the store’s dressing room is a bench from a 1920s grocery store, which sits across from a microscope and vintage overalls. “We don’t want to be in any box,” Kirtz said. “That’s why we call our store ‘All Things Great,’ because it’s not defined by any adjective except for ‘great.’” Kirtz and Harvey met at a garage sale hosted by Kirtz, who modeled the current layout of All Things Great after the layout of her sales. A frequent participant of the Rotary Club of Oberlin’s annual City Wide Garage Sale, Kirtz plans to feature items from All Things Great in future outdoor sales. “I do [garage sales] because I love hustling,” Kirtz said. “I love standing there with the fanny pack and just being like, ‘Two dollars’ and [seeing customers’] eyes light up.” The storefront location has a long history. The building itself once housed businesses like Campus Video, Bicycle Emporium, the Sport Shop, Morehead Food Market, and most recently, Ade’s Place. Considered by many to be a pillar of the Oberlin community, Ade’s Place was run and
owned by Professor Adenike Sharpley, who taught dance at the College for over 20 years. Upon Professor Sharpley’s retirement, the store closed. Despite the continued online presence of Ade’s Place, its departure from Main Street has impacted College students. “I think a lot of people loved Miss Ade’s place,” College junior Nia Daids said. “It was my mom’s favorite place to shop [in Oberlin].” With the loss of Ade’s Place, it may take time for College students to grow accustomed to the new store. “I’m sad that Ade’s is gone,” College junior Sage Vouse said. “While I love vintage stores, I wonder what unique quality [All Things Great] will bring to Main Street.” Harvey and Kirtz hope to remedy this loss by supporting local artists in their space and prioritizing artists of color. “I can’t say we’ll ever live up to [Professor Sharpley’s] involvement, but supporting people of color is important and Ade is someone who did that,” Kirtz said. “If we can have artists, just to get people to understand we’re there for them, it could be a good art workspace.” Kirtz’ main goal for the store is to “create less trash in the world.” Both Harvey and Kirtz prioritize making their items accessible to all by eliminating categories like men’s and women’s sections, selling items from a range of price points, and offering custom tailoring
to adjust for size discrepancies. While All Things Great will not be the first vintage or consignment store in the town, it will be the only location on Main Street to provide custom tailoring services. “I think Oberlin already has very similar stores,” College senior Tré Quarles said. “But custom tailoring may be interesting.” Harvey and Kirtz have many ideas for the future of the store, including housing a cobbler, featuring artists’ work in the basement of the building, playing cult films for customers within the store, and extending store hours until 11 p.m. during Commencement Weekend. Plans for the store’s opening are still being solidified. “Maybe tarot card readings, but definitely bowls of candy,” Kirtz said regarding features of the opening. All Things Great’s store hours are currently set for 11 a.m to 6 p.m. from Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Harvey and Kirtz extended hours for Commencement Weekend to encourage families and students to visit the store. “[All Things Great will be] a good place Commencement Weekend, when everyone’s milling about and maybe waiting for a table at a restaurant, to come to the shop, get down, and get funky,” Kirtz said. Items from Ade’s Place and Alake Gallery are now sold at alakegallery.com
Petition Calls on College to Sever Ties with Dining Management Continued from page 1
your baby shower. And they would come. Now it’s like management … during your shift they’ll pretend to care.” Many CDS workers have a background in food service or are trained chefs, and resent that they are forced to serve food they are not proud of. One CDS worker who has been working at Oberlin for over 20 years recalled a time when CDS served better quality food. “We used to have really good food,” they said. “We used to be happy to come into work because we made good food. It’s just an embarrassment for some of the grill cooks working the line at Stevie. Used to be, we were proud to put stuff on the line. Used to be a good product, management used to take input from the cooks. They used to listen.” Others complained of a lack of training and inexperienced management. “Never did a manager say, ‘this is how
we do things,’” one employee recalled. “I wouldn’t say the manager even knows how to do the stuff and the practices. New managers defer to us ‘cause we’ve been here so long.” The petition also calls on Bon Appétit and the College to address safety concerns about Stevenson Dining Hall. “[A] major issue is Stevenson,” Kelley said. “Some staff members call it ‘the big house’ because it looks like a prison, it feels like a prison, and the managers treat them like they’re in prison.” Many workers reported that the uneven and slip-prone floors are a safety hazard. “I have had knee replacements because of how much I’ve fallen at Stevenson ... Coworkers have gotten spine surgery and hip replacements too,” one CDS worker said. “We all have the ‘Stevenson limp.’ You can tell you work at Stevenson because you limp.” While the ultimate goal is to push the
The Oberlin R eview May 11, 2018 Volume 146, Number 24 (ISSN 297–256) Published by the students of Oberlin College every Friday during the fall and spring semesters, except holidays and examination periods. Advertising rates: $18 per column inch. Second-class postage paid at Oberlin, Ohio. Entered as secondclass matter at the Oberlin, Ohio post office April 2, 1911. POSTMASTER SEND CHANGES TO: Wilder Box 90, Oberlin, Ohio 44074-1081. Office of Publication: Burton Basement, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. Phone: (440) 775-8123
Melissa Harris Christian Bolles Managing Editor Daniel Markus News Editors Sydney Allen Roman Broszkowski Opinions Editors Jackie Brant El Wilson This Week Editor Lucy Martin Arts & Culture Editor Ananya Gupta Sports Editors Alex McNicoll Alexis Dill Layout Editors Hannah Robinson Parker Shatkin Elena Hartley Photo Editors Bryan Rubin Hugh Newcomb Business Manager Monique Newton Ads Manager Jabree Hason
College to begin self-management, Kelley said that the Student Labor Action Coalition’s short-term goals are to improve worker conditions. “It’s slightly unrealistic to make that our only measure of success with this project whether or not we end the relationship with Bon Appétit,” Kelley said. She also hopes to focus on holding the management and College accountable for their actions. Raimondo said that she has begun reading the testimonials, and she intends to read all of them, adding that she appreciates that staff members took the time to tell their stories. “I am grateful for the incredible hard work of the students and for the employees who shared their stories,” Raimondo wrote. “Storytelling so often helps us understand each other better and recognize both our shared commitments and our challenges to resolve. I am hopeful that
Production Manager Victoria Albacete Production Staff
Giselle Glaspie Eliza Guinn Lior Krancer Kaitlyn Lucey Kendall Mahavier Devyn Malouf Madi Mettenburg
Yonce Hitt Kristen Mayhew Leo Hochberg
hearing the stories of everyone who works in campus dining — workers, managers, temps, and students — can provide a way to build strong relationships and identify shared strategies for our common success.” Efforts to sever the College from Bon Appétit and improve working conditions for CDS workers have been at the center of student efforts for the past few years. Last May, SLAC organized a one-day boycott of all dining halls, aiming to push out Bon Appétit and initiate self-management. z“One of the broadest things that we’ve been focusing on is changing how the college prioritizes its funds and making sure the rhetoric it uses to kind of describe itself matches its actions,” College senior and SLAC Co-chair Eliza Guinn said.. “The College can say it’s a progressive institution as long as it wants, but if it’s not supporting that with action, then it’s not much.”
Corrections: To submit a corrrection, email managingeditor@ oberlinreview.org.
Issue 1, Joe Miller Sweep on Election Day
A community member picks up their ballot at Tuesday’s primary election in Philips gym. Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo Editor
Alex Davies Staff Writer
As the Ohio primary polls closed Tuesday evening, overall pivoting in numbers toward Republican candidates across the state, Oberlin’s District 56 came away with Rob Weber as the uncontested Republican state candidate and Joe Miller as the narrow winner among four Democratic state representative candidates. The ballot also showed that Issue 1, Ohio’s popularly discussed anti-gerrymandering bill, passed with a huge 75 percent approval. Miller’s platform focuses on addressing issues ranging from jobs, education, and healthcare to the environment, diversity, and business. Miller believes that successfully revitalizing the local education system will require a statewide change in legislation. “Education empowers the masses, and
our children do not deserve to have their education politicized or profiteered by the lobbyists in Columbus,” Miller said in a public statement. “I will support legislation that empowers local public schools to prepare our children to be 20th-century learners by creating citizens who are strong in both mind and body by fostering their intellectual, athletic, and social development.” Despite having fallen short of Miller, Olaes garnered the third-most votes — totaling 2,146 — among the four Democratic candidates running for office after having taken an entire semester off to pursue her political passion and make a difference in the local community. Olaes did not respond to the Review’s request for comment at the time of this publication. Sherrod Brown, Ohio’s longtime Democratic senator, ran unopposed on the
Democratic ticket for the U.S. Senate. Jim Renacci won the Republican nomination for the Ohio Senate after receiving support from President Trump during a visit to Cleveland on Saturday. “We need his vote very badly,” Trump said at a rally held for Renacci. “He’ll be fantastic. I’ve known him for a long time.” The aforementioned Issue 1 called for the reform of partisan gerrymandering, which will protect the map-drawing of congressional districts in Ohio from benefiting a single political party. “Issue 1 means an end to our current hyper-partisan process for drawing congressional districts where politicians rig elections to keep themselves in power,” said League of Women Voters of Ohio Co-President Mary Kirtz Van Nortwick in a public statement. “We can now move toward creating fair districts where citizens’ voices are heard.” Ever since 2012, the political party designations in each of Ohio’s 16 congressional districts have remained the same. But in light of Issue 1’s passing, public hearings and map-drawing proposals will be mandated to prevent gerrymandering. One potential downside of Issue 1, however, is the possibility of having to redraw districts every four years. While Issue 1 has officially been added as an amendment to Ohio’s constitution, the bill will not be implemented until after the 2020 census. The Republican and Democratic candidates will square off for November’s general election, which will decide the fate of the U.S.’ Republican-majority House and Senate.
Senate, OST Delay Appointing SFC Chairs Melissa Harris Editor-in-Chief
Student Senate and the Office of the Student Treasurer will delay the Student Finance Committee member appointments until this fall rather than completing them before the end of the semester — an action that’s part of Senate and the OST’s recent plan to restructure the student finance system to become more transparent, flexible, and efficient in allocating funds. Senate and the OST’s pivot to restructure campus student financing came about after they evaluated how student activity funding is allocated. Out of a pool of about $1.2 million in the allocated funds to student organizations, $600,000 remained unspent as of April 24, said Senate Chair and College junior Kameron Dunbar. With the ad hoc pool emptying two weeks earlier than usual in March, preventing students from accessing funding, Dunbar said that Senate and the OST will work over the summer to pinpoint a new financing strategy before appointing SFC members to manage it. “I want SFC to think of a system that not only lets students tap into literally our last student dollar, but also one that allows SFC to be more critical of events and programming rather than budgets,” Dunbar said. The restructuring will also aim to allow SFC members to work more closely with student organizations so that they can maximize their funding and spending. Senate found that only about 36 percent of students knew what SFC did in its campus climate survey last fall, which led senators to consider how they could redefine the committee’s engagement with students. “We want an SFC that’s responsive and that’s going to work with all student
The Oberlin Review | May 11, 2018
organizations critically and effectively and is going to be able to shepherd them through how to put on great programming, how to put on great events — be it speakers, banquets, film screenings, convocations, etc.,” said Student Senator and College senior Léon Pescador. Dunbar said that Senate envisions the new student finance system providing for students beyond funding organizations, such as financing shuttle buses to Cleveland or infrastructural improvements to student spaces. “I think there are lots of things that students have expressed a desire [for], particularly with various campus improvements, for various spaces for student use, and more all-campus events,” he said. Student Treasurer and College junior Elijah Aladin added that OST and Senate’s vision will hopefully allow for students to control how they want to change the campus, rather than depending on the administration to make direct decisions. “I think that we should take on some of that burden, especially when it comes to real things like retention, like people feeling isolated, building community — why we have so many student programs,” Aladin said. Aladin said that he would also like to see the hiring process for incoming SFC members improve. The application window is typically a week long at the end of the spring semester, and Aladin said that the current interview period involves senators, treasurers or assistant treasurers, and outgoing SFC members coming in and out of sessions. Not only does Senate and the OST hope to extend the application window and advertise the position more at the beginning of next semester, but Aladin also says that the pattern of questioning during the interviews is set,
not allowing the flexibility that he believes is necessary to test each candidate. “You’re just going around in a circle,” Aladin said of the interview process. “It’s ineffective with that many people, so it’s really an ineffective way to get to know a person’s skills that they claim to have on their resumé or that they talk about in the cover letter, or in the way they answer questions in their application.” Regarding revamping the interview process, Pescador said that the new process will hopefully allow Senate to find committed, proactive final candidates. “I feel like we really should have a constructive, positive relationship with student organizations, and I think that changing the interview process to field candidates will make sure that they’re going to be active, they’re going to be engaged, and they’re going to be passionate about the work,” Pescador said. “It’s going to yield a new Student Finance Committee that’s really going to change the face of student programming.” Dunbar said that the new SFC members will hopefully be selected by the second or third weeks of the fall semester, potentially with more first-year appointments than usual. He added that there will be six or seven new SFC members this fall, and that until they are chosen, Senate will oversee ad hoc processes. The only responsibilities the SFC has until the fall are to email finalized budgets to student organizations, so both Dunbar and Pescador said they do not think the delays will complicate student access to funds. As Senate and the OST hammer out their plan to improve student financing strategies this summer, Dunbar also said that the SFC-Senate co-chair will be imperative next year in translating Senate’s vision to the SFC.
Security Notebook Thursday, May 3, 2018 10:30 a.m. Service Building staff reported that the cable lock to the parts cage had been cut by an unknown person(s). Nothing is missing at this time, and the person(s) did not gain entry to the cage. 6:20 p.m. A student reported the theft of their unlocked bicycle from the bicycle rack on the west side of the King Building. 8:36 p.m. Wilder Hall staff reported a suspicious individual who appeared to be under the influence and was acting aggressively. Safety and Security officers responded and located the individual on the second floor. The individual became agitated when asked for identification and left Wilder Hall.
Friday, May 4, 2018 12:08 p.m. Officers were requested to assist an injured student at Kahn Hall. The student fell down the stairs and injured their ankle. The student was transported to the Student Health Center, then to Mercy Allen Hospital for treatment. 1:11 p.m. A student reported the theft of their bicycle from the front of a Union Street Village Housing Unit. The bicycle was locked and registered at the time of the theft. 3:32 p.m. Officers were requested to assist a student who passed out in a bathroom in South Hall. Upon arrival, the student was standing and talking with student staff. The Area Coordinator on call was notified. The student said they were OK and left the area. 11:28 p.m. A student reported a suspicious individual at the Cat in the Cream who appeared to be heavily intoxicated. Officers responded and located the individual. Officers found that the individual had interacted with students negatively in the past and asked him to leave the area. The Oberlin Police Department was called to identify the individual as he would not give his name. The subject was told he was not permitted on campus, and he left the area.
Sunday, May 6, 2018 11:53 a.m. An Oberlin Police Department officer reported that he located an Oberlin College ID during a traffic stop. The ID was confiscated, as it was unknown whether the ID was stolen. The incident is under investigation. 8:22 p.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm in the basement laundry room of a Goldsmith Village Housing Unit. There was no fire or smoke observed. There was steam in the area, as the exhaust hoses were detached from all four dryers. The alarm was silenced and a work order was filed for repair. 11:33 p.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a pulled fire alarm in the first-floor lobby of Dascomb Hall. Upon arrival, responders learned an individual accidentally hit the pull station when putting on their backpack. No fire or smoke was observed, and the alarm was reset.
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Admissions Numbers Looking Positive Amid Financial Crunch Continued from page 1
fair featuring every department. Most notably, programming took place over two days instead of one, as it has in years past. “I think [expanding the program] allowed for more families to make the trip out because if you’re coming from, let’s say, California, two days is a lot more worthwhile of your time than for a shorter time span,” said Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Jessica Cummings, OC ’10. “So we did see that the number of visitors coming was pretty much a record.” 593 admitted students attended one of the three All Roads programs, and 58 percent accepted the College’s offer of admission. In 2017, 537 admitted students attended an All Roads program, and 51 percent committed to the College. “By all measures it was a great success, and that is shown by an increased yield on the program,” Cummings said. “I think, anecdotally, we noticed that a lot of students were committing sooner, and more confidently, to Oberlin because their visit was just that much more comprehensive and informative, and they made stronger connections to the Oberlin community because they were here for a longer period of time.” In a joint statement emailed to the Review, Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration Alan Norton and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo spoke to how the enrollment numbers will impact the College’s financial situation. “The College is tuition-dependent, so there is a direct link between the amount students pay, the number of students, and the College’s financial position,” they wrote. “The number of new students expected next fall is higher than anticipated, but the number of returning students will likely be down a little.” Under-enrollment last year contributed to a $5 million deficit. Despite increased enrollment, the College still faces similar financial challenges. “The anticipated enrollment and revenue will still leave the College with an operating deficit,” Norton and Raimondo wrote. “For that reason changes such as closing Dascomb Dining Hall, moving Safety and Security, Student Health, and Counseling, into Dascomb Dining Hall, and taking some Village Houses off-line are underway. This will likely be a period of continued change at the College.” Retention also plays a significant role in tuition revenue, and losing students has monetarily distressed the College; it is more cost-effective to retain a student than to recruit a new student. The College will have a clearer picture of the financial situation when final enrollment figures come in late August.
OFF THE CUFF
Melissa Harris and Christian Bolles, Editors-in-Chief
College seniors Melissa Harris and Christian Bolles are the outgoing Editors-in-Chief of The Oberlin Review. Harris has been involved with the Review since her first semester at Oberlin, when she started out her journalism career as a staff writer. Since then she has worked as a Review Production Editor and News Editor and has interned for publications such as The Chronicle Telegram and Homeland Security Today. Bolles got involved his sophomore year at Oberlin and served as an Arts & Culture Editor before his tenure as EIC. Bolles is most known for his movie reviews. They were interviewed by the incoming Editors-in-Chief, College junior Sydney Allen and College sophomore Nathan Carpenter. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Sydney Allen, News Editor Nathan Carpenter, Columnist What were you most proud of in your time at the Review? Christian Bolles: I published a piece as Arts Editor about the state of the Cinema Studies program at Oberlin, and that had a pretty outsized reaction which was interesting to grapple with. But it also just made me realize the potential impact of journalism, especially on a small campus such as this one where it seems like there’s something — some little discrepancy, point of neglect — lurking around any corner. It made me realize what a great responsibility we have here. Melissa Harris: One of my prouder accomplishments was reporting on worker issues. [Production Editor] Eliza Guinn and I wrote a story about how the unions and the administration were at odds at the beginning of spring 2017, and then I followed up with a story about the Bon Appétit [Management Company] boycott in the May of last year. This semester, I wrote about how the closure of Dascomb Dining Hall is affecting workers. Really getting to connect with those folks and represent them through the Review has been something I’ve been very proud of. Can you talk a little bit about why you both have dedicated so much time to student journalism? Why is it important to you? MH: The reason why it was really important to me at first is because as I became more involved, I would become more connected with different people and communities that I wouldn’t necessarily have interacted with. That was an important point for me, especially finding my bearings here at Oberlin as an underclassman. As I started working here, the Review sort of became like a family to me. The paper itself and the community around the paper is something that has given me a lot, so I want to give it a lot as well. CB: In the moment, it’s really amazing to be part of — like Melissa said — the Review family, but it’s also really cool to feel like you’re one stop on a much longer progression. Maybe some of the things that we’ve done here will stay decades from now, and that would be amazing. It’s really great to be a part of it. What are your thoughts on Oberlin’s current direction?
MH: I feel confident in the work that Student Senate is doing and how the administration is taking greater strides to be more communicative with the campus. But at the same time, we see how things are sometimes falling through the cracks, like the situation with ResEd we reported on last week was definitely faulty. While I am confident, I think that we still need to be wary and hold all groups accountable, and that’s what we do through our work at the Review. We point out where things are going positively and where things are not. CB: All we’ve seen so far is the beginning of this process of financial readjustment, and I think that Oberlin is in a position to set an example for how to deal with these issues and to prove that the liberal arts are sustainable. I think that we have the right team to do it. I think that we have the right student body to do it. I think that Oberlin really does have the opportunity to set an example. What are your favorite Oberlin memories? MH: Honestly, being in this office has been some of the greatest memories I’ve had. I feel like the Review has been a great rock for me. Even though it’s a lot of hard work, I also love the people I work with — they’re my friends. I think also being involved with [Filipinx American Students’ Association] has been really great, because I’ve never had a solid Filipino-American community to be around and it’s really gotten me in touch with myself and also my academic work. Our banquets have always been a highlight for me every year. CB: There are a lot, and the Review definitely ranks very high on that list for me. I feel like, and this is probably true of a lot of colleges, but Oberlin to me feels like this constant process of discovering new communities and experiences and everything that you never really appreciated until a particular moment. And for me, this past semester, that’s really happened with the [Allen Memorial Art Museum]. I’ve been doing this provenance research project and collaborating with curators, especially Andria Derstine, the [John G. W. Cowles Director]. MH: Oberlin-in-London was also one of my best semesters ever. CB: Yes. Agreed. Nathan Carpenter: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. (Editor’s note: Harris, Bolles, and Carpenter all spent a semester abroad with the Danenberg Oberlin-in-London
Oberlin Community News Bulletin Cinema Studies Program Hosts Short Film Screening The Oberlin College Cinema Studies program will host a film screening for student films produced for the 300-level course The Short on Tuesday, May 15. The screening will run from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m in Dye Lecture Hall in the Science Center. The films will range from live-action to animated and are the culmination of a semester’s worth of work.
Students Perform at Spring GongFest The students of the Salvation Army Learning Zone of Lorain, in conjunction with Oberlin students enrolled in the course Javanese Gamelan, will perform Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m. at the Cat in the Cream. They will play a Javanese children’s song along with “The Jungle Song,” for which they wrote the lyrics and scored the music, alongside other pieces. Additionally, Javanese Gamelan students will perform several pieces. All are welcome to come.
program at separate points in their Oberlin careers.) At the conclusion of your careers at the Review, what advice would you each give to aspiring journalists, at Oberlin and elsewhere? MH: Be skeptical and curious, all the time, and you will find things. When you notice that there are not answers, pursue those answers. And do it in a way you think will be effectively communicated to those around you, or however you think you can best communicate it, whether through print or podcast-form or broadcasting. Do your thing, but always be curious. CB: I would say be relentless. It’s tempting to feel like you can only get so far. But what I was talking about with Oberlin being a place that fosters all of these really specific connections to people — there are almost infinite ways around those systems. I think that at the Review we kind of trade in those alternate paths. Whether you’re working for the Review or another publication or just going off and doing your own thing, just find new paths, and you will always be able to get to some kind of an answer. Can you both tell us what your plans are post-graduation? MH: I have a variety of potential plans. I’ve applied for various journalism positions throughout the country — some are where I live in the New YorkNew Jersey area, because it’d be nice to be close to home for a while. Regardless, I will definitely stay in touch with the Review, because y’all are my family. CB: I am still in the planning stages for this, and I’ll actually have things nailed down on Friday in-between finishing production and publishing the paper, so I’m going to be as “probably” with this as I can, even though it’s very likely. I will probably be continuing my provenance research and other projects with the museum over this summer. Hopefully after that point I’ll be able to continue similar research at another institution, because I’ve gotten a lot out of my contact with journalism here, and I think it’s really important to tell stories that aren’t being told. MH: We’re also flirting with the idea of a sitcom about a college paper because — that’s something that we joke about — it’s hellishly funny to work at a student paper, especially The Oberlin Review. CB: Oh, it has a name and everything, it’s happening.
Cultures of Basketball Inaugurates Basketball Tournament Professor Yago Colás and his Cultures of Basketball students will be holding their inaugural 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Yago’s House of Hoops, Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Park Street Park. Colás described the tournament as “a beautiful way to reflect on how sports, when undertaken with a certain attitude, can dissolve, rather than reinforce, our school’s famous divide.” Anyone is welcome to come cheer on Colás and his students.
OPINIONS May 11, 2018
Letter to the Editors
Bon Appétit Falls Short on Promises, Disrespects Workers
Editors Note: The following letter is a petition for Oberlin College to terminate its contract with Bon Appétit and to hire its own managers to run CDS. At the bottom of the letter, there will be a link to the petition and a link to personal accounts of current and former CDS workers. All of us at Oberlin, whether we are students, professors, staff, or administrators, have the same goal: making Oberlin College the best it can be. But the management of Oberlin dining services is not the best it can be. We call on Oberlin to adopt self-management to properly manage Campus Dining Services, improve the dining experience, and reduce wasteful spending. WHAT IS SELF-MANAGEMENT? Oberlin College followed a national trend when it outsourced the management of CDS. At the time, outside contractors promised their buying power would reduce food costs. Experts argue that in today’s market with only three major dining management competitors, this ‘buying power’ doesn’t exist. According to a 2015 report, 57% of all college and university dining operations are now self-managed. The trend has reversed. Currently Oberlin pays for all of its equipment, employees, ingredients, and a CDS management fee for Bon Appétit, a national dining service management company. Selfmanagement would entail Oberlin terminating its contract with Bon Appétit and hiring its own managers to run CDS. WHY SELF-MANAGEMENT? CDS should be run in accordance with employee input and experiences, student needs, and financial sustainability.
Oberlin’s actions must match its progressive values. Bon Appétit is a subsidiary of the international food service company Compass Group, which holds “a meaningful ownership stake” in Trinity Services Group, the “largest contractor dedicated to the corrections industry.” In addition, Compass Group operates in international prisons and detention facilities in more than 50 countries. By divesting from a corporation with ties to the prison industrial complex, Oberlin would make a powerful step toward its rhetorical goals. Oberlin could become a national leader among its peers in campus dining and labor relations by choosing food quality, students, and worker welfare over its corporate ties, with no long term increases in cost. Oberlin has struggled with low enrollment for the past decade, but moving to self-management in CDS could help retain students because of better food quality, increased sustainability, and progressive labor values. Oberlin’s four-year graduation rate in IPEDS is 71%, more than ten points below some of its peers. Oberlin would also have greater control over its costs with the ability to manage effectively and reduce food waste. In the interests of employees, students, the environment, and Oberlin’s long term financial agency, we urge Oberlin College and Conservatory to transition to self-management of Campus Dining Services. WHY NOT BON APPÉTIT? Bon Appétit has fallen short on promises it has made to Oberlin College. Bon Appétit establishes CDS management policies, runs catering operations, plays a role in CDS hiring decisions, decides on menus, and hires dining hall managers and executive chefs. Oberlin College administrators claim Bon Appétit offers four things: 1. purchasing power 2. a bank of quality recipes 3. employee training, and 4. a pool of highly trained managers to draw from BUT the effectiveness of Bon ApSee Letter, page 7
The Oberlin Review appreciates and welcomes letters to the editors and oped 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 that week’s issue. Letters may not exceed 600 words and op-eds may not exceed 800 words, except with consent of the Editorial Board. All submissions must include contact information, with full names and any relevant titles, for all signers. All writers must individually confirm authorship on electronic submissions. The Review reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity, length, grammar, accuracy, strength of argument and in consultation with Review style. Editors will work with contributors to edit pieces and will clear major edits with the authors prior to publication. Editors will contact authors of letters to the editors in the event of edits for anything other than style and grammar. Headlines are printed at the discretion of the Editorial Board. Opinions expressed in editorials, letters, op-eds, columns, cartoons or other Opinions pieces do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of the Review. The Review will not print advertisements on its Opinions pages. The Review defines an advertisement as any submission that has the main intent of bringing direct monetary gain to a contributor. The Oberlin Review | May 11, 2018
Volume 146, Number 24
Editorial Board Editors-in-Chief
Managing Editor Daniel Markus
College Must Prioritize Student Happiness As the academic year comes to a close and further consequences of, and navigation through, Oberlin’s financial austerity ensue, the administration and student government must prioritize student happiness to ensure that both mental health and morale are addressed as fully as possible in the immediate and coming years. With Student Senate and the Office of the Student Treasurer’s anticipated changes to the structure and efficiency of the Student Finance Committee, the College may be in a comfortable position to do just that. Most Oberlin students would laugh if you asked them whether the student body was generally happy. It’s a symptom of pressure-cooker academics paired with with the more student-centric fabric of a liberal arts college — how are we supposed to maintain a positive mindset in the midst of a heavy workload designed to prepare us for an even less forgiving world? In “Senate Survey Reveals Student Dissatisfaction” (Feb. 16, 2018), the Review reported that based on a survey conducted by Student Senate, nearly 49 percent of students have previously or recently considered leaving Oberlin College. This problem isn’t new — colleges and universities have had to cope with the increasing loss of students in recent years as extra-collegiate opportunities have broadened. However, the issue is compounded by another difficult pairing: the increasing demand for mental health and disability services at an institution whose financial struggles already led to disappointment long before our current deficit. Considering that Oberlin is cornered into spending vast sums of money on completing facilities specifically funded by donors and left with a minimal portion of the endowment available to freely allocate to actual student needs, even when governing bodies make every effort to address the issue, student happiness often feels like an afterthought. Whether the efforts of the administration and Senate have been adequate is not the point of this editorial, nor are they our place to determine. Yet it’s clear that there is much work to be done. One recent action made in collaboration between Senate and the Office of the Dean of Students was to knock out walls in the lobby of Wilder Hall, creating a common area meant to bring students together. Anyone who has walked through the lobby can tell you that despite that honest and understandable intention, there’s little difference between sitting in that nondescript, stuffy room and any other nondescript, stuffy room anywhere else on campus; take your pick. The truth is, there just isn’t enough to draw students to one space like that over another — the Science Center Atrium is prized for being well-lit and spacious, but it can’t accommodate many students. The first floor of Mudd library offers some couches, but the adjacent Azariah’s Café tends to function as a workspace rather than a communal hotspot. We’ve addressed the issues with dorm life at Oberlin in previous editorials, but they’re worth mentioning here nonetheless. Besides dorms in the First Year Residential Experience cluster, students have few living opportunities that help foster a closer bond with the rest of their class — and given the fluid reality of course selection, there are few ways to reliably connect with other people in the same year. It’s time to get creative. If community lounges built for specific class years were to pop up around campus, students could have more specialized spaces that serve to mend divisions both within their class and between North and South Campus. Class presidents could help organize activities, furnish these spaces with comfortable couches and bean bags, and install televisions, game consoles, and board games. Student organizations interested in reaching out to a specific class could facilitate sponsored events in these lounges as well, creating a much more tangible and reliable avenue of outreach than the current method of posting in class Facebook pages. In this issue, we report on upcoming changes to the Student Finance Committee meant to increase its engagement with student needs. Providing funding to create and maintain these lounges would be an excellent way to do so. With increased flexibility, class-specific events based on the interest levels of students would become more viable, bringing classes together and providing a greater sense of community. We’re not going to pretend that adding a handful of lounges will fix the rampant strain of unhappiness running through Oberlin. But as the SFC moves toward more flexibility and a more intimate degree of communication with students, the responsibility will fall on us to advocate for the funding we need to raise the community’s spirits. We have an incredible resource in this fund, and taking advantage of it, as College junior Kameron Dunbar said, to “our last student dollar” would help mend some of the rifts that leave so many students feeling isolated.
Editorials are the responsibility of the Review Editorial Board — the Editors-in-Chief, Managing Editor, and Opinions Editors — and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the Review.
Opi n ions
Suicide Continues to Present Real Danger to Trans People El Wilson Opinions Editor Editor’s Note: This article discusses transphobia and suicide. According to a national survey conducted by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Williams Institute, 40 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide compared to 4.6 percent of the general population. As someone who identifies as non-binary, these numbers make me sick. Forty percent is merely an average. The survey also asked respondents about their experiences with discrimination, rejection, and violence. Suicide attempt rates varied depending on how many of these a trans person experienced. For example, the rate was far higher for those who endured family rejection (57
percent), homelessness (69 percent), or sexual assault while attending college (78 percent.) Being transgender is hard. Many trans people are rejected by family and friends, leaving them to navigate constant misgendering, microaggressions, and uncomfortable spaces such as doctors’ offices and gendered bathrooms without social support. Although many of these situations are minor nuisances, they can have a lasting emotional impact. A few weeks ago, I ordered a dreamsicle at the Feve, a cocktail topped with whipped cream. One of my friends saw the drink and said “Oh girrrrrrl!” My father says that CoolWhip is its own food group. Liking whipped cream doesn’t make you a girl. It makes you a human. Despite the fact that I know my drink choices don’t determine my gender, I now
feel the need to order a beer before ordering any “girly” drinks to prove my gender. Having multiple marginalized identities can compound the issue. Sometimes I receive multiple microaggressions in a single sentence. Just the other day, the elevator broke in one of the academic buildings. The administrative assistant asked my professor (instead of asking me), “Can she get down the stairs okay?” and then referred to me as a “young lady” while she was on the phone with facilities. I am not a “young lady.” I am a non-binary adult who knows far more about their physical abilities than their professor does. The survey results align with my personal experience. Those with additional marginalized identities are at an increased risk of attempting suicide. Alaskan Natives and Native Americans were the
racial group with the highest risk at 56 percent, while white people had the lowest rate at 38 percent. Furthermore, having a physical or learning disability increased the risk of attempting suicide to 56 and 55 percent, respectively. In her piece “Why Trans Suicides are Also Murders” — published by Wear Your Voice magazine — Venus Selenite argues that trans suicides should be counted as trans murders because they are caused by facing a neverending stream of transphobic rhetoric, especially for trans people of color. Although I disagree with the idea that trans suicides should be equated with trans murders — mostly because those who physically murder trans people need to be held accountable as individuals and not merely the result of a transphobic society — I agree with Selenite’s premise. The sui-
cide rate among trans people is caused by cisgender people’s attitudes and actions. I’ve lost more than one trans friend to suicide. I’ve watched parents mourn the death of their only child. I’ve heard faculty lament the loss of a brilliant young mind. I’ve seen best friends and romantic partners break down. But at every memorial service, during every speech and song, all I can do is ask myself the same question: “Who’s next?” My grief is laced with terror and rage. Rage at the world for taking another trans life. Terror because I know that I could be the next person sobbing at a podium. Trans people, please remember that although society may hate us, we are always loved by someone. Cis people, practice good allyship. Use people’s pronouns. Support your trans family and friends. Our lives depend on it.
CDS Self-Management Would Improve Accountability, Sustainability Michael Kennedy Contributing Writer
From a student perspective, it appears that Oberlin College’s Campus Dining Services model has been failing. The closure of the Rathskeller as a meal option in spring of 2017, the limitation of meal options for the class of 2021, the upcoming closure of Dascomb Dining Hall, and the planned closure of DeCafé’s popular sandwich deli line all support this conclusion. I believe that students have legitimate reasons to be upset by dining changes, but they are not the ones most impacted by these decisions. As a result of the planned changes, employees will be losing their jobs, and many others are considering quitting rather than working at Stevenson Dining Hall. Both Bon Appétit Management Company and the College hold decision-making power in the dayto-day operations of and major changes in CDS. As the primary decision makers, both parties must be held accountable for long-standing issues in CDS. Petitioning for self-management is not a personal attack against any current Bon Appétit staff, but rather a vision for a stronger model of institutional accountability and action addressing
workers’ ideas and concerns. While some of the petition’s claims may come as a shock to students, my work for Oberlin’s Student Labor Action Coalition has taught me that these critical staff perspectives are long-held. There was an overwhelming consensus that Bon Appétit management was disrespectful toward employees and dismissive of employee ideas, critique, or input. Employees who have previously worked in the food industry as well as those who have worked in CDS for decades feel that their talent is wasted. They see the scale of the College’s food waste and can’t help but equate it to the waste of money. A major component of their vision for self-management is the desire to contribute their knowledge, expertise, and insight to a decision-making process that they are excluded from. Their exclusion from conversations regarding dining restructuring is especially hurtful, as these decisions have led to the closure of Dascomb, the elimination of CDS positions, a wave of employees transitioning to custodial jobs, and dining options that staff don’t want to serve. Whether Bon Appétit is considered the primary source of the major financial problems of CDS, feelings
of disrespect and distrust are very real. Bon Appétit has an extensive local and national team of lawyers, consultants, and other personnel that have access to a huge range of resources to convince the College to keep them. The College depends upon Bon Appétit for management decisions. The option of self-management brings forth the opportunity to reflect on this relationship and its effectiveness. There are valid critiques of inaction on the part of management and administrators — the unsafe working conditions in Stevenson Dining Hall are a widely– known problem, yet this issue has remained unresolved for many years. If there are problems with CDS, there must also be renewed efforts to resolve them. The student-led work of the testimonial project and petition is bringing these concerns front and center. While my recent meetings with administrators have laid out plans to address some of the issues raised by the petition and testimonial findings, I think it is still crucial to include CDS staff in the decision-making process. More than just a position of “good faith,” I believe that this group of employees is a crucial asset to the College and that our institution would
benefit from the exercise of their full talent and experience. If the College is not going to consider the option of selfmanagement, then administrators and Bon Appétit cannot expect workers’ distrust and frustration to disappear without a change in approach. It is fitting that Student Senate recently sent out a dining survey to detail student concerns with the future of campus dining. I appreciate their efforts and hope that similar, comprehensive efforts will be made by the administration to incorporate staff vision and concerns in dining restructuring. I deeply appreciate the outreach from many people across campus concerned about the issues raised in the petition and from those wanting to add more depth to the perspective portrayed. However, I hope that decision-makers know that student outreach and inclusion is not the goal of our actions. Over decades, Student Labor Action Coalition, student workers, and other concerned community members have advocated self-management because staff do not trust the management of Bon Appétit. In my opinion, Bon Appétit must prove their fitness to CDS staff: not through statistics, not through promises, but through action.
Oberlin Students Fail to Actually Engage Communities, Show Solidarity Melissa Harris Editor-in-Chief As my final weeks at Oberlin approach, I’ve felt blessed to be surrounded by many incredibly dedicated, inspiring individuals who genuinely work toward change and actively support the efforts of others. But I also feel jaded by the many faults of this institution, with which I’ve become familiar throughout my time here. Among them, I’ve realized that performative allyship is one of the most offputting yet definitive flaws of this school’s culture — and it needs to stop. In a nutshell, performative allyship is when one acts minimally to earn approval, creating a façade of detachment
from a status quo that systemically keeps marginalized folks oppressed. We see this frequently; people are quick to retweet or share articles with flashy, upsetting headlines to condemn crises in the country or the world, as if sharing them will solve the problems those communities face. Performative allyship is a way for people to pat themselves on the back, gaining a false sense of solidarity that serves their own interests rather than those of a marginalized individual or community. Oberlin students are masters of performative allyship. In the classroom, students can talk endlessly about histories of oppressed people, dissect racial politics down to the bone, and at times, enter these
discussions with gross levels of egotistical confidence. But for every time poverty, police brutality, mass incarceration, racial triangulation, the model minority, and other topics about oppression and marginalization emerge in academic conversation, only a small fraction of students engage beyond the classroom in meaningful ways to create the solidarity needed from allies. Students forget that those discussions remain in the ivory tower, believing that performative allyship replaces and fulfills the activism required of true solidarity. One of the most recent examples of how performative allyship manifested at Oberlin was Drag Ball. Cis, straight,
white folks have tended to occupy Drag Ball, buying tickets early and subsequently preventing the trans, queer, and POC individuals that the event is intended for from participating. Many don’t engage with the historic or cultural significance of drag and attend Drag Ball for a fun night out, while still having the gall to call themselves LGBTQ+ allies. You aren’t an ally if you’re taking up space intended for queer people, and you definitely aren’t if you’re occupying that space just to appropriate it. But Drag Ball isn’t where performative allyship ends on this campus. Too often, students — especially white students — flock to the Community and Culture
Festival in the fall, Asian Night Market in early December, or the many brilliant banquets held by POC groups, just to consume without engaging. They eat the food, but don’t bother to ask or learn about what it’s called or what significance it holds. At the Filipinx American Student Association banquets, we serve lumpia and pancit, but folks always ask for the eggrolls and noodles, failing to take a second to learn. Students come in waves to eat the food and maybe briefly listen to the performances or speakers POC students work hard to organize and offer. But many tend to leave right after, often without thanking the student organizers for the hours of work it takes to plan each See White, page 7
Oberlin Must Always Hold Sexual Assaulters Accountable Mara Delta Contributing Writer Editor’s Note: This piece contains mention of sexual assault. Do you remember the moment you received your Oberlin College acceptance letter? I was on the train back home when I saw the notification appear in my inbox. I had been anxiously refreshing my email every day for the entire week hoping to get this very alert, and it was finally here. I was so giddy that I began jumping up and down in the middle of the crowded Metro car. I knew Oberlin was the perfect choice for me, and I felt ready to begin a new, exciting chapter of my life. That excitement transferred over to the late days of August when move-in day was finally upon me. I could not wait to start classes, meet new people, and explore my newfound independence. After the first week of school had ended, I was ready to start having some fun exploring the social aspect of college. When my new friends invited me to a party, I quickly agreed. On the way back to our dorm at the end of the night, we ran into a sophomore who we allowed to tag along. After about 15 minutes, he said he was not feeling well. I offered to make sure he returned to his dorm safely, and he accepted. He then sexually assaulted me. The attack changed my life overnight. The parts of me that had been occupied
by high hopes and ambitious goals for my future were suddenly replaced by shame, embarrassment, and fear. I had not been naïve to the prevalence of assault on college campuses before that night, but I never expected that it would happen to me. I began finding it difficult to reconcile Oberlin’s reputation as a progressive institution with my personal experience, which has caused me a great deal of pain. The school’s narrative that sexual assault was less common here than at other colleges did not fit with my experience. I attempted to go about my life as usual and attribute the assault to nothing more than a bad dream because doing so was easier than accepting that something so terrible had happened. But I was just beginning to experience the aftershocks of trauma, and the symptomatic anxiety, hypervigilance, depression, and insomnia became increasingly difficult to ignore. When I saw my attacker for the first time a week after the event, I had a panic attack so intense that I fainted three times consecutively in the middle of DeCafé. From that day on, I began seeing him more, and those encounters started to impede my daily life. I was constantly on edge around other students and incapable of investing energy to forge new relationships, which left me increasingly isolated. Getting out of bed in the morning, attending classes, and completing my coursework became a daily struggle. I began to worry about my safety and the
safety of others who might encounter my attacker, so I decided to file a Title IX report. Initially, the process seemed better than what I was anticipating. The Director for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Title IX Director, Rebecca Mosely, stressed her desire to help me and emphasized that whichever type of report I decided to file, I would have her support. I eventually decided to file an informal report because there was no physical evidence of the assault, and I did not want to endure a formal investigation just to be let down. My goal was to achieve some sort of justice for myself and ensure that should the student assault someone again, Oberlin would ensure that he faced the appropriate consequences. In March, I ran into a mutual friend who was aware of the assault. We had not spoken in months, and during our conversation, we discussed how I was doing after that night. The following day, that same friend contacted me to tell me that a friend of hers had also been assaulted — by the same student. I agreed to speak to the other student who had also been assaulted, and upon meeting her, she revealed her fears about filing a report. When I told her that my report could help an investigation into her case and discussed my experience with Title IX, she decided to speak with Rebecca Mosely as well. After this second report and the months of negative emotions that resurfaced, I would like to be able to say that
Oberlin took appropriate action and that our assaulter faced consequences. Unfortunately, I cannot. Instead of anything resembling justice and fairness, the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion gave me a misleading description of a no-contact order after I requested one this semester, while the student who had assaulted the two of us does not appear to have faced any significant disciplinary action. Oberlin is fully aware that it has a repeat sexual offender who is an active member of the community roaming its campus, yet it has seen it fit to mete out punishments that amount to nothing more than a slap on the wrist, if that. I understand that Title IX rules are complex, but I also recognize that dangerous behavior will not be stopped without consequences. If the student who assaulted us faces none, he is likely to repeat his offense. Indeed, considering he has committed at least two assaults within the span of seven months, I see no reason to expect him to stop. Should he assault someone else, Oberlin will be to blame. I am left at the end of my first year wondering how many times my pain will be dredged up and how many reports will be needed before our attacker faces meaningful consequences. If my experience is any indication, I am guessing that number is unlimited. The girl who excitedly danced on the Metro last year has been replaced with one let down by the very institution she was once thrilled to attend.
White Allyship Requires More Active Engagement, Less Empty Discussion Continued from page 6
event. I often hear my white friends talk at length about social, economic, political, and cultural problems, yet they too remain problematic when they don’t even attend basic allyship training, workshops, or events that can teach them how to effectively support the people they supposedly advocate for. As a first-year on the swim team, I invited the entire team to attend our FASA banquet — my first event with the organization. The
Continued from page 5
one other Filipinx student on the team was the only one who came. Last weekend, I hosted my final event with FASA, inviting an alumna and activist, Joelle Lingat, OC ’14, to discuss Philippine politics and how we can further support Filipinos in combating oppression. Several of my white friends said they would attend. Only one came. Needless to say, not much has changed throughout my time here. I must admit, I am also guilty of ineffective allyship.
pétit should be re-evaluated considering: 1. Oberlin College has sufficient purchasing power to get the high quality produce it needs without Bon Appétit. 2. Bon Appétit has a bank of high quality recipes. However, these recipes are not given to CDS staff, even when requested. Instead, Bon Appétit provides recipes from generic websites like Allrecipes.com. 3. CDS workers report that they get nearly all of their training from past experience, Oberlin College, and their coworkers — not Bon Appétit. The Bon Appétit training that they do get is for specialized techniques that are rarely implemented. Often, Bon Appétit trainings are cancelled because management didn’t order the proper ingredients in time. 4. Bon Appétit managers are often undertrained and lack leadership skills and initiative. Some have harassed CDS workers and students. Bon Appétit managers who are respectful and good at their job despite Bon Appétit rarely last more than a few months at Oberlin. POOR MANAGEMENT: Bon Appétit fails to effectively manage CDS and has created a toxic work environment. Bon Appétit’s structure does not The Oberlin Review | May 11, 2018
I’ve certainly felt upset by information I’ve learned and participated in discussions that haven’t always led to action. I’ve felt overwhelmed and stretched thin by personal conflicts, which has limited my energy toward participating in impactful solidarity. I often feel frustrated with myself for this, but I own it, and I’m sure many others have felt similarly. But being an effective ally doesn’t mean attending every event or being the hero of all oppressed and
marginalized peoples. It means actually engaging with those communities in meaningful ways. Be connective and intentional so that when you do act, your actions have purpose. Stop crafting a false, selffulfilling sense of justice, and ask the folks you want to support how you can best serve as an ally. Oberlin’s slogan is “Think one person can change the world? So do we.” Many Obies have indeed gone on to make change and serve the people. They’re activists, volunteers,
Letter To The Editors hold managers accountable. A former Bon Appétit executive chef at Oberlin was accused on multiple occasions of sexual misconduct, but was never fired by Bon Appétit. Instead, he was moved to a university in Cleveland. Bon Appétit’s rotating “pool of talent” is used to protect the jobs of those who abuse their managerial power. Dining employees have tried over and over to improve the dining experience, but their ideas have been dismissed either by lower or upper management. Many CDS workers are experienced and educated chefs, but see their talent wasted as they are forced to follow recipes from Allrecipes.com provided by Bon Appétit. Employees are embarrassed to make and serve food they would not personally enjoy. Bon Appétit was originally hired as a union buster. Not only have they failed to get rid of the UAW at Oberlin, they have failed to manage union members effectively. Bon Appétit fails to support and guide committed employees or hold accountable those who don’t do their fair share of work. Bon Appétit cites the union as their main barrier to successful management, but union employees WANT to be properly managed so that everyone pulls equal weight.
and community-builders. But when others with privileged savior complexes think they can achieve change through vacuous comments on social media or discussions that remain in the ivory tower of the college classroom, they’re wrong. Distancing yourself at the surface-level from hegemonic institutions does not strip you of your privilege and does nothing to serve the people that need your support. If you want to change the world, first change how you engage with it.
FOOD WASTE: Campus Dining has a massive food waste problem, which is not only an environmental issue but a literal waste of money. Money is effectively thrown into trash cans and shoved down garbage disposals after every meal. Much of the local produce bought through Bon Appétit’s Farm to Fork program isn’t fit for consumption, and Bon Appétit consistently over-orders food while failing to offer compelling menu options, leading to even greater amounts of food waste. SAFETY ISSUES: Poor management has caused several public breakdowns among CDS employees. Sometimes employees take mental health days off to survive their job. Staff needing extra sick days is not good for the employees or the College. Some staff have panic attacks before coming into work, especially if they work at Stevenson. As one worker put it, “We call Stevenson Dining Hall ‘The Big House’ because it’s like prison. It looks like a prison, it feels like a prison, we’re treated like we’re in prison. Everyone will tell you the same thing.” Stevenson’s ceramic tile floors have been a slipping hazard for years and several employees have suffered chronic pain,
broken bones, and multiple surgeries from working there. All other dining hall kitchens have floors made of quarry tile, a more porous material that doesn’t become as slick. Some workers call the health issues caused by working at Stevenson the “Stevenson Limp” and neither Bon Appétit nor the College have effectively resolved this issue. The administration believes keeping Bon Appétit is in the best interests of the college, but they’re wrong. If you agree, sign below. If you are interested in signing the petition or seeing personal testimonies from former and current CDS staff, check the online website version of this letter for the appropriate links. Caitlin Kelley Michael Kennedy, Student Labor Action Coalition Co-Chair Eliza Guinn, Student Labor Action Coalition Co-Chair Dylan Palmer Mirella Gruesser-Smith
Wizards and Witches Fair Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m. in Wilder Bowl
Layout, Text, and Background photo by Lucy Martin, This Week Editor
Saturday, May 12 Saturday, May 12 La Alianza Latinx is hosting a barbeque to celebrate the end of the year. Come eat great food from different Latinx cultures with friends! 177 N. Professor St. 4:30â€“â€“-7 p.m.
Arms or Legs?
Thursday, May 17
Holi! 2k18 got a rain check from last Sunday. Come throw colored powder, eat snacks, and dance! Donations will go to the Undocumented Students Scholarship. Wilder Bowl 12-3 p.m.
Split a pitcher with your favorite professor and give them an in-person course evaluation at Professor Beers! Enjoy popcorn, music, and a variety of drinks. The 'Sco 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Are You Feeling: Active? Creative?
Are you a thrill seeker? No
The First Year Residential Experience RAs are hosting the Camp FYRE bonfire to celebrate the end of the school year. There will be s'mores, snacks, music, and games. Tappan Square Fire Pit 7-9 p.m.
Sunday, May 13
Hogwarts or Honeydukes? Yes
Do you know your Hogwarts House? Yes
Bungee Inflatable Dunk Quidditch Sorting Trampoline Obstacle Tank Demonstration Hat Jumping Course
Wizards and Witches Fair Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m. in Wilder Bowl
Layout, Text, and Background photo by Lucy Martin, This Week Editor
Saturday, May 12 Saturday, May 12 La Alianza Latinx is hosting a barbeque to celebrate the end of the year. Come eat great food from different Latinx cultures with friends! 177 N. Professor St. 4:30â€“â€“-7 p.m.
Arms or Legs?
Thursday, May 17
Holi! 2k18 got a rain check from last Sunday. Come throw colored powder, eat snacks, and dance! Donations will go to the Undocumented Students Scholarship. Wilder Bowl 12-3 p.m.
Split a pitcher with your favorite professor and give them an in-person course evaluation at Professor Beers! Enjoy popcorn, music, and a variety of drinks. The 'Sco 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Are You Feeling: Active? Creative?
Are you a thrill seeker? No
The First Year Residential Experience RAs are hosting the Camp FYRE bonfire to celebrate the end of the school year. There will be s'mores, snacks, music, and games. Tappan Square Fire Pit 7-9 p.m.
Sunday, May 13
Hogwarts or Honeydukes? Yes
Do you know your Hogwarts House? Yes
Bungee Inflatable Dunk Quidditch Sorting Trampoline Obstacle Tank Demonstration Hat Jumping Course
A r t s & C u lt u r e
ARTS & CULTURE May 11, 2018
Volume 146, Number 24
Corner Joint Promises Good Cooking, Less Value Daniel Markus Managing Editor There’s something just shy of presumptuousness in naming a brand new restaurant The Corner Joint — call it confidence, or maybe even swagger. “The corner joint” is a nickname that, at least in my mind, is reserved for the mom-andpop shops, restaurants that have existed and persisted through good times and bad, bending but never breaking under pressure. The designation is earned through a combination of good food, good service, and a friendly, personable atmosphere over years of memories shared by a customer base that keeps coming back, the kind of reputation that causes locals to tell folks passing through town to stop by the corner joint. It’s probably fair to say that such a future is what many new restauranteurs aspire to, and in choosing to name their new spot The Corner Joint, the owners of Oberlin’s newest eatery are being thoroughly transparent in the future they envision. It seems, at the least, that they’re bold enough to get there. The Corner Joint’s boldness comes in forms both big and small that you may encounter while eating there, but the first is by virtue of its very existence. All three of the joint’s owners — Dana Juliano, Brad Pickens, and Allen Wilson — worked together at Black River Cafe prior to its change in ownership. In chatting with students and community members, it would seem the phrase “the new Black River” is often on the brain if not openly in the air, and Juliano herself has said it. There’s an undeniable hint of a showdown between the two institutions afoot, one that appears throughout the dining experience that I share there with a friend. There is our waitress’ subtle note that she, too, had worked at Black River once upon a time — a little
bad blood noticeable. Then, there’s the menu. In fact, the menu stares down not just Black River, but several other town institutions that serve American and even non-American fare, including 1833 and Aladdin’s Eatery. The Corner Joint’s menu includes several dishes that you could just as easily get at other places in town, like the hummus and falafel plate appetizer that we share to start. It seems a bit lost amidst the limited selection of other, more traditional American appetizers and sides, and also lost culturally. The golden brown medallions are tasty, sure, but lack the signature zing and proper texture that you’d find in most good falafel. The accompanying hummus, too, was underwhelming and under-seasoned — not bad by any stretch, but enough to remind me that if I want a hummus and falafel plate, I’ll go to Aladdin’s instead. Our main courses make a much better showing. There’s the “Erie and Idaho,” a fairly straightforward fried fish and chips (well, fries) dish that’s certainly tasty but surprising at $20. The fish, though fried beautifully and clearly fresh, verges on too salty, but this can be mediated with the accompanying tartar sauce. The fries, however, are the real star of the dish, and I crave them instead of the unbrowned fingerling potatoes smothered in onions that accompany my steak. The steak itself, however, is a marvel. Despite being overdone — it’s medium when I asked for medium rare — the meat is so tender that it doesn’t even matter, and its cherry reduction adds a perfect bit of sweetness. The accompanying Brussels sprouts seasoned with truffle are also delicious. For dessert, there are selections from Blue Rooster Bakehouse available, and the blueberry cake is, unsurprisingly, a hit. Still, I can’t help but think that all of this food could have been had either as good or better for less money elsewhere
in town. For example, those with a hankering for steak could simply pop by 1833 and order their flat iron for a full five dollars less than the $22 I paid at The Corner Joint; Black River, too, serves a ribeye at a lower price than the Joint’s sirloin, which is a better value, at least on face. The same goes for 1833’s Lake Erie Walleye dish, which costs a dollar less than The Corner Joint’s “Erie and Idaho” and is the better of the two according to my friend, who has tried both dishes. The Corner Joint’s burger, at $12, competes directly with that of 1833 at the same price point. While I didn’t try The Corner Joint’s burger offering, 1833’s is hard to beat at its price, and there’s always The Feve for something even less expensive. One thing that can’t be denied is that Pickens and Wilson, the Joint’s chefs, know how to cook. The proof is in the steak, which truly was the best I’ve had in a long time. However, it doesn’t seem that they’ve figured out where The Corner Joint fits into Oberlin’s food landscape yet. The prices are a little high for Oberlin’s market — if we’d had drinks, our bill could easily have broken $80 with only one shared appetizer — and there are multiple town institutions offering similar dishes, often done a bit better. Brunch service will be even more cutthroat, with direct competition from The Feve and Oberlin Kitchen in addition to 1833 and Black River. That said, if The Corner Joint can figure out its currently very limited menu and better situate itself in Oberlin’s dinner and brunch markets, they’re poised for success, as every other key piece is in place. In contrast to their main competitor, Black River, the Joint easily wins out on service and ambiance. The staff were tremendously friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive, even with a fairly crowded house early on a Tuesday. This serves in stark contrast to the last time I ate at Black River, when
my order of pancakes took over an hour and came with a side of spite from the waitstaff. The windows surrounding The Corner Joint on two sides and its outdoor patio are also without compare in most of town, features that none of the aforementioned competition can claim to have. The space is bright, welcoming, and very clean, and the Joint clearly takes the little things seriously, as evidenced by, among many examples, a stellar tea selection and a beer variety that will please both craft aficionados and casual drinkers alike. The partnership with Blue Rooster, too, is a smart one, showing a collaborative spirit that is sometimes lacking between various town businesses. In speaking with the Review about her restaurant last week, Juliano emphasized that The Corner Joint “[has] the community in mind.” Eating there, it’s clear that she means it. As I’ve spoken to friends about this article, a lot of them have lamented that The Corner Joint’s location is cursed. I don’t believe that. The space is a beautiful one that, with the right establishment, could be one of the best in town. Instead, Magpie Pizza and India Garden, the two restaurants that previously occupied the spot, simply couldn’t manage to fit in with Oberlin’s food ecosystem in price and offerings. It remains to be seen if The Corner Joint will be able to succeed in doing so, but if they do, I have little doubt that the new restaurant can earn its namesake and provide students with the good food and welcoming atmosphere of a town’s corner joint. I, for one, am hoping they can. The Corner Joint, located next to Infinite Monkey Comics & Games at 65 East College Street, is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, and opens early on weekends for brunch.
Solarity Sunset Event Takes Over Wilder Bowl Victoria Albacete Production Manager Interviews by Jude Fernandes The Science Center Atrium, Heisman Field House, North Quad, Mudd parking lot, the Root Room, Wilder Bowl, Hales Gymnasium. What do all these places have in common? They have all hosted various iterations of Solarity, the closest party Oberlin has to a rave. Originally co-sponsored by Solarity coordinators and the now-defunct Royal Thread Collective, these party-type semesterly events have taken place on Oberlin’s campus since spring 2011, when the first Solarity event, Neon Garden, rocked the Science Center Atrium. As an event-management organization, Solarity was founded in Winter Term 2011 by several students who were “fed up with nightlife at Oberlin.” (“Solarity Seeks to Revitalize Social Scene,” The Oberlin Review, April 29, 2011) Their intention was to create a more tight-knit community on campus to celebrate music, dance, and interactive performing arts with a group run completely by students. Whether their goal has been realized over the past seven years with 14 different Solarity events — which have ranged from post-apocalyptic Fracture and Wasteland to the celestial Constellate and controversial Toxicity — is debatable, but there is little doubt that the events tend to be spectacular light shows featuring a talented range of student DJs.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the student coordinators to help put together something that is a lot of fun for the campus,” said Assistant Director of Student Activities Sean Lehlbach, who is the administrative advisor for Solarity. This spring’s Solarity event, called Sunset, is hosted in Wilder Bowl from 4:30–8:00 p.m. in coordination with TGIF and the ’Sco staff. While “rave” is definitely one of the words most associated with previous Solarity events, according to College senior and Solarity co-chair Rayna Holmes, Sunset is changing it up with a daylight carnival-esque party. “[It’ll] be a big ‘darty’-like celebration-festival kind of thing,” she said. “We wanted to create an energy that’s, I guess, kind of different from what the energy is of Solarity at night. We still want it to be super exciting and super energetic and very engaging, but we also kind of want it to be — we’re thinking about ways to make it a bit more accessible to people who don’t like large, packed crowds in the middle of the night.” Solarity has a long history of collaboration with other student organizations, a tradition that will be continued with today’s event. Holmes gave the Review a sneak preview of what that collaboration will look like. “We’re going to be doing this kind of like ‘Solarity marketplace’ that posts other non-performing organizations,” she said. “People who want to sell their artwork at the end of the year or sell merch or stickers … SIC is handing out condoms and we’re also, I think,
having a couple of food vendors where the funds will go to scholarship or charity-fund-type organizations.” TGIF, an event that takes its name from the expression “Thank God It’s Friday” first heard in the 1940s, is usually free and held in Wilder Bowl from 4:30–6:30 p.m., but is instead included in Solarity’s programming today. Students who cruised through Wilder Bowl on Thursday caught a glimpse of how that would be achieved, as industrial fencing went up around green spaces to avoid the possibility of students sneaking into the ticketed event. TGIF’s presence in Sunset will manifest as an enclosed beer garden for attendees who are 21 and older — very onbrand from ’Sco staff. Following Solarity’s goals of promoting student performance and artistic expression, the event will feature several student DJs, the majority of whom are POC. College sophomores Kyndelle Johnson and Brian Smith will be making their Solarity DJ debuts, and popular student musician Spice Lo — who released his first album, The Cabernet Façade, earlier this year — will also have a set. Sunset’s headliner is California native and University of California, Berkeley graduate Charlie Yin, performing under the name of his music project Giraffage. Fresh off of the festival circuit — he had a set at Coachella earlier this year — and the release of full-length album Too Real last fall, Holmes described his sound as “very fun, bubbly music to go along with this kind of bubbly, celebratory end-of-the-schoolyear, last-day-of-classes type of event.”
ON THE RECORD
Chrysanthemum Tran, Performer, Poet, Teaching Artist
Chrysanthemum Tran is a transfeminine Vietnamese-American poet, performer, and educator. She is wellknown for her role as a teaching artist for the Providence Poetry Slam youth team and becoming the first transfeminine finalist at the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2016. Her accolades include Slam Champion at the Rustbelt Poetry Slam in 2016, FEMS Poetry Slam Champion in 2017, and Best Poet at the National College Slam in 2016. Tran is a queer POC icon and a Pink Door Fellow, and her work has been featured in various publications including The Offing, The Blueshift Journal, Muzzle Magazine, and the Bettering American Poetry Vol. 2 anthology. OSlam invited Tran to Oberlin yesterday for a poetry workshop at 4:30 p.m. and a performance at 7 p.m. at the Cat in the Cream. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Interview by Ananya Gupta Arts & Culture Editor Can you tell me a bit about your background, how you got into poetry and how you came to Oberlin? Today I’m invited by OSlam and [College junior] Hanne [Williams-Baron, who] reached out to me. I’ve always wanted to visit Oberlin. I was rejected when I applied, so it feels very redeeming to come back as a guest. My partner’s father is also an alumnus of Oberlin. I was just looking back through my college application for Oberlin and the essay I wrote wasn’t very good. I’m not ... mad about it. I’m originally from Oklahoma City, OK, and for the past perhaps five years I’ve been living in Rhode Island. I made the move for school, but after I dropped out I continued to stay within Rhode Island. Providence is called the “creative capital,” and I’ve been lucky to find a lot of queer and trans artists of color and other writers of color who I’ve really been able to find community with. Right now I’m a performer, a poet, and a teaching artist. So a lot of the time that I spend is reading my poems to rooms full of strangers. It’s kind of rewarding to be able to make a living by having my feelings exposed to a room full of strangers.
Natalie Diaz and Suji Kwock Kim are more writers who are viewed as being academic poets, but I find that I’m also really inspired by my other performance poet peers. So I am always returning to poets like Porsche [Kelly]; I’m always returning to other writers like Paul Tran; I’m always returning to artists like Franny Choi and Crystal Valentine. And quite honestly, a lot of my biggest influences right now are my friends. A lot of the friends that I have — and those ... people are not necessarily the ones I just listed — but like, a lot of my peers that I hang out with, we write together until early mornings. Sometimes I find that my biggest influence is through the friendship and sisterhood that I create with other artists. I’m not currently reading anyone because I just quit my job, in which I was doing 40 hours a week working 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. I was at Starbucks, and that just really ate at my soul and really ate up my creative energy. And so Oberlin is my first stop ... on my tour [since quitting my job], and I met with my friends last night and I’m really excited to get back into the habit of reading and writing. [There are] so many books that I have on my list that I simply haven’t had the energy to read, but now it’s like, it feels like everything’s coming together.
Who are your biggest influences and who you are reading right now? My biggest influences are not always necessarily other writers, but there is definitely a writing lineage that I’m writing into. I’m currently finding that I return to authors like Natalie Diaz. I returned to writers like Suji Kwock Kim and I return to other writers who are known for doing what some might consider slam poetry, but I think there’s a divide between what people consider to be performance poetry and academic poetry on the page.
How do you feel about photography, particularly in the context of the “selfie generation” and the obsessive social media photography that is rampant among our youth? That’s a really interesting question because before I turned to poetry, I was convinced that I was going to make a lifetime career out of photography. My father was a photographer, and my mother retouches glamor shots. So like, if you ever get your photo taken at the mall or something, she’s the one who makes people look like plastic.
And so I’ve always grown up in a very image-heavy kind of space. Even at family engagements, it was really important to always document and have images of what we were seeing. And I think maybe when I was around 15 or 16, I started turning to photography as a new way of trying to understand self representation. This really was before selfies became a large thing, before Instagram was a large thing, and I was using digital cameras and self portraits as a way of trying to build my visual art and my visual artistic language. I really wanted to become a fashion photographer, like a fine art photographer or an editorial photographer. And it wasn’t until I got to college, and then I found that there was something that I had neglected with non-visual artistic mediums. When I was in elementary school, growing up in public school in the United States, I always had a lot of problems with my speech. I was put into speech therapy very early on and whether it was because I learned English as a second language or my lisp or my stutter, it always seemed that there was something wrong with the way that I spoke and that it wasn’t recognized as a valid way of speaking. And so I really thought that by turning to a visual medium like photography, I would be able to hide my voice, which is an interesting thing in art, right? Like, trying to literally hide the sound of your voice through the visual image. And yet, when I got into photography, I had a mentor, my older sister Paul Tran, and I realized that there were some stories I simply did not know how to communicate just through photography and digital manipulation and that words and poetry was a new calling for me. Suddenly all the stories that I struggled to tell through photography, I finally was able to tell through poetry. And a lot of my photography
Chrysanthemum Tran: transfeminine Vietnamese-American poet, performer, and educator Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo Editor
was rooted in self-portraiture. So I simply had to think about, in what ways is poetry a verbal self-portrait? Now, when I think about what selfies do, I think it is powerful for young people, or people of all ages, to really have representations of themselves that they can control. And I don’t believe that there’s anything like an authentic self-representation because nothing in the world is necessarily authentic. It’s all controlled by what we want to put out there. And yeah, I think there are some critiques about like how selfie culture, especially among young, people can be very harmful to people’s self-image. But I would also say that for the past many decades, young people have always struggled with their self-image. I think that there’s hope in the fact that young people are able to control their image without having to necessarily be forced to look a certain way. You have spoken out about colonialism. Do you think that when international speakers of English — particularly from colonized countries — write poetry and prose in English they are somehow taking part in their own colonization? I think that’s one approach to it. But I think to be like a diasporic body in the United States always carries a certain contradiction and irony. My people in the diaspora are not in the U.S. by choice. We’re here because of the United States intervention in Southeast Asia during the Cold War. And because of that, a regime ousted many people from the country of Vietnam and now we’re in the U.S. speaking English. When I think about what it means to be from [Vietnam] specifically, to be Vietnamese people, over the past
centuries we’ve been colonized or had imperial force through the U.S., through France, and through China. Since that beginning, there’s always been a loss of what is considered authentic, original culture. And yet, I think there is something authentic about being diasporic and having to forge your own kind of language. Because I would imagine that centuries ago, if everyone in this room right now were all together, we wouldn’t be speaking the same language. And it’s interesting that through this language of the colonizers, we’re able to express what kind of pain has happened to us. And yet I also think even more than that through this colonized language, we’re able to connect and find joy with people that we wouldn’t have been able to years ago — especially for a lot of people from marginalized backgrounds, from Black and brown people who come from experiences of colonialism. It’s really important to know that like, I’m not necessarily restarting my own colonialism by speaking English. I’m continuing their legacy and I think also the fact that we speak English is also part of assimilation. Like more recently, at the Met Gala a lot of people were talking about how, aren’t we all appropriating the Roman Catholic Church’s culture? And yet you can’t appropriate a colonial force that was used to forcibly converted people in the Americas, in the continent of Africa and parts of Asia. To continue participating in that legacy, I don’t think is continuing the colonialism. It’s trying to refute something that’s very contradictory and humans are full of contradictions. And that’s where we have to find home: in our contradictions.
Female Dance Group Throws Back with PowerPuff Girls Ananya Gupta
Arts & Culture Editor
POC Powerpuff Girls performing hip-hop to the tunes of Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna is the perfect end to a gruelling semester at Oberlin. AndWhat!?, Oberlin’s hip-hop dance group for female-identifying students, will be performing their spring show “AndWhat!? Presents: Powerpuff Girls Remixed” on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. For those unfamiliar with The Powerpuff Girls, the theme refers to the Cartoon Network show that premiered in 1992 and featured three female superhero sisters who protect their town from crime. Rather than showcasing masculine superwomen, the show was surprisingly progressive for its time, illustrating feminine characters who kick ass — a perfect match for
The Oberlin Review | May 11, 2018
AndWhat!?. “AndWhat!? is a space for women and trans and femmes to do hip-hop dance,” AndWhat!? Co-chair and College senior Deja Alexander said. “It’s primarily for women of color and even more primarily for Black women. Our goal is to explore hip-hop, but also create conversations about issues that plague the Black community, which is the purpose of hip-hop.” This spring’s theme was chosen as a nostalgic recognition of shared childhood role models because it shares the fun, sassy nature of AndWhat!?. Previous shows include “Love Letters To Our Former Selves” and “Throwbacks: AndWhat!? Spring Performance,” a celebration of the early 2000s. “Our spring shows, they are always a little nostalgic,” Alexander said. “We kind of riffed on our childhood and our youthful relationships with hip-hop. … This show is a
riff on [The] Powerpuff Girls, which is a show that most of us watched when we were little, but it’s Powerpuff Girls revamped, reinvented. So if they were Nicki, Rihanna, and Beyoncé. It’s kind of a way to mix the nostalgia of the cartoon that most of us watched and some of the idols that we all love.” While the organization’s fall shows are more focused on hosting guest choreographers and performers, the spring shows are more student-centered. AndWhat!? members decide on music, themes, costumes, and choreography, including at least one all-group performance. Spring 2018 will feature 26 pieces, including solos, duets, and senior performances. “The spring show is always, at least personally I think, more fun because it’s all about celebrating AndWhat?! and going back to our roots,” College sophomore and See AndWhat!?, page 12
A r t s & C u lt u r e
God of War Wrestles with Violence, Wins
A stone-faced Kratos crosses the peak of a mountain with his son, Atreus, in Santa Monica Studio’s PlayStation 4 masterpiece God of War. Photo by Christian Bolles, Editor-in-Chief
Christian Bolles Editor-in-Chief “Don’t be sorry. Be better.” This harsh lesson, uttered in actor Christopher Judge’s gravelly baritone, can be considered a thesis statement for the excellent God of War, Sony Santa Monica’s latest PlayStation 4 exclusive release and the fifth mainline entry in the controversial series. Some might have looked at Kratos, a Spartan demigod, and seen an irredeemable murderer with nowhere left to go but Hell, but director Cory Barlog had a vision of his own. A mainstay of the first two games — a time which he describes as his team’s “college years” — his return transformed an unsympathetic killer into a fullyrealized hero worthy of the title. Believe it or not, the whole thing is a textured, wise meditation on the trials of parenthood — and it is much, much better than what came before, ranking among the best games of this generation. The previous four titles followed the story of Kratos who, after slaying the god Ares, took up his mantle. Fueled by rage at being tricked into slaughtering his own family and hell-bent on exacting vengeance on the entire Greek pantheon, players left behind a trail of bodies that ended with Kratos’ own father, Zeus. While the iconically tattooed Spartan was once hailed as an endearing antihero at a time when those weren’t a dime-a-dozen, the series let its status as an ultraviolent hack and slash get to its head by the third installment, in which Kratos’ path of violence felt senseless, cruel, and indulgent rather than purposeful. In God of War, so named to represent the series’ rebirth, we find Kratos far away from the lands of Greek myth, living in a humble cabin somewhere in the Norse wilderness. He’s a father once again — but the death of his wife, Faye, has left him alone with their son, Atreus. Years wandering the forest
while trying to come to grips with his violent past have kept Kratos distant from his son, who has no idea of his father’s godhood, let alone his own. Despite the rift between them, the two must fulfill Faye’s dying wish: to scatter her ashes at the “highest peak in all the realms.” To do so, they embark on a truly epic journey spanning the human and dwarven realms of Midgard, the freezing icescapes of Helheim, the lush yet war-torn elven Alfheim, and more. All the while, they become acquainted with a whole new world of gods and monsters, among whom Kratos is entirely unwelcome. The dangers and wonders of their journey find an invaluable interpreter in the unfailingly curious Atreus, even as his own hidden identity battles within him. And as they continue, it seems that Faye’s wish may have been more purposeful than they initially imagined. Though previous God of War games have relied on a steady stream of buttonmashing action seen from a far-away camera perspective, this new entry makes every effort to be as personal as possible. The camera almost never drifts more than a few feet away from Kratos, an effect enhanced by the development team’s dedication to framing the entire game in a single, unbroken shot. There are no detectable loading times in its nearly 50-hour mountain-scaling, multi-realm sprawl — player-controlled segments transition seamlessly into cutscenes that, being rendered in real-time, look indistinguishable from the rest of the game. It’s a good thing, then, that the game looks just about perfect. Five years of development have molded God of War into what may be the most gorgeous game ever made. Despite releasing exclusively on the PlayStation 4, a fiveyear-old console, its attention to detail is stunning, from the distinct individual pores on Kratos’ face to snow that realistically depresses around objects that come into contact with it in three dimensions. This makes the scale of the world and its inhabitants all the more impressive — take the city-sized corpse of the giant Thamur, sporting what must be some of the most detailed fingernails ever modeled. Thanks to disarmingly good writing, God of War’s scale is used sparingly. Between the moments of grandeur — like fighting a dragon while ascending a mountain or riding a towering hammer into a glacier — the relationship between Kratos and Atreus creates an emotional core denser than the protagonist’s biceps. Players have no reason to expect anything this nuanced from a game whose name has a legacy of bellowing warriors and fountains of blood, but the majority of its running time is spent listening to the evolving banter between father and son. A rising trend of good-toexcellent voice performances in games
reaches its apex here, with both leads acting the absolute hell out of their parts. Judge’s Kratos is gruff but surprisingly vulnerable, with the pain of his evil deeds weighing heavily on his every word, and Sunny Suljic — who did most of Atreus’ voicework at the age of 11 — deserves more recognition than the game industry is capable of giving him. Taking into account the dozens of hours of dialogue, it boggles the mind how committed both actors are to their roles, and with the magic of motioncapture, they’re physically embedded in the game’s DNA. Of course, this is still a video game, and when the time comes for Kratos and Atreus to defend themselves, God of War finds an entirely different way to shine. Kratos spends much of the game equipped with an axe passed down from Faye. It’s a formidable and thrilling weapon, largely due to one key trick: it can be thrown at will, then swiftly recalled with the press of a button, just like Thor’s famed hammer. The mechanics of this work perfectly; toss it at a tree, and the blade will lodge in the trunk — press the triangle button, and the handle will tilt toward Kratos slightly before the axe dislodges and flies into his hand with a satisfying thwack. Similarly, it can be hurled at enemies, freezing them in place and allowing Kratos to take a few swings with his godly fists before summoning the axe and continuing to fight without a hitch. Weapons and armor can be improved with loot gained from chests scattered throughout the world, and while it would take too long to describe these new mechanics, suffice to say that they give the combat an overwhelming level of depth. Couple that with a suite of simple but satisfying puzzles, and God of War’s diversity of offerings starts to feel endless. The controller’s square button is dedicated to Atreus, an invaluable asset whose abilities improve both as they’re upgraded and as his character changes over the course of the narrative. Press his button in battle, and he’ll volley arrows into the fight; hold it, and he’ll summon a flurry of spectral creatures. He is also useful outside of combat, as his literacy in the local language allows him to translate snippets of lore scattered throughout the world. These tidbits, as well as others for each new being the player encounters, are scrawled in his notebook, which can be accessed at any time and is written in adorable first-person. Through each brutal fight, Atreus’ growth is the game’s greatest concern. As the boy begins to enjoy the thrill of battle more and more, Kratos must do everything he can to keep his son from becoming an echo of his past self in an unforgiving world that seems bent on turning him into a reckless warrior. Kratos’ disdain for all gods is thrown into relief too, as he grapples with the fact that his son is a god
himself. Yet the melodramatic pretenses of these ideas are never used manipulatively or given undeserved significance, often tempered with a smart, keenly self-aware sense of humor. The well-worn trope of a distant father’s sudden, unexpected display of affection for his approval-starved child never surfaces here; instead, the moment when Kratos first puts his arm around Atreus feels completely natural, surprising neither them nor the player thanks to all the hard work both the writers and performers have put in over the course of the first couple dozen hours. By the game’s halfway point, it already reaches heights of character development and emotional resonance that few pieces of entertainment manage to even touch by their conclusion — in giving itself room to breathe, God of War excels. To balance the stirring weight of the central narrative, the limited but perfectlyused cast of supporting characters are all simply wonderful to interact with. A witch of mysterious origins shows our heroes stirring kindness throughout their journey; a pair of dwarven blacksmiths provide sparse comic relief when players need to upgrade their equipment; and at the halfway point, the disembodied but very much alive head of the self-described “smartest man alive” will undoubtedly emerge as a fan favorite due to his dry wit and captivating tales of myth and legend. Eventually, God of War proves to be just as invested in motherhood as fatherhood, delivering some genuinely unpredictable twists that only enhance the narrative. Perhaps the most remarkable of God of War’s achievements is its restraint. By centering a well-told, layered story of parentage and redemption and concerning itself with only a few minor Norse gods, it accomplishes what few franchises do in their entirety. That it’s just the first entry in a new series compounds its resounding success, making a sound argument that story-driven single-player experiences can still dominate the market when given the right team of developers and enough time. When God of War’s glowing reviews first released, Barlog released a video of his reaction which he’d filmed to show his son. In the clip, tears run down his face as he professes his gratitude for the development team and whispers to himself with astonishment, “I didn’t f**k it up.” Playing the game, it’s easy to see the sweat behind those tears — love has been poured into its every aspect, and the members of Sony Santa Monica could not possibly be more deserving of the praise heaped on them by critics and audiences alike. God of War is a defining point in a new generation of games that think critically about their engagement with masculinity and violence. In doing so, the game itself becomes godlike.
AndWhat?! Reinvents Powerpuff Themes Through Hip-Hop Continued from page 11
dancer Nina Harris said. “We always pick a … throwback topic. This semester it’s been really fun ... we’re using a lot of music that’s come out in the past year, but also a lot of music that came out when we were in our younger years and it’s been really fun to like explore that and explore the importance of these three ... powerful women artists through dance.” While AndWhat?! isn’t officially a part of the Dance department at Oberlin, it holds an important place in the Oberlin dance community. “[Not that I don’t] love the dance department, but [being separate] allows us to really have our own unique message and community,” Harris said. It is particularly remarkable that this female-
identifying dance crew specializes in hip-hop, not only for its promotion of Black culture, but also because it presents female hip-hop performers as more than sex symbols. “Especially for female hip-hop dancers, [AndWhat!?] is kind of reclaiming the hip-hop and rap community,” said College sophomore and rising co-chair of AndWhat!? Ruby Marzovilla. “In recent years, so much of it has been focused on sexualizing women and that sort of element. So I think it’s kind of reclaiming it as part of Black culture and like saying we have a voice in this community, we’re not just an object in this form of art and music.” The most important message AndWhat!? members emphasized is that though the group is welcoming of all femme-identifying performers, it still prioritizes the
female POC community. “AndWhat?! is now open to any femme person that enjoys dance and wants to join our group, but the message of AndWhat?! is still very focused on ... Black femininity in ties with hip-hop culture,” Marzovilla said. “Even though now it’s a more open space to a wider range of people from different cultural backgrounds and different ethnicities, the root of the group is still based on hip-hop culture, which is Black and will stay that way.” The group plans on continuing to reinforce hiphop culture and is considering entering a hip-hop competition in the Midwest next semester. The show will run for 90 minutes. Tickets are $2, and are available in Warner on performance nights.
Caps and Gowns
7. “I cannot tell a _____” 8. Confesses 9. Nazi Police Chief Arthur 10. Character in Mario Kart 11. Where to find salt on a margarita 12. Phonetic pronunciation of a common spanish greeting 13. The cold shoulder 14. Not all houses are these 15. Disorder characterized by seizures 16. How much the doctor ordered 17. “How about them _____?” 18. Steps 24. Italian volcano Mt. _____ 32. Not knowing when to shut up, say 33. A group of ships 34. Bud 35. Not a fun procedure 36. Saints of Calcutta and Ávila 37. At this location, in an old, folksy way 39. Prevailed 40. Actor who finally won an Oscar in 2016, informally 41. _____ Claire, city in Wisconsin 43. Text msg. 44. Dance style 45. Where to thread the needle 46. Move from one side to another 48. The m term in y = mx + b 49. As opposed to stirred 51. One may contain protons, neutrons, and electrons 53. Someone practicing retail therapy 54. On the house 55. Who UX designers work for 56. Formerly known as Tooo Chinoise 59. Framed by a window 60. Query 62. One’s brother’s son 64. Famous cookie guy 65. Title held by Jesse Jackson, also a former 68. Across in 1970 (abbr.) 68. Where to go spelunking 69. Toasty place 70. Most Esquire readers 71. Size, as in a bullet 72. Completely ruin something 73. Like many fine meats or cheeses 74. Score 80. Couldn’t compare 82. To light up one’s _____ 84. Cash cow, of sorts 85. Take to court 86. When you’ll get there, for short 87. Grayish-brown color 89. > 90. 601, in old Rome 91. Just barely manage, with “out” 92. Classic ’80s video game console 93. Follows neither 95. Art, in older variants of English 97. Like the shoulders of some suits 98. Totally destroyed 99. Things from a perfect world 102. Get really wet 104. Size above medium 105. Beginning of symptoms 106. Highly dependent 108. Exchanges 109. A la _____ 110. Come up 111. Peruses 114. U.S. Representative Gowdy, of South Carolina 115. See 34. Down 119. A temporary craze 120. U.S. legal org. 121. Thing to say over text in reply to something incredibly funny or ridiculous: “I’m _____” 122. _____ mays (corn) 123. Choice word
Puzzle by Daniel Markus Managing Editor 1
32 38 44
92 96 101
1. Depend (on) 5. To some people, it tastes like soap 13. Pronoun 16. Local lawyers, for short 19. Essays of _____, collection by Charles Lamb 20. Common sauteeing ingredient 21. Beer ingredient 22. Choose 23. 68. Across in 2015 25. Mon _____ 26. Mani-pedi location 27. Doofus 28. Marry 29. Performs a special function when pressed with CTRL and ALT 30. Boxer Laila 31. Grand _____, U.S. national park 32. Some outfielders, for short 34. 68. Across in 1972 38. Missing 40. Frank Ocean song “Sierra _____” 42. The Review is a member of it 43. Dance style 47. Vehicle without enough room for two 49. Compass marking, abbr. 50. 68. Across in 1983
52. Netlike 54. Classic Beethoven piece, “_____ Elise” 57. Exhausted 58. International commerce regulator, abbr. 59. High-ranking turkish officer 60. Bum 61. Spirits in Japanese folklore 63. Spanish for 66. All good 67. Sprout precursor 68. 23., 34., 50., 90. 103., and 119. Across all served this role in the past 74. Gifted 75. Sometimes frowned upon, especially when excessive 76. Above 77. U.S. militia air force 78. As opposed to odd 79. Assists 81. Produced with 82. Down 83. Relaxed 88. X 89. Frequently berated by Trump 90. 68. Across in 1987 93. Immediately! 94. Nobody knows what comes out the other side of one 96. Average 97. Before 100. Spooky
101. Rock band fronted by Gene Simmons 103. 68. Across in 1989 106. Peer institution to Oberlin Conservatory, abbr. 107. Prized statue 112. Has six sides 113. Activitity many do at the beach 114. English article 116. Alert 117. Biological molecule containing genes 118. Goes with mins. and secs. 119. 68. Across in 2008 124. Unagi, if you like sushi 125. Epoch 126. Scottish port city 127. Invisible war wound, abbr. 128. Dentist’s suffix 129. New Jersey baller, formerly 130. 24 hours at a time 131. Understands Down 1. Send, as in payment 2. Join together 3. Lawful 4. Internet company acquired by Verizon in 2017 5. Rank below brigadier general, abbr. 6. Sick
Editor’s Note: Solutions to this puzzle will run online at oberlinreview.org.
The Oberlin Review | May 11, 2018
Sp ort s IN THE LOCKER ROOM
Alex McNicoll and Alexis Dill, Sports Editors
Sophomore Alex McNicoll has spent four semesters with the Review, serving as a sports editor for three. Sophomore Alexis Dill has been a sports editor for one semester and worked as a news editor last semester. This issue is McNicoll’s last as a section editor for the Review, while Dill will return in the fall. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Interview by Alex McNicoll and Alexis Dill Sports Editors Alexis Dill: What were some of the most rewarding parts of your experience at the Review? Alex McNicoll: This is an easy one. I started working for the Review in October of my freshman year. [I had] been writing for a while, and at first it was just something to do. The spring semester was when I really got involved in the office. I started going to staff meetings, and I didn’t know anybody on staff except for Darren [Zaslau, OC ’17] and [senior] Jackie [McDermott]. At my first section editor meeting, Kiley [Petersen, OC ’17] said we got an email from [Kendal at Oberlin], the retirement home, and they said they loved our newspaper and wanted to order more. They sent this really sweet email, and before that, I had always written with the mentality that no one read our paper. It was nice knowing that there are people out there who are excited to read our stuff. It definitely gave me motivation to come back for another year. That was rewarding. AM: In a lot of your articles, you like to focus on people and humanizing athletes. Why do you have this tendency?
AD: I love storytelling. Before I became a sports editor, I wrote a column for the section about my relationship with my dad and our bond over baseball, and that’s still my favorite article I’ve ever written. I also wrote a piece on mental health, and that was another article that was really important to me because it was personal. I was inspired after athletes like DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love came out and said they battle mental illness. It’s an important issue that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. People tend to forget that athletes are human. One of my favorite things about sports is that it brings out the best in people. I love seeing how passionate people are and how they can be great teammates and leaders. I love watching people become their best selves through sports, and I’m grateful to be able to write about it. AD: What is your favorite article you have ever written for the Review? AM: If I had to pick one, I would have to say this one baseball column that I wrote. Over the summer and whenever I’m hanging around my friends from [back home], we always get into heated conversations about sports. I captured a lot of the funny conversations we had in this specific
Alexis Dill, left, and Alex McNicoll Photo by Bryan Rubin, Photo Editor
article — weird theories about the MLB balls being juiced and how the game is changing. But I also made some relevant points. I always like writing articles that anybody can read. You don’t have to be a sports fan to read and understand it. I think this is one that was easy to read and interesting, and if you read it, you would be well-equipped to talk about the topic. If you were a fan of the game, you could agree with it or go against it. There’s always room to add to the conversation.
is sent out to athletic administrators all over the country. It was one of the most-viewed pieces, and I’m really happy that Oberlin got the positive recognition that it totally deserves. I think a lot of great things are happening within athletics on this campus, and I don’t think many people know it. I know non-athletes have really added to my experience as an Oberlin College student by exposing me to new things, and I hope that they learn some things from the athletes here as well.
office. It’s just a great place to be. I’ve seen the sports section become more intellectual and mature. We’ve had some interactive columns where people can read something that maybe they hadn’t seen somewhere else. I’ll miss the enthusiasm I had when I got my game pieces. Who am I hitting up this week? What mysteries am I uncovering? It was just fun to go and ask people about something that was important to them. I’ll miss putting in the hours every week.
AM: Whether it’s real or imagined, there tends to be a negative vibe toward sports on this campus. How does that affect your work? AD: One of the pieces I’m most proud of having written was about our own Athletics department. I shed light on all of the positive things going on there under the leadership of [Delta Lodge] Athletic Director Natalie Winkelfoos. Most student-athletes aren’t aware that most of our facilities are built or renovated because of the generosity of alumni and donors who aren’t even super connected to the school. They just buy into what Oberlin is all about. I was really proud of that piece because it was picked up by the D3.ticker, which is a weekly newsletter that
AD: What will you miss most about working at the Review? AM: The thing about the Review that is kind of maddening but also pretty special is that it is always changing. One week I have one co-editor, and the next I have another. Every person I’ve worked with has brought something to the newspaper that is awesome and has helped it grow. Everyone brings something different to the table and is really dedicated. They make it more than just a job or a “fifth class.” People mold their lives around it a little bit. I remember during last commencement, a lot of alumni came into the office, including a sports editor from like 30 years ago. It’s kind of fun to think about how many different personalities and ideas have gone through this
AM: What are your plans for the section next year? AD: I want more contributing writers, and I want them to tell their own stories. Like I said earlier, I love storytelling, and no one knows your story better than you do. It would be great to get more voices in our section. I love reading about what drives people — why they play, what they play for. If people want a recap of a game or a preview of a team, they can go to GoYeo, [the Oberlin Athletics website]. I really want to differentiate our section from GoYeo. The key to that is setting up more interviews and asking thoughtful questions that will invoke insightful responses. A great story is always dependent on asking the right questions and digging deep.
Hammon Should Exemplify Fight Against Sexism in Sports Alexis Dill Sports Editor As a girl who grew up playing sports and dreaming of one day becoming a sports journalist, I have always been supported and encouraged by the men in my life. However, many of the women I look up to have been victims of sexism at one point or another throughout their careers. Fox NFL Sportscaster Erin Andrews was labeled “Sideline Barbie” by sports blogs. Serena Williams, one of the best tennis players ever, was told by former tennis star John McEnroe that if she played the men’s circuit, she’d be “ranked 700th in the world.” When the Oberlin College Athletic Department brought Justine Siegal to campus in November 2016, I made sure I was there. Siegal became the first female coach in Major League Baseball when the Oakland Athletics hired her as a guest instructor for their instructional league in 2015. Siegal’s knowledge and abilities have been doubted many times in her life because she is a woman, and she now fights to break down the gender barrier in sports. “It is not about being the ‘first’ or the ‘only,” Siegal tweeted. “It’s about creating a pathway for the girls coming up.” Becky Hammon’s name took over headlines this week after the Milwaukee Bucks announced her candidacy for the franchise’s head coaching position. Hammon, who will be the first woman to ever be interviewed for a head coaching position in the NBA, already made history in 2014
when legendary San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich hired her as the NBA’s first full-time female assistant coach. The Bucks are interested in a number of other highly qualified coaches, including Monty Williams and Mike Budenholzer. However, it doesn’t matter if Hammon gets the job or not — she is already paving the way for other women in sports by showing them that anything is possible. She’s proving that it doesn’t matter what you look like. It doesn’t matter if you wear makeup, high heels, or other accessories seen as “girly.” If you know the game, you know the game — and you deserve a chance. Fans and commentators need to realize that Hammon is deserving of serious consideration and is qualified enough to become a head coach. She has the knowledge, the wisdom, and the leadership. A year after she joined the Spurs, she led the summer league team to a title. Those who are unhappy with the prospect of Hammon becoming a head coach are simply ignorant. They argue that Hammon is skipping the line and that she would only be hired due to favoritism and the franchise’s desire to achieve “political correctness.” If Hammon isn’t hired, it will be because someone else is a better fit for the Bucks franchise. It won’t be because her resume isn’t impressive enough — it is. Hammon was a star for the San Antonio Silver Stars in the Women’s National Basketball League, earning six All-Star nods in 15 seasons. She was inducted into the New
York Liberty’s Ring of Honor in 2015, and a year later her jersey was retired. Of course, she doesn’t have any NBA playing experience because she is a woman, but many other coaches have skipped steps along the path to becoming a head coach. Boston Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens never played in the NBA, and all of his coaching experience was at a midmajor college. Former Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd became a head coach directly after retiring from the league. Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr was an analyst, president, and general manager before filling his current position. ESPN sports journalist Bomani Jones argued that there is no one path that an aspiring head coach must take. “In 2018, there’s no such thing as ‘qualified’ to be an NBA head coach,” Jones said. “They get people from everywhere and with a crazy range of experience.” If people truly believe that Hammon isn’t qualified for the position, it isn’t because she’s never played in the NBA and has only been an assistant coach in the league for four years — it’s because she is a woman. If one of the greatest coaches of all time and many professional players support Hammon, why can’t everyone else? Hammon has spent four years under the leadership of Popovich, who has said that he sees great things in his mentee. “[Hiring a woman] is going to take somebody who has some guts, some imagination, and is not driven by old standards
and old forms,” Popovich said in an interview in April. “If somebody is smart, it’s actually a pretty good marketing deal — but it’s not about that. It’s got to be that she’s competent — that she’s ready.” In 1945, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the major leagues when Branch Rickey and the Brooklyn Dodgers signed him. He made his debut on April 15, 1947. Just three months later, Larry Doby broke the color barrier in the American League when Cleveland’s Bill Veeck signed him. Great things transpired in professional baseball because two innovative, brave executives took a risk. Each signed a talented and promising player because they foresaw a bright future in them. Popovich took a chance on Hammon, and even if the Bucks are not the team and now is not the time, I hope that soon someone will give Hammon the opportunity to rise to the top of the coaching ladder — not just to make a statement, but to give a shot to someone who is deserving. When — and it’s a matter of when, not if — Hammon is eventually hired as a head coach, it will start a domino effect. I want to see more non-male coaches in professional sports and collegiate sports. I want reporters to feel like they are on the sidelines because they’re intelligent and experienced, not because they look good in a skirt and have a pretty face. I want to live in a world where young people’s dreams are not limited — where they have role models like Becky Hammon.
Historic Season from Rauchle Not Enough for Yeowomen
Senior midfielder Sydney Garvis attempts to rifle the ball past a Kenyon College Ladies defender on senior day. The Yeowomen ended their season last Wednesday against the College of Wooster Fighting Scots in the NCAC semifinals. Photo courtesy of OC Athletics
Alex McNicoll Sports Editor The women’s lacrosse team’s season came to a close in their matchup against the College of Wooster Fighting Scots in the North Coast Athletic Conference Semi-Finals last Wednesday. While the Yeowomen had hoped to return to the NCAC Championships after playing one of the best seasons in program history last year, they had no answer for the Fighting Scots’ relentless attack, losing 14–11. While senior midfielder and NCAC Offensive Player of the Year Natalie Rauchle — who will surely go down as one of the best athletes in Yeowoman history — was one of seven players to earn NCAC awards at the season’s end, they were unable to claim a championship in Rauchle’s final year. With such high expectations entering
the playoffs, junior defender Sydney Allen said that being too caught up in preparing for the championships and not taking the Fighting Scots seriously led to their downfall. “It was disappointing,” Allen said. “I think we all had the mindset that we were going to win that game; we were all looking ahead to that [Denison University Tigers] game in the championships. We weren’t really present when we were playing Wooster, and that was a huge reason as to why we lost.” Against the Fighting Scots, the Yeowomen found themselves playing catchup with 12 minutes left in the first half, as they trailed 4–1. A few key goals from Rauchle, including her NCAC recordtying 80th goal of the year, helped the Yeowomen narrow the gap to 7–5 entering the second half. However, at the start of the second half, it was clear that the
Yeowomen did not have the killer instinct that lead to their 17–9 win over the Fighting Scots in the regular season earlier this year. The Fighting Scots promptly had a six-goal run that crushed the Yeowomen. While Rauchle managed to set a new NCAC record in goals with two more in the final 20 minutes, bringing her total to 82 goals, it was clear that a win was out of reach. Down 14–9 with under two minutes to go, first-year attacker Tess Siciliano, junior defender Sabrina Deleonibus, and first-year midfielder Kyra Aviles all scored goals, but it was too little too late by their eventual 14–11 defeat. Earlier in the year, the Yeowomen seemed poised to make a return to the NCAC Championship, but after losing sophomore midfielder and 2017 NCAC Newcomer of the Year Eliza Amber on their Senior Day matchup against the Kenyon College Ladies and watching multiple players quit throughout the year, the Yeowomen lost to themselves in what could have been a historic season. Allen mentioned that losing players definitely hurt the Yeowomen’s morale as the season progressed. “It was really tough to maintain,” she said. “This was definitely the hardest season I’ve played in my time here. Seeing people you love — your teammates — get hurt throughout the season, especially on such a small team, takes a toll on you.” The Yeowomen had one of their most talented rosters in recent memory, and although the pieces did not quite come together for them to win a championship, their top players certainly got the recognition they deserved. In addition to setting the NCAC scoring record, and winning
Offensive Player of the Year, Rauchle was also an All-NCAC First Team Honoree. Last year, she was named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Great Lakes All-Region First Team, and she will likely earn that honor once again later this month. Joining her on the NCAC First-Team was sophomore defender Emily Barner, while Garvis, junior midfielder Hayley Drapkin, and junior goalie Siena Marcelle were named to the All-NCAC Second Team. While Amber did miss the postseason, she and Deleonibus were named All-NCAC Honorable Mentions. Junior Jenna Butler — who used to play midfielder but had to sit out the season due to concussions and became a playercoach this year — fully understands the mental struggle that the Yeowomen went through this year, but is confident that they can return next season. “Not being able to play this season was definitely very difficult for me,” she said. “I love lacrosse and I’ve played my whole life, but what I realized is I’d rather be on the sidelines to support my team than not be a part of the team at all. I’m really looking forward to the possibility of playing next year, and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve next season. With seven incoming first-years, a talented sophomore and junior class, and six rising seniors ready to step into leadership positions, we will have the pieces in place to compete for a league championship once again.” Looking forward, losing Rauchle and Garvis will surely be a huge blow, but with a plethora of talent and another year of experience, the Yeowomen are sure to be contenders once again next spring.
Harvey’s Rollercoaster Mets Career Comes to a Close Alex McNicoll Sports Editor The New York Mets traded their once-star pitcher Matt Harvey to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, signaling the end of one of the most frustrating eras in a franchise that is not averse to failure. Whether it was the injuries — he had Tommy John surgery in 2013 and was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in 2016 — his terrible attitude, or the unrelenting storm that is the New York media to blame, what all fans can agree on is that as amazing as he was, he was twice as maddening. When Harvey debuted in July 2012, he turned heads from the get-go, striking out 11 batters in his first appearance. The Mets had not been relevant since losing to the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series in 2006, and their fan base was desperate for something to believe in. It was in 2013 that Harvey began his ascent to superstardom. It felt like on any given night he could throw a no-hitter, and on his way to fourth place in the NL Cy Young Award, he earned the nickname “the Dark Knight.” In a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves, the Mets wanted to bring up another tantalizing pitching prospect — Zack Wheeler. Wheeler and Harvey both pitched, and Harvey delivered one of the best performances of his career. He struck out 13 out of 26 batters, his fastball topped 100 mph for the first time in his The Oberlin Review | May 11, 2018
career, and his slider left opposing batters baffled. That performance would define Harvey. He knew that the Mets management was focused on Wheeler, and he wanted to remind them he was the best pitcher in the entire organization. He had always been obsessed with his perception from the organization and fans. Unfortunately, the year ended prematurely for him with a partial tear of his ulner collateral ligament, but Mets fans had seen enough to know a change was coming. What we didn’t know was that his brilliant run in 2013 would be the last stretch Harvey would play that wasn’t muddled by injuries or controversy. That October, Harvey revealed that he would have to undergo Tommy John surgery and would miss the entire 2014 season. In his absence, the Mets brought up pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, who emerged as two of the most dominant in baseball. However, going into 2015, even though Harvey had little experience on the mound, the entire MLB was convinced that the Mets boasted the league’s best rotation, and Harvey would be their ace. When the season started, they most certainly delivered. In April, they had an 11-game winning streak and established themselves as a top team in the league. Over the summer, injuries struck and the offense completely disappeared. The Mets quickly fell out of contention, and it seemed like there was no way they would make the play-
offs. Meanwhile, their division rivals, the Washington Nationals, seemed to have the clear favorite of NL MVP outfielder Bryce Harper, a once-in-a-generation player. In order to bolster the offense, the Mets traded for outfielder Yoenis Céspedes, and everything changed. In the final months of the regular season, Céspedes became arguably the best batter in the league, the Mets offense exploded, and they clawed back to take the NL East from the Nationals. It seemed like everything was working right for the Mets, and then Harvey did the unthinkable: he refused to play. Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, is notorious in the sports world. He works for only the best players, and he is willing to do anything to get the most lucrative contracts. With Harvey one year removed from Tommy John surgery — and enjoying one of the most remarkable recoveries from the injury in MLB history — Boras wanted Harvey to have an innings limit. He was concerned that if Harvey pitched too much, he could re-injure his arm, and wanted to keep Harvey fresh for his impending free-agency. If Harvey pitched and got hurt, it could cost him hundreds of millions of dollars. If Harvey didn’t pitch, the Mets would likely lose their best shot at a World Series in almost a decade. And for awhile, Harvey complied. For Mets fans, there was nothing as disappointing as seeing the face of the team’s rebuild refuse to play in order to get paid. It reaffirmed his prima donna, him-
self-above-the-team image that the media had pushed upon him. Then, just in time for the playoffs, he returned. Throughout their series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs, the Mets were wary of Harvey. While he was playing, he had already broken their trust. Instead, new heroes emerged. Syndergaard, deGrom, Cespedes, and Daniel Murphy were making New York believe that they might actually win a World Series. After sweeping the Cubs in the NLCS, the Mets were headed to their first World Series since 2000. But it didn’t go too well. The Mets were playing the Kansas City Royals, who had lost the World Series in 2014. In their first two games, both in Kansas City, the Mets didn’t even take one. When they went back to Queens, they took the first but dropped the second. In Game Five, Harvey was slated to pitch. At home, where he had always been his best, it was his chance to turn the series around and push it to Game Six. For the first eight innings, Harvey proved that he was one of the best pitchers in the game. Going into the bottom of the ninth, up 2–0, manager Terry Collins wanted to put in the closer. Harvey refused. Citi Field was shaking at its core when Harvey came back to the mound in the bottom of the ninth. He was about to pitch a complete game shutout in the World Series. It was his way of redeeming himself to Mets fans, and owning the biggest stage in baseball. Then he let
up two runs, and the Mets lost in extra innings. After that, Harvey was never the same. Injuries came back, and reports of him coming in hungover to practices and games started flooding in. The Mets made the playoffs again in 2016, but he had long since been gone to seasonending surgery. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which ironically probably developed from his overpitching in 2015, robbed him of his grip, velocity, and control. In 2017, it seemed as if he had hit rock-bottom — and then this year came. He was sluggish, he partied before and after games, and when general manager Sandy Alderson told him he was demoted to the minor leagues, he refused. Now, he’s gone. “We feel like we failed Matt Harvey. Our job is to help every player in there,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said to reporters. Callaway and the Mets did not fail Harvey. It’s easy to blame Harvey himself, but that wouldn’t be completely fair either. Harvey’s downward spiral was a combination of injuries, his ego, he and Boras ruining his image, and the Mets’ inability to provide any offense. Harvey played every game like it was Game Seven of the World Series, and every season like it was a contract year, but he never even got through a full year. Years from now, the few fans who remember his legendary pitching will be the ones who are truly upset with how his career turned out.
SPORTS May 11, 2018
Volume 146, Number 24
Germany Does Not Have World Cup Locked Down Jane Agler Staff Writer
Senior Lilah Drafts-Johnson turns the corner in the Bob Kahn Invitational April 7. The women’s track and field team won their second consecutive NCAC Outdoor Championship Saturday. Photo courtesy of OC Athletics
Newton, Drafts-Johnson Lead Team to NCAC Championship Alexis Dill Sports Editor Many words have been used to describe the women’s track and field team: victorious, dominant, and inspiring are a few key examples. One word that is not in the team’s vocabulary is complacent. The team won its second straight North Coast Athletic Conference Outdoor Championship with a total of 228 points Saturday, a few months after winning its second consecutive Indoor Championship. A number of Yeowomen had career-best performances during the two-day contest. Head Coach Ray Appenheimer, who was named the NCAC Coach of the Year, said that the team’s success can be attributed to the team’s culture and that of Oberlin in general. “People ... chose to come here because they wanted to be challenged to be better — to be their best selves,” Appenheimer said. “What’s so cool is that not only do people want to be challenged, but they want to challenge the people around them to be their best as well. When you have an environment where everyone sets the bar so high — where everyone is challenging one another to be the best athletes and the best teammates they can be — you have a culture where success is almost always assured.” Seniors Monique Newton and Lilah Drafts-Johnson led the way to victory, earning NCAC Field Athlete of the Year and NCAC Sprints/Hurdles Athlete of the Year, respectively. The pair has dominated competition all year, seemingly improving their marks every single meet. Before the season began, Newton said that her motivation levels were higher than ever, despite becoming Oberlin’s first female national champion last year. “Last year was probably the best year the track and field program has ever had, but we can even take it a step further — especially the senior class,” Newton said. “We’ve seen the program really transform the last three years, and we want to make this year the best year yet to complete the transformation.” Newton was in her usual great form last weekend, winning the hammer throw, the shot put, and the discus. In the hammer throw, Newton earned a mark of 169-05.00 feet. She tossed the shot put 47-06.25 feet, which is a season-best for her, ranking third in all of Division III. Newton had her best performance of the weekend on day two, when she threw the discus 16003.00, which broke the conference and school record and was six feet over her previous season-best. However, Newton said she doesn’t want her achievements to outshine her teammates’. “I really do think we have the best female throwers unit in the country, which means [that] every day I’m practicing with an amazing group, and it’s fun,” Newton said. “It’s fun when we go to meets and one of us hits a big throw. It makes the rest of us want to
hit a big throw and keep the momentum going. We feed off of each other.” Sophomore Jasmine Keegan placed third in the shot put with a throw of 39-01.25, and senior Ana Richardson came in fourth with a throw of 38-04.75. In the hammer throw, Keegan came in second place with a toss of 152-06.00, and sophomore Cecelia Longo picked up six points with a toss of 134-06.00. In the discus, Keegan came in second, Richardson came in fourth, sophomore Maya English came in fifth, and sophomore Naeisha McClain placed eighth. Drafts-Johnson led the way on the track, winning both the 200- and 400-meter sprints. She finished the 400-meter dash in 58.12 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 25.25 seconds. Drafts-Johnson was the top qualifier in the 200-meter after finally breaking the school record in the event on day one with a time of 25.12. However, Drafts-Johnson said she isn’t satisfied. “What’s nice about track is that there is always room for improvement, and even if you beat everyone in your race, there’s always another time or personal best mark you can chase after,” Drafts-Johnson said. “I’m motivated because I think I can still improve on my times, and I’m excited to see what my body can do.” Sophomore Jillian Doane was right behind DraftsJohnson in the 400-meter, finishing in a career-best 59.12 seconds to earn the team a total of 18 points in the event. In the 100-meter dash, Cook-Gist came in second with a time of 12.71, which was just 23 hundredths of a second behind the first-place finisher. She also finished fourth in the 200-meter with a time of 26.08. The Yeowomen’s distance runners also had an impressive showing over the weekend. Sophomore Oona Jung-Beeman earned all-conference honors in the 800-meter with a time of 2:20.34. In the 1,500-meter run, sophomore Marija Crook finished second with a time of 4:39.84. She also came in second in the 5,000-meter with a time of 18:37.12. First-year Corrie Purcell earned her first all-conference honor by finishing the race with a career-best time of 18:39.23. Both relay teams earned all-conference honors. In the 4x100-meter relay, Doane, Drafts-Johnson, and juniors Imani Cook-Gist and Emily Kelly earned second place with a time of 48.58. The 4x400 relay team of Doane, Jung-Beeman, sophomore Shannon Wargo, and Cook-Gist crossed the line in 4:06.52, good enough for third place. Appenheimer said he was impressed by how many of his athletes stepped up this past weekend. “So many people contribute to this success in so many ways,” Appenheimer said. “Folks you don’t hear much about, like Corrie Purcell, Jasmine Keegan, and Christine Impara all competed so hard and trained so diligently. Having spent so much time with Mo, Ana, and Lilah, I know how much they value and feed off the contribution and hard work of their teammates.”
The biggest sporting event in the world is finally here. People from all around the globe will be tuning in on June 14 for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where 32 national teams will compete for international glory. Germany — the team that clinched the Cup back in 2014 — is still a favorite, but if the qualifying tournament showed us anything, the World Cup is still going to be full of surprises. Right now, there are only a handful of nations that seem to pose a strong threat. Germany, who will compete with much of the same roster as they did in 2014 — with noteworthy exceptions like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm — is likely the most intimidating team to arrive in Russia. Following in their wake is Brazil with, perhaps most notably, their star forward Neymar Jr., who made news headlines last fall for a record-breaking transfer price of $263 million from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain. Aside from Neymar, however, the squad boasts the talents of defenders Marcelo Vieira and David Luiz and midfielder Philipe Coutinho. In 2014’s World Cup, they had a lot of pressure to succeed as hosts but fell short of their goals due to the team’s unusually high proportion of young players. The team has since bulked up over these past four years. France is also a seasoned contender, having made it to the World Cup finals in 2006 with legends Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane. This year, their roster has promise all across the pitch, starting with forward Antoine Griezmann, midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, and defenders Laurent Koscielny and Raphaël Varane. And one cannot forget Lionel Messi and Argentina, who, after a tumultuous fight to merely qualify for the Cup in the most competitive conference in the world, will probably prove their worth as contenders and provide the audience with their unique style of play that the world has grown so accustomed to after five World Cup finals appearances and two wins. While these four national teams are strong candidates for the trophy, there are a few teams that may catch the world by surprise this year, especially with the qualifiers leaving a few countries out of the event. The competition will not be seeing the United States, the Netherlands, Chile, Cameroon, and — most shockingly — the former 2006 World Cup winner, Italy. Without these teams, other nations might get some well-deserved attention. During the last World Cup, we saw the early elimination of former champion Spain. On the other side of the tournament, Colombia had a surprisingly long run that created a rise in acclaim for their star midfielder, James Rodríguez. That same year, Costa Rica somehow made it to the semi-finals. As always, soccer fans worldwide should expect the unexpected. The first of these potential dark horses is Croatia. Not only does this squad feature one of the strongest midfielders in the world, Luka Modrić, but his fellow Real Madrid teammate Mateo Kovaĉić will also be joining him out on the pitch. With the addition of midfielder Ivan Rakitić, Croatia is boasting one of the strongest midfields in the Cup. They have the chemistry and experience to take down any team that stands in their way. In a similar vein, the Belgian national team has even more talent on their roster. Individuals like former Professional Footballer’s Association Player of the Year winner Eden Hazard, the midfield dynamo and scoring sensation Kevin De Bruyne, and arguably the best goalkeeper in the world: Thibaut Courtois. On paper, the squad is stacked. But previous international play appearances suggest that they lack the necessary on-field chemistry to be as dominating a force as expected. However, if the players manage to bring themselves together, they could sack much of the competition. The last team to keep an eye out for is Nigeria. The team went on a tear during their qualifying campaign to clinch the trip to Russia. Their midfield features John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses, both of whom pose strong threats out on the pitch. Nigeria has been a contender in recent years, as they’ve only missed one World Cup appearance since their first qualification in 1994. Even though it is possible to make predications, the fun of the World Cup always extends beyond the victor. In 2014, it was watching Ángel Di María’s masterful technique on the field for Argentina. In 2010, it was reading the newspaper clippings that my parents mailed me while I was at a sleepaway camp without electricity or access to the outside world. In 2006, I was first introduced to my favorite player of all time, Thierry Henry. Just four years removed from Tim Howard’s excellence between the pipes for the U.S. and Germany’s dismantling of Brazil, anticipation is at its highest for myself and many others around the world who share similar experiences. The one aspect of the World Cup that never fails is its guaranteed exhilaration, regardless of the level of one’s interest in soccer or team allegiance.