All-Around Liberal Arts

By Matt Won

Oberlin protects students from suffocation by minority groupThe symbolic erection of 30-foot smoking perimeters, chalked lines in the pavement around Oberlin buildings, has set the community ablaze, according to the Oct. 10 issue of the Oberlin Review.

The intervention was made on behalf of non-smokers in clarifying an ambiguous school policy, depicted by the enterprising guardians of public health (backed by ResEd, the Center for Leadership and Health promotion, and a $500 grant) as a silent majority subject to a dangerous threat perpetrated by a noxious and outspoken minority group.

The project aimed to “empower non-smokers to act when they feel uneasy or disrespected in a smoky environment,” according to the Oberlin Review. The chalk drew a sharp line through the murky waters of consent and encouraged non-smokers to take ownership of their bodies and environment.

This potential assertion of biopower by administration-backed students was met with opposition.

“I thought we were an accepting place,” said second year Federico Sanchez-Llanos, a self-identified smoker.

Lori Morgan Flood, director of the Center for Leadership in Health Promotion, said that there were “no easy answers,” but that the action might “engage the community in a conversation.”

Though the administration hoped for productive change and exchange, the arrival of the chalk was marred by the theft of the majority of the campaign’s “informative and creative signs,” according to the Review.

Peer Health Advocate and fourth-year Chris Rice expressed disappointment at the climate of cultural dialogue at Oberlin.

“We [at Oberlin] talk about social justice, [including] gay rights, but we can’t talk about tobacco without tearing signs down,” Rice said. “It’s funny that of all these issues that we deal with on campus… tobacco use on campus is one of the most polarizing issues. It’s almost disappointing.”

Can the theft of these signs which would have aided non-smokers against the tyranny of a minority be equated with the reclamation via spectacular phallic power of a penis drawn promptly on a sign for Macalester’s Feminists in Action/Students Together Against Rape and Sexual Assault? Only you can decide.

A tale of two liberal arts colleges: Macalester and Monmouth

Perhaps Macalester College and Monmouth College might be a little more than kin after all.

Student life continued on despite an atmosphere which Monmouth College student newspaper’s Courier columnist “Perry Mason” said was characterized by “fights, lack of respect for rules and policies, theft and vandalism of property within our chapter facilities and a host of other inappropriate actions,” associated with their Greek system.

Macaleester shares not only initials but a mascot, a historical Presbyterian affiliation, and a Scotch cultural heritage with the lllinois liberal arts college.

Like Mac’s football squad, the (undefeated) Monmouth Fighting Scots won their homecoming game.

And though they don’t go by such venerated monikers as “Scotch Tape,” “Sirens, or “Trads,” Monmouth College also sports a strong student singing group tradition, populated by a motley crew of colorful characters, including the “Scotsmen,” who performed in a packed Scotland Yard on the Monmouth campus on Friday, Sept. 26 as well as at Homecoming.

The Courier relayed the seven-song Scotland Yard performance, characterized by on-stage performances of brotherhood and fraternity, with joyful aplomb: “The performance would not have been complete without the antics of Brian ‘Big Red’ Jordan, such as his giraffe impression during ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight.’ Any member of the audience could observe their camaraderie when they held each other close during ‘Stand-By Me.'”

Neither college’s students, then, should shed a tear, as long as they stand, stand by each other.