This week's All Roads Lead to Oberlin weekend is the official introduction for hundreds of prospective students and their parents to Oberlin. Oberlin is also meeting the same hundreds of prospective students, without their parents and with some extra surprises.
In past years, around 500 people have come to Oberlin for All Roads, although this year's final numbers will not be in until next Thursday.
All Roads' first two days have already seen approximately 50 prospective students on campus.
The program began Wednesday and will last until next Tuesday. This year is the first All Roads to last an entire week. It is also less formal than it's been in the past.
"It's more focused on getting people out and about and less focused on bring prospectives and parents together in one room to be talked at," President Nancy Dye said.
Events on the official All Roads program include open houses with various departments and the co-ops, as well as 34 guided campus tours.
With three plays, a dance show, several concerts, at least five all-campus parties, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Union-sponsored Pride Week and ACT-UP Oberlin's AIDS Awareness Week, the weekend is one of Oberlin's most eventful of the year even without the hundreds of prospectives.
The creative efforts of many of Oberlin's students poured into the decoration and chalking of the campus. Even the College's welcome sign in front of the admissions office was augmented by the phrase "Queers accepted here."
The weekend offers potential members of Oberlin's Class of 2000 a wide variety of possible activities. Added to the admissions programs are more risky events like the post-poned and renamed "auction," that is being held by the Bondage and Domination/Sadism and Masochism group.
One off-campus house is hosting what it calls a fetish party and is offering an admission discount to prospectives. "We want to give them a good time while they're in town," said junior Ben Selman, a resident of Banana House.
Zechiel House is also promising flesh at their annual Male Exotic party.
However, many prospective students are not necessarily impressed by the events that are being prepared with them in mind.
The overall atmosphere and level of activity leaves more of an impression. "It shows a really active campus," said Palcie Faison from Schenectaty, NY. Alexa Mathuysis, also from Schenectaty agreed. "We're pretty impressed."
The All Roads demand for dorm hosts often allows students to host two or three prospectives. For each one students receive $10.
Stories of prospectives losing their hosts, or vice-versa, are not uncommon during All Roads.
"Things don't always work out. Hosts don't always show up to pick up their prospies," said sophomore Dorm Host Coordinator (DHC) Hillary Eklund. Because of this, the DHC position was created to ensure that whenever a prospective student is in need of something they have a resource to go to, Eklund said.
"Prospies usually wander in the direction of Wilder," DHC sophomore Morgan Elmore said. When a prospie is lost or trying to find their host, they are sent towards Wilder's information desk. Then calls are made to either the prospective's host, or the DHC for the hall so that the host and prospective can be reunited
With all the activities this week planned to welcome prospectives - sanctioned by the College or not - Oberlin is not the same place it usually is.
"In some ways it's good," said Elmore. "This weekend is probably the busiest all year, nearly all the extra stuff is a lot of political stuff. It's good for them to be exposed to it."
Copyright © 1996, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 124, Number 21; April 19, 1996
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