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Oberlin Surrenders to SJW Food Fighters

Oberlin, a.k.a. the 'Portlandia' reality show (Photo via IFC) [1]

Oberlin, a.k.a. the ‘Portlandia’ reality show (Photo via IFC [2])

The terms of capitulation could hardly have been more perfect. [3] From the NYT:

Michele Gross, Oberlin’s director of dining services, said in a statement on Monday that “in our efforts to provide a vibrant menu, we recently fell short in the execution of several dishes in a manner that was culturally insensitive.”

She added: “We have met with students to discuss their concerns and hope to continue this dialogue.”

“A vibrant menu”. For frack’s sake. The whole school is a Portlandia episode come to life.

Will the day ever come when a college administrator tells students, “No, you stupid twits. Grow up!”? Ever?

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35 Comments To "Oberlin Surrenders to SJW Food Fighters"

#1 Comment By Jennifer On December 22, 2015 @ 6:13 pm

What capitulation? Oberlin’s administration “hopes to continue a dialogue,” which is pablum that commits them to nothing. Did I miss where they said they’d do everything the students demanded?

#2 Comment By Public Defender On December 22, 2015 @ 6:22 pm

Step one: Students complain that cafeteria food tastes bad.
Step two: School promises to try to do better.

I remember Jewish students complaining that the law school cafeteria made a mockery of latkes. I don’t see how this is much different.

#3 Comment By Carlo On December 22, 2015 @ 6:35 pm

“Will the day ever come when a college administrator tells students, “No, you stupid twits. Grow up!”? Ever?”

No, not until their families (or the federal government) are paying their very sumptuous salaries through ridiculously high tuitions.

When discussing these matters you consistently fall into the naive presupposition that higher education is primarily about education. That’s absolutely not the case. Today, in many places it is primarily a large credentialing and social-networking business, with a job training component. Why would you expect any business manager to antagonize his/her customers? They have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

#4 Comment By Bernie On December 22, 2015 @ 6:47 pm

I share the following info only because I was curious about it:

Oberlin College – 2,900 students – 9% in-state; 84% out of state; 7% from abroad
[4]

Charges for tuition, room and board, and estimated fees and expenses for a full-time degree candidate for the 2015-16 academic year are:

Tuition $49,928
Standard Multi-Occupancy Room $7,080
Board $6,550
Fees $708
Total $64,266

Books $930
Personal Expenses $978
Oberlin College students are required to have health insurance coverage. Student health insurance is available for purchase at a cost of $1,075 per academic year, included in the fall term bill. Except for international students, students may elect to waive the health insurance charge if they are covered by another plan.

[5]

#5 Comment By Michelle On December 22, 2015 @ 7:02 pm

Oberlin was Portlandia long before Portlandia came along.

#6 Comment By andrew On December 22, 2015 @ 7:10 pm

Vibrant and authentic menus are culturally insensitive toward those of us who are fasting during Advent. Fasting lives matter.

#7 Comment By Eamus Catuli On December 22, 2015 @ 7:31 pm

(Capcha seems to be hanging up the site. Trying again:)

When discussing these matters you consistently fall into the naive presupposition that higher education is primarily about education. That’s absolutely not the case. Today, in many places it is primarily a large credentialing and social-networking business, with a job training component. Why would you expect any business manager to antagonize his/her customers? They have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

Carlo nails it here. I would just add that at private schools like Oberlin, and increasingly at state schools whose state funding has been drying up, students aren’t just customers, they’re future cash cows. You don’t backtalk your future cash cows.

#8 Comment By Bar Bill On December 22, 2015 @ 7:40 pm

Serve the ungrateful buggers a less vibrant menu of traditionally authentic Ohio foods like Skyline Chili, Johnny Marzetti, White Castle burgers and Tony Packo’s chili dogs and wash it all down with a bottle of Hudepohl 14K.

#9 Comment By Darth Thulhu On December 22, 2015 @ 7:45 pm

Rod wrote:

“A vibrant menu”. For frack’s sake. The whole school is a Portlandia episode come to life

Clearly, they missed the opportunity to signal their full support for “a vibrant, locally-sourced, organic, cruelty-free, artisanal menu”.

#10 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 22, 2015 @ 7:47 pm

Bar Bill, I’ve eaten some great pizza in Ohio. Andrew… you’ve distilled the essence of this extremely important debate.

#11 Comment By Devinicus On December 22, 2015 @ 7:54 pm

Carlo wisely said,

When discussing these matters you consistently fall into the naive presupposition that higher education is primarily about education. That’s absolutely not the case. Today, in many places it is primarily a large credentialing and social-networking business, with a job training component. Why would you expect any business manager to antagonize his/her customers? They have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

The one important thing I would add is the large leisure consumption component (dorms, food, athletics, musical entertainment, therapy dogs, massages, TV, internet, gyms, travel, dean hand-holding, etc.) of American higher education today. The more elite the institution, the more leisure consumption.

#12 Comment By EB On December 22, 2015 @ 8:14 pm

It’s fine to try to respond to student complaints about food. It’s terrible to call yourself “culturally insensitive” if your food does not please the students, for whatever reason.

#13 Comment By EngineerScotty On December 22, 2015 @ 8:18 pm

Oberlin was Portlandia long before Portlandia came along.

Indeed, Portlandia wasn’t Portlandia until they demolished the old Henry Weinhardt’s brewery and put up condos.

That said, the food in Portlandia is much better (including rather good bahn mi) than it was back in the 1990s. Those were dark times..

As far as Oberlin goes–these are paying customers, forking over $50k per year. If they want proper bahn mi, at that price they shall have it. Nothing personal, Rod, just good business.

#14 Comment By Robert On December 22, 2015 @ 9:53 pm

Let them eat Nutraloaf–at least until all those imprisoned unjustly are freed.

#15 Comment By Philip On December 22, 2015 @ 10:18 pm

I don’t know, I do get tired of places trying to offer “multicultural” food and not having a clue what they are doing. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all. Quit trying to be what you aren’t, take pride in your background, share your own cultural foods and just serve that! Oh wait, this is Ohio…

#16 Comment By Surly On December 22, 2015 @ 10:19 pm

If the Oberlin administration was smart, they’d only do authentic northern Ohio cuisine. Endless casseroles, bars, and jello salads until the SJW’s die of scurvy or surrender.

At ND, just a little west and south but still very midwestern polite, the ethnic cuisine in the dining halls was terrible, but the Latino and Vietnamese students were really appreciative of the lunch lady attempt to make them feel welcome. It’s churlish to do what the Oberlin kids are doing. Earnest midwesterners are trying to get it right and they are not offering “here is how you can make a real banh mi” they are bringing in lawyers guns and money. Sad.

#17 Comment By AB On December 22, 2015 @ 10:59 pm

It is said that surrendering to the SJW is simply a business decision. If you pay $50,000 per year you get to eat what you like. That is, the administrators cave to the latest demand because the protesting students are paying customers.

Yet, we never hear of a demand by student activists for the political and world view of half the country, that is Repuplicanism and Conservatism. The administrators would never, never accede to that if protesters did appear.

Truth is, this is not a business decision. It is the administration dancing to the tune called by the left-wing activists. Why, just to assuage their own egos, the administrators don’t tell them to just go away, I don’t know. That is the mystery of administrators.

#18 Comment By Devinicus On December 22, 2015 @ 11:18 pm

EngineerScotty said,

As far as Oberlin goes–these are paying customers, forking over $50k per year. If they want proper bahn mi, at that price they shall have it.

Well, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. [6], 88% of Oberlin students receive financial aid. Per Oberlin, the average award is some $31,000. Amazingly, 37% of Oberlin freshmen who demonstrate no financial need are [7] – one of the highest percentages in the country. I suspect quite a few of the chief complainers are paying little to nothing to attend.

Yes, current students are to some extent paying customers. But more importantly, current students are future contributors to the alumni fund. And that’s the key to the private college bahn mi business model.

#19 Comment By John Mark On December 22, 2015 @ 11:43 pm

The comments remind me of this anecdote. Peter Drucker tells of a small college somewhere trying to define a mission statement. After exhaustive research, it was determined that the school existed for the purpose of providing well paying jobs in a comfortable, pleasant environment for the faculty, and to a lesser degree, I assume, support staff. If students are, indeed paying customers (regardless of whether or not they are personally paying much) then it makes sense to keep them happy. In fact, schools have been catering to demands for variety in the cafeteria and other food service points of service for three decades.

#20 Comment By cecelia On December 23, 2015 @ 12:47 am

Rod you will love this – students at Oxford demanding statue of Cecil Rhodes be removed because of his racism. Turns out one of the leaders of the protest is an African American on a – you guessed it – Rhodes scholarship. It was suggested to him that he could not have his cake and eat it too.

Don at the school likened the protests to ISIS destruction of antiquities – showing no respect for history.

#21 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On December 23, 2015 @ 2:10 am

AB

we never hear of a demand by student activists for the political and world view of half the country, that is Repuplicanism and Conservatism

Maybe because Conservatives find this kind of demanding repulsive, so they don’t engage in it?

#22 Comment By Quiddity On December 23, 2015 @ 2:20 am

Freddie deBoer (leftist) tweeted several times on this topic. One was:

When you’re defending the cultural authenticity of GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN, you’re a living Portlandia sketch.

[8]

#23 Comment By Gromaticus On December 23, 2015 @ 8:35 am

Will the day ever come when a college administrator tells students, “No, you stupid twits. Grow up!”?

I work with a number of professional engineers in their mid to late twenties:

One still lives at home with his parents even though he makes $60K.

One who travels from town to town attending Taylor Swift concerts, he’s a fan club member.

Almost all go home and play video games in the evenings.

If society doesn’t encourage grown men starting their professional lives to act like adults rather than oversized adolescents, there is no chance college administrators will be able to.

#24 Comment By Paddywagon On December 23, 2015 @ 9:28 am

“The chicken is a Heritage Breed, woodland-raised chicken that’s been fed a diet of sheep’s milk, soy and hazelnuts.”

“This is local?”

“Yes.”

“Oregon organic, or Portland organic?”

“It’s just all-across-the-board organic…
His name was Colin. Here are is papers.”

#25 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 23, 2015 @ 10:37 am

The chicken was fed sheep’s milk? Isn’t that some kind of intra-species appropriation? Don’t eat any fried chicken until you’ve seen the papers of the chicken you’re eating. Now THAT is enough to make one go vegan.

#26 Comment By Ajacan On December 23, 2015 @ 10:55 am

This is irrelevant from the POV of the institution, which has made itself dependent on the cashflow that comes from these tuition payments. It doesn’t matter if the student is paying with loans or even grants-in both cases, the presence of the student transfers funds to the institution to which the institution would not have otherwise had access.

#27 Comment By Ajacan On December 23, 2015 @ 11:08 am

I don’t see how either of these are substantively different from how older generations spent their leisure time. Boomers used to follow the Dead around, and adults have been going home, flopping down, and watching TV for decades.

#28 Comment By Daniel On December 23, 2015 @ 11:23 am

This is more important than just premier customer service from high-cost schools. What’s interesting is not that college students are complaining about the food, but that these complaints are being built into a narrative of racial oppression/victimization.

Students are learning that filling out a comment card about the quality of the food gets them nowhere, but calling food service workers racists gets the gears moving quickly. It simply works. At the same time, these practical victories bolster the overall narrative they are learning about in classses. Of course, Oberlin is a white supremacist institution from head to toe. Even their food service admitted to being insensitive. And on it goes …

#29 Comment By M_Young On December 23, 2015 @ 12:48 pm

“Rod you will love this – students at Oxford demanding statue of Cecil Rhodes be removed because of his racism.”

That’s doubly ironic, because Rhodes established the scholarship for Anglo-Saxon young men. By rights, it shouldn’t be going to anyone else, any more than private scholarships set up to benefit Jews, blacks or whoever should be given to Anglo-Saxons.

#30 Comment By Pilgrim On December 23, 2015 @ 3:43 pm

Maybe this is where you end up when people stop saying grace before meals.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

#31 Comment By EngineerScotty On December 23, 2015 @ 8:59 pm

Colin the Chicken is a rather famous vignette from Portlandia, for those who don’t get the reference….

#32 Comment By EngineerScotty On December 23, 2015 @ 9:03 pm

I work with a number of professional engineers in their mid to late twenties:

One still lives at home with his parents even though he makes $60K.

One who travels from town to town attending Taylor Swift concerts, he’s a fan club member.

Almost all go home and play video games in the evenings.

Not to be rude–but as long as they show up for work and get the job done, what’s wrong with this? I lived at home for a while after I started working, saving for a down payment. Taylor Swift ain’t (and never was) my thing, but I know lots of young men who play video games or engage in similar hobbies.

If you’re talking about unemployed people mooching off their folks, that’s one thing–but employed professionals ought to have some leeway, I think in their recreational activities–especially if legal and harmless. As the King once said, “As long as I’m payin’ the bills…”

#33 Comment By elizabeth On December 23, 2015 @ 10:02 pm

Food service should just rename the sandwich “pulled pork and cole slaw on ciabatta.” End of discussion.

#34 Comment By panda On December 23, 2015 @ 10:32 pm

“Maybe because Conservatives find this kind of demanding repulsive, so they don’t engage in it?

Freedom Fries. The War on Christmas. Google it..

#35 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 24, 2015 @ 11:40 am

Rhodes established the scholarship for Anglo-Saxon young men.

So, the fact that students of African descent, possibly include some women, get some of the scholarships is already giving Rhodes what he deserves, should be be in a position to watch from whatever circle of hell he was consigned to.

And the young man is free to target Rhodes for having his name taken off a building. Rhodes was a nasty character, I wouldn’t take his name off the scholarship, I would just note that he stole the money in the first place, and take his name off the buildings.

Leaving his name on a scholarship open to females, blacks, orientals, etc. is only right. “It burns, it burns.”