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300 Police Cars Donated to Oberlin to Protect Black Students from Harm

by Reggie Goudeau

Features Editor


Here at Oberlin, students generally believe that one person can change the world. However, they usually don’t expect the change to come from the generosity of one alum.

Preston White ‘84 (he/him), an Oberlin graduate with a B.A. in Africana Studies, has recently donated 300 police cars to the college to better support Black students on campus. He still needs to fund the training of more police to occupy these cars, but until then, all faculty members and Safety and Security Officers will have a free police cruiser.

Illustration by Molly Chapin, Production Assistant

“I’ve always felt safer whenever I saw a cop driving by my dorm back in the day,” said White. “I don’t partake in illegal substances or alcoholic beverages, and neither do my friends, so they’ve never given us a reason to be scared.”

Born in Wellington, Ohio, White comes from a family of police officers and lawyers. “My family upholds justice, but they’re not scary, at least not to criminals. The White legacy is not one of hate, and we only exist to protect our community.”

Dennis Cordman (they/them), a Black fourth-year at the College, had words about the change to campus life as well. “I’m not even fucking surprised anymore. I thought that this would take at least another year to happen, but Oberlin is famous for innovating in all of the wrong ways,” said Cordman.

“I can’t even walk to the Arb without there being at least three cruisers parked there, and many more surrounding Tappan. I’m so paranoid that I’ve begun assuming everyone is an undercover officer.”

Although Cordman does not seem thrilled by this reality, White is more than pleased with this result. “Even without loyal officers in them, it's so beautiful to see a place like Oberlin so protected. In my ideal world, every car would be a police cruiser by default, and the actual officers would have tanks,” said White.

One more individual on campus with strong feelings about this is Theresa Sharingue (she/her), a Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy who is one of many faculty members with a new police cruiser. “Honestly, I’m not too sure about this decision, but I needed a new car anyways,” said Sharingue.

“The only major problem I have is that we didn’t get any training on using these, so sometimes I accidentally turn on the sirens when I ride past the Afrikan Heritage House on my way to class. I’m sure they feel reassured by the sounds, though, so it’s probably fine,” Sharingue added.

Despite cynicism towards the cars’ presence, Cordman is optimistic about their own future: “At least I’m graduating soon, and won’t have to guess whether the person tailing me on the way to class is the police chief or my professor.” Furthermore, Cordman let it be known that Preston White had “no sauce, and no bitches.”

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