Oberlin College will likely be financially secure after libel payout

*Outcome Comes After Failed Lawsuit

By Timothy Nerozzi

July 11, 2019

OBERLIN College will be facing a heavy penalty in the coming weeks after losing a Major public lawsuit to a local family business, but the payout will not be near enough to threaten the continued existence of the college.

Gibson’s Bakery has been awarded $11 million from OBERLIN in compensatory damages after a series of protests were lodged against the fifth-generation family business by OBERLIN students and faculty. A judge has ruled that in addition to the $11 million in compensation, OBERLIN may be on the hook for up to an additional $33 million in punitive damages.

Last year, total endowed funds at OBERLIN totaled over $887 million dollars. Most of this money is held in a common investment pool. The college also holds small, gifted investments given by alumni and benefactors.

“OBERLIN College’s spending and investment policies have provided substantial levels of financial support to the operating budget,” OBERLIN’s Investment Office said on their official website. “The annual distributions are critical in supporting our academic mission while preserving endowment purchasing power for future generations.”

Possibly the biggest long-term damage that the Gibson Bakery lawsuit will cause – a besmirched reputation and lower donations from alumni organizations experts say.

Michelle Malkin, a conservative commentator and alum of OBERLIN, wrote an opinion column in which she said, “False racial allegations and toxic identity politics are the bread and butter of OBERLIN campus life.”

The protests were formed in 2016, after Jonathan Aladin, an African-American student at OBERLIN, was caught attempting to purchase alcohol from the bakery with a fake ID.

After being denied his purchase, Aladin attempted to flee the store with shoplifted bottles of wine under his clothes.

A Gibson’s employee gave chase, and a fight erupted between the employee, Aladin, and two previously uninvolved accomplices. When police arrived, the three students were reportedly assaulting the bakery employee

The three students were arrested for battery and assault, and Aladin was also charged for his shoplifting.

“Regarding the incident at Gibson’s, we are deeply troubled because we have heard from students that there is more to the story than what has been generally reported. “

Protestors chanted, picketed, and distributed leaflets to passersby.

“This is a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION,” said one piece of literature handed out across from Gibson’s.

In their defense, OBERLIN claimed that accusations of racism and bigotry could not be slanderous because of their frequency in public debate.

“Courts in other jurisdictions likewise hold that use of the term ‘racist’ and similar name calling are protected opinions because the term ‘racist is hurled about so indiscriminately that it is no more than a verbal slap in the fact,’” said OBERLIN’s representation in their defense.