The Oberlin Review October 11, 2019
Volume 148, Number 6
Gibson’s Verdict Appeal Filed Anisa Curry Vietze News Editor
College second-years and ExCo instructors Marisa Kim and Serena Zets took their students on a field trip last week to see a live taping of The Bachelor. Kim and Zets teach BachCo, an ExCo analyzing The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchise through political and sociological lenses. Photo courtesy of Serena Zets
ExCo to Reduce Future Course Offerings Arman Luczkow The Experimental College plans to reduce the number of courses offered next semester from 74 to 50 after changes to its payroll process were made over the summer. The changes affect the way the five students that make up the ExCo committee are paid, meaning that the committee will need to work fewer hours moving forward. In addition to receiving funding from the College, ExCo committee members previously received part of their budget from the Student Finance Committee. However, SFC stopped funding ExCo last semester, according to ExCo committee member and College second-year Serena Zets. “ExCo [is] in a complicated position because it is a student org but also an academic department, so it’s eligible for both [College funding and SFC funding],” Zets said. “And so essentially last semester, ExCo didn’t receive any funding from SFC to go toward student compensation [or] the course materials that classes requested — that money was funded through SFC. The actual compensation for the ExCo committee was coming from the College’s stipend.” ExCo Committee Co-Chair Emily Spezia-Schwiff explained how the pay structure of the ExCo committee functions. “Members of the ExCo Committee work about 80 hours per semester and receive approximately $500 (roughly $6 per hour),” Spezia-Schwiff wrote in an email to the Review. “The chair of ExCo committee works about 180 hours and receives around $750 per semester (roughly $4 per hour).” When ExCo received funding from SFC, it was through a stipend, so the per-hour rates did not have to meet Ohio minimum wage. SFC often operates with a two-thirds policy, under which many student organization workers receive payment for roughly two-thirds of the total hours they worked. TimeClock Plus, the new payroll processing platform rolled out by the College earlier this semester, pays students at an hourly rate. This complicates all student organizations formerly paid through a stipend that were
compensated for less than minimum wage. Because ExCo committee members will now have to track their hours, they will be required to either put in fewer hours or not log all hours worked. According to Spezia-Schwiff, after relaying these concerns to their faculty advisor, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Elizabeth Hamilton, and Assistant Dean for Business and Operations Angela Szunyogh, the collective committee stipend was raised from $2,000 to $3,000 per semester. However, this amount accounts for only 350 hours of work, not the 520 hours worked by the Committee in the spring of 2019. “This means that you need to reduce the amount of work that you do for compensation,” Hamilton wrote in an email to the committee on Sept. 4, which was acquired by the Review. “The budget really does not allow for more. I am not asking you to volunteer your work. You will need to make decisions about how to reduce what you do for compensation. You can set overall guidelines for the semester and have weekly meetings to project what needs to be done. I’m happy to help in that process.” Many members of the ExCo Committee worry that decreasing the amount they work will have a negative impact on their ability to ensure that ExCo is a wellfunctioning department. “We either lie about how many hours we work, or we don’t work enough to sustain the program,” SpeziaSchwiff said. Some ExCo committee members do not feel the College fully understands the work the committee does. They note that, despite offering more courses than typical College departments, the ExCo Committee is run by only five students. “It feels like [Hamilton] doesn’t value the labor we put into the department,” Zets said. “I mean, I don’t dislike Dean Hamilton. I appreciate what she does for ExCo. I understand that she herself is overworked and pulled in tons of different directions around Oberlin, but it just feels very dismissive and undermining.” Still, Hamilton maintains that the College is supportive of the ExCo and its committee. “The College of Arts and Sciences is dedicated to the See Hourly, page 4
On Tuesday, Oberlin College announced it would appeal the June jury verdict that sided with Gibson’s Bakery and against the College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. The appeal comes after the College was denied a retrial at the county level last month. The College currently faces a $25 million judgment after a Lorain County jury found the College and Raimondo responsible for libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress following a student-led protest against the bakery in November 2016. To represent them at the appellate level, the College has hired a legal team that includes Washington, D.C. First Amendment attorneys Lee Levine and Seth Berlin, as well as Cleveland appellate attorneys Benjamin Sassé and Irene Keyse-Walker. “The verdict and judgment in this case set a precedent that endangers free speech on campuses and for all Americans,” Levine said, according to a College press release. “The jury was allowed to award substantial damages for speech that is protected by the Constitution. The case should absolutely be reviewed by an appellate court.” Lee Plakas, one of the Gibsons’ attorneys, maintained that the College’s arguments are misleading. “Given the repeated attempts by Oberlin College to discount the jury’s verdict, their decision to appeal comes as no surprise,” Plakas said in a written statement. “But despite the college’s attempt to reframe this as a First Amendment issue, the law and the facts of this case remain clearly on the side of the Gibson family. The law and the jury’s verdict both remind our country that claimed free speech has its limits, even on a college campus.” The College’s legal team maintained that errors made in the initial trial justify the decision to appeal. “This case never should have gone to the jury in light of the heightened speech protections in the Ohio Constitution, and the trial court made several procedural errors during trial that led to this verdict,” Sassé said in College’s press release. “Among other things, those errors prevented jurors from hearing critical information about the original incident.” Plakas maintained confidence that the original verdict will stand. “The jury’s verdict sent a clear message that institutions like Oberlin College should not be permitted to bully others while hiding behind the claimed shield of free speech,” Plakas wrote. “There are no exemptions from the law of defamation — a fact we trust will be confirmed during the appeal process.” The decision to file the Notice of Appeal was made by a Tuesday vote of the College’s Board of Trustees. In a statement emailed to the Oberlin community, Board of Trustees Chair Chris Canavan emphasized the relationship between college and town. “The College and the town of Oberlin have been vital to one another since 1833, and we value our long-term relationships with the town’s citizens and businesses,” Canavan said. “We also have a mission to support free inquiry, allow faculty and students to ask difficult questions and to reach and express their own conclusions. The judgment in this case effectively punishes us for doing just that. In the meantime, the College will continue to focus on bridging divides in our community and pursuing academic excellence, because an intellectually vibrant Oberlin makes a difference for good in our community and in the world.” It will likely take at least a year for the appellate court to make a ruling.
ARTS & CULTURE
02 CDS Develops New Strategies to Meet Student Needs
05 Campus Cornerstones: The History Buried in Our Walls
08–09 Student Publications Throughout the Years
10 Nuanced Adaptation of All This Intimacy Opens in Kander
14 All Talk: Varsity Athletics Go In On Trash Talk
04 Report Showcases Economic Impact of College on Local Community
07 Arctic Melt and Sea Level Rise: Wake-Up Call for Gen Z
10 Rocky Horror Brings Weirdness to Campus for Tenth Year
16 Exploring the Money Behind OC Athletics
The Oberlin Review | October 11, 2019
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CDS Develops New Strategies to Meet Student Dining Needs
During DeCafé’s busiest hours, students wait in lines to check out. Photo by Sofia Herron Geller
Ella Moxley Senior Staff Writer In response to increased student demand for quick and convenient dining options, Campus Dining Services is undergoing a self-evaluation process to identify possible changes to dining facilities. These changes include revamping dining spaces, updating DeCafé offerings, and creating more avenues of communication between CDS and students. CDS has invited architect Warren Bulesco, principal at WTW Architects, to visit campus next week. According to the firm’s website, Bulesco specializes in designing and updating dining facilities in addition to recreational and athletics complexes. “Warren is assessing each current dining location in relation to student life and how that location — and potentially others — can meet the current needs of students and still allow for flexibility for the future,” CDS General Manager Wayne Wood wrote in an email to the Review. “Dining trends change on campus just as they do in the outside world, and we want to be nimble to meet future requests and needs while still addressing current operational goals.” Student Senator and College fourth-year Cait
Kelley, who also serves as a dining ambassador, sees these updates to campus dining as long overdue. “[Bulesco is] coming in to figure out what the future of campus dining can look like here,” Kelley said. “A lot of buildings have not been updated in decades. The aesthetic issues are numerous, especially at Stevenson [Dining Hall].” Wood and others hope that a fresh perspective will bring innovative solutions for dining. “He’s thinking on a big scale,” Wood said. “He’s already noticed the hallway in Stevenson is dark and not inviting.” There are several ways students can make their concerns heard in the upcoming dining services evaluation. CDS will host focus groups throughout the day on Thursday, Oct. 17. Students can also meet Warren at an open meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 6–8 p.m. in King Building 106. CDS has invited several student groups to take part in the focus groups. There will be sessions focused on addressing the specific dining needs of Conservatory students, athletes, Afrikan Heritage House residents, among others. DeCafé’s original design as an on-campus convenience store has had to adjust to higher student demand by fostering a more comprehensive, dining hall-like experience. Four years ago, 1,600 meal swipes were registered at DeCafé daily. This number now surpasses 3,000 swipes a day, according to College fourth-year Pearse Anderson, who serves as a dining ambassador. “As students have asked for more portability and flexibility over the past few years, meal plans have been adjusted with this feedback in mind,” Wood wrote. “Grab & Go and [convenience]-store business has been showing an upward trend; this follows national trends at other colleges like Oberlin.” According to DeCafé Manager Nancy German, students could not use board meals at DeCafé as recently as the spring of 2017. DeCafé began accepting meal swipes in the fall semester of 2017. German believes that the popularity of this policy may have
contributed to the increased burden on DeCafé to meet student demand. Wood also believes that changing attitudes around eating have contributed to a surge in DeCafé’s popularity. “As students seem to be migrating away from the standard ‘three meals a day’ and toward eating smaller meals at different times a day, DeCafé fits this need,” Wood wrote. Kelley argues that students have become more dependent on DeCafé as other dining options close, such as the closing of Dascomb Dining Hall in 2018. “The fact that DeCafé is being overrun is just the natural progression of things,” Kelley said, and cited recent improvements to the space as indicative of CDS’ responsiveness to student input and need. There were also other changes made at DeCafé this semester. The introduction of Sally the Salad robot, paid for by Bon Appétit Management Company, was motivated by the fact that the open display of salad add-ons in DeCafé made it difficult to keep the ingredients fresh and free of cross-contamination. DeCafé has added another Sally the Salad robot to assess if there is enough student demand for a second machine. Additionally, CDS staff streamlined the sandwich section of DeCafé considerably starting in fall 2018, as offering customized sandwiches each day restricted cooler space due to the many different ingredients. This semester, a small selection of vegetarian, vegan, and meat burgers were made available. Students are always welcome to express their input about campus dining directly to CDS. “While there are several ways to communicate with campus dining services, by far the easiest way is to see one of our managers or supervisors in the dining halls or Grab & Go locations,” wrote Wood. Wood also recommends that students text the Zingle app at (440) 427-3093 to talk to a manager, and he invites students to come to design committee meetings, held Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. in Biggs Commons.
Report Showcases Economic Impact of College on Local Community Katie Lucey News Editor According to an economic impact report released by Oberlin College on Sept. 25, the College “has a significant economic influence” on the greater Oberlin and Lorain County community and will contribute an estimated $143 million in direct and indirect spending in the region throughout 2019. The release of the report, titled “Our Community: 2019 Oberlin College Community Impact Report,” preceded last week’s Board of Trustees meeting and Tuesday’s announcement of the board’s decision to appeal the $25 million judgment against the College in the lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Bakery Oberlin contracted IMPLAN, an economic impact analysis firm, to produce the report. IMPLAN used 2018 inflation-adjusted institutional data and information to generate its analysis. Other higher education institutions — including John Hopkins
University and the University of Southern California — have previously retained the Huntersville, N.C.-based firm to produce similar economic impact reports. “Many colleges and universities produce annual community impact reports,” President Carmen Twillie Ambar wrote in an email to the Review. “My understanding is that in the past the College has issued less comprehensive community impact brochures at irregular intervals. The current report was created to replace a brochure put out several years ago. We plan to update the report annually.” The report states that direct spending across five IMPLANgenerated industries — Colleges and Universities, Real Estate, All Other Food and Drinking Places, FullService Restaurants, and Hotels and Motels — accounts for approximately $119.5 million of the total 2019 spending estimate of $143 million. The remaining amount — roughly $24.4 million — consists of indirect spending
The Oberlin r eview Oct. 11, 2019 Volume 148, Number 6 (ISSN 297–256) Published by the students of Oberlin College every Friday during the fall and spring semesters, except holidays and examination periods. Advertising rates: $18 per column inch. Second-class postage paid at Oberlin, Ohio. Entered as second-class matter at the Oberlin, Ohio post office April 2, 1911. POSTMASTER SEND CHANGES TO: Wilder Box 90, Oberlin, Ohio 44074-1081. Office of Publication: Burton Basement, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. Phone: (440) 775-8123
Nathan Carpenter Katherine MacPhail Managing Editor Ananya Gupta News Editors Anisa Curry Vietze Katie Lucey Opinions Editor Jackie Brant This Week Editor Lily Jones Arts Editors Kate Fishman Aly Fogel Sports Editor Jane Agler Cont. Sports Editors Khalid McCalla Zoë Martin del Campo Photo Editors Mallika Pandey Chris Schmucki Senior Staff Writers Carson Dowhan Ella Moxley Imani Badillo
by Oberlin in “industries that work with the institution,” according to the report. In addition to measuring economic impact, the report also highlights the cultural and community service impact Oberlin has on the surrounding community and region. According to the report, Oberlin students contribute 115,000 hours of community service annually. The report also mentions that nearly 500 performances and concerts showcase the work of faculty, students, and visiting performers each year. “Oberlin is a great place to study, work, live, and raise a family,” President Ambar wrote. “The College is deeply engaged in positive ways with the City of Oberlin and Lorain County.” Executive Director of the Oberlin Business Partnership Janet Haar understands why some Oberlin community members may be critical of the report, but overall feels that it provided an important perspective. “I understand, depending on how
Emma Jane Haas Lila Michaels Parker Shatkin Nico Vickers Ads Manager Jabree Hason Web Manager Sheng Kao Production Manager Devyn Malouf Production Staff Gigi Ewing Christo Hays Jimmy Holland Olive Hwang Kushagra Kar Allison Schmitt Ivy Fernandez Smith Jaimie Yue
long you’ve lived in Oberlin and what all you’ve lived through and what your socioeconomic status is, you might have a very different perception of the report itself and of what the College is trying to let us know,” Haar said. “The report is not about [ just] the Oberlin community, the report is about the [City of ] Oberlin [and the] College community. I felt [that the report] did a good job of helping people understand how connected the communities are.” The report also provides statistics regarding employment at the College. In 2018, Oberlin employed over 1,100 individuals on a part-time and full-time basis and created approximately 4,060 jobs in Lorain County. Institutional employees contributed $941,000 in taxes to Lorain County in 2018. The report bears no mention of One Oberlin, the Academic and Administrative Program Review’s final report published in May that outlines the steering committee’s recommendations to resolve the College’s structural budget deficit.
Corrections: Alexia Hudson-Ward was misattributed in, “Lever Press Seeks to Promote Accessible Digital Scholarship” published last week. She is the Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries. To submit a correction, email managingeditor@ oberlinreview.org.
Queers and Allies Club Hosts Bake Sale on Wilder Bowl
Security Notebook Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 8:40 p.m. Campus Safety officers were requested to assist a student who had injured their ankle at Philips gym. The student was transported to Mercy Allen Hospital for treatment.
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 2:20 a.m. Officers discovered two students inside the Heisman Club Field House. The students were identified and warned about being inside College buildings after hours. 4:10 p.m. Officers were called to Stevenson Dining Hall kitchen regarding the theft of a set of cooking knives. The knives were eventually located in a locker. 9:03 p.m. Officers were called to the Conservatory to assist a student who had injured their thumb. The student was transported to Mercy Allen Hospital for treatment.
Friday, Oct. 4, 2019
The Queers and Allies Club of Oberlin High School hosted a bake sale yesterday to raise money for its expanding group. The event brought students from both the local high school and the College together over tasty baked goods, the proceeds of which went toward supporting club initiatives and t-shirts for members. “We got a decent amount of new members this year,” said Oberlin High School student and club vice president Makaila R. “We want people to be able to join the club and get a shirt for little to no cost because we know that not everyone has money to spend on shirts.” Money raised in the event will also go toward an LGBTQ+ prom which typically happens in March or April, among other planned events. As the club continues to expand its membership, members hope to broaden their positive impact on the Oberlin community. “We do community service for the school and for the town,” said Oberlin High School student and club president Erika W. “We do a winter donation bin, and an annual thing where we put sticky notes with positive affirmations on everyone’s lockers, and we participate in the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network annual day of silence.” Through the combined efforts of the student-run Queers and Allies Club and their College mentors, the community is sure to see their positive impact both on and off campus. “This year they’re trying to get more into advocacy work around teaching school culture,” College fourthyear and club mentor Emma Williams said. “It’s a priority and interest of theirs that I’m trying to support.” Text by Klara Jacobs Photo by Chris Schmucki, Photo Editor
New Password Service Okta Promises to Reduce Vulnerability to Cyber Attacks
A student uses a computer in Mary Church Terrell Main Library. A new password service, Okta, will impact the way students log into their Oberlin accounts. Photo by Lucie Weismueller
Arman Luczkow In response to a targeted March 2019 cyber attack on Oberlin’s admissions database, the Center for Information Technology will implement the password sign-on service Okta during fall break. Okta will augment Oberlin’s previous password system, ObieID, on Oct. 22. Okta is considered a leader in login authentication and a well-known solution to data security. Its clients include JetBlue, 21st Century Fox, and Maryville University. Before deciding to use Okta, Oberlin also considered Duo Security, a two-factor authentication service owned by Cisco. “One of the reasons we chose Okta was because it will allow us to automate the process of student account creation, which will make it possible for us to The Oberlin Review | October 11, 2019
give new students their ObieID more quickly than we do now,” Chief Information Technology Officer Ben Hockenhull wrote in an email to the Review. One of Okta’s primary features is that it will allow Oberlin to add further security measures, including multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication requires two or more separate pieces of evidence to access an account. When a password is supplied the first time, the user will need to verify their identity. They can do this with a code sent via text, phone call, or to a secondary non-Oberlin email account. Oberlin is also currently looking into YubiKey, a physical USB security key product that generates a unique passcode with each use. Students were first informed that Oberlin would use Okta in a Friday, Sept. 27 email from CIT. In the email, CIT Communications Manager Jacquelynn Gaines stressed the dangers of the current digital age and referenced the previous cyberattack. In March, databases controlled by the offices of Admissions and the Financial Aid were hacked, exposing student data to an unknown cyber attacker. “We share and consume more data today than at any previous point in history,” Gaines wrote. “As data usage increases, so does the number of people attempting to make a living by stealing that data. Faculty, staff, and students at Oberlin have been victim[s] of phishing scams, data breaches, and compromised passwords, and those threats are constantly increasing.”
1:29 p.m. Officers from Campus Safety and the Oberlin Police Department responded to a noninjury traffic crash on North Professor Street near the Wright Laboratory of Physics. A College-owned vehicle made contact with a vehicle that had stopped on the street outside the building. A police report was filed, and both vehicles were able to drive away from the scene. 5:57 p.m. Campus Safety received a call from a parent reporting they had received an emergency message from their student’s phone. Officers located the student, who advised they were okay and had been having issues with their phone. Those issues caused the emergency message to be sent to the parent.
Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 2:59 a.m. Officers responded to Barrows Hall to check on a possibly intoxicated student. The student was able to return to their room without the need for further medical attention. 11:23 p.m. Officers discovered plywood resting on the “Giant Three-Way Plug” sculpture outside of the Art Building. Officers believed that it may have been used as a ramp for bikes or skateboards. The wood was removed, and the sculpture was checked for damage.
Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 1:11 a.m. Officers responded to a noise complaint at a Union Street Housing Complex. Responding officers discovered an unauthorized party. Attendees inside and outside the house dispersed, and the music was turned off.
Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 4:04 p.m. Officers were requested to transport an ill student to Mercy Allen Hospital for treatment. 9:25 p.m. Officers responded to a complaint of smoking outside of Burton Hall. Officers noticed that the residence hall smelled strongly of smoke and identified four students violating the campus nosmoking policy. While speaking with the students, officers confiscated contraband items. These items were later turned over to the Oberlin Police Department.
Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 9:30 a.m. Officers and members of the Oberlin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm on the second floor of Old Barrows. The cause of the alarm appeared to be steam from the showers. The alarm was reset. 12:36 p.m. Officers were requested to transport an injured student from Mercy Allen Hospital back to their residence hall.
Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 12:35 a.m. Officers discovered individuals on the roof of Severance Hall. The subjects were identified as students. They were warned of the dangers of being on the roof as well as rules against being on the roof of College buildings. The students left the area. 3:15 a.m. Campus Safety received a complaint about a subject who had entered someone’s room at East Hall who did not belong there. Responding officers found the person in the complainant’s bed. This person was later identified as a student who also resided in East Hall but had gone into the wrong room. This student was assisted back to the proper room.
See CIT, page 4
Ne New wss OFF THE CUFF
Gio Donovan, College Third-Year and OSCA President on [other] visits I had been [on] so far with colleges … I was missing the sense of strong community that I found when I was staying [at Oberlin].
Gio Donovan Photo courtesy of Gio Donovan
College third-year Gio Donovan is the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association president. In addition to leading OSCA, Donovan works at the ’Sco and is majoring in Africana Studies. As president, Donovan is responsible for maintaining the relationship between OSCA and the College, as well as managing negotiations between the association and the administration. Among other accomplishments, They have read Where the Wild Things Are more than a thousand times. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Nathan Carpenter Editor-in-Chief So you just became OSCA president this year. When did you first get involved in OSCA? This story actually starts three or four years ago, during [the] spring of my junior year of high school. I came to tour Oberlin, and I stayed with two friends that were in the class of 2018 and were my old camp counselors. They lived in Tank [Hall]. We went to a show in the basement of Harkness. I ended up becoming friends with the people that were in that band after I came here as a student. But we went to a show in the basement of Harkness, and then we had meals in Tank all weekend. I stayed in one of the turret rooms. It was a great experience, and I started to realize
Can you talk about what you love about this organization and what you want for its future? My “Why Oberlin” supplement [essay] is almost entirely about why OSCA was the reason I wanted to come to Oberlin. I knew once I got into Oberlin, I had to be in OSCA. I started out living and dining in Harkness. [At] the end of my [first] year, I moved to [Third World co-op], and my [second] year I became the sexual harm information liaison. The appointments process started at the end of the spring of my [first] year. I was like, “Oh, I’m very passionate about [this work] personally, and I can do it and get paid, which is really cool. But I can also give back to this community — that is entirely why I’m here.” Being the sexual harm information liaison and working on a lot of Title IX stuff is part of why I really wanted to be president, because I started to dig into policy and OSCA. [I went to] all these allstaff meetings and got an idea of what it actually takes to run OSCA. So in the fall of last year, I ran for president, and I was elected. I spent a lot of the spring in meetings with my predecessors — the officers — and the other incoming officers preparing for the [Academic and Administrative Program Review] stuff to be released. I would join them for their rent contract negotiations [with the College]. I think I saw then a lot of what next year would be like for me. … In general, a president of an organization should be thinking about the long term and not just a short, one-year term. I guess for all-OSCA, it’s different because we have one-year terms … Hopefully we can get stuff from the past 50 years of OSCA and think about [the future of ] OSCA. The goal of my presidency is to identify ways that OSCA can be in a place where it’s financially
thriving and ideally self-sustainable and independent from the College. That’s what our goal is in these long-term conversations. Also, my own personal goal is [to] make sure every staff person feels very supported. I have checkins every month or so with every single allOSCA staffer. If I could, I probably would [meet with every person in OSCA], but I don’t think everyone wants to sit down and talk to me about how they’re doing. What’s a typical day in the life of the OSCA president? I will not do anything — I will wake up at 5 a.m. if I need to do stuff at 6 a.m. — until I have my hour of peace, because I always start my day off with making my coffee and sitting in my room and reading a little bit. If I don’t do that, I already know the rest of my day is going to suck. I need to have a chill start because I know I tend to have very hectic days, so I carve out that little bit of peace for me, which is very nice. There’s a lot of dancing in my room with my headphones on at that time, too. And then usually if I’m not going right to class, I go to the OSCA office. If I don’t have class that day — like Monday, Wednesday, Friday — I tend to go to the office around 10 or 11 a.m. I have a lot of regularly-scheduled meetings that continue throughout the week. Our general management team meetings and personnel committee and [other meetings] are set every week. Sometimes I’ll go to the office and I’ll be like, “This is my plan for the day, this is what I’m going to tackle.” And sometimes things will just come up, whether it’s someone from a co-op is coming into the office and they’re like, “Oh, Gio, I’m going to talk to you about this.” It’s hard to think about my day to day as president because it’s never consistent. How does your job as OSCA president compare to your job at the ’Sco? Those are two wildly different jobs. I’ve been working in the ’Sco for [around] two weeks now. I love working at the ’Sco.
I also love working as OSCA president. I love both of these things so much. I don’t say they compare; I think they’re equally as good, if I’m being honest, and probably [equally] fulfilling. I think OSCA is fulfilling in the sense of all the hard work I do for this community I really care about, and I’m also getting all this great work experience and having a good time. I think working at the ’Sco is just really fun. For example, at Splitchers on [Wednesday] I was working, and all of us were just singing and dancing behind the bar and would just run out and go dance, too. Or when I was sitting there and giving out wristbands, I kept singing along to “Hey Ya” while sitting with Shirley [Sikora], also known as Mama ’Sco. It’s just a very, interestingly enough, wholesome work environment. Outside of the day-to-day, what does it mean to you to run a co-op? I was food safety coordinator my [firstyear] fall in Harkness. It was not really fun to do commandos and deep-clean an industrial kitchen. I’m not going to say that it was a glamorous, fun experience. Or being a SHIL — it wasn’t a glamorous and fun experience to be on call 24-7 and be a support person. It was great, but it wasn’t like, “Oh my God, this is so fun.” All the positions I’ve had within OSCA so far, but also just being in co-ops, I think — and this is going to sound really weird — but OSCA has taught me to be nice. I feel like I’ve created such intimate connections with people. You’re literally taking care of and helping sustain each other, and you spend so much time [together in] close quarters. It made me appreciate the people I was around so much more. … Even people who I’m not really close to, I have so much deep love for them because I’m like, “Oh, I don’t know you as a person that well, but I know Tuesday dinner, when this person’s head cooking, it’s going to be the best meal of my life and I’m going to leave feeling so cared for.” And that’s what’s great.
CIT to Launch New Security System Okta Hourly Wage System Spurs world where data is currency, and everyone’s ExCo Downsizing personal information is continually at risk,” Continued from page 3
At the moment, the College is engaged in a testing process prior to implementing Okta. It is a relatively self-sufficient system and is running without the need for additional staff members or constant maintenance. Seven months have passed between the cyberattack and the announcement of Okta’s implementation. “Okta was supposed to be implemented last semester, as far as I know,” said CIT help desk consultant and College third-year Michael Liu. “I was told there was some bug in it, but they were working on it over the summer.” Despite the new security measures, CIT recommends that students also take online security into their own hands. “The reality in 2019 is that we live in a
Hockenhull wrote. “It is necessary that each person develop their own personal cyber security practices, even as CIT continues to focus on institutional cybersecurity.” These practices include never using the same password twice and creating passwords — or passphrases — that are harder to crack. “The longer your password is, tahe longer it takes a computer to randomly guess it, letter by letter,” CIT Computer Systems Administrator Chris Mohler said. “So if you had a passphrase, instead of a password, it would be much better.” Although future cyber attacks still pose a risk to educational institutions like Oberlin, the Okta password service will be updated and improved periodically to avoid such breaches.
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vibrant educational work of ExCo, and the Dean’s Office financially supports ExCo’s personnel costs,” Hamilton wrote in an email to the Review. “My understanding is that other expenditures are supported by SFC, but I defer to SFC to describe its funding decisions.” The decision to limit the number of ExCos also lowers the number of ExCo instructors from 115 to approximately 75. This will decrease the number of instructor assignments ExCo committee members need to grade and therefore limit the hours that committee members work. Instructor assignments — such as auditing an ExCo class and writing a short paper — are necessary to keep ExCo as an accredited department. The ExCo committee has yet not finalized a process for reducing future ExCo offerings, though adherence to the application submission deadline will likely carry more weight in the application process than it has in the past. Additionally, returning ExCos will no longer be grandfathered in — all ExCos will undergo the same application process each semester. Representatives for SFC did not return requests for comment.
Ohio Legislative Update Sherrod Brown After a recent report revealed that almost two million Ohio residents could lose their health care coverage because of preexisting conditions, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released a statement against the Trump administration’s lawsuit that promoted the healthcare coverage loss. “This is the latest Trump-administration betrayal of hardworking Ohioans,” Brown said. “President Trump and his administration are pushing a case before the courts that would not only increase costs but also lead our country
back to a time when a person with cancer could be denied health coverage altogether or face premiums so high they had to choose between treatments and paying for groceries. We will not stand for this. Together, we will fight back.” Senate Bill 26 Passed The Ohio House of Representatives has passed Senate Bill 26, which would reduce taxes for teachers, lawyers, and menstrual products. The bill passed unanimously in the Ohio House and now must go back to the Senate to be passed for concurrence.
Currently, sales taxes on pads and tampons cost people who menstruate about $4 million a year. State Representative Brigid Kelly (D-OH) hopes that SB26 will reduce inequality for Ohio residents. “Through the exemption on feminine hygiene and period products, we are giving women and girls in our state more access to products that can help them go to school, go to work, to fully participate in their community,” Kelly said to Cleveland.com reporters. “And that means they’ll be able to lead more healthful, better, more productive lives.”
opinions October 11, 2019
Campus Cornerstones: The History Buried in Our Walls
Volume 148, Number 6
Editorial Board Editors-in-ChiEf
Nathan Carpenter Editor-in-Chief
Editor’s note: This column is part of a series that will focus on Oberlin’s history as a town and an institution. The series will be published regularly throughout the fall semester.
In January 1886, just over two decades after it was built, Oberlin’s second Ladies’ Hall burned down. After the smoke of Oberlin’s first major fire cleared, the building’s cornerstone was opened, revealing a collection of documents placed inside when it was originally laid in 1861. It was common practice in early Oberlin to fill cornerstones with mementos of the time, not to be viewed again until the building they supported came down. Among the second Ladies’ Hall collection was the town’s charter; Oberlin College 1861 rules and regulations, including specific guidelines for the Ladies’ Department; informational documents submitted by local churches, including the still-standing First Church in Oberlin; and copies of various newspapers, including The Students’ Monthly (the Review did not begin publishing until 1874). All told, the documents revealed a lot about the character of Oberlin in 1861 — a town firmly invested in the abolitionist cause, that watched the events of the recently-begun Civil War with great interest and anxiety. It was the first cornerstone laid in Oberlin with a time capsule concealed inside, and thus its contents held great interest for the community at large — many of whom were alive when the Ladies’ Hall was built. “These unburied documents bring back a vivid picture of the troublous times when those foundations were laid,” Professor of Philosophy J.M. Ellis said to an assembled crowd, according to the Oct. 29, 1886 issue of the Oberlin Weekly News. The event at which Ellis discussed the contents of the cornerstone not only commemorated the Ladies’ Hall — it also celebrated a new cornerstone being laid for the building’s replacement. The new dorm was Talcott Hall. Built of stone instead of brick at the request of its largest benefactor, a New York businessman named James Talcott, the new dorm represented Oberlin’s progress in many ways. The original Obies — who faced the near failure of their community and utopian vision due to financial woes — could not have imagined the construction of such a sturdy building, a testament to the stability and permanence Oberlin intended to project into the approaching 20th century and beyond. “When will [the stone] be opened and read? Let us hope not till we all and our children and our children’s children for many generations have passed away,” Ellis said at the same ceremony, speaking to the hope and optimism built into Talcott’s foundations. Ellis and other College administrators and leaders, as well as the gathered students and community members, must have also wondered how they would be understood when the contents of Talcott’s cornerstone are finally opened. Indeed, according to press coverage at the time, the cornerstone contains a wealth of information about Oberlin in 1886. Even as Ellis envisioned a strong and stable Oberlin, this was, in retrospect, a community struggling to find its identity in a post-Civil War world, when so much of its early energy had been focused on the since-resolved question of abolition. To the best of my knowledge, Talcott’s front porch still contains all of these documents — which include lists of course offerings; copies of several newspapers, including the now-publishing Review; a photograph of Oberlin President James Fairchild; copies of addresses made at the celebratory events; and others — within the stone engraved “Laid October 21, 1886” (with the tasteful addition of “I got” scratched in above). Whether or not these documents have survived the elements over the more than 130 years since they were sealed off is another question. Perhaps not even Ellis and others who hoped for the dorm’s longevity imagined that Talcott would still be standing, let alone a functional living space, in 2019. If the documents remain intact, Talcott’s cornerstone probably has quite a bit to say about the state of Oberlin and the broader United States in 1886, just as See Talcott, page 6 SUBMISSIONS POLICY
The Oberlin Review appreciates and welcomes letters to the editors and op-ed submissions. All submissions are printed at the discretion of the Editorial Board. All submissions must be received by Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at email@example.com or Wilder Box 90 for inclusion in that week’s issue. Letters may not exceed 600 words and op-eds may not exceed 800 words, except with consent of the Editorial Board. All submissions must include contact information, with full names and any relevant titles, for all signers. All writers must individually confirm authorship on electronic submissions. The Review reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity, length, grammar, accuracy, strength of argument and in consultation with Review style. Editors will work with contributors to edit pieces and will clear major edits with the authors prior to publication. Editors will contact authors of letters to the editors in the event of edits for anything other than style and grammar. Headlines are printed at the discretion of the Editorial Board. Opinions expressed in editorials, letters, op-eds, columns, cartoons or other Opinions pieces do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of the Review. The Review will not print advertisements on its Opinions pages. The Review defines an advertisement as any submission that has the main intent of bringing direct monetary gain to a contributor. The Oberlin Review | October 11, 2019
In Hard Times, Moments of Celebration Must Be Tasteful Watching the fireworks go off over the athletic fields Saturday night was a bit like listening to the band play aboard the sinking Titanic. The extravagant display marked the end of Homecoming Weekend, but also seemed to signify a larger dissonance for an institution currently grappling with existential questions about financial stability, how to treat community members with fairness and respect, and more. The reality is that, in many ways, this is a difficult time for Oberlin. The College is staring down a $25 million dollar judgment resulting from a lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Bakery against the College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. Further, a structural budget deficit has already resulted in some hourly employees being let go, with more layoffs likely on the horizon. Against this backdrop, the decision to set off celebratory fireworks — the first time Homecoming has featured such a display in recent memory — comes across as tone-deaf, at best. While the cost of the fireworks wouldn’t directly address any other concerns on campus, including employee compensation, their extravagant nature starkly contrasted with the difficult realities of our present moment. In a similar vein, the recently-released “Our Community: 2019 Oberlin College Community Impact Report” is 24 pages of self-congratulatory rhetoric about the College’s positive impact in the surrounding area, and the economic elevation that it provides to local residents and businesses. The timing of its publication with the announcement of the College’s appeal in the Gibson’s case is likely coincidental, as both processes have unfolded over a matter of months, but is nonetheless noteworthy. By the end of the report, readers are not left totally clear why it was published at all, save to provide more fuel for the argument — in court and in the media — that the College does far more good than bad as a community partner. While this statement is certainly true in our eyes, the manner in which the report calls attention to its impact is not tasteful. The report also doesn’t engage with any critiques of Oberlin College and its students — many of which can be contextualized or refuted, yet are nonetheless deserving of attention. A community impact report that disregards such issues feels unbalanced and incomplete. Disguising complex, difficult moments behind a shiny facade won’t make our collective challenges any less real. It’s true that hardship does not — and, indeed, should not — define this moment in Oberlin’s history. Hard times are perhaps the most opportune moments to seek community, mutual understanding, and even moments of celebration. However, those moments must be genuine and grounded in what actually connects us, rather than in the need to prove our worth and value to those around us. The President’s Welcome Carnival is an excellent example of how community-building can be inclusive and engaging. The event highlighted partnerships with local vendors, gave students and community members space to relax, and didn’t attempt to make itself more than it was. There’s a line to be walked between finding ways to band together through challenging moments and ostentatious displays of institutional celebration. None of us have been here before, and we’re not proposing a hard-and-fast rule for what falls on each side of the line. The Homecoming fireworks and recent community impact report fell too far on the side of being boastful, but plenty of other events — the carnival and many student-led efforts — represent opportunities to build and maintain a sense of community without losing a sense of gravity around our current moment. This moment is truly a difficult one for many people in our community. To their credit, administrators have not shied away from acknowledging this reality, both in the One Oberlin report published in March and elsewhere. These challenges don’t need to constantly weigh us down, but we must remember that, for every community member who can enjoy carefree fireworks, there is another one for whom this campus is a much less comfortable space. We must hold all of these people close moving forward. Editorials are the responsibility of the Review Editorial Board — the Editors-in-Chief, Managing Editor, and Opinions Editor — and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the Review.
Opi n ions
LGBTQ+ Solidarity More Important Now Than Ever Jackie Brant Opinions Editor The Supreme Court is in the process of hearing three different cases from New York, Georgia, and Michigan that will decide the future of LGBTQ+ rights in the workplace. Two of the three cases have been combined because both plaintiffs were fired immediately after coming out as gay in their workplace; the third case involves a transgender woman who was fired immediately after coming out to her superiors and informing them that she would be transitioning in the future. Despite the differences in the cases, all three claim that being fired on the basis of sexuality or gender identity violates the rights guaranteed to the plaintiffs by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex. The main counterargument against this claim is that the original drafters of the act and the people who voted to pass it did not intend “sex” to include sexuality or gender identity. As it currently stands, only 21 states have state-level workplace discrimination protections in place for members of the LGBTQ+ community. In over half of the states that do not have such protections in place, workers are allowed to marry their same-sex partners, but can also be fired on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity. The outcome of these Supreme Court cases will be massively consequential. They will decide whether or not LGBTQ+ people can exist in a workplace environment, have equal access to job opportunities, and, ultimately, whether or not they can even make a living at all. This is especially important when considering how
LGBTQ+ people — youths in particular — face homelessness and poverty at disproportionately high rates. Forty percent of homeless youths identify as LGBTQ+ and 30 percent of clients that occupy housing programs identify as LGBTQ+. One in four LGBTQ+ individuals — 2.2 million people — report that they do not have enough food to feed their families. Furthermore, LGBTQ+ folks of color face even higher rates of discrimination and poverty; for example, the average Black trans woman makes under $10,000 a year. If the Supreme Court rules against the plaintiffs in its upcoming decisions, it is likely that these statistics will get even worse. For cases with such high stakes, they have drawn surprisingly little attention on this campus and at large. Since Obergefell v.Hodges in 2015, which guaranteed the right to samesex marriage, it seems that there has been a tendency to place LGBTQ+ issues on the back burner. For years preceding Obergefell, gay marriage was the issue that gained the most press attention nation-wide. After the fight for legal gay marriage finally ended, it seems that LGBTQ+ activism has lost a lot of the attention, traction, and allyship that it developed over the years. I have literally heard people make statements like, “LGBTQ+ people can marry now — they’re equal, what else could they possibly want now?” The reality is that the Trump administration has been actively involved in both the cases being heard this week, especially considering that several of the administration’s top lawyers have been assigned to defend the employers in these cases. The administration’s active participation in these cases is no coincidence, con-
Talcott’s Time Capsule Records Mood in 1886 Continued from page 5
the second Ladies’ Hall’s cornerstone revealed much about the spirit of a community and nation in the early days of a vicious and bloody civil war. It would likely also reveal small, otherwise-forgotten details about individual lives and places — many of which likely felt urgent in the moment, but have faded over time and space. Perhaps these details didn’t shape the direction of a community, an institution, or a country — but the fact that some people, at some point, cared about them matters to our collective history. There’s a lot to be gained from focusing on major historical events and identifying turning points and significant trends. However, I think there’s also great value in pausing to look at individual moments, however mundane they may seem, and listening to what people were saying about their daily lives. What are the tidbits, the vignettes, the snapshots preserved in Talcott’s cornerstone? What is waiting to be revealed in Oberlin’s other cornerstones, laid to herald the construction of other campus buildings? What would
we choose to store if we were to create another cornerstone today, not to be opened for another century? The care taken in curating materials to store in Talcott’s cornerstone speaks through time in a profound way. Oberlin’s leaders in 1886 wanted to be known by people from the future — wanted their hopes, dreams, disappointments, and more mundane thoughts to be recorded, preserved, and ultimately read. There’s vulnerability in such a commitment, but also deep care and accountability, as well as a sense that history will want to remember Oberlin. Presuming that someday in the future some people will open Talcott’s time capsule, and that those people from the future will understand the perspectives stored within, requires a great deal of faith. Oberlin is again in a moment of fraught balance between campus optimism and pessimism caused by a challenging national climate. The world today is entirely different from when Talcott was built, but perhaps we could still learn from the vulnerability, accountability, and trust built into its walls.
sidering the fact that Trump himself chose an outspoken anti-LGBTQ+ vice president. Mike Pence has openly advocated for conversion therapy, voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007, and voted against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal in 2010. These cases are just the most recent example in a long line of blatant attempts to actively discriminate against the community. Transphobic rhetoric and arguments that have been used in both the Supreme Court hearings and in national debate about the topic in general are proof of this continuous discrimination. Different arguments against trans rights were brought up during arguments, despite having nothing at all to do with the matter at hand. The most prominent example of this was the continuous questions about bathroom policies. For the past several years, there has been heated national debates about whether or not trans people should be able to use their preferred bathroom. Trans people argue that it is their right to use the bathroom with which they identify, while those who disagree this policy argue that this violates the rights of cisgender people who oppose this policy. Throughout the case, the legal team for the trans woman involved in the case continued to receive numerous questions about bathroom policies from Justices, despite the team reminding Justices that the case was strictly about whether or not someone can be fired for being trans. It is no surprise that the Justices who continued to return to this question were conservative-leaning. The Justices’ focus on bathroom policies played into deeply transphobic rhetoric, and revealed where
their true concerns lie. Justice Neil Gorsuch put it best: He and the other Justices are concerned with the “massive social upheaval” that could result from making a decision in favor of the plaintiffs in these cases. It is cruel irony that the fate of LGBTQ+ rights in the workplace now rests in the hands of Trump-appointed Justices — particularly Gorsuch, who as of now seems to be leaning in favor of the plaintiffs. This is a shocking and somewhat promising development, given that Gorsuch is a Trump appointee. The most interesting part of this Supreme Court case is how the viewpoints of the different sects of Justices have turned. Typically, the left-leaning Justices tend to be contextualists — meaning that the text of the Constitution can change with the times, and is therefore up for loose interpretation — while right-leaning Justices tend to be originalists — meaning that they interpret the Constitution as it was literally written. If the Supreme Court decides against either — or both — of the plaintiffs in these cases, the entire LGBTQ+ community will be affected. A loss for one part of the community is a loss for the entire community, and the outcome of these cases will have effects that last for decades. Keeping in mind the particularly concerning rhetoric in the case about gender identity, it is especially important that everyone stand in solidarity with trans people. These are difficult times for the LGBTQ+ community. Their rights are on the line for decades to come, and the validity of their identities are being debated on a public stage. Thus, Solidarity within the LGBTQ+ community and from allies outside the community is more important now than ever.
Senate Progress On Transparency Sets Example For Administration David Mathisson Columnist This semester, Senate has made transparency a priority in order to bring together our community and foster cooperation between students and the administration. Senate is working to release more information to students this year than at any time in the recent past, improving the student body’s access to policies that work for us all. I’m optimistic about Senate’s work this semester, and believe that Senate’s work will set an example on transparency for the administration to follow. With that in mind, the severity of Oberlin’s transparency crisis means it must remain in the public dialogue until transparency and access become cultural norms of our community. In my recent campaign for Senate, I engaged hundreds of students. About a third had no idea that Senate exists, and the vast majority of the people I spoke to either didn’t know what Senate does or had come to the conclusion that Senate does nothing. Despite students voicing a breadth of grievances about the administration, and Senate being a point of access for students to improve College policy, it appears that many students are politically disengaged from the workings of the College. Many don’t know that policy could fix the problems of our community, let alone who can make said policies, the obstacles to implementing them, and where students can go to begin the policy
process. This disengagement is the result of the administration’s lack of transparency, and it has serious consequences. Keeping information vital to the student experience out of the hands of the student body is a threat to the social fabric of our community. The average first-year student, fresh out of high school, knows next to nothing about the realities of student life at Oberlin. Showered with platitudes like, “Winter Term can be anything” and “Students will return to campus in Fall 2018 to find numerous improvements in campus dining,” it’s hard for a student who’s just arrived to find the truth about the challenges that shape Oberlin. Seeking advice from the administration can often yield similar nonanswers, carefully crafted to escape culpability. The administration often leaves student concerns unaddressed, which often leads to student frustrations. So what can students do to create policy-based solutions to our problems? First off, students can serve on approximately 40 different committees that draft policy. The problem is that until this year, these committees have been rarely advertised, to the point where most students don’t know they exist. Information about what these committees can do and who serves on them is similarly covert. Nothing about these committees should be top secret. Indeed, education See It’s Time, page 7
COMIC Athina Apazidis
Arctic Melt and Sea Level Rise: Wake-Up For Gen Z Ananya Gupta Managing Editor
It’s Time to Focus On Transparency Continued from page 6
on the nature of Oberlin’s bureaucratic structure would help bridge the divide between students and administrators. But such an education has not formally taken place in the time that I’ve been a student here. Students who don’t know these committees exist have relatively few options to enact change on their own. They can seek a meeting with an administrator, but this can be ineffective. Students are often told administrators don’t have time for them, and when administrators do, policy suggestions are rarely considered because of the bureaucratic red tape that is a prominent element of higher education. The system is fundamentally flawed in a way that deprives students of transparency and access. Senate is supposed to be a solution to these problems. In theory, Senate serves as the bridge between the student body and the administration, giving individual students the ability to change policies for the better. Indeed, Senate does offer students access that the administration does not. Still, the small number of students who take advantage of what Senate can offer demonstrates a need for improvement. Currently, students don’t have nearly enough access to policy information, especially in the areas of student life, where it is most needed. Students also lack access to information about the administration’s bureaucratic structure, or information about Senate and its bureaucratic structure. The Senate By-Laws, commonly mentioned in minutes and Senate communications, are accessible only on the Senate website, committee information is not public, and Senate has historically distributed little information as to how it influences policy. The Senate website looks older than residents of Oberlin’s retirement home, Kendal at Oberlin. This semester, Senate is working hard to resolve our twin crises of access and transparency by making more information publicly available. I’d like to commend College fourth-years Joshua Rhodes and Cait Kelley, two of my fellow Senators, who share my commitment to transparency. Josh, our communications director in Senate, recently compiled information about what Senate is and what we do — information that was then emailed to the student body. He has contributed a substantial amount of his time and effort towards ensuring that the public has greater access to relevant information. He’s also working on brushing the cobwebs off our website. Cait is working on the How Oberlin Works website, which, among other things, will provide essential information about the bureaucratic structure and policy processes of our community. We’re also working on other improvements, like increasing student engagement, and information about the existence of committees will soon be released. I’m proud to work with people like Josh and Cait on these initiatives. Even if transparency isn’t the flashiest issue on campus, it’s an essential element of policy. More importantly, if we can sustain our push for transparency, it will encourage other groups in the administration, such as the Office of Residential Education, Campus Dining Services, and the various groups implementing budget cuts outlined in the Academic and Administrative Program Review to do the same. Senate has an obligation to continue improving transparency. It has great potential to improve our community — and it’s also just the right thing to do. The Oberlin Review | October 11, 2019
Scientists around the world are finally coming to the realization that the Jonas Brothers were right in 2006 when they sang, “I’ve been to the year 3000. Not much has changed but they lived underwater.” The consensus among several reputable international institutions — the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — is that sea-levels are rising at an alarming rate, and may eventually result in the partial submersion of continents as we know them today. Several coastal and island cities — both within the U.S. and around the world — are already sinking due to rapidly-melting ice and the consequent rise in sea level. One wonders, then, why the U.S. administration continues to remain silent regarding the Paris Agreement and the Green New Deal when the country’s coastal and island regions are already experiencing the effects of rising sea levels. For example, flash floods in coastal parts of Texas and Louisiana have become increasingly frequent, in addition to cities in New Jersey and South Carolina joining the list of areas at risk for being underwater in the near future. Why would a country as “liberal” as Canada — with a large number of global climate strikers — be set to add a 25 percent investment in new crude oil supply in tandem with Brazil? Or why does the European Union have a growing demand for wood pellets — a “renewable” source of energy that engages in mass deforestation from top providers U.S., Canada, and Russia — when various European cities face tangible and urgent flood risks? While these countries face immediate risk and potential disaster as a result of climate change, they also are afforded opportunities created by melting polar caps, particularly access to unprecedented trade routes. Trips from Asian to Western countries have reported travel times reduced by 10 to 15 days, or 13,000 miles, saving billions of dollars in travel costs and icebreaking equipment previously required to attempt this new route, often referred to as the Russian Arctic route. Not only is this region a game changer for trade, but it is also home to untapped vistas of fuel, minerals, and other non-renewable natural resources that have the world’s major players salivating. Concerningly, these nations seem to be ignoring — if not accepting — formidable environmental consequences, including damage to marine life, coastline deterioration,
and rising sea levels. Furthermore, several national media outlets have mentioned that the Russian Arctic route runs the risk of conflict similar to that of the South China Sea — yet another economically strategic water body historically rife with overexploitation and intergovernmental discord. Even more terrifying is that the Russian Arctic route is just the start. Global leaders have demonstrated interest in Greenland, another ice-covered haven of untapped resources. The Trump administration, in particular, has demonstrated a peculiar interest in purchasing the island. These reports are a clear indication that world leaders are more interested in economic benefit regardless of the repercussions, and are encouraging Arctic melt, rather than preventing it. Despite the knowledge that their own citizens already are or eventually will suffer from sea-level rise and other equally serious consequences, our leaders seem to be approving the suffering of millions of people as collateral damage for their countries to be deemed economic superpowers. However, this article isn’t intended to turn Oberlin’s environmentalists and other concerned folks into dejected cynics. This is a global call out to my generation. While we have admirably spent a significant amount of time and effort using our votes and our voices to protect our environment and, by extension, ourselves, it is also now time to use our education and our dollars. It is time to join and create research teams, reject false solutions, and put our money where our mouth is. As you read this, researchers around the world are already looking to find solutions ranging from environmental engineering to sociopolitical solutions fit for this enormous, interdisciplinary issue. Initiatives such as the International Maritime Organization’s consideration to place similar protections on Arctic ice as exist for Antarctic ice require Obies and others like us to make sure such work is done with adequate community involvement. My generation, particularly those with the privilege of receiving a liberal arts education, have a unique understanding of complex, intertwined issues and have the wherewithal to tackle them simultaneously. We must join global efforts to create knowledge and implement creative solutions to our environmental problems — thus creating a green economy built on fixing and sustaining what is left — rather than support self-serving companies and governments that have brought us to this state of emergency. Our minds, and the way we use our money, are the next steps to dismantling such power-hungry institutions.
Ananya Gupta, Managing Editor
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The Great Lakes Anthology (published 1964–1965)
Learnin Labor ( 1995–19
A literary magazine featuring writing from the Colleges of the Great Lakes, including Albion College, Antioch College, Denison University, Depauw University, Earlham College, Hope College, Kalamazoo College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, and The College of Wooster.
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Macondo (published 1991– 1994) A creative journal published by La Unión de Estudiantes Latinos en Oberlin College. The publication sought to provide a space for Latinx voices and art.
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While walking through campus, publications strewn about in d under tables in Slow Train Caf engaged with at least one acti The Grape, Plum Creek Review, and As I Am as Oberlin’s curre years, dozens of collections o Some lasted less than a year, more than a century. Featured publications now out of print, copies of these publications a College Archives.
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you’ve likely seen a number of student dorm lounges, on every surface in Wilder Hall, and fe. If you’re reading this spread right now, you’ve ive Oberlin student publication — the Review joins The Two Groves Review, Wilder Voice, The Synapse, ent student-run publications. However, over the of student writing have circulated around Oberlin. while others, like the Review, have lasted for this week is a small selection of past student , from the 1920s to the early 2000s. The print and many others may be accessed through the Oberlin
n College Archives.
Weekly Events Calendar Friday, Oct. 11
OSLAM Poetry Night Enjoy a night of poetry, featuring OSLAM poet performances and a poetry open mic. 8 p.m. // The Cat in the Cream
Saturday, Oct. 12 UndocuWeek 2019: 5K Dream Run Walk or run through Oberlin in solidarity with undocumented friends, families, and colleagues. Donations will be accepted for the Undocumented Student Scholarship Fund. 10 a.m. // Memorial Arch in Tappan
Monday, Oct. 14 Research Month: Challenges and Opportunities for Students Underrepresented in Research Students from demographics or communities that are often underrepresented in undergraduate research can attend this session to share challenges that they have faced during their academic careers, and learn about research opportunities and support. 12–1:15 p.m. // Afrikan Heritage House (LordSaunders) Lounge
Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration Join the Indigenous Peoples’ Day Committee of Oberlin for a series of events celebrating and recognizing Indigenous people. Vigil of Celebration and Recognition 12–1 p.m. // The corner of College and Lorain Streets Events from 3:30–8 p.m. // Tappan Square
A r t s & C u lt u r e
ARTS & CULTURE October 11, 2019
Volume 148, Number 6
Nuanced Adaptation of All This Intimacy Opens in Kander Kabir Karamchandani Staff Writer A poet who commits a string of infidelities, conceiving three children with three different women in the process, is certainly an interesting set-up for a student performance. Oberlin’s production of Rajiv Joseph’s play, All This Intimacy follows protagonist Ty Greene through the above events with a re-imagined tone. Brought to life by fantastic performances under the direction of College fourth-year Abigail Bowman, the play is a fundamentally human drama, full of genuine and flawed characters. All This Intimacy is a notably atypical show for Oberlin. With content warnings ranging from misogyny to pedophilia, it is undeniable that certain aspects of the original text of All This Intimacy read sexist. While aspects of this sexism are still visible in the current iteration of the show, a series of subtle changes effectively shift the show’s overall tone. “Abigail, the director, is putting a feminist twist on a show that isn’t necessarily [feminist] ... she’s trying to do that without changing the lines, and so the content is still potentially demeaning,” said College third-year and stage manager Jenna Hoover. Although maintaining the original play’s dialogue while changing the nature of the show is a tall order, the student performance of All This Intimacy does so admirably, empowering the women in the show where the original
script was lacking. While billed as a comedic drama, and often performed as a comedy, Bowman’s take on All This Intimacy is certainly more drama than comedy. Bowman gives the women of the show gravity, rather than using them as a punchline. Many moments that might have played for cheap laughs in other productions are instead filled with tension. The anxiety that the characters feel is highlighted rather than dismissed. “We didn’t change anything in the script, but I really wanted to not make it seem like we were promoting the behaviors of Ty,” Bowman said. While the original play portrays Ty as a positive protagonist without holding him accountable for his actions, this version of the play certainly turns things around. “We tried to make a more distinct divide between good and bad,” Bowman said. “I don’t want to say Ty is a villain, I just want to say he lacks the self-awareness required to be a good person in today’s society.” This more nuanced depiction of the central character highlights the play’s biggest strength: portrayal of a fundamentally human, albeit absurd, situation with real, flawed characters. In its essence, the show is ultimately an examination of what it means to be a bad person. While Ty had little ill intent, the impact of his actions is devastating to the lives of those around him. “The real damage is done in how he handles the aftermath,” said third-year
College fourth-year Lily Battino and College third-year James Dryden perform in All This Intimacy. Photo by Chris Schmucki, Photo Editor
James Dryden, who plays Ty. “Because he seems to think that because he’s not a bad person, he can’t have done a bad thing. But on the [other] hand, I think it’s important that he’s human, and did make mistakes, but he’s not a bad person, I don’t think he is.” All This Intimacy articulates a message that is sorely needed in today’s political and social context. Rather than preaching forgiveness, All This Intimacy requests understanding, asking the audience to consider that decisions are often complicated and that
mistakes are inevitable from flawed people. Ultimately, All This Intimacy is neither about light-hearted laughs, nor is it easy and fun to watch. It will likely leave you uncomfortable and disconcerted. However, I would strongly recommend this drama as its wonderful performances demonstrate how we are all, at the end of the day, human. All This Intimacy runs from Friday, Oct. 11 to Sunday, Oct. 13 in Kander Theatre. Tickets are $5.
Rocky Horror Brings Weirdness to Campus for Tenth Year Devyn Malouf Production Manager One of my fondest memories from high school is dressing up in a faux-fur black vest and fishnet stockings, smearing black eyeliner and red lipstick on my face, and going to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show with my friends on the night of our graduation. While the night was bittersweet, I was fortunate to have Oberlin ahead of me, where going all-out for Rocky Horror is a time-honored tradition for a student body that’s not afraid to get weird. Rocky Horror made its big-screen debut in Los Angeles in 1975. Shortly thereafter, the show moved to Waverly Theater in Greenwich Village, NY, where the tradition of midnight picture shows was born. In the four decades since, Rocky Horror has become an American cult classic symbolizing the antithesis of all things mainstream and satirizing homophobic attitudes. The “picture show” element originated from a group of regulars at the Waverly Theater show in the ’70s who would ad-lib lines, boo their least-favorite characters, and sing along to the songs. From there, a shadow cast began organizing performances during the movie that involved dressing up, using props, shouting absurdities at the screen, and acting out scenes and dance numbers. These shadow casts began popping up at theaters throughout the country, eventually making their way to Oberlin. The Apollo Theatre has been hosting Simply His Servants, a Cleveland-based Rocky Horror performance troupe, twice a year since 2009. This means that Obies have eight opportunities to see the show during their time at Oberlin. Despite the turnover in the student body, Simply His Servants Co-Founder and Cast Director Kev Boycik said that Oberlin students have consistently brought remarkable excitement and energy to all their shows over the past decade. “Because of the fact that we only do it twice a year as opposed to a regular show — and the majority of the patrons are the College students — there’s always a lot
more pent up energy and release,” Boycik said. “[Oberlin students are] very, very energetic, and [they] really just [want] to have a really good time. … Sometimes you feel like people [here] party twice as hard because you only get that release twice a year.” It is typical in Rocky Horror circles across the country to go once every week. The fact that the cast gets to perform to an audience without many regulars means the enthusiasm is always fresh, which is part of what draws the company back year after year. Sammie Westelman, OC ’19, boasted that she went to the seven of the shows that she was on campus for — and deeply regrets missing the eighth. “Rocky Horror, like Oberlin, holds a very special place in my heart,” Westelman wrote in an email to the Review. “They both made me feel welcome, and even celebrated, for my idiosyncrasies. [Rocky Horror] and Oberlin seem to be really good at getting lots of different folks to let their freak flags fly.” Rocky Horror culture has permeated multiple scenes on campus, including Drag Ball and OBurlesque. College fourth-year and OBurlesque’s Officer of External Affairs Jack Bens recalls a time during her second year when OBurlesque decided to plan and perform a Rocky Horror-themed Halloween show. “[The show] brought us all a little bit closer together around that time, as we were actively coordinating songs and characters to recreate in our own show, and it really felt like a group effort,” Bens wrote in an email to the Review. “On the night of Rocky Horror that year, almost the entirety of OBurlesque was there dressed up, some of them as the same Rocky Horror characters they’d be playing for our show. Everyone was really into it and it was really fun.” Rocky Horror has historically created supportive communities for people experimenting with style or identity, who have felt like outcasts, or who want to have a safe experience being someone they aren’t in their everyday lives. It was this sense of community and support that heav-
ily influenced College first-year Ursula Hudak’s decision to come to Oberlin. She attended a performance at the Apollo Theatre during her prospective-student visit and was excited to partake in the tradition once she was officially a student. “Everyone [was] yelling at the screen and laughing and having fun together,” Hudak said. “It felt like somewhere I would like to be. I think in that moment I realized that I wanted to go [to Oberlin], which makes it really special. I mean, the first thing I did when I got my planner from the store is I looked up the Rocky Horror [showing] time and I put it down and [I was] really excited about it.” For folks considering going for the first time, here are some things you should know: Dressing up is not required but recommended! Bring your corsets, lingerie, and character-inspired costumes. You may want to research some of the call-outs and traditions of the picture show so that you can participate in them. You might also want to buy a prop kit at the theater for $3 or make your own; you can find instructions online. Do not fear the Virgin Sacrifice! Virgin Sacrifices serve as an initiation for folks who have never been to Rocky Horror before. Sacrifices vary from theater to theater, but Boycik wants to reassure students that Simply His Servants’ version is very tame. “I look out for them,” he said. “We do not do any sort of physical contact. We don’t do anything inappropriate with Virgins or anything like that or make anybody do anything that they don’t want to do. ... If you’re over 18 and you’re a Virgin and you want to come up before the show, and if you ... want to be one of the people that get officially sacrificed or broken-in or whatever you want to call it, we do have cast members that go around, and they’ll hand you either a black rose or a white rose or something, and now we’ll bring you up. If you don’t want to, that’s totally fine.” Rocky Horror is absolutely worth going to at least once. It can get a little weird, but what at Oberlin isn’t weird? It’ll be two hours of your life well spent.
Oberlin Encourages Gender Diversity in Music Technology Aly Fogel Arts & Culture Editor Listening to a band at a live music venue like the ‘Sco, concertgoers don’t often peel their eyes off the mainstage to look at the individuals running sound. However, the complexity behind this job, and the technician who works this position, warrants further examination. Audio engineers are technicians who work in live sound or recording studios, and these positions are often held by cisgender men. According to Women’s Audio Mission, less than 5 percent of audio engineers in 2018 were women. Notably, this is a number based on binary statistics of cisgender individuals and does not reflect the impact of gender-based discrimination on non-binary and transgender audio engineers. Music technology, a broader field that encompasses audio engineering, has historically been quite male-dominated due to its connection to STEM. However, Oberlin has made strides toward improving gender diversity in the music technology community on campus. In just a few years, the Technology in Music and Related Arts department has greatly improved in terms of gender diversity. Sarah Snider, who started studying at Oberlin in 2013, was the only woman in her incoming class. The class consisted of four students: Snider, who is an Asian woman, and three white men. At the time, there was only one female TIMARA professor, who was also white. “It was super daunting, especially as a first-year when I was already adjusting to a lot socially,” Snider wrote in an email to the Review. “I always had this fear of exposing how little I felt I knew about everything because there were always men showing off how much they knew. … And since I was the only woman in my class, I always felt the extra burden of [doing] good work and proving that I was smart enough to be there … I definitely feel like I wasted a lot of my education and didn’t reach my full potential because of this pressure.” During Snider’s time at Oberlin, the TIMARA department started to change in terms of gender diversity. Supportive faculty had a huge impact on her experience. “When [Professor] Lyn Goeringer’s two years were up, they hired an amazing female Asian professor, Aurie Hsu,” Snider wrote. “My classes and lessons with her really boosted my confidence in TIMARA and my work, I think she was the first person to tell me she liked something I made. That was big for me and it actually motivated me to
create work when before I was struggling with that, I have so much respect for her.” Judy Jackson transferred into the TIMARA department in 2014. Though she also experienced adversity as a student, she felt these challenges helped her prepare for her future career. “I had a great experience and always found the faculty supportive,” Jackson wrote in an email to the Review. “Sometimes the older guys could be pompous a**holes (especially in studio class), but I did feel like learning how to take them on was part of my education and reflective of the rest of the world.” In addition to faculty changes within the department, fourth-year TIMARA major Meggie Jackson credits her elder sister Judy Jackson, Sarah Snider, and Margaret McCarthy, another one of the first female TIMARA majors, with creating a more inclusive environment in TIMARA. “I think the three of them did a lot of work towards making TIMARA more accessible,” Meggie said. “Sarah started Pretty Fest as a way to heighten the presence of non-dude musicians, which is really cool. And they held workshops that were for non-dudes like DJ workshops or logic workshops. … Once you start getting more non-dudes in [the department] then more non-dudes feel comfortable doing [the major]. It’s the same with Concert Sound.” Today, there are a significant amount of TIMARA majors who aren’t cisgender men. “I feel like TIMARA is a very interesting example of a music technology center program, because it is very gender-diverse,” fourth-year TIMARA major Sophie Shalit said. “There’s a lot of women, a lot of non-binary people, and a lot of binary trans people. I think [that] creates a very unique environment. A lot of the other experiences that I’ve had with sound and working at recording studios or whatever, it’s always very male-dominated.” Students in TIMARA work to achieve a variety of goals, and some majors end up choosing a career path in audio engineering. “An audio engineer is someone who works in a studio, recording bands/artists,” Meggie explained. “It is a specific application of the skills people learn in the TIMARA department. … Our department is not geared towards making audio engineers as much as it is geared toward making composers and artists, because it is a Conservatory major.” Audio engineers on campus are much more gender diverse than the national statistic. At Studio B, a WOBC program which records bands, there are no cisgender men on staff. Concert Sound, a group that does live sound for
many campus events, employs many women, non-binary, and trans individuals. “Concert sound [has] a lot of gender diversity,” Shalit said. “That’s also a really cool work environment. And our bosses Matt and Pea-Jae are really good about trying to respect pronouns and being respectful of people’s identities … I’ve been working there for three years, and I have noticed a pretty big change in their level of understanding of gender over that time. So, that’s really cool to see.” Despite the changes within the Oberlin community, women, non-binary, and trans students working as audio engineers still face gender-based discrimination. This is especially true for students who work with visiting bands. While working for Concert Sound for a show recently, Jackson and third-year TIMARA major Claudia Hinsdale faced sexist comments from the band’s sound engineer, something they described as relatively routine. “The band was all men and they brought in this outside engineer who was also a man,” Hinsdale said. “The outside engineer was like, ‘Wow, in my eight years of doing this, you’re like the second woman I’ve ever seen doing sound or doing mix engineering.’ … [They] were so condescending and just making it really obvious that they didn’t think that we knew what we were doing.” Audio engineers can also feel discouraged in looking for jobs off-campus. “I’ve been [looking for jobs] in a bunch of studios in LA and New York, all the big cities where all the big studios are. I have probably looked at 60 different studios and there are only two non-dude engineers working at all of them that I saw,” said Kayla Reagan, a fourth-year TIMARA major. Still, Reagan is hopeful for the future. Her dream is to create a studio for women, non-binary and trans musicians. “My ultimate goal is to reframe, ‘Who is an engineer? What makes me an engineer?’” said Reagan. “It shouldn’t be based on how you present yourself. It should be based on skill. … I just have so many [non-dude] friends who are such talented engineers and producers, that I would want to bring on to work in a studio … where we mostly focus on bands that aren’t dudes and non-dude fronted bands.” While Reagan remarks that she’s far from turning this dream into a reality, her goals are representative of the power she has to lift up others in her professional life. At Oberlin, the women, non-binary and trans music technology students can serve as an example for others, thereby encouraging other non-male engineers, and changing the male-dominated industry for future generations.
Ben Franklin Hosts Second Latino Festival
Text by Carson Dowhan, Senior Staff Writer Photo by Rev. Dr. Brian K. Wilbert An Oberlin resident of over 13 years, Faculty in Residence at La Casa Hispánica and Lecturer Yorki J. Encalada Egúsquiza noticed a lack of Latinx representation and cultural celebration as time went by. After talking with Krista Long,
The Oberlin Review | October 11, 2019
the owner of Ben Franklin, last year, Encalada Egúsquiza and Long resolved to start a tradition: an annual festival celebrating Latinx culture. The second Latino Festival took place last Friday at Ben Franklin through the combined
effort of the Hispanic Studies department, Ben Franklin, La Casa Hispanica, Catrina’s Tacos y Margaritas, and Lupitas Mexican Restaurant. The festival included traditional Latinx music sung by Conservatory students, food, and cultural activities including artifact tables and language games about colloquialisms from different countries. There was an impressive turnout, with attendees from both the town and campus. This year’s festival expanded on the first and also made some major strides. “One of my program assistants, who is vegan, wanted to provide more food for people with different diets,” Encalada Egúsquiza said. “We also had different countries represented this year.” Long expressed her enthusiasm about hosting such events at Ben Franklin. “I would like to see more festivals like this surrounding other cultural groups, and we are open to anybody who might want to host,” she said. “Ben Franklin is a great place for all the aspects [of ] the community to me, and I always feel so privileged to be hosting something like that.” Encalada Egúsquiza is excited about the potential for the annual festival’s ongoing development. “I know there is not a large Latino population [in the City of ] Oberlin, but hopefully in the College there are some, so my hope is to have the festival outdoors and to have help from more people,” he said. “We have all the good intentions — we are just hoping [the event] will grow with time.”
A r t s & C u lt u r e ON THE RECORD
Chris Morocco, OC ’03, Bon Appétit Food Editor
Chris Morocco, OC ’03, is a Deputy Food Editor at the lauded Bon Appétit magazine. While at Oberlin, Morocco majored in French and took great interest in photography. Now he is Deputy Food Editor at Bon Appétit, where he develops recipes and appears frequently in their popular cooking videos on YouTube. Morocco spoke with the Review about his time at Oberlin, his experience cooking in a co-op, his career explorations after college, and Bon Appétit’s transition from a print publication to a successful multifaceted brand. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Kate Fishman Arts & Culture Editor Where did you grow up? I grew up in Newton, MA. I took a gap year before going to Oberlin and one of my best friends had started at Oberlin, and I went to visit and had a very good feeling there. I think I had really locked into the kind of Newton mindset of primarily East Coast schools: Just get into the best possible school that you can. I was so happy when I finally found Oberlin. … I felt like this was a little bit of a break, a different part of the country. The vibe of the school was really important to me, to get away from the liberal Northeast pressure cooker of colleges. Were you at all into cooking at Oberlin? Were you in a co-op? I was a cook at [Pyle Inn co-op] my [second] year. I had cooked a little bit previously in high school as part of a weekend job but never was really serious about it. I had grown up around food and definitely had a deep appreciation for food. I was probably more of a technically-minded cook than most other college students. But cooking [in Pyle] and doing lunch and dinner one day a week for a hundred some odd people was really my first introduction to the making-it-happen style of cooking where whatever you’re given, whatever challenges are thrown at you, you need to end up with food that can feed a hundred people. That was pretty intense, pretty wild, and pretty fun. One of my really good friends, who’s still a good friend, was a food buyer for the co-op, so we collaborated and we were able to actually do quite a lot. What did you do directly out of college and how did you end up working at Bon Appétit? It was a bit of a winding path. I mean, coming from a liberal arts background, some people have a very clear sense of how they want to begin to choose their careers. I had a few things I was looking into, like advertising and things involving photography. I had always had a dream of working for a magazine. Based solely on [an internship I’d landed] and my ability to make people think that I was relatively competent — which was not super obvious or particularly accurate at the time — I ended up getting a job at Vogue magazine where I basically helped produce photo shoots. I booked models, stylists, hair and makeup artists. … I got to meet a lot of artists and a lot of interesting people and learn about this world of production as it relates to film photography in that case. … It was an interesting education in how it might work and how the various parts come together.
The thing was that after a few years I realized I was going to hit the wall at a certain point from the simple fact that fashion was not really my thing. I realized I’d like to work for a magazine but I wanted to be in a different content area. I went to culinary school at night the last year [and then] I worked in a couple of professional kitchens pretty briefly before jumping back into magazines, at this time as sort of the lowest person in the test kitchen at Bon Appétit. It was a really exciting time because of Adam Rapoport taking over; the magazine had moved from the West to the East Coast. Because I was very familiar with Condé Nast having worked for Vogue, I knew how everything worked in the building, I knew how a magazine worked, and I knew how to get things done. We sometimes joke that we used to only make a magazine and we felt completely busy and overworked all the time — and nowadays we have four websites, a magazine, a podcast, social handles, a YouTube channel — and we’re still very busy. But we kind of marvel: What was it that we were doing the whole time that we were just making a magazine? What do you make of the rising Internet fame of Bon Appétit? Was that something that was actively cultivated? What has it been like for all of you? A little bit was deliberate and a lot of it was chance. A number of years ago it became clear that … nobody was going to make it just as a magazine. Unfortunately, there’s been so much upheaval… it’s been a bummer. A lot of test kitchens closed or consolidated. We realized we needed to diversify what we were, and what we were primarily was a brand. It became a question: How do you connect with people? If we’re not able to connect with people as well through the magazine, if we’re not able to
Photo courtesy of Bon Apétit
monetize that as well, then we really need to invest in the website and the podcast. It became clear that the people who are reading the magazine are not necessarily the people who are looking at the website and finding us through an online search, and are not the same people who are necessarily listening to podcasts. It [also] just became clear that you need to have a presence on a lot of these platforms. Obviously some things have worked better than others, but I think one of the cool things in terms of our YouTube audience is when we knew we were going to start doing more videos, I’d sort of imagined it would take more of a traditional route of one chef talking to the camera, in the kitchen, not exactly [filmed on] a laptop but not that far off — that style. What evolved, though, was that we noticed at a certain point that the interaction between the test kitchen and the video disrupts the test kitchen. I’m going to be honest, it’s a little inconvenient to have your workspace turned into a five-day-a-week open-air studio. We never really anticipated that people would crave that window into the test kitchen, but I think it ultimately has strengthened our content and our videos to have that kind of organic interaction between the chef and people coming in and out of the kitchen and jumping in on videos. It just feels like us. It took a while to get there, but I think we’re in a good place now where it feels like a comfortable process for the people involved in it on the production side, and I think it makes it that much more fun to watch. Do you have a particular dish or food or ingredient right now that you’re excited about working with or eating? Honestly, I hope to never live in a world where I would have to choose something. At Bon Appétit, See Alum, page 13
COMIC Clair Wang, Staff Cartoonist
Joker Brings Controversy, Brutality to Box Office Kushagra Kar Production Editor Be warned, Joker is no laughing matter. The brutally honest truth of the matter is that I am horrified. Through every moment of the film and each subsequent second since I walked out of the Apollo Theatre, a deep discomfort has pervaded my mind. To say that Todd Phillips’ 2019 psychological thriller Joker is a departure from conventional comic book movies would be an understatement. I’ve felt this shock before, with James Mangold’s 2017 Logan, which was a breath of fresh, unnervingly profane air. The film was rich in great character moments to supplement the enjoyable superhero beats. Yet, Joker does something far more impressive — blurring the conventional lines that define the genre of comic book films. Joker follows the story of protagonist Arthur Fleck, played by Joaquin Phoenix. Fleck struggles with poverty and psychological instability while simultaneously trying to launch his stand-up comedy career. An increasingly unstable Gotham unfolds in the background, where class tensions threaten the city’s fragile social fabric. The film addresses false idolism — through Fleck’s reverence of Robert De Niro’s Murray Franklin, a late night talk show host — as well as political symbolism, and unreliable truth.
Joker is dedicated to creating and exploring a character defined by his moral ambiguity, and as a character sketch, the film is incredible. Fleck’s conflicts throughout the film are compellingly told and definitely believable, but by no means relatable. This distinction is important because a character like the Joker, who is defined by chaos, shouldn’t be relatable to a mainstream audience. What is indeed exceptional about the film’s storytelling is that it unfolds both inside Fleck’s mind and on the streets of Gotham, pairing the two. As Fleck’s psychology, morality, and desires manifest themselves in his behavior, we observe the politics and anxieties of Gotham straining under purposeless chaos. Although Fleck and Gotham are in conflict, both are characterized through the metaphor of a gun as a tool of both violence and agency. A huge credit must be given to the screenwriters, Todd Phillips and Scott Silver, who focus on the development of cultural symbols and their inevitable politicization. Neither Phillips nor Silver have any significant writing credits under their belts, a factor that especially accentuates the achievement that is Joker. The problematic nature of this film is its failure to condemn Joker’s actions, leaving the audience with an ambiguous interpretation of Joker’s ill-doing. By the very nature of a villainous protagonist, the audi-
ence is exposed to objectively problematic themes, such as stalking, gun violence, toxic masculinity, and domestic abuse. However, the lack of any moral commentary makes the intended political perspective ambiguous. While it is enjoyable to watch the Joker from the audience, it is difficult to genuinely sympathize with him. Here lies the ethical question the film consciously poses: Should we sympathize with this psychopath as we understand his context and history? The lack of any explicit articulation of a moral position on the film’s events can be uncomfortable. This, in addition to the internal discourse of the film regarding schizophrenia, depression, and narcissism, can all seem ambivalent to the point of insensitivity to modern realities. In fact, gritty violence and otherwise discomforting sequences abound, all depicted with alarming casualness. The film requires a thick skin and will invariably stick with you for the week following your viewing, but I would strongly recommend it all the same. The experience is deeply personal and naturally polarizing. While some viewers leave the theater impressed, others leave horrified. The constant, however, is the abundance of quality characterization, intense storytelling, and deep thematic engagement. So head to the Apollo Theatre, “put on a happy face,” and settle in for a truly great film.
Alum at Bon Appétit Continued from page 12
day in and day out we’re working with different cuisines and different ingredients. I think a lot of us have a core repertoire that’s kind of who we are, but I think for better or for worse, I’m one of the more malleable cooks who can work in different “modes.” I think it’s been an asset to me to be very comfortable working with a lot of stuff. I’ve mostly interacted with Bon Appétit as someone who watches the YouTube channel, and when that’s the main content you’re consuming, it can feel like being in videos is the main job of people who work there. But obviously that’s not true, so I’m curious what you do in your role in a typical day or week at Bon Appétit. That’s a funny point. I hear this a lot, you know — “Wait, Bon Appétit is a magazine?” When we inherited the space from Gourmet, it was these eight little galley kitchens all kind of conjoined in this airless, windowless space, but we put so much effort into making that the bulk of our job. We were just creating recipes, but we were kind of anonymous in that kitchen. … Over the years, things kind of evolved where individual editors became brands unto themselves or became well-known for having a signature style or approach. Right now the video stuff is one of the most visible aspects of our job, but four out of five days of the week any one of us is not shooting video. We’re creating recipe content, we’re writing, we’re sitting in meetings, we’re engaged in the minutiae of what it means to run a massive food brand. I think we’re all kind of happy to have the opportunity to do fun video stuff, but it’s just one facet of the job. A few years ago, that part of our job just flat-out didn’t exist — things are changing so fast and evolving so quickly, I think the nature of what our goals are is suddenly shifting in fast and unpredictable ways. For each of us, depending on how long we’ve been working for a magazine, there’s a lot that’s happened very quickly very recently, and it feels like it’s bringing interesting opportunities.
We’re back with Book Nook, our Review book club! For the month of October, the Arts & Culture Section will feature a book written by Obies or about the town of Oberlin. You have the chance to read along with us and submit your own review that encapsulates your thoughts about the book. All you have to do is write a few paragraphs — roughly 300 words — with your opinions and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may be published alongside some of our other readers. This month, we’ll be reading Ill Will by Dan Chaon, a former Creative Writing professor who left Oberlin after his book was optioned for television. The crime novel, set in suburban Cleveland, focuses on protagonist Dustin Tillman. Dustin contends with his familial past and the troubles of one of his patients, both related to unsettling murder, in his work as a psychologist. Ill Will brings to bear issues of memory and delusion, and is guaranteed to send a shiver up your spine. We look forward to reading this book with you and hearing your thoughts! Please send submissions by Wednesday, Oct. 30. for publication on Friday, Nov. 1.
The Oberlin Review | October 11, 2019
Do you have a favorite series or segment that Bon Appétit does, or something you’d like to try to move more into? One thing we’ve talked about as food editors is wanting to spend time in other people’s kitchens and wanting to have a chance to explore, with granular detail, other people’s work. I think [thanks to] a lot of opportunities, we’ve been doing that more. Occasionally, we’ll feature chefs or restaurants that do have a very particular point of view. A great example is Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint in Washington, D.C. Tom’s bringing a little bit of a modern sensibility to very traditional Filipino dishes in a wonderful, complex, vibrant way, and we love telling those stories. But in terms of sharpening our own culinary skills, being able to have [Senior Food Editor] Andy [Baraghani] go out and work with different chefs around [New York City] or different restaurants, communities, [and] backgrounds — that’s really cool. He came in one day and had me try boiled duck heads with chili oil. It was just really eye opening. Despite the fact that we live in New York … we have jobs that don’t necessarily force us outside. It’s been cool to bring some of those stories into the test kitchen in a video, and we’re allowing people to come get a window into a lot of different modes of cooking.
Sp ort s IN THE LOCKER ROOM
Stephany Dunmyer, New Basketball Coach
Stephany Dunmyer is starting as the new Oberlin women’s head basketball coach. Originally from Pemberville, OH, Dunmyer majored in Psychology and played varsity basketball for Kenyon College. Named the 2000 North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the year, Dunmyer served as assistant coach at Indiana State University before becoming the head coach of Virginia Wesleyan University, where she stayed for 16 years. At VWU, Dunmyer compiled a record of 250–181 and was named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Coach of the Year three times in her tenure. Dunmyer is excited to be back in the NCAC and is looking forward to the team’s first game at Alma College on Nov. 9. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Maranda Phillips How has the adjustment been at Oberlin in terms of getting to know the team and staff? It’s been great. I think the process of moving was awful. Moving after being somewhere for 16 years was probably the most daunting aspect. Even just taking the job, [there was] the thought of having to uproot [my] family. I had been in Virginia for 16 years and my wife Molly had moved to the area about four-to-five years before that, and we have a two-year-old son, Fletcher. We had so many great connections down there, but the draw of Oberlin and what a great academic institution it is brought me here. I just felt, from a women’s basketball standpoint, where they’ve come and how successful they can be, really was something that drew me back here. It was helpful that Oberlin is also closer to my parents, and Fletcher being closer to his grandparents was a big draw as well. That initial transition was tough on just a personal level, but the team has been awesome. I was able to meet with them in the spring before they left campus for break and everything. They’ve made things just seamless in terms of that transition. They’re excited for a fresh start in many ways. I think Coach [Kerry] Jenkins did a great job with the program; change can be really good sometimes in terms of just a motivating factor as well. What led you to playing collegiate basketball? I played volleyball as well in high school and I played softball up [until] eighth grade, but I just loved basketball. My dad coached
[and] I had an elder brother and sister who were both involved in athletics and both played basketball. Volleyball ended up being something I played just to get to basketball season and to stay in shape. For me, it became a priority wherever I went, because I knew I wanted four more years of playing basketball. My whole search was based on who wanted me to come there, what best fit from an academic standpoint, but also from an athletic standpoint. Following that my sophomore year, I decided that if I could get into basketball, that would be a great job. I saw you majored in Psychology. What made you decide to pursue coaching as a career? I think initially it started as a funny thing where I was like, “I just want to wear athletic clothes all the time.” Coaching seemed like the route to go, I went in thinking I would be a Math major and then when I got to [Calculus], I changed my mind. I thought [that it] wasn’t really statistics or numbers that I was really interested in. From the psychology aspect, I just really enjoyed the readings. I took an intro class on a whim [my second] year and I realized psychology was the route I wanted to go. I was able to do research in Sports Psychology and Team Cohesion. Being able to pursue some extra things and some individual stuff in the sports arena made me realize how helpful that would be in coaching. Again, I think I have always had a passion for basketball and that was so important to me. I thought, “Can I make a career of this? If not, figure out what to fall back on.” I just really wanted to pursue
New Head Women’s Basketball Coach Stephany Dunmyer.
coaching, so I tried to work camps and make connections on the coaching side of things. As someone who has led many teams to conference playoffs, what do you believe leads to a successful season? I think it is [the want] to play for each other. Obviously you have to have the talent, the skilled players that play a role. There doesn’t have to be just one talented individual — it’s coming together. If we can get all 14, 15 on board and everyone plays to the best of their ability, I think we can beat teams that are better on paper than us. You need a unique connection with a little bit of luck along the way. At my past institution, we had teams that we should have beaten and it just didn’t come to fruition in the grand scheme of things. Things kind of fell into place one season when we won an overtime game in the first game of the tournament by knocking off the numberone team in overtime. Success is not defined by wins and losses. Yes, you’ll remember if we win a championship, but you’re gonna remember the bus rides, you’re gonna remember the connections [you made]. Hopefully,
Photo courtesy of OC Athletics
you’ll have a teammate in your wedding someday, or [something of that nature], and stay connected with people. I hope they take away [strong connections] from here in the grand scheme of things. What are you looking forward to the most this season? What has preseason been about for you? I think really just seeing how this group gels and comes together because we have so many pieces to be successful. A lot of our season has been trying to connect with them and understand where the culture was at and really where we want to get it to and what we want Oberlin basketball to be about. Just an overall feel when people come to visit, when people talk about Oberlin basketball, what that means and what it represents. I’m just, again, so excited. Every member of our team is such a cool person. They bring something unique and individual to our group, but at the same time, I think we really are unlimited in terms of where we could go this year. Off the court, they definitely have good chemistry, but I think there’s just a deeper connection we can get [if we] make sure they’re playing for each other.
All Talk: Varsity Athletes Go In On Trash Talk Khalid McCalla, Contributing Sports Editor College athletics are highly competitive, and every athlete is unique in how they respond to and handle the tense moments that arise during competition. One method is a favorite among many: trash talk. While from the outside, players who trash-talk may appear to be letting the moment overwhelm them, for many, it can be a way athletes ground themselves and, at times, gain a competitive advantage. The reason why a player trash-talks is just as varied as how a player trash talks, and different players preferring different approaches. “I usually try to refrain from trashtalking during lacrosse games because, [personally], I find it distracting to have verbal altercations with an opposing player,” said Josephine An, a College fourthyear and women’s lacrosse player. “However, there are a number of times when the opposing players get under my skin. … When players from the other team start to come at me, my temper causes me to talk back.” While An is one example of an athlete who uses this type of talk only as a reaction to other events, College third-years and women’s soccer players Olivia Weeks and Sydnie Savarese are more proactive.
“I trash-talk to get in my opponent’s head,” Savarese said. “Also, … to refrain from taking out frustration on the refs.” Savarese’s teammate echoes her belief that talking trash can be used to impact an opponent’s effectiveness on the field. “Some players are really mental players and if you can get in their head a little bit, you can completely throw them off their entire game,” Weeks said. While many athletes find merit and utility in trash talk, those who partake often employ different strategies. “Some of the go-to themes I use are insults questioning the intelligence of the other player, since Oberlin is the most academically rigorous school in our conference,” An said. “[I also use] insults on their athleticism, like, ‘Wow, catch up. I’m not even in shape,’ and annoying, childish comebacks, like ‘I know you are, but what am I?’” Some athletes like An are very specific in their approaches to trash talk, but others prefer a simpler approach. “It isn’t usually that complex, to be honest,” Weeks said, “A classic is talking about [your opponent] to your teammate right in front of them. That always really pushes their buttons.” At its core, trash-talk is intended to offend. Its purpose is to get under the skin of an opponent. However, for many athletes,
there is a line. “Something that is off-limits is mocking someone’s race, ethnicity, or sexuality,” Savarese said, “I think that making fun of someone’s physical appearance is also unacceptable.” This opinion is shared by An, who feels as though there is a difference between trash-talk and disrespect. “It is one thing to make some snarky remarks during play, but getting very personal and making fun of sensitive topics does not represent good sportsmanship and goes beyond the game itself,” An said. Similarly to An, Weeks believes it is important to keep all aspects focused on the game. “In my opinion, nothing needs to leave the topic of the game,” Weeks said, “There is no need to bring anything else on the field. If it happened off the field, leave it off the field. We’re all competitors and comments here and there are part of the game, but there’s no need to take it any further than that. Just be respectful.” Many athletes would never do anything they feel is unacceptable when it comes to trash-talking. However, what is acceptable is up to the discretion of each individual. For example, when looking at how social media has affected the trash-talking landscape, both Savarese and An made it clear that any use of social media was off limits
for them. For Weeks, it is more complicated. “It’s different for different games,” Weeks said. “When my team is watching another [Oberlin sports] team’s game we will often times look up some stats or numbers on the other team to [trash-talk] them [from the stands]. But I never [use social media] for my own games.” Not every athlete feels that social media is off limits. Spencer Caron, a College first-year and member of the football team, views social media as an important tool in gaining an advantage. “I go on [opposing] player’s Instagrams and Twitters, so I can have some names [of the opposing player’s family and partners] to throw out in game,” Caron said, “I just think learning names of people is kind of funny and also gets in their head a little bit.” Despite crossing what some people may feel is a boundary, Caron made it clear that he has set limits for himself. “I would never DM people,” Caron said, “I’ve heard of our players getting DM’d, but I don’t DM people. I would never say anything that I felt like crossed a line.” Trash-talk has always been, and always will be, a very controversial topic, but for many athletes, it is just part of the game. “[It] is a natural part of playing a sport,” Savarese said, “As long as it’s not taken too far, [it] can be fun for both teams.”
Women’s Soccer Starts New Preseason Athletics Mission, Tradition: Race and LGBTQ+ Workshops Priorities Vital in Jane Agler Sports Editor This past summer, the Oberlin varsity women’s soccer team looked to foster an inclusive space for all members, new and old, through workshops addressing LGBTQ+, gender, and racial identities. Rather than solely adhering to the preseason strategies that have been implemented for many years, the team started this new tradition. Each workshop was organized and headed by team members of those respective communities. “A major goal of [the workshops] was to begin normalizing these kinds of conversations in team spaces and help our teammates realize that they have a very tangible connection to [these] issue[s],” said College third-year and workshop facilitator Louise Metz. The workshops were conducted through panels comprised of team members who answered questions and started in-depth discussions. The central idea was to work on team bonding. Workshop leaders were hoping to facilitate a strong chemistry that would help the student-athletes work together on the field and build a close-knit community off of it. “Most of our goals are [on the field], so team bonding is key to achieving any of those goals,” College second-year Belle Smith said. “Team bonding is key to achieving any of those goals … being able to effectively communicate [with] teammates [requires] a large amount of trust and understanding.” The need to address these topics as a team arose due to an article published in The Oberlin Review two years ago, in which a former women’s varsity soccer player described the challenges of racism that she faced as a person of color on a predominantly white team and sport. “[My co-captain Jackie Brant] and I decided it would be great to have two workshops discussing race, gender and
sexuality,” said College fourth-year and captain Cat Bent. “We both stepped back and let others, who [were informed] from personal experiences, lead the discussions on what is appropriate and what is not.” Other topics that were addressed during the preseason panels arose from interactions in the locker room and other team-bonding events. “As a primarily straight, cis[gendered] team, a lot of ‘locker room talk’ can be about straight sexual encounters, which can actively exclude people from the conversation,” Smith said. “So my question is: ‘How do we combat that exclusion?’” The team discussed ways to be more inclusive, and ultimately concluded that LGBTQ+ experiences should not be shied away from in casual conversation. “[Differences in] sexuality shouldn’t stop us from asking questions,” Smith said. “We are a very open team [as well], but there is [also] no pressure to disclose sexuality or force a teammate to come out to [us].” Metz echoed Smith’s thoughts on making the space as comfortable as possible for all teammates, regardless of sexual orientation. “I think previously there has been a pervasive heteronormative culture in athletics,” Metz said. “And while there hasn’t been open hostility, it’s been something we don’t directly address or think about consciously, which can [be] isolating [for] queer [members].” For those who don’t identify as LGBTQ+, the workshops served as a way to provide them with guidance and ways to be as helpful of an ally as they can. “One of my main goals going into this workshop was simply to learn how to be a better ally,” third-year defender Kiera Markham said. “It’s imperative we are aware of the privileges we have and how to best navigate these positions in order to not only be better teammates, but also
better allies in general.” The workshops also addressed situations when a player’s comfort could be compromised due to racial insensitivity. This reality sometimes manifests in the pregame warmup music, which occasionally feature controversial or racialized lyrics. “Obviously white teammates should not sing along to racist language, and [should] also be thoughtful and respectful of our teammates of color asking to avoid certain artists or songs,” Smith said. “The discussion leaders did a fantastic job of highlighting microaggressions that happen that would prevent [such] conversations.” College third-year Olivia Smith felt that having such honest and difficult conversations highlighted each individual’s ability to be authentic and vulnerable with one another. “Every person is important and if we all respect each other, the team will be stronger,” Olivia said. “I am so proud of this team because we have talked about hard topics and everyone was extremely open and willing to tackle the subjects.” The team hopes to implement these workshops for future years to come. To many on the team, this is imperative due to women’s soccer being a fall sport. The panels serve as an introduction for the first-years and helps set the tone for the season. “The timing of the workshops provides a great introduction into the expectations and values of Oberlin [for first-years and newcomers],” Markham said. “These workshops are [also] a great way to remind all players that there is always room for growth, and we cannot expect issues surrounding race and LGBTQ+ rights to come through complacency.” The team will be having a follow-up panel during Fall Break to facilitate further conversations on the subjects of race, gender, and sexuality.
Fundraising Continued from page 16
Winkelfoos wrote. “This challenge is most effectively overcome by our office having a strong and clear mission. … We are not going to put in a wave pool, if someone offers us $10 million to start a surf club. But we would certainly try to engage that donor in some other way.” Carson Li is a College fourth-year who teaches boxing classes through the YeoFit program that was created following the Shanks expansion. Li says many students, including himself, likely don’t know exactly where the money for Shanks came from. “I think many of us do not really care,” Li said. “Since we have already paid for the tuition, and we saw some great changes in the wellness center, most students may not feel the need to understand how the building was funded.” Still, many students — varsity athletes and non-athletes alike — have found a use for the space, according to McLean Sammon, College fourth-year, member of the varsity volleyball team, and YeoFit instructor. “I spend a lot of time in the gym as an athlete and YeoFit instructor and I have witnessed a shift that followed Shanks’ opening,” Sammon said. “Prior to Shanks’ opening, the gym was known as an athlete-dominated space that left little room for other community members. … Since YeoFit started and Shanks opened, I have seen so many people working out who I had never seen in the gym before.” For Winkelfoos, synergy across different campus communities should be a goal of fundraising — in athletics and elsewhere. “Every student-athlete that walks through our program is here to earn a degree,” she wrote. “Their experience in Athletics is intended to enrich that pursuit. Fundraising for curricular redesign or a new recital hall for the Conservatory will help Athletics attract and retain talented student-athletes. We rise as the other parts of campus rise and I am convinced that the opposite is true, too.”
Varsity Softball Recognized for Academic Excellence
The women’s softball team was recognized by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for its work in the classroom during the 2018–19 academic year. In order to receive this honor, teams must meet a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0, and the softball team went above and beyond this benchmark, earning a 3.42 grade point average as a team. Active communication with both coaches and professors is crucial to balancing academic and
The Oberlin Review | October 11, 2019
athletic responsibilities, in addition to the support of teammates. “Our coaches are very respectful of our time,” College second-year Emily Tucci said. “For example, they create a detailed google calendar months in advance for our fall and spring seasons and make sure to check in with us before making sudden changes to the schedule. Also, they make sure to start and end practices on time as they know many
of us have jobs and school work. Many of us [players] go to the Science Library, Mudd Center, or places to do homework together after practice and dinner. We also have lots of support from each other within the groups of girls who have similar majors.” Text by Zoë Martin del Campo, Contributing Sports Editor Photo courtesy of Gianna Volonte
SPORTS October 11, 2019
Volume 148, Number 6
Exploring the Money Behind OC Athletics Nathan Carpenter Editor-in-Chief
President Carmen Twillie Ambar on the field at halftime of the Homecoming football game. Photo courtesy of Office of Communications
Oberlin Celebrates Homecoming Weekend Zoë Martin del Campo Contributing Sports Editor The campus seemed to be abuzz with energy from students and non-students alike when Homecoming Weekend approached. Homecoming Weekend is always a time for members of the Oberlin College and community to come together. Whether it is families coming to Oberlin to watch their student-athlete perform on the field or alumni visiting old friends, there is always something that draws people to Oberlin’s campus. The festivities began Friday with the Heisman Club’s annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The four honorees were: Jenny Krumpus, OC ’96, Swimming & Diving; Carl Kumpe, OC ’94, Lacrosse and Soccer; Dave Tempest, OC ’72, Swimming & Diving and Cross Country; and George “Howie” Furcron, OC ’54, Basketball, Football, and Track & Field. Inductees continue to reflect the dedication and passion of student-athletes to the school — for example, Dave Tempest, an All-American swimmer and cross-country runner, and his wife Kathy, who also graduated in ’72 and played on the women’s basketball team, raised money for the Heisman Club by biking 2,400 miles from Seattle, WA to Oberlin. Festivities continued Saturday, with the athletic department’s annual yard sale of old uniforms, warm-up gear, and bags, which took place between the Knowlton Athletics Complex and Williams Field House. The day was packed with sporting events, featuring the field hockey, volleyball, football, and men’s and women’s soccer teams taking the field. Men’s and women’s basketball, men’s soccer, and men’s lacrosse also hosted their annual alumni games. While all teams lost their games, spirits remained high throughout the remainder of the day. Saturday was also Senior Day for the women’s soccer team. While it was not the last home game of the season, it was a reflective event for College fourth-year Sammy Clanton. “Senior Day for me was a really bittersweet experience,” Clanton said. “Stepping back, the game essentially symbolized that my soccer career was coming to an end. Even though it wasn’t my last game, that day was still just as emotional and impactful as I’m sure my very last game will be.” Homecoming Weekend also served as an opportunity for the families of student-athletes to visit Oberlin. College second-year and member of the football team, Zac Ntia, highlighted the importance of getting time to see his family.
“I love getting to see my family whenever I can, so them getting to come for Homecoming [Weekend] was awesome,” said Ntia. “It’s something that I definitely don’t take for granted.” During halftime of the football game, the Division III National Championship-winning women and trans ultimate Frisbee team, The Preying Manti, was presented with a national championship banner to celebrate their achievements and promote club sports. “Presenting the women and trans ultimate team their national championship banner was an impactful moment for me,” wrote Delta Lodge Director of Athletics and Physical Education Natalie Winkelfoos in an email to the Review. “I admire what they accomplished and, alongside President [Carmen Twillie] Ambar, to be able to publicly recognize and congratulate them was one of the many highlights of the weekend for me.” Additionally, after weeks of anticipation and voting by the Oberlin student body, the name of the squirrel mascot was announced: Yeobie. Yeobie could be found at all sporting events on Saturday, posing with students and families. For Ify Ezimora, OC ’19 and newest class trustee, Homecoming Weekend was her first time being back at Oberlin since graduation last May, providing her with a chance to reconnect with other alumni and members of the community who had impacted her four years at Oberlin. “I think a lot of alumni come back for a variety of reasons,” Ezimora said. “Some of us have strong connections with people who still go to Oberlin or faculty and staff that still work at Oberlin, and it just makes sense for us to come back for Homecoming. Some of us played on sports teams during undergrad, and the athletic community is really tight-knit, so all sorts of athletes come back. Others just love Oberlin so much that we would attend any kind of Oberlin gathering whether it happened on campus or not.” The festivities finished with a fireworks show that took place after the men’s soccer game at Fred Shults Field. “It was great to have so many Obies return home [and] connecting with current students, faculty, and staff,” Winkelfoos, who is looking forward to next year’s Homecoming Weekend, wrote. “And the collaboration between the Conservatory and Student Life to make it such a great weekend was remarkable. The spirit and pride of Oberlin was on full display over the weekend. We are already looking forward to next year’s Homecoming.”
In the midst of significant institutional change due to Oberlin’s mounting structural budget deficit, investments in spaces like the Shanks Health and Wellness Center and the Knowlton Athletics Complex have left some community members wondering where the money for such projects comes from. The answer, according to Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo and Delta Lodge Director of Athletics and Physical Education Natalie Winkelfoos, is complicated, and has to do with the specifics of fundraising strategies and logistics. “Athletics fundraising at a Division III school is like breathing — you need to do it and it’s always happening,” Winkelfoos wrote in an email to the Review. “I have regularly scheduled meetings and events to strategize and solicit. There can also be a very organic process that happens on [the] sidelines or through casual interactions with alumni and parents at games or events.” Donations to the athletics program — and the College more generally — can come in the form of either current-use funds or gifts to the endowment that are set aside for future athletics-related projects. Raimondo explained how different kinds of donations can work together in helping campus projects come to fruition. “Fundraising support in one area may create budget relief to support another area that is unlikely to receive donor support,” she wrote in an email to the Review. “For example, donor support for a specific capital project (such as a new or renovated building) may then allow the College to use funds that would have been spent on that facility on other critical projects, such as infrastructure (like the pipes that carry heat around campus).” For athletics in particular, current-use donations account for between 10 and 14 percent of the department’s annual operating budget, according to Winkelfoos. Current-use funds can be acquired in a number of ways — sometimes a conversation with an alum or parent can spark a gift. Larger investments, such as new facilities, require more concentrated fundraising, and can sometimes also draw on endowment funds earmarked for athletics-related projects. Both Shanks and Knowlton, for example, were funded in large part by the Oberlin Illuminate capital campaign in 2016. That campaign resulted in donations for a wide array of projects across campus. However, even within planned capital campaigns like Oberlin Illuminate, sometimes a large gift given for a particular use can cause the College to shift priorities and pursue unexpected projects. “The stadium renovation was one of those rare instances where a catalytic gift from the Knowlton Family Foundation caused some reprioritization,” Winkelfoos wrote. “That gift was matched with significant alumni contributions to create a premier facility that is used by multiple sports, outside organizations and nearly every office on campus.” In making such decisions to shift priorities in order to be able to accept a large gift, administrators must evaluate whether the gift will be able to support the investment on an ongoing basis. “One example I can give is donor interest in supporting an endowed professorship,” Raimondo wrote. “If the amount of the endowment does not provide sufficient income to support the professorship, the College will be unable to hire someone.” Even if a gift provides enough funding to cover ongoing expenses, administrators could still make a decision to decline it, based on a number of factors including mission alignment. “A core challenge of fundraising is matching the needs of Athletics with the inclination of the donor,” See Athletics, page 15