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General Information

Student Life


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Student Life

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music are expected to follow rules established under the Constitution of the Association of Students. 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 Office of Residential Life and Services. New students should expect assignment to Oberlin College residences and dining halls.

3. Campus parking facilities are exceedingly limited, therefore students are encouraged not to bring a car or other motor vehicle to Oberlin. First-year students are prohibited from having a vehicle at Oberlin. Exceptions to the first-year no-car rule are based upon critical need (e.g. medical, physical disability, etc.), and must be requested in writing from the Director of Safety and Security.

Upper-class students (sophomore and above) may bring a car to campus provided there is a compelling need and available space. Students authorized to have a vehicle at 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 W. 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 halls; program houses (Afrikan Heritage, Asian, French, German, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, Third World and Women's Collective); and student co-operative houses.

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 just prior to Orientation, continuing students after Orientation, but prior to Enrollment. 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 on enrollment day.

Residences and dining halls are closed during the winter vacation period. All students must leave campus during the vacation period.

Student Health

Student Health is located at 319 1/2 West Lorain Street. The center is staffed by a full-time nurse practitioner, a full-time nurse, and part-time by two physicians who meet with students on a regular basis. Student Health is open for the entire academic year and visits to Student Health are included in tuition costs.

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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 health service.

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 student health fee. The cost of services (e.g. emergency room visits, the Oberlin Clinic, and Urgent Care) not provided at Student Health are not covered under the student health fee 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 your responsibility.

Oberlin College offers an optional Sickness and Accident Medical Plan as a supplement to individual or family policy, or for students who are uninsured or underinsured. The supplementary Sickness and Accident Medical Plan is mandatory for international students. For specific information regarding this plan as well as other student insurance-related questions call 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.

The student Sickness and Accident Insurance Plan, which is optional, supplements the services provided under the Primary Health Plan. It provides year-round protection against much of the expense of illness and injury, both at Oberlin and outside the campus, including hospitalization surgery or extended treatment. In Oberlin, hospital care is available at the 100-bed Allen Memorial Hospital, which is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation.

Support Services

College is a time of academic and personal growth for students. Sometimes the pressures of academics, adjusting to campus life or other personal problems can seem overwhelming. To help students deal with such problems, Oberlin provides several support services:

  • Class deans, assiged to each incoming first-year class, who are available to help students solve both ersonal and ractical problems, and to help students make sensible and informed decisions about academic and related matters. In emergencies, a class dean may be contacted during evening and weekend hours through the dean-on-call system (phone Safety and Security);
  • Student Academic Services, which 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, which provides short-term consultation with Oberlin's clinical psychologists and group therapy;
  • the Office of Residential Life and Services, the Multicultural Resource Center and the Office of Chaplains, which provide support of a more general nature in handling most of the day-to-day problems 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 disabled students 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.


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Other Information

The Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association

The Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association is a non-profit foundation with headquarters on the Oberlin College campus. It was founded in 1907 to provide support and guidance for the consolidation of educational efforts initiated in 1882 by Oberlin graduates in Taigu, Shanxi Province, China. The Association fosters international understanding by operating educational exchange programs with affiliated institutions in China, India, Indonesia and Japan. It offers two-year teaching fellowships to recent Oberlin graduates. Shansi sponsors Asian faculty and students to teach, do research and study at Oberlin. Through the Shansi Student Committee, the Association carries out an Asian affairs program on campus. The Global Education Program introduces Asia to area schools.

Religious Activities

Campus groups and programs as well as local churches welcome participation by all members of the Oberlin College community. The Office of Chaplains, 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; retreats and liturgical services.


Oberlin is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 30 North LaSalle Street, Chicago IL 60602, 800/621-7440 and the National Association of Schools of Music, 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston VA 22090, 703/437-0700.

Graduation Rate

In 1998-99 the completion or graduation rate for students who entered Oberlin College in 1992 on a full-time basis was 78 percent.

In 1998-99 the completion or graduation rate for students who entered Oberlin College in 1991 in the five-year, double-degree program was 90 percent.

Catalog Changes

Though every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this catalog at the time of publication, it is normal that during the academic year some revisions will be made regarding course listings and other information contained herein. Such information is distributed routinely on campus and will appear in subsequent editions of the catalog.

For additional information about Oberlin and its programs, please contact Oberlin's admissions office.

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