Jun 19, 2024  
Course Catalog 2022-2023 
Course Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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. There are no fraternities or sororities at Oberlin.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Campus Safety. Inquiries regarding student parking or requests for special parking status may be faxed to the department at 440-775-8886 or addressed to:

Campus Safety Facility
Attn: Student Motor Vehicles
Dascomb Hall, Suite C
140 W. College St.
Oberlin, OH 44074

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 provide opportunities for support, community-building, and student engagement. 

Housing options include single-gender and all-gender floors/halls; identity-based communities and language houses (Afrikan Heritage House, Asia House, Baldwin Cottage Women and Trans* CollectiveFrench House, German House, Hebrew Heritage House, Latinx Heritage HouseRussian House, Spanish House, and Third World House); 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 (OSCA), an independent student-run non-profit association.

Residence Hall Occupancy

New students may occupy their rooms beginning the first day of Orientation for New Students; 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 shutdown (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

Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services 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. Counseling and Psychological Services 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, Counseling and Psychological Services provides daily walk-in crisis hours and a confidential, professionally staffed after-hours phone line. 

Student Health Services

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. Student Health Services will be able to answer general questions in regards to insurance coverage at 440-775-8180.

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 Campus Safety, who contact on-call professional staff as needed to help with immediate concerns related to health and safety.

Student Outreach and Support (formerly SHARE) promotes student success by providing a forum for faculty, staff, students, and others to share concerns, supporting a collaborative approach, and providing opportunities for meaningful interactions. Students can connect with Student Outreach and Support by scheduling an appointment or calling the Office of the Dean of Students at 440-775-8462, any time during business hours. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The online Student Support Request form is also available to students, faculty, staff, and others who wish to refer a student who may be struggling emotionally needs additional support, or is exhibiting other concerning behavior. You can fill out this form anonymously as it does not violate the privacy rights of students.

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 Leaders (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, the Multicultural Resource Commons, and the Office of Spirituality and Dialogue 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.

Multicultural Resource Commons (MRC)

The Multicultural Resource Commons (MRC) provides programs and services that affirm and promote equity for students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and first-generation college students. We are committed to working with campus and community partners to create a climate where all students belong and have equitable opportunities and outcomes. Since its inception in 1995, the MRC has sponsored, cosponsored, and supported a diverse array of educational, cultural, political, activist, and social programs, including the signature programs Colors of Rhythm and My Name is My Own.

Office of Spirituality and Dialogue (OSD)

The Office of Spirituality and Dialogue (OSD), located in Wilder Hall, is a multifaith resource center that provides and supports diverse religious, spiritual, and ethical programs and activities for the campus and wider community. 

We serve the educational, spiritual, and personal needs of a wide array of spiritual orientations, including non-theists. We maintain dynamic partnerships with many campus and local groups, including religious, interfaith, service, and social justice organizations.

OSD’s work is led by the multifaith director, fellow, and coordinator, in cooperation with a larger network of local and regional clergy and spiritual counsel open to supporting Oberlin students. Together we share responsibility for nurturing campus religious and spiritual life for students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and friends of the college. We provide support for spiritual communities and religious services, spiritual care and counseling, and leadership and partnership. We also eagerly join with others in examining religious and moral perspectives on such issues as race and class, gender and sexuality, the environment, peacemaking, human rights, relationships, work, vocation, the economy, government, education, and science.

OSD’s programs and services include:

  • Assessing and encouraging campus religious interest and connecting the campus community with opportunities to practice and explore religious and spiritual life
  • Supporting and promoting campus spiritual communities and connections with local religious communities, as well as college-community initiatives
  • Providing regular opportunities for prayer, meditation, worship, retreats, spiritual study, the observance of religious holidays, and other public and private spiritual practices
  • Providing and cosponsoring programs and events to illuminate and interpret the religious, spiritual, and ethical dimensions of life and issues in our society and world
  • Celebrating sacred musical traditions and encouraging the appreciation of sacred arts
  • Providing spiritual care, counseling, and support for people of all spiritual orientations on the full range of religious and moral concerns and life crises experienced by members of a diverse college community, including deaths, accidents, and illnesses, and traumatic events on campus, in the local community, and in the wider world
  • Promoting interfaith and intra-faith dialogue, understanding, and cooperation
  • Organizing and cooperating in movements for peace, service, and social justice
  • Offering education and trainings for and with other campus units to equip students and staff to address religious, spiritual, and ethical issues and concerns as they relate to their particular activities (e.g., Residential Education, Multicultural Resource Commons, Counseling and Psychological Services)
  • Caring for and coordinating the use of Fairchild Chapel, and other campus religious and spiritual spaces for students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and friends
  • Coordinating weddings/holy unions, memorial services, and other lifecycle rituals
  • Leading spiritual exercises at important moments in the life of the college, such as Convocation, Reunion Weekend, and Baccalaureate
  • Maintaining connections with graduate theological schools and post-baccalaureate service and social justice programs and supporting interested students and alumni
  • Maintaining relationships with alumni of many spiritual orientations and those engaged in religious studies and leadership