Jul 18, 2024  
Course Catalog 2019-2020 
Course Catalog 2019-2020 [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 through graduation. Limited exceptions to this requirement can be found on the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services website. New students should expect assignment to Oberlin College residence 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.  The Office of Residential Education and Campus Dining Services provide opportunities for support, community-building, and student engagement. 

Housing options include single-gender and all-gender floors/halls; program houses (Afrikan Heritage House, Asia House, French House, German House, Hebrew Heritage House, Russian House, Spanish House, Third World House and the Baldwin Cottage Women and Trans* Collective); and apartment-style village housing (for those of junior status and above).

Campus dining offers a range of dining facilities with varied menus that include vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and many allergy-sensitive options. 

Oberlin students may also elect to house and dine with the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, an independent student-run non-profit association.

Residence Hall Occupancy


New students may occupy their rooms beginning the first day of 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 pay for meals in College dining halls 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 fall semester until the beginning of Winter Term). All students must leave campus during the Winter shutdown. Dining halls are closed during fall and spring breaks, with limited meal service available in DeCafe.

Health Care


Oberlin College Student Health, which include Student Health Services and the Counseling Center, will be located at 140 West College St. (Dascomb Hall) as of the opening of the Fall 2019 semester. 

The Counseling Center provides psychological support to students as they pursue their academic and personal goals, and strives to enhance the quality of each student’s experience at Oberlin.  The Counseling Center is primarily intended for assessment and short-term counseling, with referrals to private counselors in the Oberlin area if necessary. Because the center is funded through tuition, there are no additional charges for its services, although students are responsible for the cost of any external services. The number of sessions varies and is discussed as part of the initial intake process.  In addition to scheduled individual appointments and groups, the Counseling Center provides daily walk-in crisis hours and a confidential, professionally staffed after-hours phone line. 

Student Health Services is staffed by medical professionals including a physician, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and an office manager. Student Health is open scheduled appointments and walk-ins during the academic year Monday to Friday. 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. The cost of services (e.g., laboratory tests, xrays, emergency room visits, private Oberlin physicians) 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 own insurance and are the student’s responsibility. In Oberlin, Mercy Allen Community Hospital, which is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation, provides walk-in clinic hours, hospital, and emergency services.Oberlin College offers Student Health Insurance for students who are uninsured or underinsured. The Student Health Insurance is mandatory for international students and for students without medical insurance from another source. For specific information regarding this insurance plan as well as other student insurance related questions, call the Student Health Insurance provider, Academic Health Plans, at 1-888-308-7320 or visit their Oberlin College website at www.AHPCare.com/Oberlin. The Office of Student Health Services will be able to answer general questions in regards to insurance coverage at 440-775-8180.

For more information about Student Health see www.oberlin.edu/health.

Immunizations are a requirement for enrollment at Oberlin College. Enrollment is withheld until the health form is satisfactorily completed. 

Student Support


College is a time of academic and personal growth for students. Most students will need support at various times during their undergraduate years in sorting out the academic, social or personal challenges that may occur in a highly demanding academic environment. In order to provide assistance and promote the development of resilience and individual agency, the College provides a number of support services:

Emergency and After-Hours Support is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by the Office of Safety and Security, who contact on-call professional staff as needed to help with immediate concerns related to health and safety

The Student Help and Resource Exchange (SHARE) is a is a multidisciplinary group whose purpose is to promote student success by providing a forum for students to seek help and for faculty, staff, and peers to share concerns, supporting a collaborative approach, and providing opportunities for meaningful interactions.  Students may submit an online request or schedule an appointment to meet with a SHARE advisor.  These trained student affairs professional provide support about both academic and personal concerns, assist in problem solving and planning, and help students become skilled at identifying and connecting to resources on and off campus.

The Center for Student Success offers students a central place to receive a range of academic support services and guidance.  This office, staffed by experienced student support professionals and supported by talented student leaders, includes Student Academic Success Programs, which provides opportunities for students to develop their learning skills and support for first generation, low-income students; Health Promotion, which provides integrative health programming designed to promote a healthy campus community; and Disability Resources, which assists assist the educational needs of students with visual, auditory, or mobility impairments or learning disabilities. Assistance is also available to ensure suitable housing and dining options and to provide special arrangements for registration or testing.  The Oberlin campus is relatively 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.

The Peer Advising Leader Program (PAL Program) is a collaborative effort involving the Division of Student Life, the Academic Advising Resource Center, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The PAL program aims to create a sense of community among first-year students and help them make the most of their first-year educational experience.

Student Peer Advising Leaders (PALs) have been trained to support first-years to navigate Orientation and the fall semester. PALs help first-year students use Oberlin’s academic and developmental advising system to its full potential.

The goal of the program is to help Obies make lasting friendships while learning how to succeed academically at Oberlin.  All first-year students have the opportunity to be involved with this program during Orientation and the fall semester by enrolling in LEAD 050, Introduction to Oberlin Life and Learning. Each student who chooses to participate will be one of no more than 15 first-years in a section of LEAD 050. Belonging to a team during Orientation and fall semester means students will go through new experiences with others by their side for support and timely information.

The Office of Residential Education and Campus Dining Services, the Multicultural Resource Center, and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life provide opportunities for support, community-building, and student engagement.  In addition to programs offered by these offices, a wide range of student groups receive support from professionals in these areas.

Diversity and Inclusion


The Division of Student Life is committed to a vision of diversity and inclusion 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 inclusion 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 College community.  While every divisional office supports this mission, the following provide significant leadership.

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 inclusion; 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 Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, located in Wilder Hall, is a center for Oberlin’s multifaith religious community and provides religious counseling; coordination and support of religious activities and spiritual life, including prayer; study and meditation groups; service projects; winter term projects; retreats; and educational programs. Campus groups and programs as well as local houses of worship, prayer, study and meditation–representing a range of faith traditions including but not limited to Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu traditions–welcome the participation and involvement of students.