Aug 02, 2021  
Course Catalog 2008-2009 
Course Catalog 2008-2009 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Life

Student Life

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Important Points


Students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music are expected to follow rules established under the Student Regulations, Policies, and Procedures. Information about regulations is given to all students at enrollment. However, students considering application to Oberlin should be aware of the following points which particularly influence the character of student life.

  1. In general, Oberlin students are expected to have the good judgment and the sense of responsibility to regulate their lives in such a way as to make a positive contribution to the community in which they live. They are expected to be citizens as well as scholars and to be conscious of and respectful toward the basic needs of others.
  2. Students are required to live in Oberlin College residence halls and to take their meals in Oberlin College dining halls. Exceptions to this requirement are granted according to policies set by the Housing and Dining Committee of the Office of Residential Life and Dining Services. New students should expect assignment to Oberlin College residences and dining halls.
  3. Campus parking facilities are exceedingly limited. First-year students are particularly discouraged from bringing vehicles to Oberlin. Any student who brings a vehicle to Oberlin must register it with the Office of Safety and Security.
    Inquiries regarding student parking or requests for special parking status must be addressed to the Office of Safety and Security, 159 West Lorain Street, Oberlin, OH 44074, Attention: Student Motor Vehicles. Inquiries or requests for special parking needs may also be faxed to the department at 440-775-8886.
  4. There are no fraternities or sororities at Oberlin.
  5. The use of drugs and alcoholic beverages is subject to control by law, and Oberlin College does not protect students from prosecution under federal, state, or local laws. Though Oberlin places primary emphasis on a counseling and educational approach to alcohol and drug abuse, members of the Oberlin College community are reminded that the Oberlin College Judicial Charter allows any member of the Oberlin College community to bring a complaint against a student for violation of appropriate standards of conduct or of specific Oberlin College regulations.

Housing and Dining Options


Oberlin offers variety in the architecture and size of its residence halls, which range from traditional housing for 230 students to small, family-like residences for 18 students.

Options include single-sex and co-ed floors/halls; program houses (Afrikan Heritage, Asian, French, German, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, Third World and Women’s Collective); student co-operative houses; and apartment-style village housing.

There is also a wide choice in dining with vegetarian and vegan entrées in each dining hall. In addition to the complete menu offerings of the Oberlin dining halls, eight student-run co-op dining halls serve natural, vegetarian, vegan, and kosher cooking. Membership in co-ops is determined by random lottery.

Residence Hall Occupancy


New students may occupy their rooms beginning at Orientation; continuing students, two days prior to the start of classes. Meal service is provided at no additional cost to new students during Orientation; continuing students may take meals in College dining halls on a cash basis until the first regular board-plan meal beginning at dinner of the day returning students are expected to arrive.

Residences and dining halls are closed during Winter Break (the end of the first semester until the beginning of Winter Term). All students must leave campus during the vacation period.

Health Care


Student Health is located at 247 West Lorain Street, Suite A. The center is staffed by a physician, two nurse practitioners, a registered nurse, and support staff. Student Health is open for the academic year with some evening and Saturday hours; walk-in hours are scheduled on weekdays. The office is open for limited hours during fall and spring break. The Student Health staff provides a full range of primary care services for Oberlin students including initial diagnostic services for illnesses and injuries, and immediate and follow-up assessment and treatment for most short-term illnesses. Preventive care and wellness services are provided, including immunization services, women’s health services, and wellness oriented health education outreach programs. Students may receive allergy shots using the antigen supplied by their allergist along with a copy of the physician’s instructions. This must be prearranged by contacting the office of Student Health Services.

Visits to Student Health are provided at no cost to students. With the exception of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications dispensed at the Student Health Service, and certain more complex specialty services, all of the services provided are covered under the tuition charge. The cost of services (e.g. emergency room visits, the Oberlin Internal Medicine Associates) not provided at Student Health are not covered under the tuition and will be handled through the student’s own insurance or by direct billing to the student. Referrals to a specialist can be made by the Student Health Services staff. All costs incurred when seen by a specialist are handled through the student’s insurance and are the student’s responsibility. In Oberlin, hospital care is available at the 100-bed Allen Community Hospital, which is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation.

Oberlin College offers an optional Sickness and Accident Medical Plan as a supplement to an individual or family policy, or for students who are uninsured or underinsured. The supplementary Sickness and Accident Medical Plan is mandatory for international students and for students without medical insurance from another source. For specific information regarding this plan as well as other student insurance-related questions call 440-775-8180.

Immunization requirements at Oberlin College are strictly enforced. Persons who have not satisfactorily completed the immunization requirements will not be allowed to enroll. Enrollment is withheld until the health form is satisfactorily completed.

For more information about Student Health see

Support Services


College is a time of academic and personal growth for students. Most students will need help at various times during their undergraduate years in sorting out the academic, social or personal challenges that inevitably occur in a highly demanding academic environment. In order to help students with these challenges (and other obstacles which arise in times of personal transition), the College provides a number of support services:

Class Deans, who are assigned to each incoming first year class, are available to help students solve both personal and practical problems, and to help students make sensible and informed decisions about academic and related matters. In emergencies, during evening and weekend hours the dean-on-call system can be activated by calling the Office of Safety and Security.

Student Academic Services provides advising, assessment and referrals to the Counseling Center, the Learning Assistance Program or other sources of guidance and support (please see Learning Assistance Program under Arts and Sciences course listings).

The Counseling Center is located at 247 West Lorain Street, Suite D. The Center’s purpose is to provide psychological support for students as they pursue their academic and personal goals. To this end, the staff of psychologists offers assessment, short-term individual counseling, group therapy, biofeedback, and psychological testing. Referrals for private psychotherapy and psychiatric consultations are also provided. For additional information regarding the Counseling Center’s services, please see

The Center for Leadership in Health Promotion serves as a student resource center for the campus community on a broad range of health and wellness topics. The Center provides programs and services that support students in developing higher levels of self-responsibility, enhancing leadership skills in the field of public health education, and advocating for healthier lifestyle choices. Programs provided include peer health advocates, health education theater, and other wellness related activities and services.

The Office of Residential Education and Dining Services, the Multicultural Resource Center, and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life provide support of a more general nature in handling most of the day-to-day challenges that may occur on any residential college campus.

Facilities and Support Services for Students with Disabilities


The Oberlin campus is small in area and level in terrain. Most students with disabilities related to mobility will find it reasonably accessible, though not barrier-free.

All personnel at Oberlin are committed to complying with Federal Public Law 101-336, Americans with Disabilities Act, effective July 1990, as well as Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, and eliminating procedural and physical barriers that may discriminate against persons with disabilities in academic, student services or employment areas.

To accomplish this goal, all personnel seek to meet the needs of persons with disabilities on an individual basis. The Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities can assist with the educational needs of students with visual, auditory, or mobility impairments or learning disabilities. In addition, the Coordinator can help ensure that suitable housing is obtained, can assist whenever special arrangements for registration or testing are needed, and can serve as a liaison and special advisor if difficulties or barriers are encountered.

Religious Activities


Campus groups and programs as well as local houses of worship, prayer, study and meditation-representing Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu traditions-welcome the participation and involvement of students. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, located in Wilder Hall, is a center for religious counseling; coordination and support of religious activities and spiritual life, including prayer; study and meditation groups; service projects; winter terms; retreats; and liturgical services.

Multicultural Affairs


The Division of Student Life is committed to a vision of diversity and multiculturalism that fosters the academic and personal growth of students by creating more seamless connections between the co-curricular and the curricular experiences of students. This vision of diversity and multiculturalism supports the needs of historically underrepresented student populations and, at the same time, provides educational opportunities for all students in order to realize a more socially just Oberlin College community.

The Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) serves as a resource for students who have been historically underrepresented in higher education-in particular students of color, LGBTQ students, first generation, and lower income students. The MRC’s work includes: producing and supporting projects and programs on diversity and multiculturalism; providing educational resources and workshops for those generally interested in issues of social justice; collaborating closely with academic departments and programs; connecting students with alumni; and linking students with local communities and resources.

The Edmonia Lewis Center for Women and Transgender People (ELC) is a collective of students, staff and administrators doing the work of transforming existing systems of oppression based on sex, gender, race, class, sexuality, age, ability, size, religion, nationality, ethnicity, and language. The ELC’s work includes: creating and maintaining safe space; initiating and funding programming; and serving as a resource for the Oberlin College community. The ELC strives to maintain a space that will allow for support and advocacy for those disenfranchised on the basis of gender and gender identity and expression.

Both the MRC and the ELC collaborate with important academic and administrative resources beyond the Division of Student Life. Some of the resources include, but are not limited to: academic departments and programs such as Comparative American Studies and African American Studies; Oberlin College Dialogue Center; Alumni Affairs; and Oberlin Shansi.