The Oberlin Review
OCTOBER 4, 2013 VOLUME 142, NUMBER 5
News Brief: City Sued by Gun Activists Ohioans For Concealed Carry filed a lawsuit in Lorain County on Tuesday, urging the city of Oberlin to heed state law. The lawsuit was penned by OFCC in tandem with co-plaintiffs Brian and Janae Kuzawa, the Ashland, OH residents who staged a park protest on Sept. 7. In August of this year, Kuzawa brought his firearm to the Oberlin Family Fun Fair, when the gun debate first emerged. In the suit, OFCC challenges a city ordinance that prohibits open carry in parks, claiming the decree contradicts the Ohio Revised Code. The Ohio Revised Code 9.68 was enacted in 2007 and imposes uniform gun laws throughout the state. According to the lawsuit, Oberlin’s ordinance constitutes a violation of the ORC. OFCC issued their grievances at the city council meeting on Sept. 16, but failed to persuade council members. “Despite OFCC addressing the council and telling them what they were about to do was illegal, they proceeded anyway,” OFCC said on their website. “Because Oberlin’s elected officials have failed to act reasonably and responsibly,” OFCC stated, “OFCC now is seeking the aid of the courts to force Oberlin to comply fully with the Ohio Revised Code.”
Sources: www.ohioccw. org and the Oberlin News-Tribune
Lorain Recycling Complex Simplifies Reusing
The new recycling facility in Lorain sports a number of new machinery, including high-powered magnets that forcibly extract aluminum recyclables from conveyor belts underneath. Courtesy of Republic Services
Louis Krauss Although often aware of the consequences of global warming, consumers are not always willing to take the steps necessary to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. According to Area Community Relations Manager Jeff Kraus, one of the biggest advan-
tages of the new recycling sorters is that consumers no longer have to sort recyclables by plastic, metal and glass. The Lorain County Resource Recovery Complex upgraded its facilities this past month, adding powerful magnets, advanced categorization mechanisms, enhanced conveyer belts and a new 12,000 square-foot warehouse.
The recycling complex, along with the Lorain County Landfill, is part of a branch of the Republic Services waste management company. “Now we are a single-stream recycling center, meaning that customers can toss all recyclable materials into the same container, making it easier to recycle at home or work,” said Kraus.
The main attraction of the complex is its high-powered magnets, which forcibly extract all metal objects from the conveyer belts. “The Recovery Complex consists of various manual and mechanical sorting lines and equipment. Using highSee Renovated, page 4
Students Lament Senate Election Procedures Elizabeth Kuhr Staff Writer The Student Senate election polls closed last Friday at noon, a mere three and a half days after they opened for this fall’s senator election, drawing attention to the representative body’s voting rules and regulations. According to the Oberlin College Student Senate By-Laws, updated May 6, 2013, bylaw I.B.iii.c states, “A general election shall last five days or until the election reaches quorum.” As printed in the document, 20 percent of the student body constitutes a quorum, which was incorporated due to Oberlin students’ propensity to ignore the polls. However, when the list of newly elected senators arrived in student emails on September 30, the short-lived poll — which com-
prised 22.5 percent of the student body’s vote — still appalled many who did not find the election fair, despite reaching the required quorum. “It’s been like this as long as everyone remembers,” said College sophomore, Economics and Politics major and newly elected Senate Liaison Machmud Makhmudov, referring to the bylaw. Assistant Senate Liaison Sara Vaadia, a College junior and Politics and English major, says the “or” in bylaw I.B.iii.c, combined with Student Senate’s lack of institutional memory about the original interpretation of the bylaw, legally allows Senate members running the election to decide when the polls close. “None of the senators returning this semester had planned the election before,” said
Oberlin Joins Forces with NASA The roof of Mudd Library is now home to a camera that records nocturnal meteors .
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Rhinos Stay Brutal You Scratch My Back... South African musicians visited Oberlin, returning the visit paid to their conservatory last year.
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The women and trans*-inclusive rugby team starts its season fresh.
This Week in Oberlin 8
Vaadia, who argues that graduation turnover poses the biggest hindrance in solidifying an official bylaw use. However, Vaadia possesses records of last semester’s process. In the spring, senators shut down the polls once they reached both requirements, allowing 28.5 percent of students to vote over five days. This year, the senators had a time-sensitive goal. According to Vaadia, the Senate agreed that closing elections on Friday offered the best outcome, though it was not put to a vote. Newly elected senators were then able to receive training on Saturday, ensuring their productive participation in the plenary meeting on Sunday. “Once we reached a little over 20 percent See Reform, page 4
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The Oberlin Review, October 4, 2013
In Collaboration with NASA, Camera on Mudd Roof Gathers Astological Information, Triangulates Meteor Paths Elizabeth Dobbins Staff Writer As part of a collaboration between NASA and the College, a high-powered camera was installed on the roof of Mudd library this semester. The camera, whose lens is poised to record any nocturnal meteors, is part of a growing network of cameras placed in schools, science centers and planetariums throughout the nation. The cameras have intersecting fields of vision, which, in conjunction with location and time, are used to gather information on astronomical bodies and to triangulate the paths of meteors. “The overall effect of this is to help NASA determine more about how much stuff is out there that’s coming in contact with us,” said Dave Lengyel, the Oberlin Observatory and Planetarium coordinator. The information gathered by the cameras is available to the public at NASA’s All Sky Fireball Network. The website includes videos of the fireballs and information about their orbit and
luminosity. Although students have yet to use the data for research, Yumi Ijiri, chair of the Physics and Astronomy department, feels this is a potential benefit of the camera. “We could access the same data and think of just different kinds of projects that would be involved in tracking and understanding meteors, which is an area we currently don’t really do anything with,” Ijiri said. Oberlin’s camera is one of four in the Ohio and Pennsylvania area currently gathering information that NASA predicts will help to protect space crafts and satellites. “The first night they put it up we started getting meteors on it. We will get three, four, five bright fireballs per night just from this camera,” said Lengyel. The project was set in motion when Lengyel received an email from NASA asking to place a fireball camera on campus. Lengyel agreed and over the course of the school year collaborated with different departments to make the project possible. The roof of Mudd was selected because it provides a clear view of the horizon.
A high-powered astronomical camera was installed on the roof of mudd library this semester. The camera, a product of NASA, will record footage of meteors Courtesy of NASA and Bill Ruth
“You remember what R2D2 in Star Wars looks like? Kind of a robot with a round [dome]. [The camera] looks like that,” said Lengyel. Lengyel and Elizabeth Gilmour, OC ’13 and physics lab technician, assisted NASA employees in the installation of the camera. Although NASA paid for the camera, the installation,
which took about eight hours, was funded by the College. “This is really how scientists work. We spend most the day there setting up things. Most of it was pretty mundane, like running the wires and getting holes drilled and stuff, but that’s how science works,” said Lengyel. However, in the last week, the cam-
era has been experiencing difficulties thought to be due to radio interference. Lengyel expects the issue to be resolved and the camera to be fully operational within the month. “I think it’s a really cool project,” Gilmour said. “They’re getting a lot of information on fireballs this way.”
Limits of Home Rule DisFeature: JStreet Conference cussed Tonight at Potluck Kristopher Fraser
Members of Oberlin’s chapter of J Street U take notes at the national conference in Washington, D.C. J Street is a national organization advocating for US leadership in a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The organization recently returned from the 4th national conference, which consisted of 2,800 people from around the globe, including 900 students. Oberlin had the most impressive showing with 27 student activists, the largest contingent of any campus in the Midwest. Throughout the weekend, students listened to an impressive lineup of speakers, including Vice President Joe Biden, and Chief Negotiator and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livini and Congressmen John Lewis. At the conference, students discussed the implications of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, namely human rights abuses and the proper governance of the state of Israel.
Photo Courtesy of Yonah London
The Oberlin Review — Established 1874 —
Volume 142, Number 5
October 4, 2013
Published by the students of Oberlin College every Friday during the fall and spring semesters, except holidays and examination periods. Advertising rates: $18 per column inch. Second-class postage paid at Oberlin, Ohio. Entered as second-class matter at the Oberlin, Ohio post office April 2, 1911. POSTMASTER SEND CHANGES TO: Wilder Box 90, Oberlin, Ohio 44074-1081. Office of Publication: Burton Basement, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. Phone: (440) 775-8123 Fax: (440) 775-6733 On the web: http://www.oberlinreview.org
Oberlin has recently begun to feel the effects of home rule, which grants local government a certain level of autonomy. It enables cities and counties to pass laws and municipal ordinances that the community and city council deem appropriate. In light of the override of the ban on guns in Oberlin parks and efforts to increase fracking in Lorain County, the community has decided to take action. This evening at Peace Community Church, located on 44 East Lorain Street, attendees will seek to address these issues. The event, titled “Home Rule: Community Democracy, Corporate Power, and Options for Oberlin,” seeks to promote discussion and disseminate information regarding Oberlin’s ability to maintain local ordinances — despite the language of state laws — and determine how residents can become more
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involved in these political issues. Home rule is, in essence, the right to selfgovernance, including the power to regulate for the protection of public safety, health, morals and welfare, and to license, tax and incur debt. Put simply, municipal governments have a right to make their own laws for the good of the locality. If gun rights groups and pro-fracking corporations continue to oppose the city of Oberlin’s home rule, many of the town’s progressive initiatives will be overruled. College junior John Bergen, the Peace Church’s Peace and Justice Intern is responsible for hosting these events once a month. He, along with members of the Church, decided to use this potluck as opportunity for a community forum. “We wanted this to tie into the Community Bill of Rights campaign and discuss issues of home rule and right of communities to control the process of fracking, and see how the
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state interferes with that power,” Bergen said. “We decided to have an event that would tie in gun rule issues, home rule issues and issues of community sovereignty, and focus on what came out of the last city council meeting two weeks ago.” The featured speakers of the event are members from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence and Move to Amend Ohio, an organization whose focus is on the cessation of corporate personhood. Oberlin Anti-Frack was involved with the potluck and assisted Peace Community Church with travel costs and honorariums for the event’s speakers. While this event is more of a community endeavor, Bergen strongly encourages students to attend. “[Students] are members of the community; even though most students See Autonomy, page 4
Corrections The Review is not aware of any corrections this week. The Review strives to print all information as accurately as possible. If you feel the Review has made an error, please send an email to email@example.com.
The Oberlin Review, October 4, 2013
Off the Cuff: Randy Newman, Award-Winning Songwriter Randy Newman, musician and Oberlin parent, performed last Friday for a crowd of students and community members. He sat down with the Review to discuss his creative process and controversial lyrical subject matter.
couldn’t take it… From then on, I sort of wrote differently. That interested me more.
Tell me a little bit about your relationship to Oberlin. I know your daughter is a student here. That’s essentially my relationship. I’ve worked with musicians who went here, my orchestrator now went to Oberlin, Jonathan Sacks, OC ’73, and he loved it. He’s a great orchestrator; I’ve learned a lot from him. And my daughter goes here, studying Environmental Studies. You have a very musical family. Can you speak a little to your musical lineage and how it’s influenced your work? [I have] three uncles and four cousins [who] are musicians. It must be some sort of genetic thing. … My uncle Alfred [Newman], who won nine Academy Awards, was the leading film scorer of his time, maybe of all time, in my opinion. I’d go on the stage when I was 5, 6 years old, and I’d see that, and it was impressive. And I had that sound in my ear of that orchestra, which was the great studio orchestra at that time. And I think it impressed me. And to my father [Irving Newman] he was sort of a god. My father was a doctor, but I think he thought — his brothers sort of raised him — and he really thought it was the greatest art form of the century. And probably I caught a little of that, too. So that’s what I thought I’d be when I grew up when I was 5, 6, 7. It looked possible because someone was doing it, but it looked impossible in that it looked so difficult, and it was. So that’s what I thought I’d do, so I was tremendously influenced. And his music has been a big influence on me, too. I knew his music like the kids here know… Jessica… whoever
Randy Newman, legendary songwriter and performer, who visited Oberlin last week
they know very well nowadays. As a young musician, did you envision the career that you have today, which is predicated largely on humorous songs? Well, I don’t know if it’s necessarily predicated on that, but I like to make people laugh. And, to tell you the truth, most I like that. So it’s not far off. The songs people like best of mine aren’t the humorous ones, they’re songs like “Feels Like Home” and “I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today.” But I don’t like them best necessarily; I like songs like “The World Isn’t Fair” or “Davy the Fat Boy,” which I wrote a long time ago. … I mean, I like the other songs, I don’t think people are stupid for liking them, but it interests me more when there’s a character in there like my song “Shame” or “Harps and Angels.” You know, more slightly deviant behavior, or a little off. You often write songs as a character.
Thursday, Sept. 26 2:43 p.m. Safety and Security officers and EMTs assisted a student at the Conservatory. The student was transported to Mercy Allen Hospital for treatment of abdominal pain.
Friday, Sept. 27 6:53 p.m. Officers responded to an alarm on the third floor of Langston Hall. Upon locating the room with the activated detector, a strong odor of burnt marijuana was detected throughout the room. The
detector was reset. 7:09 p.m. An officer on patrol in Langston Hall observed a metal louver on the bottom of a first floor bathroom door that had been kicked in. Contact was made with the maintenance technician on duty for repairs. 8:41 p.m. A resident assistant in East Hall reported a strong odor consistent with marijuana on the first floor. When asked, the resident of the room in question denied smoking marijuana in the room. A glass water bong with burnt marijuana residue in the bowl was turned over to the Oberlin Police Department and officers disposed of a bottle of spiced rum.
Saturday, Sept. 28
When you write it, the vocabulary has to be within what the person would say. Often I’ll start, you get the syntax, the mood of what he knows, what he would say, and then you get it right, and then the song writes — it doesn’t write itself — [but] you have some parameters within which to write it. When you write there are words that clank and don’t fit. You ever write any fiction? Very little, but yes, I know what you’re saying. So you gotta get [the character]. People speak differently, it’s not the author — except in bad books — it’s not the author speaking through them. It’s a funny route that I took, and I can’t think of many people in pop music who do that. It may have been shyness, or it may have been an artistic choice. I just got tired of “I love you, you don’t love me,” and “Why don’t you love me again? What’d I do?” I just was writing one day, and I… and I just sort of
7:51 p.m. Officers reported assisting a male individual who had injured his forehead, face and hands in a fall in Finney Chapel. The individual was transported to Mercy Allen Hospital by ambulance.
Sunday, Sept. 29 1:55 a.m. Officers were requested to assist a student ill from alcohol consumption in Kahn Hall. The student answered all questions with clarity and was advised to contact Safety and Security if additional assistance was needed. 2:45 a.m. A resident assistant reported loud music and the odor of burnt marijuana coming from the first floor of East Hall. Officers responded and spoke with the resi-
You write orchestral music in which you have more control over the piece, but you also have rock albums in which you work with a producer. Which do you prefer? Is it difficult or a relief to relinquish some control? I’ve got the control in the studio, too. They don’t say, “Do this.” I have less control in a way doing the pictures. But I have control over what I choose to write, whether it’s gonna be an oboe or a clarinet, but more and more directors are dictating what you can do because they got the technical means to put music in with an editor — they say, ‘I like this, I like that,’ — and they fall in love with it when they work on their picture. It’s getting to be difficult to do the right thing, in my opinion, cause they want what they want, and it’s often the wrong thing. So do you prefer scoring films or working on your own albums in which you’re, perhaps, able to be more creatively genuine? There’s nothing I like better than the four days with an orchestra working on a picture. What I don’t like as much is going behind the glass and talking to the people telling me what to do. Even so, I love the orchestra so much that there’s enough good moments out there to make it truly worthwhile. [And I like]when I’ve written a song that’s a big thing to me, that I think is good. It’s those two things. I don’t like the studio when I’m recording necessarily. As much as I’ve done it, I’m still not comfortable in there. Is there any particular subject matter that you desire to tackle in your work that you haven’t yet? Or is that not really how you go about the creative process? I have some ideas now, some of them I haven’t… tackled. I tried a while back to write a song about a
dent of the room in question. The music was turned down and officers reminded the resident of the school policy on smoking. 4:22 p.m. A student reported losing her ID and room key in an unknown area of south campus. Her ID was canceled and arrangements were made for a lock change. 4:41 p.m. A student reported the theft of her unlocked bicycle from the bicycle rack outside King Hall. The bicycle is a small frame Huffy men’s bicycle with a taped blue seat. 7:31 p.m. A student came to the Safety and Security office to claim his recovered backpack. After inventory, the owner reported that his silver MacBook Pro laptop, valued at approximately $2000, was missing. 11:36 p.m. Residents of Barrows
woman whose family is gone, her husband’s died, and the kids have gone away, empty nest and what it’s like to be her — having to play the part of a woman. And it’s not bad. The idea is good, I just didn’t finish it. I have an idea about writing a song called “When the Fire Goes Out,” when you’re not in love with someone anymore, and it just doesn’t feel the same. Touching them, holding their hand, it’s just like skin. It’s like you feel it’s kind of bumpy or lumpy — just skin, and before, it’s just nothing, you don’t notice that it’s fantastic, until the fire goes out. And there’s plenty to say about that, I don’t think it’d be hard. It’s always a little hard. A lot of your songs are controversial. How have you dealt with criticism? What is your relationship now with short people and other people you might’ve offended along the way? Well, I go to the doctor’s office and some nurse will be glaring at me … It’s fine, [the song “Short People”] surprised me that there was such — of course, I was surprised that it was a hit — but, I was surprised that there was that kind of sensitivity. And maybe I shouldn’t have been, but I didn’t know. I really didn’t know. I never cared how tall anyone was. What difference does it make? But maybe it did. And I can see if you’re in junior high and people say, “Oh, they’re playing your song!” it would hurt. But I didn’t think of it. For the most part, I worry about some of the language that I use, saying some words. … But you don’t want political correctness to make you stupid. You don’t want to not recognize that he’s being a bad guy. It’s a dramatic device. Interview by Rosemary Boeglin, Editor-in-Chief Additional reporting by Kate Gill, News editor Photo courtesy of Associated Press
Hall reported finding a small bag, containing a green leafy substance consistent with marijuana, while looking through their room closet. The marijuana was turned over to the Oberlin Police Department.
Monday, Sept. 30 4:38 p.m. A staff member reported a strong odor of burnt marijuana from a room on the first floor of East Hall. After knocking, Safety and Security officers entered the unlocked room. The odor of burnt marijuana was present in both sides of the divided double. The smoke detectors were checked and found to be fine. The room was secured upon leaving.
Reform to Bylaws Streamlines Senate Election Process Continued from page 1 on Friday, we just shut it down,” said Makhmudov, who oversaw this year’s election’s timeline and software along with fellow senator Peter Arden, College junior, Although the senators described their intention as wanting to conclude the new senator training process by last Sunday, several frustrated students contacted Student Senate to voice their concerns. “People who went to vote and couldn’t were upset with that,” said Vaadia. “We then realized [this bylaw] shouldn’t be so ambiguous because we could run into another problem.” Although the email alerting students that polls had opened was sent to the student body Sept. 24, Vaadia noted that because voters have no way of knowing when quorum is reached, they do not know how long they have to vote. Reacting to student responses, senators — many of whom say they too find
the rule disturbing — will discuss the bylaw on Sunday, Oct. 6. Both Makhmudov and Vaadia plan to propose an edit allowing elections to run for five days. However, if 20 percent of students have not voted by then, the tally will continue until quorum is reached. “If we cut at 20 percent, it sets a quota on how many people can vote,” said Makhmudov, “but if we change the emphasis to time, not number of votes, then it allows more people to vote.” In addition to changing the bylaw and that ambiguous “or” into a concrete rule for future elections, Makhmudov will propose to raise quorum to 25 percent, arguing that a raised quorum ensures fairer campuswide representation. “Where the bylaws are unclear, we realize and try to change,” said Vaadia, who added that senators hold regular office hours for students seeking to discuss Senate processes.
The Oberlin Review, October 4, 2013
Renovated Recycling Complex Diverts Landfill Waste Continued from page 1 capacity screens, powerful magnets, high-tech optical scanners and hand sorting, recyclables are separated into different areas for processing,” said Kraus. “The process includes a cardboard screen, glass breaker that separates contaminants from glass, two fiber screens and a finishing screen that separates mail, newspaper and some cardboard. The line also includes three optical sorters that identify plastics and magnets that repel aluminum and attract steel.” According to Kraus, the new facilities are diverting, in comparison with the old complex, an additional 50 tons of waste each day from the landfill. Along with the new recycling capabilities, the landfill also helps create electricity via the Lorain Landfill gas-to-energy facility. The plant, created in 2012, uses methane gas radiating from the landfill to power generators. According to Kraus, the plant has “a total capacity of 27 megawatts. Because of this, thousands of homes are served by the facility.” The importance of recycling has risen steadily over the past decade, as consumers continue to produce an increasing amount of waste. According to GreenWaste, the average person generates over four pounds of trash each day. In 2009, Americans alone produced over 600 million tons of waste — an amount that, were it extricated, would be equivalent to 24 times the Earth’s circumference. Although Americans tend to recycle approximately 70 percent of their waste, only about 30 percent of the contents of recycling bins actually meet recyclable standards. According to LetsRecycle, waste becomes “recycled” when it is successfully turned into a new product, therefore reducing the consumption of fresh raw materials, greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution. Because this process includes a multitude of transfers between recycling complexes as well as a number of relatively intricate steps, a significant portion of recyclables often get lost in the process After the recyclables are sorted, bales of plastic and metal
from the Lorain County Collection Center are sent to “more than 100 different markets around the country and overseas for remanufacturing into new products,” said Kraus. Aluminum cans are often used to create airplane parts, and plastic often goes towards bottles and other goods. However, according to Associate Professor of Geology Karla Hubbard, these overseas markets don’t always prove trustworthy. “A lot of their unused materials are sent to places like India or China, where they say their materials are being recycled, but you can’t be sure,” said Hubbard. “I’m just not sure if there’s a big market for it anymore.” Although the EPA lists the approximate percentage of Americans with access to curbside or drop-off recycling programs as 87 percent, the amount of plastic and glass goods processed as waste continues to outweigh the amount of goods that become recycled. According to Keep America Beautiful, Americans dispose of 25 million plastic bottles every hour. The number of plastic items found in landfills continuously surpasses the number of goods made from any other material. Plastic, which takes approximately 700 years to break down, is the leading constituent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vortex of waste located in the Pacific Ocean, whose size is predicted to be up to twice that of the continental United States. While plastic waste continues to increase, the amount of recycled paper had been steadily rising over the past several decades. According to GreenWaste, the amount of paper recycled had increased over 89 percent since 1990. Advocates for environmental sustainability, such as Sustainability Coordinator Bridget Flynn, reiterate the importance of sustainable recycling methods. “There are places around Oberlin to further recycle, even if it takes some searching,” said Flynn. “There’s [a] lot of other places like Drug Mart that can recycle plastic bags, [which are unable to be processed at the local recycling complex]. Oberlin alone has about 12 cardboard recycling dumpsters. So Oberlin students can definitely find ways to recycle better.”
Autonomy of Local Government in Flux Continued from page 2 are here four or five years, they are still important members of the community and their voices do matter. It’s also important for students to see community members who are impacted by these issues,” Bergen said. Peace Community Church is not the only church involved in this effort. David Hill, a pastor at First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ, will attend the potluck and intends to continue these forums about home rule efforts in Oberlin. In recent weeks, Hill has met with other local pastors to pray about this issue and devise creative and peaceful ways to draw attention to these debates, specifically to the override on the gun ban in parks. Hill has been a consistent opponent of gun violence and while he supports the home rule efforts, he is nervous that they can go too far. “I have concerns about the home rule issue, and it’s not because I want fracking. I don’t want fracking, but my concern is if you take home rule to the extreme … what if Pittsfield says you have to have a .45 strapped to your belt when you step into your town? We can only go so far; we live in a state that’s part of a nation.” Despite his cautious approach to home rule, Hill remarked that local control is the first step to a peace initiative. Hill noted the potential harm to community members, many of whom are directly affected
by the gun law. “Several people [will be affected],” he said. “It’s making those of us who don’t have guns feel less safe, it’s harming the general populace, it’s harming people with guns because it is lending greater credence to them without questioning that, and as we are seeing here, in turn, it is creating bullies. We are having a lawsuit because our laws are not in compliance with state law, it’s coming from a vigilante group. That’s not how laws work in this country.” Pastor Mary Hammond of Peace Community Church, who helped spearhead this event along with her husband, fellow pastor Steve Hammond, and their intern John Bergen, elaborated on the importance of this potluck. “We need to always have a heart for listening to the cries and stories of the most vulnerable, stories that often go unheard in our society.” Hammond said, “Peace Potlucks have a group of goals: connecting people — particularly across College and town lines with common commitments; educating people through the speakers, programs and discussion; and providing opportunities for networking and collaborating on common projects and initiatives. “There are so many venues at Oberlin College and in the community to hear lectures, attend panel discussions, etc., but to eat together and then learn together is special,” said Hammond
THE OBERLIN REVIEW, October 4, 2013
Opinions The Oberlin Review
Letters to the Editors Livestreaming of College Events To the Editors: This week I had the pleasure of listening to, and seeing on my computer screen, no less than four great concerts from Conservatory venues. Because of age, I have increasing trouble getting out to everything I used to attend, and therefore the livestreaming of concerts is a godsend. I may not be in the audience, but I’m watching and listening at home to my great delight. Many thanks to all who are making this possible. Keep ‘em coming! –Robert N. Roth Oberlin resident
Senate Liaison Encourages Participation To the Editors: First, I would like to thank every Oberlin student who either voted or ran as a candidate in the recent Student Senate election. The election began last Tuesday, and ended Friday at noon, with 22.5 percent of the student body participating. The timing and brevity of the election has caused some confusion, and I’d like to take the opportunity to clarify the situation. Article I, Section B, Part iii, Clause C of our bylaws, which are available on our website, states, “A general election shall last five days or until the election reaches quorum [20 percent of the student body].” However, our Constitution states in Article II, Section 5, Clause C that “the elections [must] last for five days or until quorum for the election has been met, whichever is longer.” The Interim Senate referred to the bylaws when running the election and did not notice the existing discrepancy in election procedures between
the By-Laws and the Constitution until after the election was over. We do, however, understand that cutting off the election once quorum was reached may have prevented late voters from participating in the election. In an overall effort to make Student Senate more accessible and relevant, we are glad to announce that there will be voting this Sunday, Oct. 6, on revising our bylaws to bring them in line with the Constitution, thereby extending the voting period to a five-day minimum under all circumstances. We’re also excited to announce that we’ll be hosting the first Student-Trustee Forum this upcoming Thursday, Oct. 10, at 9 p.m. in Wilder 112. I hope that everybody who’s available takes advantage of the amazing opportunity to directly engage with members of the Oberlin Board of Trustees in a productive dialogue. A primary focus of the Senate this year will be making the governing body more attuned and synced with the daily rhythm of the student body. We’re kicking off this effort by hosting an open forum on Monday, Oct. 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Wilder 101. This event is intended to provide any and all members of the student body with the opportunity to bring up issues of concern to the Student Senate and help us set our policy agenda for the year. We have a tremendously talented and diverse Senate this semester, with Conservatory students, a Bonner Scholar, varsity athletes and leaders from the working groups that emerged from last year’s bias incidents, among others, on board. However, we still recognize that even collectively, the Senate does not hear every Obie’s voice. That’s why we hope that everybody who can will come out to both of our forums and be active in helping collectively improve our school. I’ve personally never been so excited about starting a new year as I am right now.
The more people that I meet and talk to at Oberlin, the more I’m reminded of the special things that we’re able to do together. We had a great slate of candidates run in this election, and I’m excited to see what our senators do. You demanded relevance and we will deliver. Political participation can’t stop at the ballot box, however. I’d like to challenge every student at Oberlin to think about how we might be able to make this place a little better and in what areas we can work better together. An old African proverb states that if you want ––––––––––––––––––––––
We have a tremendously talented and diverse Senate this semester, with Conservatory students, a Bonner Scholar, varsity athletes and leaders from the working groups that emerged from last year’s bias incidents.
–––––––––––––––––––––– to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. I know that if we come together and recognize one another’s strengths, we can all have a part in making Oberlin a better place. We have big decisions to make as a community coming up regarding fracking, our campus’s smoking policy and the Social Choice Scholarship being proposed by the Responsible Investing Organization, among other issues. Making those decisions will require extensive and at times difficult work, but the authenticity of our school gives testimony to the truth that we at Oberlin College really can change the world if we come together. Let’s start off strong with a good turnout at the two upcoming forums. See you there! –Machmud Makhmudov Student Senate liaison
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Shutdown Rooted in Partisanship, Moralizing of Opposition Disappointment with Congressional performance might seem hard to quantify this week, as an uncompromising House of Representatives rendered the government defunct and the American public dismayed on Tuesday by failing to reach an agreement that would sustain governmental operations. Though frustration mounts with each passing day, legislators have likely already developed a tough skin. As indicated by Gallup polls, today’s Congress hardly enjoys a great degree of popularity. Approval ratings have bounced between the low to high teens over the last year, and next month’s numbers might even dip into the single digits. Congressional members have brought the political process to a virtual standstill, succeeding in holding government employees’ paychecks hostage, closing national parks, initiating the return of Peace Corps volunteers, closing government-funded Head Start Preschool programs and compromising the government-subsidized food received by 9 million women and children. This list is hardly exhaustive, and many students at Oberlin whose parents work for the federal government feel the strain of furlough on a personal level. The impulse to focus all energy on blaming House Republicans, in chorus with Obama and his fellow Democrats, is hard to avoid. Despite attempts to reach a decision and preclude a disaster of this magnitude, Republicans voted 42 times to repeal or otherwise undermine implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which took effect Wednesday in spite of the protestations. The dangers of a vocal minority of the government having such a disproportionate sway over the desires of the majority are myriad. In addition to setting a bad precedent for the state of future Congressional discourse, it threatens the current economic recovery, all at the cost of those who rely most heavily on assistance from the government. Though the House Republicans should be held accountable for their unrealistic attempt to play chicken with Obama, more systemic issues are also at play. The two-party system inherently gives rise to a political climate of opposing camps, and our republic’s representational elections foment a dynamic of confrontation. Republican representatives might not be able to act on campaign promises to prevent “socialized medicine” — when in fact the bill already passed through Congress and the Supreme Court — but they’re certainly able to try by obstructing compromise and refusing to reach an agreement. These issues should not downplay the legitimate disappointment felt by the electorate, but it’s worth considering the media and citizenry’s role in this problem. The conversation surrounding socialized medicine is just one of many political hotbutton issues that prompts moralizing the opponent on the part of both Democrats and Republicans. If you’re against it, you’re a privileged, heartless one-percenter that doesn’t care about the safety and well-being of others; if you’re in favor, you’re stripping folks of their civil rights and imposing socialism on free-marketeering Americans. But by further entrenching ourselves in the rhetoric of partisanship, we run the risk of exacerbating the very problem that sparked this conundrum. While political ideology is often reflective of values, and values may take root in morality, it’s not always the case that political proclivities clearly translate into notions of good and evil. By moralizing political viewpoints, it becomes impossible for legislators to remain true to local constituencies while also effectively doing their job, i.e., maintaining the functions of the government. Compromising with the “enemy,” particularly when the enemy is considered to have a fundamentally deplorable notion of what progress means for America, is not politically viable for politicians seeking re-election. The desire to save face and remain true to deep-set political and moral notions of right and wrong precludes the potential for effective legislating. At Oberlin, we see this very sentiment echoed in our conversations regarding many hot-button issues. For example, anti-fracking proponents correlate environmental concerns to issues of social justice, poverty and classism. And although these more ethically-charged concerns inform the conversation regarding sustainable energy, arguments from the other side are presented within this moralistic framework. This is not to say that these correlations are inappropriately linked; bringing these concerns to the fore can serve to elucidate some of the larger implications of energy policy. But when the nature of debates rests solely upon the creation of a morally superior “us” acting against the evil “other,” it serves only to further entrench the political divide rather than inspiring productive discussions regarding the locus of actual political contentions. In a time when the most vulnerable Americans who are feeling the brunt of the government shutdown, let’s focus, for once, on actually getting something done.
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.
Sunny with a Chance of Cynicism: Safe Spaces Libby Salemi Columnist I went for a run the other day with a couple friends, and an interesting conversation ensued between the three of us. It started with us getting to know a lot about each other’s family and friends, which I found enlightening. But 40 minutes into the run, the conversation took a turn for the, well, I guess you could say hostile. Somehow the conversation turned to talking about safe spaces and whether or not they were necessary. Personally, I find safe spaces to be incredibly essential to our Oberlin community. Not necessarily because I’ve found myself needing them, but because I know that, especially after ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
This is something that I think we as Oberlin students sometimes have trouble with. We’re so quick to jump up and be the most politically correct but it doesn’t do any good for the kids who don’t have it all down yet. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– last year’s bias incidents, they’ve become much more essential and beneficial to the people around me. So when someone who’s white, cisgender and heterosexual tells me they don’t think safe spaces need to exist, I get a little heated and may use phrases such as “go suck one.”
What I’m realizing now is that while this was a completely legitimate gut reaction, it probably wasn’t the best phrasing to use with someone who has little to no personal experience with these issues. In reality, she did nothing wrong. It was just unfortunate for her that she chose to discuss the issue with someone who’s had to discuss it a million times before with people just like her. I tend to get a little tense when people ask me ignorant questions. And by that I simply mean questions I feel everyone should know the answer to. The whole experience sucks; anyone who’s been there knows that it’s awkward and worthy of a few winces. But the thing is, the questions are coming from ignorance, not stupidity or malice. My friends genuinely want to understand, and here I am yelling at them until they’re afraid to ask any more questions. And it’s not just straight kids, it’s any person who’s had little exposure to another person’s culture. Instead of trying to help my friends understand, I get defensive and argumentative. This may, in fact, be the opposite of what I want to do. Still, I understand the need for some people to get defensive. If you don’t want to talk about these issues to better the life of someone who doesn’t quite understand your culture, that’s completely respectable. It’s not any one person’s job to make someone with privilege feel more at ease. This is the exact reason that I sometimes let myself get away with telling a few straight kids to “go suck one.” But we’re all human See Engage, page 7
The Oberlin Review, October 4, 2013
Absolute and Reported Truth: Recognizing the Difference Elizabeth Kuhr Contributing Writer In an eager endeavor to digest all that the news has to offer about the Arab Spring, particularly with regard to the current Egyptian and Syrian revolutionary movements working to reform the countries’ political spheres, I’ve come across many well-seasoned critics pointing out the blatant and buried flaws in the Western world’s attempt to report on this watershed moment. I recently heard it argued, for example, that, because of the U.S.’s vested interest in a political partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood, The New York Times has become a major sympathizer for pro-Morsi Egyptians who were ostracized when the public and army ousted the president this summer. The paper, frequently featuring bloodied Brotherhood protestors in their headlines, has failed to mention the Brotherhood’s history of violent attacks against unarmed civilians in Cairo. But sometimes, this “misreporting” is unintentional, not political. With regard to Syria, correspondents from the Western world and their far-flung journalist cohorts from other countries scrambling in support of the world powers, argue that cultural barriers, the country’s lockdown on foreigners and minimal contact with those on the ground hinder their ability to publish works that describe the conflict in whole. In response to these gaps in media representation, the communities affected and those in opposition, critically responding to a given event, rally for the projection and protection of their authentic voices and experiences. Although it in part positively empowers some to vocalize concerns and share personal narratives, this problem nonetheless continues to prevail in journalism and is rarely discussed. In Introduction to Documentary, Bill Nichols, a contemporary documentary
theoretician, reflects on Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s cinéma vérité, a theory relevant to this major but infrequently addressed flaw in journalism. The theory argues that footage of an unscripted interaction captures only the “truth of the encounter,” but not an absolute truth. It doesn’t, and can’t, make a strong, generalized postulation about reality. Many truths exist. Perspective, identity, motive, memory and institution — all of –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Many truths exist. Perspective, identity, motive, memory and institution — all of which depend upon an individual’s background — impact what one considers “truth.” ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– which depend upon an individual’s background — impact what one considers “truth.” The problem is that these truths cannot be reconciled in one clip or publication. Factors like being an American paper and maintaining its reputation for groundbreaking investigative journalism influence whom The New York Times contacts for interviews, what takes priority and what they ultimately understand as the truth. So what do we do? I propose we think like Rouch and Morin when it comes to the news we read. Remain cognizant of the potential backgrounds, motives and goals of the source from which you consume news. Read, watch and listen to pieces from a spectrum of publications. Hop on the citizen journalism bandwagon — a rapidly growing trend of civilian reporting through forums, op-eds and social media. Trust that what you’re digesting is truth, but always assume another truth exists.
Enough is Enough: the TSA Must Be Privatized
Aaron Pressman Contributing Writer
There is only one governmental body in the United States that handles nearly as many packages on a daily basis as the United States Postal Service. Every air traveler has heard of it: the Transportation Security Administration. If you’ve flown in the United States before, you may know TSA officers as the people who always make you late for your flight, or the routine gropers before you board an aircraft. These officers may have taken some of your carry-ons, or they may have ransacked your bags in an attempt to find prohibited items. The ineffective TSA has been ruining air travel for far too long and needs to be stopped. There was once a time in the United States, just a few years ago, when taking X-ray style images of unwilling people would land the perpetrator in prison. The TSA has changed at the expense of the flyer. For a mandatory $5 fee per round trip journey, passengers can wait in lines, lose their civil liberties and have their belongings confiscated. Select Middle Eastern travelers
can even be racially profiled to receive extra screening at no additional charge! What is the reasoning behind this, you may ask? According to the TSA, our security is at stake. While the TSA is right when they say that airport screenings are crucial to our homeland security, you might want to think twice about trusting an organization that fails to stop thousands of passengers each year from bringing in prohibited items through checkpoints. Some of the items that have “slipped through” include box cutters, knives, large quantities of liquid and even loaded guns. Since the birth of the TSA in 2001, millions of passengers have been screened, yet the organization has successfully caught zero confirmed terrorists. The TSA has, however, made a significant impact on the life of air travelers. For one, passengers are much more likely to leave checkpoints with fewer belongings than when they arrived. Some passengers have their belongings stolen by TSA officers, while others accidentally leave valuables at checkpoints. Other passengers have their belongings confiscated, even if the items
are not specifically prohibited, such as a young child who had his Christmas present, Play-Doh, snatched from him just in case it might have been a bomb. The TSA has also been known to terrorize and abuse passengers, including intrusively patting down 3-year-olds in wheelchairs and verbally abusing passengers who do not immediately obey all commands, treating these innocent Americans like convicted terrorists. If, hypothetically, air travel were safe and secure because of the TSA, I could overlook these downsides, but the TSA’s fundamental problem is that the terrorists are always one step ahead. Each rule created by the TSA stems from an act of terrorism that has already been attempted or committed. After Richard Reid tried to blow up a plane with a bomb hidden in his shoe, the TSA mandated that passengers take their shoes off. Likewise, after terrorists in Britain tried to blow up a plane with liquid explosives, the TSA implemented a prohibition of liquids. Terrorists continually create new ways to get around TSA’s regulations because the TSA only responds to
terrorist plots that have already been attempted. In order to truly stop terrorism, security needs to be one step ahead of the terrorists, not the other way around. To put it simply, the rules and procedures of the TSA just do not make any sense. There really are not any “good” solutions to the problem of airport security, but there certainly are better alternatives to the current set up. One fundamental reason why the TSA can get away with so many transgressions and unreasonable rules is that they are not held accountable for their actions. The organization is run and operated by the government, meaning it has no competitors. Private corporations, on the other hand, would be required to treat customers well and make all possible efforts to keep lines moving and keep costs down. If a private security firm does not do a good job, it will lose its business to another firm. This is a form of encouragement for private entities that the government does not have. The privatization model required to reform the TSA should go significantly beyond the privatization model used currently in 16 U.S. airports. Right
now, these private screeners are required to follow the same guidelines as TSA employees, nullifying many of the benefits of privatization. Although it is a small step toward accountability, private security firms need to be given the freedom to create their own models for effective security. This will solve the problem of the TSA’s ineffectiveness. Private firms can create less intrusive systems that catch more terrorists. Unlike the TSA, private firms are motivated by their competitors. Firms should still be regulated by the government to ensure that their policies do not place national security in jeopardy, but they should also be given enough freedom to be innovative and responsive to the requests of passengers. This model should slowly be phased into all airports across the country, leading to the ultimate disbanding of the TSA. The current state of air travel in the United States is not safe. Beyond the hassles and abuse that occurs each day at checkpoints, the TSA is largely ineffective. Through privatization, there is so much to gain and so little to lose.
The Oberlin Review, October 4, 2013
Western Women in the East: Response to UChicago Student’s Take on Studying Abroad in India Sophia Ottoni-Wilhelm Opinions Editor On Aug. 18, a University of Chicago student using the alias Rose Chasm published an article, “India: the Story You Never Want To Hear,” on CNN’s website. In hopes of giving readers a glimpse of what women experience in India, the South Asian studies major discussed incidents of sexual harassment she experienced while spending the semester abroad. The things she describes are incredibly disturbing: a man masturbating at her on the bus, men filming her dancing at a festival and stalking her through crowds and a staff member at her hotel attempting to rape her friend. These traumas ultimately led to Chasm’s breakdown and two-day institutionalization about four months after she returned. She is currently on a leave of absence from the University of Chicago and has been diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder. Surprisingly, her story has generated a great deal of backlash. People have criticized her, saying she must have dressed inappropriately, spent time in the wrong places and that she has no place publicizing the country’s issues. After working in Nepal for three and a half months this summer, I speak from personal experience when I say that all
these comments are completely off the mark. Each morning I taught English, biology and math at an understaffed school in my neighborhood before going to work at an NGO that helps rescue and rehabilitate women who have been trafficked into India to work as sex slaves. I worked hard and kept to myself, carefully covering my body before going out. I didn’t go drinking or partying, and still men leered and stared at me every single day — proposing sex, commenting on my body or my face — and twice a man grabbed me. Just as Chasm describes feeling ripped apart by the experiences, I felt these things wear me out. Look by look, comment by comment, the harassment started feeling regular. Mentally I curled inward, ignoring the things happening to me in order to keep working and functioning. Now that I’m back at Oberlin, things couldn’t feel less normal. The things I experienced this summer have started catching up with me. For the first time in my life I’m having vivid flashbacks, bad dreams and problems connecting to people. Understandably so, given the work I was doing at the NGO with recovering sex slaves, teaching at the school and generally immersing myself in a culture so alien to my own. The purpose of sharing such experi-
ences is not to publicize the problems of another country, but to inform people planning to travel, work or study abroad of the importance of preparing mental health strategies. It shouldn’t have to be this way — women shouldn’t have to steel –––––––––––––––––––––––––––———
Look by look, comment by comment, the harassment started feeling regular. Mentally I curled inward, ignoring the things happening to me in order to keep working and functioning. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––——— themselves for inevitable harassment. But, since this is the way things are, at least for now, people need to know how common Chasm’s experiences are. Hundreds of Western women returning from Asia have received similar diagnoses of PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders. It is important to mention that, just as Chasm described the duality of her study abroad experience, I find myself similarly torn between the beautiful and terrifying things I experienced this summer. On the
Shutdown Shows Partisanship Trumps Nation’s Well-Being Sean Para Columnist
The recent shutdown of the federal government serves as yet another stark reminder of the systemic failures of our political system. It did not need to happen; it did not have to happen; it should not have happened. A conservative wing of the Republican party has brought the entire federal government to a halt in order to attempt to destroy healthcare laws yet again. These laws have been passed by Congress, upheld by the Supreme Court and, by virtue of President Obama’s reelection, supported by the American people. Despite all this, right-wing opposition to the laws continues. Now, they are trying to defund the healthcare laws as a quid pro quo for funding the government. This shows blatant disregard for our constitutional system and the interests and wishes of the American people. However, at a more basic level, the acceptance of this utter failure by so many Americans highlights another major fault in our political system — large scale disaffection and apathy toward the government. The problem of apathy toward the American government showed itself to me recently in a very personal way. Two hours before the shutdown, I was hanging out with a few friends and I mentioned the imminent halt of national government.
No one knew what I was talking about. This is an issue that has been dominating the news for weeks and I was the only person in the room fully aware of it. Politicians in Washington are able to get away with blatantly failing to do their jobs or work for the public interest because their constituents remain indifferent to their actions. The public function of the American government has been subsumed by partisan politics, and –––––––––––––––––––––––––––
The government is failing in its basic function of working toward the best interests of the American people and we are letting it. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––
the American people have let it happen. There have been no mass protests, no grassroots movements to force members of Congress to come to a deal. Instead, complacency has let politicians stop the government for ideological reasons. Whether people care or not, the federal shutdown will affect the lives of many Americans. All non-essential government workers will exist in a purgatory — not being paid, yet still technically employed. Equally serious is that the multitudinous federal agencies that provide so many services to the
American people will cease to function. Hopefully this crisis will be resolved soon, but until it is, much of the public sector will simply stop functioning. Americans should not put up with this. This shutdown did not have to occur. There is no shortage of money and no impending crisis or recent disaster, but simply a refusal from Congress to pass a new budget. The government is failing in its basic function of working toward the best interests of the American people, and we are letting it. This shutdown is not only a catastrophe, but also an opportunity. Perhaps this will be the turning point where the American populace stops letting the government fail to perform its duties. In order to pass a budget divorced from any destruction of the healthcare reform, the Republican party will have to be broken. Only time will tell whether or not it can remain united in the face of continued opposition. The best solution to the current crisis would be a rejection of the conservative Republicans by the rest of the party and the passage of a bipartisan budget funding the government and upholding healthcare. This would be a major step toward ending partisan politics. In order to affect serious change, however, the American people need to stop letting politicians put partisanship over the nation’s well-being.
one hand I’m incredibly thankful for my time in Nepal; I got to know many amazing people and saw unbelievable strength in the women I worked with and the children I taught. On the other, I wish I could’ve had those experiences without having to lay awake at night, haunted by terrifying memories and recovering from traumas that occurred weeks ago. Patriarchy is deeply rooted in cultures worldwide. Women are sexually harassed in this country just as they are in Asia. As I struggle to process my experiences abroad, I think of the other dozens of Oberlin students who were abroad last year. No matter the experience had while abroad, as students return to school it is important to raise questions about how the College administration can help us incorporate what we’ve learned and witnessed. Most of all, I hope that the College will take my experiences and the experiences of my peers seriously: caring for us before, during and after we’ve gone abroad. Whether it is offering a workshop for students planning to go abroad or supporting a group of students to meet to talk about integrating back into college life after being abroad, something must be done to let the student body know the administration cares about our long term well-being.
Engage, Rather than Reject, Ignorance Continued from page 6 in the end, and naturally we screw up and say the wrong thing. I know this better than anyone and that’s why I think I need to step it up a bit. Instead of getting heated about the ignorance of my straight friends, I need to just tell them in a straightforward fashion what’s happening in the world of the gays and what they can do to accommodate it. This is something that I think we as Oberlin students sometimes have trouble with. We’re so quick to jump up and be the most politically
correct, but it doesn’t do any good for the kids who don’t have it all down yet. Isn’t that part of the reason we’re all here? This is supposed to be a very accepting school; that’s a reputation that shouldn’t be brought down by our personal desires to win the award for being the most politically correct. We should be quicker to educate the ignorant, rather than to attack them. People should be allowed to ask questions and maybe instead of biting their heads off the first chance we get, we should help them to understand.
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John Frederick Oberlin Monument / Designed by Paul Arnold, artist and Oberlin professor emeritus of art, the John Frederick Oberlin Monument was erected in 1994 for the clergyman and humanitarian whom the college is named after. Oberlin was considered by many as a saint of the Protestant Church and spent his time helping impoverished citizens in Alsace, a historic region of northeastern France. The memorial depicts an optical illusion of an image that is a bird or a flower depending on an onlooker’s point of view. This concept was a feature of Oberlin’s pastoral teachings.
Herb Garden / As a 50th reunion gift from the class of 1939, an herb garden was planted on the lawn of the Allen Memorial Art Museum. The garden is 30 by 50 ft and includes herbs such as thyme, lavender, fennel and chives.
Herb Derwig’s Ivy / One of the most hidden memorials on campus is Herb Derwig’s Ivy. Located on the middle stone column on the outside entrance of the ’Sco and DeCafé is the engraving “Herb Derwig’s Ivy.” The memorial commemorates Oberlin student Herbert Derwig, who was killed in 1945 by a mine during the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. During his time at Oberlin he lived in the all-male dorm called the Men’s Building, which is now Wilder Hall. Derwig’s father sent Oberlin’s president Ernest H. Wilkins $25 and asked that a memorial be created for the anniversary of his son’s death. Wilkins decided to plant ivy next to the Men’s Building, allowing the plant to grow along the walls of the building, and commissioned the engraving of Derwig’s name above the original planting site.
The Memorial Arch / Erected in 1903, the Memorial Arch stands for the fallen missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions who lost their lives during the Boxer uprising in China in 1900. The monument memorializes 13 missionaries and five children. As four of the deceased were Oberlin students or family members, Oberlin College was chosen as the monument’s home. Originally Oberlin’s campus was located solely in Tappan Square, and the arch served as the main entrance to the campus. The purpose of the arch has caused controversy over the years, as students have argued that the Boxers wanted to rid China of foreign influences and the missionaries should not have been there in the first place.
War Memorial Garden / During a four day event reflecting on the impact of “the war years” in August 1995, Bill Warren, OC ’48, suggested the college should build a monument honoring Oberlin alumni who lost their lives in World War II. Warren formed a 10-member committee which decided to create a memorial that includes all alumni, both military and civilian, regardless of the nation they served. The monument includes Masaru Nakamura, a graduate of the Oberlin School of Theology, who was killed while serving for the Imperial Japanese Navy. Some committee members didn’t think it was appropriate to include Nakamura and considered rethinking the criteria for the deceased the memorial included. However, in the end the committee decided to include Nakamura. The design included space to memorialize those killed in other wars. Landscape architect James McKnight designed a low wall that included bronze plaques for the deceased. The wall also closed off a space for the garden alongside Finney Chapel. The memorial was completed in 1997, costing about $52,000.
Giant Three-Way Plug / Emerging from the ground, in front of the Allen Memorial Art Building is Pop Art icon and American sculptor Claes Oldenburg’s “Giant Three-Way Plug”. The plug was Oldenburg’s first commissioned public sculpture in 1970. Oldenburg wanted the sculpture to look like it fell out of the sky. However, the artist was also interested in the sculpture’s relationship to the earth, claiming the plug was acting as a natural object within the outside setting. Oldenburg is known for creating larger-thanlife replicas of everyday items. There will be a Sunday Object Talk on Oldenburg’s sculpture this Sunday at 2 p.m.
This Week Editor: Olivia Gericke Sources: Oberlin College Archives, Oberlin Online, Oberlin Review Archives, Oberlin Blog, Visit Lorain County.
Feel the power of the organ during a concert by Conservatory organ majors in Finney Chapel.
Oberlin Film Series Presents: The Princess and the Frog Friday, Oct. 4 at 9 p.m.
Climate 911 – Climate Change is a Public Health Emergency Sunday, Oct. 6 at 4:30 p.m.
Bring some blankets and snacks to Wilder Bowl to watch The Princess and the Frog projected on the side of Mudd Library. If weather is uncomfortable, the screening will be held in West Lecture Hall.
Join Doctor Wendy Ring in the Hallock Auditorium of the AJLC for a talk on how climate change is harming essential resources such as air, water, food and a safe place to live.
Oberlin Rocks / Tappan Square is home to two large rocks, which have become the campus’s spray paint bulletin boards. However, the rocks’ original purpose was to stand as monuments for the class of 1898 and for the founders of Oberlin College, John Jay Shipherd and Philo Penfield Stewart. The rocks came to Tappan in 1897 when the men’s senior class was required to take a general geology course. A student mentioned there was an interesting boulder in Plum Creek, and the professor asked the class to bring the rock to campus. In the middle of the night, a group of senior boys headed to Plum Creek, located at Morgan Street and South Professor Street, with crowbars, lanterns and a wheelbarrow. Around 5 a.m. the students got the boulder onto campus, without getting in trouble for being out after 10 p.m. curfew. The junior male students, upset that the seniors didn’t get in trouble, threatened to blow up the boulder with nitroglycerin. During a campus-wide service in Finney Chapel, a student argued the geological significance of the boulder and presented it as a gift from the class of 1898 to the College.
Winter is coming. Although this fall has been uncharacteristically warm, all veteran students know that campus will soon be covered in a deep frost and mounds of snow that won’t disappear until May. Now is the time to walk around, before you dread stepping out on those icy pathways and decide to call RideLine to avoid walking one block. So get out there and learn something new about Oberlin’s history by taking a tour of the campus’s monuments and memorials.
Underground Railroad Sculpture / Cameron Armstrong, OC ’77, designed the Underground Railroad sculpture for a class art project during his senior year at Oberlin. The class of 1977 funded the project to allow the sculpture to become a permanent fixture on campus. The sculpture is located near Talcott Hall and commemorates Oberlin as a stop on the Underground Railroad, as it provided a direct route to Lake Erie, which led to Canada. However, many escaping slaves stayed in Oberlin because they felt so safe. In fact, no escaped slaves were ever caught or returned to bondage in Oberlin.
Friday Night Organ Pump Friday, Oct. 4 at midnight
Co-education Centennial Memorial Gateway / Located near the Allen Memorial Art Museum is the Co-education Centennial Memorial Gateway, created in 1937 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Oberlin College allowing women to enroll for the first time. Oberlin was the first college to have female students attend as equals to men.
Look Around This Week
Wrestling With God Sunday, Oct. 6 at 8:30 p.m.
Information Session: Green Corps Monday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.
AMAM Tuesday Tea Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 2:30 p.m.
Performance by Staceyann Chin Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.
Come to Wilder 101 to hear how one man from Catholic school in Brooklyn who questioned religion, faith and God and went on to minister an evangelical church in Oklahoma and a Jewish yeshiva in Jerusalem.
Go to Wilder 315 to learn more about Green Corps’s year-long paid program, which will give you intensive environmental training. During the program you will get the opportunity to fight against crucial environmental problems.
Sebastian Faber, professor of Hispanic Studies and director of the Oberlin Center for Languages and Cultures, will discuss his work on ObieMAPS in the East Gallery of the Allen Museum.
Go to the Cat in the Cream for a free performance by Staceyann Chin, a self-described Jamaican-born, Brooklyn-living, womanloving, writer/poet, political activist and performance artist.
Arts The Oberlin Review
October 4, 2013
Oberlin Welcomes Visiting South African Singers Lydia Rice A delegation of South African musicians visited Oberlin last month, returning the visit that was paid to their Conservatory by a contingency of Oberlin students in the past year. Nombuso Ndlandla, along with fellow vocalists Tammy Aslett and Palesa Malieloa, senior voice lecturer Dr. Conroy Alan Cupido and senior piano lecturer Dr. Tinus Botha, were part of the group from Potchefstroom, South Africa’s NorthWest School of Music & Conservatory. Their visit to Oberlin lasted for roughly a week, from Friday, Sept. 20 through Saturday, Sept. 28. In this short period of time, they managed to get a lot done: performing, sitting in on classes in the Conservatory and taking part in workshops. Their two performances were held on Sunday evening at Afrikan Heritage House on Sept. 22 and at Kendal at Oberlin on Wednesday, Sept. 25. This wasn’t the first interaction between the residents of Oberlin and the North-West Conservatory. For a week during last year’s Winter Term, two Conservatory students and three faculty members visited North-West, taking part in tours, workshops and finally a conjoined concert, which from all accounts was a success. At the performance titled “Vocal Fusion: An Evening of Opera, Art Song, and Musical Theater,”
Dr. Tinus Botha provides wonderful accompaniment on the piano to the dulcet tones of Nombuso Ndlandla, the coloratura soprano from the North-West School of Music & Conservatory. She visited Oberlin all the way from Potchefstroom, South Africa. Simeon Deutsch
the singers were accompanied by Dr. Botha on the piano. The three young women stayed true to the program by performing a variety of songs for a very receptive audience. Ndlandla, a coloratura soprano, started off the evening by singing “Tornami a vagheggiar,” a Handel aria from Alcina. After her, Malieloa, an operatic soprano, sang
two European tunes from a slightly later era: “Gretchen am Spinnrade” and “Cäcilie” by Franz Schubert and Richard Strauss, respectively. After Ndlandla sang “V’adoro, pupille” from Handel’s opera Giulio Cesare, Malieloa alternated by singing “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta” from Puccini’s La Rondine, and Ndlandla returned again to sing “Ständchen”
by Strauss, the composer who the audience reacted to most enthusiastically, and an Afrikaans art song by S. Le Roux Marais called “Rooidag.” Malieloa returned one last time to the stage to sing two contrasting melodies: a smooth and lovely Zulu art song called “Ngenani” and, from the opera Giuditta, “Meine Lippen,
sie küssen so heiß” by Franz Lehár. The latter was especially entertaining, as Malielona, with her eyebrow seductively raised as she confidently reached some seriously high notes, made herself out to be a slick femme fatale. The recital ended when Aslett, a jazz vocalist, sang tunes more in line with musical theater. Her set began with a cute love song about “Taylor the Latte Boy,” followed by “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” from Wicked. Though her rendition of the latter song was a bit subdued, she gave a very enjoyable performance. When the set ended and the rest of the singers went onstage, there was rapturous applause. It was not only the audience that appreciated this group’s stay in Oberlin. The visitors really enjoyed themselves, with Dr. Cupido expressing enthusiasm at the exchange program and hoping that this would lead to future study abroad work with the College. Meanwhile, the women said they were very pleased with the campus, the classes, the teachers, the albino squirrels and, of all things, the food. Everyone appreciated this brief association between two countries, and if the reception at the small auditorium at Kendal at Oberlin was any evidence, further associations with the North-West School of Music & Conservatory will surely not be far in the future.
African Art Lecture Reveals Gaps in Contextual Knowledge
Roche Returns to Share Poetic Music, Oberlin Anecdotes
“Is that bothering you guys?” singer-songwriter Lucy Wainwright Roche, OC ’03, slyly asked in her feather-light voice, as she stood in red leather boots, tuning a guitar with a borrowed strap on the Cat in the Cream stage last Thursday. The audience laughed, and it was unclear when exactly she stopped talking and started singing: “Why not put all our doubts behind us / We’ve got Brooklyn at its finest.” In celebration of the release of her sophomore album, There’s a Last Time for Everything, on Oct. 15, Roche drove to Oberlin from New York to play a reunion concert of sorts at her alma mater. “Pennsylvania, man. It’s too bad about that,” she said in a knowing voice after her first song, and already the audience was comfortable enough to return with a co-op knock. She seamlessly launched into a cover of Richard Shindell’s “The Next Best Western,” about driving to Ohio and listening to Christian radio, hoping God will keep you from falling asleep and driving into a truck on your way to a motel. Before she experienced the trials and tribulations of Interstate 80, Lucy Wainwright Roche grew up in a family of musicians.
Constantine Petridis, curator of African Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, visited Oberlin on Monday to give the first in a series of lectures titled “Fragments, Pathways, and New Geographies” that are being held in tandem with Oberlin’s search for a new Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora professor. In his talk, “Fragments of Life: African Art In and Out of Context,” Petridis focused on the 34-piece African art collection of Belgian couple René and Odette Delenne acquired by the museum in 2010. The CMA is set to give the collection of sculptures, masks and other objects its American debut in an exhibition opening in October. Addressing the audience “mainly as a museum curator,” Petridis said he wished to “shed light on the fragmentary status of our knowledge in African art.” When Western institutions first began acquiring and exhibiting African art, it was often with little or no understanding of historical context. The first exhibition of African art was presented at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in the 1935 exhibition African Negro Art. Masks and sculptures stood against stark white walls without any text, presented for their figurative aesthetic value. Petridis said that by providing a clearer picture of the objects’ original meaning, the CMA’s exhibition would stand in contrast to its predecessors and not be “art for art’s sake, but art for life’s sake.” Increased accessibility to new technologies such a–s specifically purposed X-ray machines allow museums to add useful information from underneath an object’s surface to primary material like video and photography. This represents a move from a broad, uninformed display to a more focused contextual offering. However, the damaging aspect of handling these objects, let alone the initial acquisition from their countries of origin, is still a hotly debated issue. Many sculptures and masks served as only one piece of a larger performance or purpose, often serving as an intermediary to the spiritual world. Wood carvers of the Songye tribe from the Democratic Republic of the Congo made sculptures for ceremonial purposes. While the pieces’ spiritual significance was tied to ceremonial dress and costume, these articles were often discarded by collectors who saw the additional decorations as See Legacy, page 13
Her parents are Suzzy Roche of The Roches and Grammy-winner Loudon Wainwright III, and her siblings Rufus and Martha Wainwright both have successful musical careers of their own. Growing up in Greenwich Village, Lucy considered herself something of a rebel, since she was the only one in her family who chose not to pursue music at a young age. However, after completing a creative writing degree at Oberlin, a master’s degree in education at the Bank Street College of Education and pursuing a teaching career in New York City, she went on tour as a backup singer with her brother Rufus Wainwright, and within two years had released a debut EP, 8 Songs in 2007. 8 More followed a year later, and in 2010 she released her first full-length album, Lucy. Now Brooklyn-based, Roche has been compared to Joni Mitchell and has played with Neko Case, the Indigo Girls, Girlyman, Dar Williams and Amos Lee. On her last album, she collaborated with This American Life’s Ira Glass on a cover of Elliot Smith’s “Say Yes.” She won the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s “Emerging Artist” competition in 2008, and a year later the Grassy Hill Kerville Folk Festival’s “New Folk Singer-Songwriter Competition.” Though she eventu-
ally followed in her family’s footsteps career-wise, she’s developed a uniquely sweet and serious folk sound. Her forthcoming album will be the first full-length album in her eight-year career without any contribution from her family members. Roche might have left her creative writing degree and teaching career behind in favor of music, but the poetry in her music is Dylan-esque, with lyrics like “My love, my love, are you on a winter beach tonight? / Waiting on a last chance rocket ride over the boardwalk?” from “Open Season.” During shows, she says what’s on her mind, plays some beautiful music — from her originals to Beatles covers to Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” — and doesn’t take any of it too seriously. Her songs revolve around life on the road, beautiful people in beautiful places, the nature of memory and reflection, loving someone who’s wrong for you (“That song was written about an Oberlin grad,” she giggled after “The Worst Part”) and “rocking numbers” that she turns into “sad snoozers,” like “Call Your Girlfriend.” The sweetest part of the show was how at home Roche felt here. See Folk, page 13
The Oberlin Review, October 4, 2013
Dirty Projectors Double Bassist Nat Baldwin Proves Awkward but Engrossing in Solo Performance Willa Rosenberg-Rubin Nat Baldwin, bassist in Dirty Projectors, used a double bass and a bow to share his reflections on some important themes last Wednesday at the Cat in the Cream. Baldwin, on tour in support of his upcoming album People Changes, reflected on growing up, feeling empty inside, finding oneself and discovering how to connect to others during his sparse, mellifluous set. If you know Baldwin, it’s probably because of his work with his main act, whose most recent full-length effort, Swing Lo Magellan, landed on several year-end best-of charts in 2012. If not, you’ve likely heard him before: He has contributed songwriting and bass playing to other bands in the alternative and folk scenes, including Vampire Weekend and Grizzly Bear. This tour, Baldwin serenely told his packed audience, was his first solo trek in over a year. However, his jazz background, technical virtuosity as a bassist and vocal accompaniment made him distinguishable as a solo musician. His rhythms were so complex that at times, it
was unclear if his vocals were following his bass notes or if he was improvising along the lines of his lyrics. Between Baldwin’s frequent mix of strummed or bowed chords, single-note playing and occasional vibrato, it often sounded as if he was backed by a larger group of musicians. The richness of both his instrument and his voice permeated throughout the Cat, producing a very distinct sound that creatively melded two different musical sounds. Baldwin’s mix of older and newer material told stories about various people and places; he chose to open with one of his most recent songs, “Lake Erie,” because he felt it to be “geographically appropriate.” This song, along with “Sharpshooter,” connected smaller details one might observe in nature with greater life themes. He also covered the Arthur Russell song “A Little Lost,” which fit thematically with the rest of his set. The more intense bowing on this song made it even more distinct and contributed to a very meditative Cat environment. Between songs, Baldwin made a concerted effort to engage with the audience, despite
some initial awkwardness. Sometimes in the middle of sharing an anecdote — often about his current tour — he would shrug as if to say, “It’s whatever,” begin his next song, and commence again with some single notes before leading into a heartier piece. Toward the end of his show, he checked his email on his phone before playing a final song. One might say that Baldwin’s performance was reminiscent of Ben Sollee’s last October; after all, they played such similar instruments — Baldwin on bass, Sollee on cello — while singing about the same sorts of topics, and had a similar effect on the audience. Still, it is remarkable that Baldwin reached the same level of fluidity and harmony in his individual performance, whereas Sollee only did this with the help of a guitarist and drummer. Baldwin took a bare-bones formula — one man, one instrument — and extracted the maximum amount of entertainment from it while captivating his audience. If his record is at all as pleasantly moving as last week’s show, it will absolutely be worth checking out.
Nat Baldwin channeled both excitement and honesty into his solo show at the Cat last Wednesday. Effie Kline-Salamon
Improv Troupes Concoct Crazy Characters in Joint Performance Dessane Cassell On Saturday night, Warner Gymnasium’s Studio Two was filled to the brim students packed in for a double dose of improv. Primitive Streak and Sunshine Scouts, Oberlin’s long-form troupes, treated the audience to a night of appropriately inappropriate comedic spoofs, proving once more that you’re never too old for Mean Girls references or some awkward sexual tension. The 10 members of Primitive Streak bounded through the rows of mismatched chairs, bleachers and couches to take their place on the studio’s main floor at 8 p.m. sharp. In signature improv style, the troupe started things off by soliciting some weird, funny and occasionally gross suggestions from the audience. Settling on the term “metamorphoses” for a comedic catalyst, College senior and Primitive Streak coach Maya Sharma began the set with a bit of quiet reflection on the topic. Recounting cringe-worthy memories from high school, Sharma chatted about being the outsider and the importance of standing up to bullies (even if only inside your own head or shower stall). New members and College sophomores Peter Durning and Charlie Kaplowitz, along with Streak Director and College senior Babaak Parcham, joined her for an adaptation of some Mean Girls scenes in an improvised bathroom, demonstrating that the shower is a perfect place for working out some frustration over high school cliques and insecurities. Themes of awkwardness, exclusion and, of course, metamorphoses, remained strong throughout the following skits. College juniors Christine Walden, Julia Melfi, Arif Silverman and Max Merrill composed hilarious shorts that moved seamlessly from sandbox wars to office politics. College junior Erin Amlicke and College sophomore Caio Ingber also shone in a kidnapping skit, in which the two played deadpan and cynical children trapped in the subway. To finish, the entire troupe came together to move from the kidnapping skit into an elaborate art museum heist, and ended with a skit that poked fun at a model family in a Starbucks. Following the Primitive Streak performance, there was a bit of confusion surrounding the 30-minute intermission that was to precede the Sunshine Scouts’ set. Still, the size of the audience didn’t decrease a bit. By 9 p.m., the studio was packed once again, providing a warm welcome to the Sunshine Scouts, who entered the studio whooping and waving energetically from the stage side of the room. After several suggestions from the crowd, the Scouts decided to start with “toothpaste,” setting the stage for an evening of comedic
what Pfander refers to as his “vandalized tombstone of a mouth,” the son, played by Foos, acted as a comedic example of teenage insecurity, prompting laughs from the audience who could probably empathize with the character in one way or another. After alternating between continuations of these three main skits, the Scouts finished strong with an enactment of a dentistry conference gone awry and a return to Greenthal’s character stranded in the woods. Overall, both acts were a hit, offering students a great way to unwind and have a good laugh on a Saturday night. Both performances were 30 minutes on the mark, moving from one skit to the next with ease and continuity. The new recruits of both groups were especialMembers of Primitive Streak tap into their animal instincts. The long-form improv troupe treated ly strong performers. Durning and Kaplowitz the audience to a double-feature show along with the Sunshine Scouts. Arcadia Rom-Frank from Primitive Streak, and Arnholz, Foos and Gaston from the Sunshine Scouts all stood out, mishaps and questionable dental hygiene prac- with Arnholz to work out a family rivalry that even among their more experienced peers. They tices. College senior Brian Gale and College ju- erupts between a father and his awkward son. demonstrated a perfect blend of smart and silly nior Taylor Greenthal, both troupe co-captains, Envious of his father’s teeth and ashamed of humor that truly resonated with the crowd. opened the set with a skit of what could easily be deemed the worst camping trip ever. Starting off as only slightly odd — with Gale’s character using tree bark for a toothbrush — the skit quickly developed into a tragically humorous tale in which Greenthal’s character finds herself stuck in a shack with Gale, who turns out to be a fugitive convinced that the two of them are dating. Needless to say, their adventures proved to be quite interesting and, with time, downright hilarious, as the Scouts returned to these characters at later intervals. College First-year Jesse Arnholz and College sophomore Evan Hertafeld followed with a skit that started out as a simple good deed, with Arnholz playing the part of a rough but undoubtably good Samaritan that offers to walk Hertafeld — as a convincingly crotchety senior citizen — across the street. By the end of the skit, the pair skipped off to the side to give Hertafeld’s character the chance to brush a tiger’s teeth, mostly keeping a straight face. In another standout skit, College junior Will Banfield, College sophomore Sam Pfander and College first-years Harley Foos and Jessie Gaston came together
The Oberlin Review, October 4, 2013
On the Record: eighth blackbird Pianist Lisa Kaplan, OC ’96 Chicago-based contemporary music sextet eighth blackbird formed at Oberlin in 1996. They have won three Grammy awards for their recordings and established ensemble-in-residence positions at the University of Richmond, the University of Chicago and the Curtis Institute of Music. On Friday Oct. 4, they will perform with Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble in Warner Concert Hall, premiering works by Oberlin TIMARA Professors Tom Lopez and Peter Swendsen. Lisa Kaplan, pianist in eighth blackbird, talked with the Review about returning to Oberlin, the challenges of a premiere, and working with her former mentor 17 years later. How did this project come about? We have a residency at the University of Richmond, which is where Ben Broening teaches, and Ben and Tim Weiss [the director of Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, and a mentor to eighth blackbird] know each other from a while back, from [the University of ] Michigan maybe. So they’ve been friends for a long time. Ben has a festival at the University of Richmond called Third Practice, and he has some money each year to commission new works for the festival specifically. So for last fall, he said, “I’d love to have the Oberlin CME [Contemporary Music Ensemble] come to Third Practice and I want to commission these pieces. What do you think about having the composers Tom [Lopez] and Pete [Swendsen] write pieces for Oberlin CME plus [eighth blackbird]?” And then the timing worked out really well because we would come to Oberlin, do the initial preparation, and then do the same concert in Richmond.
Had you worked with Tom or Pete before? I hadn’t worked with Pete before because I wasn’t on the piece of his that the rest of the ensemble did last year at the Third Practice Festival. Tom we had not worked with either, but I just know him. He often comes to the Richmond Festival. It’s always a different level of knowing somebody once you’re working on a piece of their music though. I know that Tom and Pete emailed you the process and inspiration behind their pieces. Does the composer’s thinking behind a piece and its title affect or inform your rehearsal process at all? I think that titles can be very meaningful for the composer or not so meaningful. Tom’s piece [is titled] Skipping Stones… I think that idea is really nice because it will be eighth blackbird and the CME sextet kind of mirrored. The idea is that you hear a musical idea that the six of us play, and then that transfers to the CME sextet playing the altered version of that same music we just played. And then even one more, in which the idea is altered even further, I think they play on toy piano, stuff like that. I personally love the imagery of when you’re skipping a stone, the further it goes, the less and less distinct the ripples become. I think that that will probably be something you can see just visually happening on the stage. That will maybe enhance the person’s experience of it, and I think that’s great. Now, I think people still want the music to speak for itself as well. And some people are very unconcerned with program notes or even knowing any of that information. You can read all the program notes afterwards if you want to.
Pete’s piece is based on the Picasso painting [“Glass of Absinthe,” on display at the Allen Memorial Art Museum]. I think that’s definitely a more abstract kind of inspiration, but probably for him it seems very concrete. I think it’s fine for it to be that way for the composer, and not have to be explained more than that to someone listening.
mond and the Curtis Institute of Music? So nice. I just have such a special place in my heart for Oberlin. I don’t know that eighth blackbird would have formed at any other school. It had so much to do with Tim Weiss. I think it also had something to do with the kind of place that Oberlin is that invites this openness and diver-
Do you have a process that you go through, both individually and as a group, when you work on a premiere? We come to the first rehearsal of a new piece very prepared, not just that we can play our own part, but that we understand how our part fits into the structure as a whole. So a lot of score study. We always ask for six scores. I spend a lot of time with my own part, marking in things that are relative to how my part fits in. And then we get together and we often put on a metronome hooked up to an amplifier, just to hear the eventual tempo. When you’re first reading off of your part and also trying to read all the cues you’ve written in, it’s a little bit harder to pay attention, so you just want to get it in your ear with all the other parts. Sometimes we’ll record ourselves in a rehearsal, because sometimes it’s hard to get the perspective of what it actually sounds like. People sometimes ask, “Oh my god, when you’re premiering a piece, how do you know what it sounds like? There’s no recording.” And I say, “Yeah, that’s what’s so cool.” You are discovering the first way of playing it. That’s so terrific.
What is it like being back at Oberlin and working with students, something you do a lot since you’re ensemble-inresidence at the University of Chicago, the University of Rich-
‘I just have a special place in my heart for Oberlin. I don’t know that eighth blackbird would have formed at any other school.’ Lisa Kaplan eighth blackbird’s pianist ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– sity of thinking. That’s the kind of students that come here. I feel like so much about how I ended up in my professional career is because of this school. I get excited about working with students who are passionate about what they’re doing, wherever they are. It gives you hope. What’s it like working with Tim Weiss now that he is no longer your teacher? It’s very collaborative, though I always felt that way about him in general. When I was 18, Tim was only about 24. Even though he exuded a certain authority, I never felt that he put people in their place, like, “I am the teacher, you are the student.” I felt that there was room in rehearsal to say, “Could you conduct in a different beat pattern?” He was very accommodating. I think that’s part of what people really like about him. I feel like he’s a part of my
life, and probably always will be. Is there a favorite moment in the pieces that you’re playing on Friday? I’m really excited to play my four-hand piece [Whirligig], each movement with a different person, and I’m playing the last movement with Sanford Margolis [Kaplan’s piano professor at Oberlin, who still teaches here today]. So that will be a little cameo appearance. Do you have any advice for groups or people advocating new music? I think one of the greatest pieces of advice is something that Tim told me very early on, which is that in order to make it, you need to be 80 percent motivated and 20 percent talented. Everyone at this Conservatory is talented; the difference is how much you want it and how much you work at it. Some people have to work harder or less hard depending on what your talent is, but the motivation factor is what will get you a long way. You cannot underestimate that. For new music, you have to stick to your guns, in terms of what it is you want your product to be. At the very beginning, we got asked a lot of the time to come to a festival, and they would say, “You can play some modern music, but could you also play some Beethoven?” That’s not what our group does, and it was hard to say no, because we had no gigs, and they were paying. But it dilutes whatever it is that you’re trying to put out there. It’s not that you should be inflexible. But at the very beginning it’s important to know what is your purpose. Interview by Daniel Hautzinger, Staff Writer
Saturday Night’s Alright for Classical: Oberlin Orchestra Stuns Audience with Works by Delius and Tchaikovsky Gabriel Kanengiser From the very first notes of the Oberlin Orchestra’s first concert of the new school year to its close, clarity emanated from the orchestra as the audience was treated to a delightful and enthusiastic performance. Conductor Raphael Jiménez presented a stellar program last Saturday night at Finney Chapel: Frederick Delius’ Violin Concerto, featuring world-renowned violinist and Oberlin professor of violin Gregory Fulkerson, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F Minor. Fulkerson captivated the room with Delius’s Violin Concerto; at points, the eminent violinist commanded so much attention that the orchestra and Jiménez appeared to be nothing more than the backdrop to a fantastical world in which the warm, heart-wrenching melodies pierced the audience. This is not to say that either the orchestra or Jiménez were absent. Rather, the orchestra constructed a texture much too vivid to be a dream, but far too surreal to be reality. The thematic motifs in Delius’s work are phrases of utmost pleasure; they are playful, methodical and consistent, but most impor-
tantly, Fulkerson brought somber melody to life over joyful orchestration, and the audience reaped the benefits. And yet, Delius’s Violin Concerto was so much more than a pleasurable experience. It is not just that Fulkerson expressed emotions that most of us cannot articulate, nor is it that the listener was willingly wooed by the performers. The magic was there because the romance only ephemerally existed in a world that the Violin Concerto inhabited, a world created by the Oberlin Orchestra with Jiménez as conductor and with Fulkerson as soloist. As the performance progressed, the world expanded and dissipated — but will never come into existence again. After intermission, the Orchestra continued with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. While the piece wasn’t flawless and didn’t create the expansive, illustrious experience of the Delius’s piece, it too was a joy to hear. The third movement of Tchaikovsky’s fourth was a wonderfully comical scherzo that presented great contrast to the powerful sounds of the fate motif explored throughout the symphony. This theme was brilliantly put in the program notes, which said that “fate awakens us,
Weaving together elements of intense emotion and skillful musicality, the Oberlin Orchestra created a musical tapestry that wowed the audience in Finney Chapel. Simeon Deutsch
… and thus, all life is the ceaseless alternation of bitter reality with evanescent visions.” The entire genius with which the orchestra played in Tchaikovsky’s symphony was not lost on those in attendance. Each movement of the symphony
ended with a conclusion worthy of praise, and none more so than the final movement. The music — borne of life with motifs of fate, hope and power — brought the audience to their feet in adoration.
The Oberlin Review, October 4, 2013
Powell and Glaser Flex Poetic Muscles at Reading Logan Buckley Staff Writer The Main Street Readings series featured an unusual treat this weekend, as Oberlin Professor of Creative Writing Lynn Powell and her friend and fellow poet Elton Glaser read from their new work in the Firelands Association of Visual Arts Gallery. Glaser, distinguished professor emeritus of English at the University of Akron, read from two books of poetry he published this year, Translations from the Flesh and The Law of Falling Bodies. Powell read “new and new-ish” poems from a collection with the working title A Scherzo for Sadness. As Powell stepped up to the podium to read, she described her recent work as “trying to sidle my way back to poetry,” after having spent the past several years at work on a nonfiction book called Framing Innocence. Evoking that uncertain and searching frame of mind, she read poetry that she described as invoking her muse, “or, more precisely, putting my muse on the spot.” While transitioning back to poetry from nonfiction must be difficult, Powell’s considerable poetic abilities seemed quite healthy. She deployed imagery of nature and mythology with equal facility, with a particular gift for addressing abstract ideas in concrete and vivid lan-
guage, often providing startling insight. “A thought doesn’t count,” read one poem, “until I can taste it on my tongue.” In another, she described the quality of being “stubborn as a love letter written in the passive voice.” There is a clear sense in her poetry of language at play, as in one poem, “a violin is trying to climb its way out of the music,” and in another as she describes footprints like “a fugue of left and wrong and right.” Glaser began his reading with a poem called “Gifts Out of Dirty Weather,” which showcased his bleak and powerful style, describing the Ohio winters “where the night ice cracks / Like a knuckle bone.” His poetry displayed a striking range and level of diction which created a tense, sometimes political edge. In a poem called “Variations Without a Theme,” he read, “I can think of several people who might want to kill me, but no one is Muslim.” In places, the range of tones did not quite cohere, but overall the technique was impressive and expanded rather than limited. The verse describing “pain tattooed on my back in letters that look the way the German language sounds” came across as approachable and incisive, avoiding the pitfall of lightness and artifice. Particularly striking were the final trio of poems that Glaser read, written in the aftermath of his wife’s death. The
first, titled “For Helen in Her Absence,” described the feeling of “more fear than grief, something ancient and naked in the dark,” and ended with a heart-stopping realization as the poem’s speaker climbs the stairs: “Steady, old man. It’s hard now anywhere you fall.” In another, the pall of grief and dread came through in lines like “I’m making a list of everything that bleeds.” The poets’ friendship seemed to come through in some of their poetry. They shared an attention to natural detail and an ear for the right word, with Powell’s fondness for wordplay finding a companion in Glaser’s poem “Not Dead but Deading,” a play on the words “alive” and “living” describing autumn. Reinforcing that reflection, both poets opened their readings with words of thanks and praise for one another. The two are poetic friends as well as personal ones, who read one another’s work and offer feedback. Powell’s reading featured an ode to her poetic friendship with Glaser; Glaser in turn began his reading by saying, “None of my poems go into the world without the Lynn Powell stamp of approval, because we all need someone to save us from ourselves.” Hearing the two poets and friends read together expanded their work, offering valuable insight and making for a most enjoyable evening.
Student Band’s Jazzy Energy a Tough Act to Follow Anne Pride-Wilt Staff Writer What’s a headliner to do when the opening band hits it out of the park? This was the problem that the Diggs Duke Quartet faced at the ’Sco last Saturday night: an opener who set the bar too high. Duke’s performance, sponsored by the Oberlin College Black Musicians Guild, was certainly unusual, but often seemed aimless and unfocused, especially in contrast with the uptempo, brass-driven stylings of superb student band R.A.I.G. Duke and his band members made a valiant attempt to shine, and were successful to some extent. Still, they never matched the energy and enthusiasm cultivated by the opener, resulting in an evening that started strong but eventually petered out.
R.A.I.G — an acronym for “Real As It Gets” — kicked off the evening at 10:45 p.m. with a high-energy dose of jazz fusion colored by funk and hip-hop and centered on a trio of trumpet, trombone and saxophone. The ensemble was rounded out by a keyboardist, bassist and drummer in order to provide rhythmic support for the centerpiece instruments. The focus on brass was encouraged by the band’s decision to supplement those musicians’ performances with choreographed and well-executed dance steps whenever they took a break from playing. The dancing also facilitated a high level of audience engagement; once or twice, trombonist and Conservatory junior Lawrence Galloway stepped off the stage to encourage those audience members standing toward the front to mimic his steps. College se-
nior Gynarva Monroe also made an appearance on two songs, rapping over R.A.I.G.’s music and thereby breaking up the stretches of otherwise-instrumental music. The audience, dancing and swaying, was clearly exhilarated by the performance; when the band stopped playing, viewers called for an encore, despite the fact that R.A.I.G. was only the opener and, as such, short on time. On paper, the music of R.A.I.G. and that of the Diggs Duke Quartet isn’t that different. Both ensembles are primarily influenced by jazz and hip-hop but draw from a variety of other sources and have many instruments in common. Their vibes, however, are totally different. In a stark departure from the ethos of the character-driven opening band, Duke didn’t station himself as the frontman of his eponymous
Lecture Discusses Legacy of Colonization Continued from page 10 damaging to the figurative and structural integrity of the piece. Petridis said that in situ, the formal aspects of these objects could have been completely insignificant compared to their contextual purpose as a part of a greater whole, raising the question of how this can be presented most transparently. The second half of the lecture saw Petridis shift his focus to this unavoidable issue of transparency, both ethical and physical, in African art. Having been introduced by Department Co-Chair and Associate Professor of Art History Bonnie Cheng, who teaches a seminar on cultural property, Petridis defended museums in their acquisition of African art. When asked by a student how he could justify displaying art outside of and without its original context, Petridis spoke of the complicated reality of the field. “I don’t think we should lament African art outside of context,” he said. “[Museums] acknowledge we don’t have all the
information and details to be as specific as we would like to be, but we must try to reconstruct the history of these objects to the best of our abilities.” The October exhibition of the Delenne collection, titled “Fragments of the Invisible,” will have iPads in front of some displays so that people can explore primary and secondary information on the objects. Petridis said he hopes they will help shed light on the fact that the object seen is only a fragment of a broader reality where “experience is central.” The experience of art extraction — some call it theft — from many African countries has been a difficult one. Many Congolese pieces in America have Belgian roots due to the country’s colonial history. Petridis said that since “we are dealing with the earlier research from a colonial context, we cannot separate these ties to Belgian works. It is unfortunately part of the story.” While insisting that he and other museums stay legally within the international regulations, the question of who owns cultural property continues to
exist as a gray area. However, as countries do have the right to claim any piece of art discovered for their national museums, the effort to reclaim cultural property has increased over the past two decades. In 2012, for example, the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments demanded that 32 bronze and ivory sculptures that had been acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston be given back after being taken by the British military in the late 19th century. The demand was made as an internet statement and has not been answered, supporting Petridis’s supposition that these government claims are usually theoretical and rarely recognized. “Governmental claims often do not have the means to prevent [claimed pieces] from being sold,” he said. Above all, Petridis’s talk indicated that many Western institutions now appear ready to delve more deeply into history in order to bring the complex intricacies of African art — and its appropriation — to light.
quartet, instead singing and playing keyboards from the back of the stage; the position was strangely occupied by the saxophonist. Duke’s reticence is an apt metaphor for his musical style — both are low-key, almost self-effacing — but in the case of the music, the accentuated laid-backness was a liability. Duke’s style is rooted firmly in unconventional recombinations of other genres and techniques and demonstrates a compellingly omnivorous sensibility. But when that sensibility manifests as quietly and slowly as it did on Saturday, the interest of the audience is undermined, making it difficult for the casual viewer to recognize Duke’s ingenuity and forcing one to wonder if the band is really heading anywhere worth following. The comparison with the opening band, which was inevitably oc-
curring in the minds of the audience members, didn’t do the Diggs Duke Quartet any favors, although it was through no fault of Duke or his band that they were judged by that standard. After a crowd is psyched up by a particularly exciting opener, it’s only natural that it should be disappointed when the headliner doesn’t deliver on the unspoken promise of a similarly upbeat, accessible follow-up. But no matter how unfair it is that the two bands are compared, and no matter how cerebral Duke’s particular brand of organic jazz may be, the headliner’s music was missing the pep demanded by the occasion, and as a result the audience’s attention waned. Maybe the Diggs Duke Quartet could take a lesson from R.A.I.G.: The best music is not only original and interesting, but also fun.
Folk Show a Candid Homecoming Continued from page 10 As an alumna, she has a personal connection to this place. When asked why she came back to Oberlin, she said she loves playing here; the audience is always “interesting,” and she worked at the Cat herself as a student. She wanted to play her music, but as much as that, she wanted to chat, catch up, see what’s changed and sing with us. “I’ve been driving alone for five years!” she exclaimed in dismay when she noticed the audience was a little shyer than she remembered. Her openness was disarming, and when the audience loosened up, there was a palpable connection to be felt. She talked about the first time she played at Oberlin (the first-year talent show, a song about babysitting); the craziest thing she ever did here (kept two cats in Langston Hall her sophomore year; the fire safety report simply said “two cats were observed”); what she listened to on her way here (“It’ll All Work Out” by Tom Petty and Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” which she wants to cover). Near the end of the show, she called her dog, Maybe, up on stage, and put it right to sleep while everyone sang along to “Wild Mountain Thyme” by Francis McPeake. Upon request, she played “Snare Drum,” which she described as an “Ohio song.” It won her
Roche returns to her alma mater to celebrate the release of her newest album, There’s a Last Time for Everything. Rachel Grossman
an Independent Music Award for Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Song in 2009. Afterward, audience members commented that there was something full and therapeutic about hearing her voice. Perhaps seeing their Oberlin experience mirrored in hers reminded them how calling a certain town in Ohio home for four years can take on far more meaning in retrospect than one attributes to it when they’re still in the midst of the experience.
IN THE LOCKER ROOM
The Oberlin Review, October 4 , 2013
Ultimate Frisbee Captains
This week the Review sat down with the captains of the Flying Horsecows and the Preying Manti, seniors Alex Kapiamba, Quinn Schiller, and Rosie Black and sophomore Ally Fulton, to get the inside scoop on Ultimate Frisbee, excited first-years and trying sports meditation.
person who is observing and coming up with a strategy. It’s hard to be on field and doing that, so it’s nice to have another pair of eyes. QS: Sometimes you’re too subjective to make a good call. You’re in the game, but don’t realize you’re too tired to make a good decision.
What drew you to Ultimate at Oberlin? Ally Fulton: I played before for four years, so it felt natural joining. The people were awesome too. Alex Kapiamba: Literally the same thing, I wanted to continue in college, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. Quinn Schiller: I did not play in high school, more just with my friends; we didn’t even know the rules. But I wanted to play for real when I got to school.
Do you guys have any team traditions? QS: Well, we like to sing at the end of a tournament… AK: We have folky songs. QS: “As I Went Down to the River to Pray,” from Oh Brother Where Art Thou, and “Country Roads.” They do the job. AF: The Manti start every tournament singing the National Anthem. At the beginning of a tournament we do the beginning of the “Circle of Life.” I was the drummer last year and sat in the middle. I brought buckets and drummed, so that was cool. RB: We also do “shoutouts” with the whole team to give everyone feedback. It’s mostly good things; it’s warm and fuzzy. AF: We like to harmonize. AK: We have lots of cheers. QS: I want to try sports meditation, like chilling out and visualizing what you’re going to do before you start. Just visualizing how you want to play that day, I hear, can make a difference. Getting calm and relaxed so you’re not nervous before game day is important. I haven’t done it but it sounds cool.
What do you expect for the Frisbee team this year? QS: The goal is to get to Division III nationals, which is the highest level of competition. We haven’t done it yet, but I’m hopeful for this year. AK: We got close last year; Lehigh [University], the team that beat us, took fifth at Nationals. But this year, maybe with a coach and practice, we can get there. QS: There are rounds of playoffs in the spring, since the fall is more to teach the kids how to play and get their fundamentals down. Wow, you guys are good… AK: Thanks. This year I’d like to repeat that. We have a lot of new rookies that add a whole lot to the team. How do the first-years contribute to the team? QS: Club sports are really awesome, and I think it attracts students that are intimidated by the
Sophomore Ally Fulton, Seniors Quinn Schiller, Alex Kapiamba and Rosie Black demand of varsity sports. So we end up with really cool people. They join because it’s a lot of fun to play. AK: We’re improving — that’s cool — and we’re ready to commit in a more serious way. It’s nice, and makes it a self-selecting process too. AF: By talking to a lot of freshmen, they all love the team already. They like how we have that kind of strong, bond[ed] team feel you get in sports. Rosie Black: Personally, I love our freshmen. They’re really enthusiastic; it warms my heart and boosts my enthusiasm. I get tired out while playing, but when I see them I get so excited and feel pumped up again. AF: One of them today was like, ‘Ally, the one thing I look forward to is Frisbee practice. I pay $60,000 a year to play Frisbee.’ I was like, ‘Good.’ QS: Well, for the boys, we’re working on changing the culture of the team. We’re aiming to be more inclusive, so people can have more fun with one another. The senior class when we were freshmen didn’t
go out of their way to get to know us. The upperclassmen were cliquey, like they were … kinda jerks. For example, they would make comments [that we were] “making stupid plays out there.” So we’ve been trying to make it a nice environment. AF: A freshman was in my room last night! RB: We’ve always had a community, even though we didn’t meet boys until the spring break trip. So you guys are pretty cohesive? QS: We’ve been improving every year, and yes, we were thrown together for spring break. We slept upstairs, girls slept downstairs, but it made us a stronger team and was also super fun. RB: I stayed with three boys freshman year… AF: My year wasn’t like that at all… AK: There are a lot of group hangouts, so that’s good fun. When’s your next tournament? QS: We play at Ohio State on the
Op-Ed: Browns Start Season Strong Continued from page 16 of the past. Since taking over for former first-round pick Brandon Weeden, Hoyer has led the Browns to two consecutive wins over 2012 playoff teams, the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals. Hoyer, who had previously been a backup for the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals, is nothing flashy, but he holds up better behind the weak Cleveland offensive line than Weeden ever did. Hoyer gets sacked less. He throws fewer interceptions. He throws more touchdowns and gains more yards, too. That the new front office was able to make the decision to have Hoyer start without getting hung up on Weeden’s status as a former first-round pick demonstrates a maturity that was lacking in the Browns’s leadership before this year. Hoyer is simply better for the Browns right now, and the team’s front office brass knows it. Since 1999, the Browns have started 19 different quarterbacks, three of whom were drafted by the team as first-round picks, and none have had
any type of prolonged success with the organization. Fortunately for Browns fans, however, there are several strong indicators that the organization is finally on the right path. Another great sign for the team is the vast improvement of the Browns’s defense this season. Four games into the season, the Browns’s defense is ranked third in the league. At the end of last season, it was ranked 23rd. A flurry of quality offseason signings has helped. Both linebacker Paul Kruger and defensive lineman Desmond Bryant were given over $30 million to join the team, and rush linebacker Barkevious Mingo was chosen with their first-round pick. The results from these moves have been overwhelmingly positive thus far. Heading into week five, the Browns are tied for first place. There is no reason why they should not be considered a contender in the AFC North. The team may not be a Super Bowl contender just yet, but it’s highly likely that they will finish the year with at least a .500 record. For Browns fans, after seasons with their team languishing in last place, hope like this is a welcome sight.
12th. We have to be loud because the University of Akron guys are douches. AK: Kenyon [College] is there, so we have to work hard to be prepared. QS: And we will be. You guys are semi self–coached; how is that? QS: Last year it went pretty well, but it was still hard to know how we could have been. AK: Probably it would have helped. Our old coach was a huge asshole, but a funny guy. He cared about the team, and he was an excellent coach two years ago. He had to travel so he couldn’t coach anymore, and we went without a coach. AF: We have more of an advisor. He comes to tournaments and lives in Cleveland, so he’s close. He’s a funny dude. If you looked at him you couldn’t tell he played Frisbee. But he brings a ton of knowledge to the team. RB: Having a coach is really helpful because we can’t always be the
Any last words? AK: I just kinda like the Frisbee team. Just kidding, I love the Frisbee team. RB: It’s like a family — a really, really big family. AF: And everybody is goofy. Interview by Sarah Kahl, staff writer Photo by Jodi Helsel
Feature Photo: Tennis Wraps Up
Sophomore Callan Louis puts up a fight against his opponent. The men’s tennis team held their own against the University of Findlay’s Division II team. The Yeomen play matches this Saturday against Carnegie Mellon University and Franciscan University. Yvette Chen
The Oberlin Review, October 4, 2013
— Women’s Frisbee —
Preying Manti Set Out on the Road to Nationals Nate Levinson Sports Editor The Oberlin Preying Manti placed second in the Wootown Throwdown tournament in Wooster, Ohio, last weekend. The team won all four of their games on the first day of play and one out of their final three on the second, including a win against The College of Wooster in pool play. The team defeated The College of Wooster, Ohio Western University and Denison University on Saturday before they were taken down by the Division I University of Akron Golddiggers twice on Sunday. The Manti’s captains admit that they were somewhat worried heading into the first tournament of the season, given the team’s issues during the week of practice leading up to it. “I didn’t really know what to expect heading in because in practice the week before,
we had been a little shaky,” said sophomore captain Ally Fulton. The Manti implemented a new offensive strategy during practice that week, and it hadn’t caught on as they had hoped it would initially. Fulton was pleasantly surprised by how well the new scheme worked in the game, however. “It looked way better than I ever thought it would,” she said. The first tournament of the team’s season has always been a big learning experience for new players, and this one was no different. “Watching rookies from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon is like watching two month’s worth of practice condensed into two days,” Fulton said. Even veteran players were impressed at how they bettered their own game over the weekend. “I know I improved. It was a really good way to start out my season,” said junior Rose Benjamin. First-year player Sasha Lopez noted that she learned a lot in just the short weekend. A sea-
— Rhinos Rugby —
Rhinos Utilize New Members
soned soccer player, this was Lopez’s first experience with organized Ultimate, and she liked what she saw. “I played soccer my whole life, and the biggest difference was the spirit of the game. This was just so relaxing and more casual. People are so supportive,” said Lopez. Rookies and veterans alike have been helped by the presence of the team’s coach, Donny Petarra. Petarra started coaching the team two years ago and now attends all of the women’s tournaments as well as one practice a week. “He’s been a game changer, and he’s helped us strategize. He helped individuals work on what they needed to work on and has a lot of Frisbee knowledge,” said senior captain and Review staff member Rosie Black. The team has ambitious goals this season, and knows anything is possible after making it to nationals last season. “[Last year] set the standard for what we can do this year,” Black said. “That’s a long way away,”
— Football —
Coaches Head to Training Camps for New Recruits Continued from page 16
Junior Evelyn Kalafus-Matenbrook hurdles down the field in one of her first rugby games ever. The Rhinos are looking to improve their record this semester. Courtesy of Madison Bishop
Tyler Sloan Oberlin College’s women and trans*-inclusive rugby team looks to improve its record this season after losing 12 of its seniors last spring. The Rhinos are coming off of a 54–19 loss last weekend to the University of Findlay, but that has not discouraged the team. The first half of the game proved difficult, but the Rhinos managed to turn things around later in the game with three tries and three conversions coming from a mix of new and veteran players. Scores came from rookie junior Evelyn Kalafus-Mastenbrook and seasoned players junior Evan Delano and senior Alyssa Civian, all in the second half. The Rhinos’s roster this season boasts 28 players, a significant increase from last fall when the team did not have enough players to field a full team; fifteen members of the Rhinos are new players. Senior Rebecca Henderson has been a member of the Rhinos since her sophomore year and noted that there has been a significant change of team energy with the influx of new players. “There has definitely been an improvement from last season. We have gotten a lot of new players that are so excited about playing and learning, so the spirit of the team is better than it’s ever been,” she said. According to Kalafus-Mastenbrook, the current team goal is to take everything on a game-by-
game basis. Players are testing a variety of positions to learn how to floor all of the new team members. The team’s first match of the season was Sept. 26 against Kenyon College. The game resulted in a loss, but that was not the focus of senior leader Alyssa Civian. “More than half the players in [the] match versus Kenyon were playing their very first game of rugby. Our loss taught us what ‘real rugby’ is like in a way that practice never could,” Civian said. This seems to be the general attitude of the team this year. Though this is only her first year on the Rhinos, Kalafus-Mastenbrook said that out of the different club sports teams she has played for, rugby definitely has the strongest sense of camaraderie. “It’s more of a family than any other club team I have been on,” she said. “There is a lot of good energy and excitement about this season.” During the team’s season, the Rhinos face new competition every weekend. The self-coached team practices four times a week with games every Saturday. However, the Rhinos spend a lot of time together outside of mandated practices. This Saturday, Oct. 5, the Rhinos look forward to playing in their third match of the season against the Hiram College Terriers at 11 a.m. as part of Homecoming weekend. The match will take place at North Fields with a halftime performance by the Oberlin College Marching Band.
she admitted. The team knows it has a lot of work to do to see its goals come to fruition. “I feel like we’re still figuring out what to expect this season,” Benjamin said, before noting that she was pleasantly surprised by the team’s success over the weekend. One of the biggest obstacles for the team every year is replacing players that graduate, but putting together enough people to play has hardly been a problem this season. The Manti have over 30 players on their roster, despite only needing seven players on the field at a time. Still, there are benefits to watching veterans play, Lopez noted. “It can be hard if you have to sub out so often, but having not played I get to watch all the returners play, and I learn so much from them,” said Lopez. The team is off to an impressive start and will look to continue on the road back to nationals in two weeks when they head to their second tournament in Columbus, Ohio.
“At D-I schools, you spend 70 to 80 percent of your time in the [athletic] program, and here we spend at most a third of our time with the [athletics] program,” Kisley said. “You really get sold on the school more than the [athletics] program.” Ramsey understands the decision making players go through well. “It’s not the Alabamas and the Ohio States [we compete with], but the Harvards and Yales and Davidsons,” said Ramsey. Following that logic, Ramsey says he looks at much more than athletic ability when recruiting athletes. Beyond grades and test scores, Ramsey said he looks for good character. “We recruit character as much as talent,” Ramsey said. Ramsey and the other coaches get
to know their recruits well before the season begins. They visit most potential Yeomen at home and meet all of them when they come to campus. “I love going to make a campus visit to a prospect; I like walking down the hall with him, because then you see whether he’s a good guy or not by how people react to him,” said Ramsey. Despite improving since he came to Oberlin, Ramsey still struggles to fill his roster. “Three of the last four years have been really terrible for us,” Ramsey said. The team tries to draw walk-ons early on in the fall and still continues to field promising athletes who have never played football before. Though that often means Ramsey and veteran players have to do more work to get new players comfortable on the field, the results have proved fruitful.
Seniors Connor Jackson and Gideon Reiz, for example, walked on to the team their first year and still continue to be valuable assets to the Yeomen. As for players who have never set foot on a football field before, “the key is to keep them healthy and to keep them fresh,” said Ramsey. Kisley believed his coaches have been improving their recruitment strategies. “They’ve really stepped it up in terms of recruiting. My class, we came in with eight players, we have five seniors on the team now, but the sophomore class this year was 18 coming in,” Kisley said. The impact of a better recruiting strategy has certainly shown in the Yeomen’s results. After a historic win over Case Western Reserve University, the Yeomen may be entering a new chapter.
Sports The Oberlin Review
October 4, 2013
— Women’s Volleyball —
Volleyball Squad Defeats Ohio Wesleyan
Browns Not Same Old Team Nicholas Lindblad Contributing writer
more and a junior who have done a great job leading and teaching the culture, but we try to cultivate a very collaborative environment where everyone can help lead, and everyone’s voice is heard,” said Rau. The most prominent goal of this season is focusing on developing a strong and stable team. “The biggest thing we need to focus on is being consistent, because we have some pretty incredible moments, ” said Antonsen, who believes that the team will meet this goal if they can remain optimistic. “I think the biggest thing for us is to have a positive mental attitude,” she said. The Yeowomen travel to White Oak, PA on Saturday to play Penn State Greater Allegheny.
— Football —
Yeomen Struggle to Recruit a Full Roster Rose Stoloff Sports Editor
screens players academically, aiding Ramsey even further in the recruitment process. On the other side of the recruitment process, prospective students have often discovered Oberlin through camps. First-year Justin Cruz, for example, first discovered Oberlin after a coach approached him at a camp at Stanford University. A Pleasanton, CA, native, Cruz had not even considered Oberlin prior to this interaction. However, Cruz admited that football was not what ultimately drew him to Oberlin. “I narrowed down my options based on academic level, and I went to football camps to expose myself more,” he said. Senior Zach Kisley agreed. Kisley, who also plays baseball for the Yeomen, was contacted by Division I schools to play baseball. Kisley believed that the main difference between the recruitment and decision process at Division I schools and Division III schools is the prioritization of academics at Division III schools. See Coaches, page 15
See Op-Ed, page 14
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With a roster 37-players strong, Head Football Coach Jeff Ramsey and his eight assistant coaches have a difficult task to complete every year. As senior players graduate, Ramsey and his staff must attract the most promising high school juniors to Oberlin in order to mold the football team into the most skilled, intellectual and diverse squad they can. When Ramsey was first brought on as head football coach at the start of the season in 1999, he was handed a team of 26 players. “It was really a trial by fire my first year here,” said Ramsey. “I wasn’t able to recruit because it was past the application date and no concessions were made.” In order to fill his roster, Ramsey became creative. “I think we had nine guys on the team that year that had never played football,” he said. Today, though he struggles to recruit sufficient numbers, Ramsey has time on his side in the re-
cruiting process. The process begins in March, when Ramsey and his fellow coaches contact high school juniors via email and letters, asking them to fill out questionnaires. Those who are interested in Oberlin are invited to campus for visit days during the spring and summer. According to Ramsey, this initial process helps him gauge the interest level of potential applicants. Unlike when he first inherited the football program in 1999, Ramsey now has other tools at his disposal to find and recruit talent to fill his roster. Collegiate Sports Data, for example, is an NCAAapproved online database of athletes across the country that contains information on both athletic and academic abilities such as player statistics, GPAs and test scores. Ramsey and his fellow coaches also attend camps across the country, which gather talented high school football players, to discover students they might have missed through the database. One camp that the Yeomen coaches regularly attend, the New England Elite Football Clinic in Boston,
t this new t pu sp o a n
“There is a lot expected at this level, and it took a bit of adjusting because the pace is so much quicker,” said Hostetler, who finished the game with 11 kills. “It’s harder to get kills, aces and good passes. [Players] at this level have a lot of technique, whereas in high school they might just have good athleticism,” she said. Captain Christine Antonsen said that for the first-years, “It’s a lot of learning while doing, which can be hard.” The captains themselves are younger than in past years, as Antonsen is a junior and the other captain, Molly Powers, is a sophomore. According to Rau, the young leadership has fostered a unique team atmosphere. “Our two captains are a sopho-
The volleyball squad had their first North Coast Athletic Conference win over Ohio Wesleyan University this past Saturday. Despite trailing in the beginning, the team prevailed, managing to win in only three sets. The margin for each set was small: 26–24 for the first and second sets, and 25–23 for the third. First-year Jillian Hostetler was impressed with the team’s performance. “I think we played really well together. I could sense that we were playing as a team,” she said. This early success is exciting for the young team, comprised of six first-years and a small core of upperclassmen. The entire roster is quite small, consisting of only 11
athletes. Though low numbers and few returning players could be difficult; according to Coach Erica Rau, the Yeowomen appear to be flourishing under the pressure. “This is the most talented team I’ve coached since I’ve been at Oberlin, and I’ve always known this was going to be our most successful year yet,” said Rau. Other teams have observed the marked success of the Yeowomen so far this season. “The other coaches have come up to [Coach] Erica and given her compliments about how good we look this year,” said Hostetler. According to Hostetler, the adjustment to collegiate athletics can be difficult, and with a team so dependent on first-year players this adjustment is crucial.
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Junior captain Christine Antonsen flies to tip the ball over the net. The Yeowomen had their first NCAC victory on Saturday, defeating Ohio Wesleyan University. Yvette Chen
The Cleveland Browns kicked off the NFL season in typical, expansion-era Cleveland style. The oncestoried franchise disappointed its fans yet again when its defense cracked in the fourth quarter, allowing the Miami Dolphins to score 10 unanswered points and widen their lead to 23–10. The defeat marked the ninth consecutive season-opening loss for the Browns. In seasons of the past, these first-game losses have been indicative of the quality of play that was to come in the games that followed, but that may change this year. The topdown culture of failure that has so long plagued the Browns’s organization may have finally been vanquished. Following a 4–12 first season, the Browns’ second-year owner, Jimmy Haslam, has taken great steps to distance the team from its past failures. In the past 15 seasons, Cleveland has had six different general managers and seven different head coaches. Until this season, no matter who was in charge, the organization appeared utterly devoid of a cohesive grand strategy to achieve success in the long run. The most representative example of the chaos and misplaced confidence of the Browns’ personnel department is the team’s 14 season long quest for a true franchise quarterback. The Browns may not have found that muchcoveted franchise quarterback in new starter, Brian Hoyer, but the Lakewood, Ohio native is certainly an upgrade on quarterbacks
Published on Jan 31, 2014