<< Front page Commentary March 19, 2004

Athletic efforts applauded

When coaches in the athletic department threatened to bench or remove a Review sports editor from a team for contributing to the feature “In the Locker Room” earlier this semester, the staff of this newspaper had an open discussion on the issue, in which we pledged to do whatever was necessary to protect our journalistic freedoms. There was talk of engaging various forces on campus that would be spurred by such a debate, and taking the issue as far as it needed to go to be won in our favor.

That said, we were surprised by the swift action that the athletic department took to right the ship, changing course in the spirit of free speech and expression that we all cherish at Oberlin. The following week, our athletes assured that there would be no action taken against him by the department. Meanwhile, the department continued to urge athletes to represent the department with class. The Review was extremely happy to learn of both of these policies.

We continue to believe that the athletic department administration has done a good job of retooling and reshaping the department in beneficial ways. When we agreed to publicize the athletic bonfire last semester and to add a “Project .500” update to our pages, we felt a new energy in the department. We continue to support these initiatives as worthwhile endeavors.

We are not ashamed that we made a large display of the threatened censorship and retaliation that the athletic department leveled toward “In the Locker Room” and its main contributor. We do feel, however, the need to show that the Review is more than willing to continue to build bridges with the athletic department. The newest members therein seem to be willing to learn Oberlin’s culture, and we at the paper have learned about the high ideals that the new leadership has sought to implement.

We applaud the quick and fair response to our calls for freedom of the press, and we hope that the Review and the athletics department can continue to foster a healthy relationship. For our part, we promise to start on the back page and work our way in.

Hold your horses, Hetero-Hedonists

Long hath the hope of co-ed dorms slept dormant in the hearts and minds of Obies, and lo, the dream will finally become a reality for the lucky residents of two floors of Noah next semester. ResLife has recently announced the implementation of co-ed housing, and OSCA has officially followed suit, cementing unwritten policies that have been permitted for quite awhile. Transgendered and transsexual students’ rejoicing aside, this bold decision also surely led to eager-eyed revelations among the dating Oberlin populace. Yes, co-ed dorms mean a discarding of traditional conceptions of gender relations and a relaxing of Puritanical and/or delusional sexual mores, but co-ed dorms also mean that willing and unwary students can now sign up to get it on without having to worry about disturbing their roommates.

Brown and Swarthmore, among others, have long since officially implemented such policies on their campuses, so for once Oberlin cannot take claim for making a leading “progressive” victory in the name of subverting imposed social boundaries. Original or not, co-ed housing at Oberlin could indeed work better than most of the more segregated housing options. But just because others have shifted into such models successfully doesn’t mean that co-ed housing is for anyone or everyone.

Who could possibly fall into the enticing trap that has now been laid before them? Couples, beware, you’re in for a scare. This option may seem like a Godsend to your love-on-the-run sex life now, but come next Fall you could find yourself in one heck of a sticky wicket. Yes, the idea of uninhibited, non-stop free love is appealing, but the realities of living together and the specter of a painful break-up should be considered before signing away a semester. Please, remember that this decision was largely supported by and intended for transgendered or gender-neutral students and exert a modicum of self-restraint or foresight. Trust us — it may be for your own good.

Editor-in-Chief, Douglass Dowty
Commentary Editor, Margaret Carey
Managing Editors, Eric Klopfer, Steven Kwan, Colin Smith


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