Oberlin: On the Verge of Putting Sustainability into Practice, other letters
Welcome! A new year is always a good time to reflect on our past accomplishments and look ahead at what we want to achieve. It’s also a good time to ask, what is our vision for Oberlin College? Look around you. What visions do you see?
This is a very simple yet profound question. For people who are new to Oberlin it’s understandable that you might not yet know enough about the place to have a clear vision. For most of us, though, we really shouldn’t have to ask. It should be readily apparent through our actions, words, decisions, policies, and priorities. It’s not hard to be visionary. To borrow a line from John Lennon, it’s easy if you try.
We have a new President — welcome President Krislov! — and I’m sure we’re all asking ourselves, what is his vision for Oberlin College? I for one am eager to find out and optimistic that it will be a vision that is inspiring, challenging, bold and passionate. I hope, too, that it is a vision that recognizes Oberlin’s history of moral and courageous leadership and the dire need to take decisive action to address the many challenges of the 21st century head-on.
There should be no doubt that sustainability is an integral part of Oberlin’s mission as an educational institution and represents an area where significant further investments are needed.
The Environmental Policy states that one aspect of Oberlin’s core mission is the demonstration by its actions of the College’s concern for, and protection of, its physical environment. It also states that the College must be a responsible steward of the environment.
The strategic plan not only identifies a commitment to move towards environmental sustainability as one of its key components, but also states that, among other things, “Oberlin’s mission is to: Nurture students’ social consciousness and environmental awareness.”
As an institutional priority, The American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment requires that we make the transition to a climate-neutral campus a major concern.
Some still claim global warming is a “debate,” see it as a passing fad, or argue that it may actually be a good thing, but the objective consensus is clear. Global warming is a scientific reality and represents the most daunting crisis of our time. According to the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the data is unequivocal.
In the immortal words of Lee Iacocca, we need to lead, follow, or get out of the way. I vote for lead. Despite our substantial past and current achievements, it is clear that other institutions have accomplished more and are exhibiting stronger leadership than we are. However, if we act boldly and decisively I have no doubt that we can develop a vision, plan and program for creating a truly sustainable, carbon-neutral and inspiring institution that will have no equal.
Highest among my office’s many priorities is investigating the feasibility of converting the central heating plant to run on carbon-neutral fuel such as biomass or biogas, identifying opportunities for energy efficiency repairs, replacements and retrofits in all existing facilities, and aggressively pursuing additional investments in renewable energy resources. We have drafted a plan outlining these and many other priorities that will be put forward for review, revision, and approval over the coming year.
This, you might say, qualifies as a vision. What we need is the will and commitment to act on it—quickly.
The Lorain County Rape Crisis Center offers the following resources to anyone in need of sexual assault support services:
All services provided at Lorain County Rape Crisis follow the rape crisis model of support and education and the belief and focus that sexual abuse is about power and control, therefore, examined first and foremost as a crime of violence. Furthermore, services are free and anonymous.
You may call either 440-282-2335 or call the 24-hour hotline response (1-800-888-6161) and ask for rape crisis on-call advocate. Please note that the 800# for the hotline cannot be accessed from a cell phone with a long-distance area code and students will need to use a land phone to call the hotline or use the local number 440-282-2335.
The Lorain Rape Crisis Center also trains and utilizes volunteers both for community education, to answer the hotline and to provide advocacy during exams. Hotline volunteers include Oberlin College students, Lorain County residents, people of color, people interested in the justice system, bi-lingual people, and LGBTQ persons.
Volunteer sought for Lorain County Rape Crisis Center. No experience is necessary, training provided. The next training is Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. beginning Oct. 2nd-Nov. 6th. For more information please contact: Brandi Smith, Volunteer Liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-282-2296.
Please read Oberlin College’s Red “Guidelines for Sexual Consent” poster displayed around campus, written by students, faculty and staff. For information about sexual assault, please see http://www.oberlin.edu/sexualassault. For information about Oberlin College’s Sexual Offense Policy, please contact Camille Hamlin Allen at 775-8555 or visit http://www.oberlin.edu/Equity.–Lori K. Morgan Flood
Assistant Dean/Director of the Center for Leadership in Health Promotion
The Center for Leadership in Health Promotion, the Office of Judicial Affairs, and the Office of Residential Education partner to support the College’s mission of providing students with educational programming in an environment that encourages personal growth and individual well-being. In particular, we seek to support students in making choices that avoid the risks associated with the unhealthy or dangerous use of alcohol and/or other substances. We recognize that students are adults and are expected to obey the law and take personal responsibility for their conduct. We would like to draw your attention to the following policies and initiatives related to alcohol and other drugs:
1. All students are expected to familiarize themselves with college policy related to alcohol and other drugs. A complete summary of the rules and regulations related to alcohol and other drug use and abuse can be found at this link: http://www.oberlin.edu/students/links-life/rules-regs.html.
2. All on-campus parties held in residential spaces must be registered through Residential Education in advance. Students should call x58472 to schedule an appointment. It takes up to five weeks for an alcohol permit to be approved by the state. To host a party with alcohol, a $30.00 fee is required to receive the temporary alcohol permit. Parties not approved through the party planning process will be held accountable to college policy.
3. Substance free housing is available for any student wanting to live a lifestyle that includes abstaining from the high-risk use of drugs and alcohol within their residential community. Please contact Residential Education at x58472 for application information.
4. AA and Al-Anon meetings take place both off- and on-campus. For complete information, visit http://www.oberlin.edu/lifeskills/aod.
5. Oberlin College now offers a free, confidential, electronic alcohol (and marijuana) assessment and feedback tool (e-Chug or e-Toke) designed to reduce high-risk use among college students. The assessment takes 10-15 minutes to complete, is self-guided and requires no face-to-face contact time with a counselor or administrator. http://oberlin.edu/lifeskills/aod/.
6. Medical Amnesty (previously called “Good Samaritan”): Oberlin College wishes to ensure that students at medical risk as a result of alcohol or substance use will receive prompt and appropriate medical attention. For this reason no student seeking medical attention for him/herself (or another) for intoxication or overdose shall be formally sanctioned for the illegal use or possession of alcohol or other drugs when no other college polices have been violated in conjunction with the intoxication or overdose. Such students will meet with a Judicial Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office to discuss the incident. The Judicial Coordinator has the discretion to refer the individuals to participate in (an) appropriate educational intervention(s), including but not limited to: screenings with members of the alcohol/substance use support team, parental notification, writing reflective essays, AOD assessments at a state certified agency or treatment center, etc.–Lori K. Morgan Flood
–Kimberly Jackson Davidson
Associate Dean of Students
Associate Dean of Students
Director of ResEd and Dining