Students living in Dascomb hall were featured on a three minute segment of ABC's Good Morning America airing last Friday.
Oberlin was the first college to have co-educational dormitories and, for this reason, was segmented as part of a larger special edition about collegiate life. The segment, written by Special Correspondent John Palacio, was shot on Oct. 15.
Palacio first interviewed a group of college first-years. First-year Edan Lepucki told of how, wearing only a towel, she startled a boy in a co-ed bathroom.
"He asked a lot of corny questions about moral choices and sexual tensions," said Lepucki. "We didn't mean it to be so corny, but we all laughed at once and it came out that way."
Palacio spent the night with college junior and RC Ato Micah in his room in Dascomb and talked to students about life in a co-ed dorm. "The interview was very informal," said Micah. "He basically asked me about how I lived ... His mission was to really find out what is going on in a very open campus like Oberlin."
Palacio's cameras perused the hallways, pointing out the decorations on peoples' doors and the noise from students' stereos. He then mistakenly made a comment on an Oberlin College yearly event. "The dorm bulletin board announces the popular, weekly, safe-sex night at the dance hall," he said.
Palacio inspected some students' rooms in Dascomb. "He looked in my room for 20 to 30 minutes," said program assistant and college sophomore Peter Kovac.
"I've noticed you have a condom on the wall next to the light switch. What's that about?" Palacio asked.
"I figured my roommate comes home with his girlfriend, he flips on the light switch, it'd be right there and he'd remember," said Kovac. Palacio reminded viewers that students rarely date within their own dorm, but he interviewed college sophomore Alison Carter and her boyfriend, college sophomore Paul Madavi, both of whom live in Dascomb.
"It was really embarrassing. We had to do a lot of staging. My boyfriend was at the computer and two or three times he asked me to get up and go over and give him a kiss and watch him play the game," said Carter. The interview footage was not used but the couple are seen walking hand in hand through the halls. "At one point he asked us a question that was really personal and we were like 'we don't want to answer that.'"
Palacio had lunch that Thursday with Micah in the Dascomb dinning hall and took first-years Maggie Heffner and Gregory Wells to the Fève. Palacio also held a group interview in Lepucki's room.
"What is the one thing that you guys think that your parents ... might be most surprised about when you guys talk about dorm life?" he asked.
Conservatory junior Dea Lunsford said that some might be surprised that students work on projects without sleeping for days on end. An anonymous student mentioned the co-ed bathrooms. "Why?" asked Palacio. "Because they're co-ed bathrooms," said the student.
Residential Life Services asked college senior Amie Ely to guide Palacio while he was on campus. "It was very rehearsed," said Ely. "It was kind of disappointing that he was here just for the housing issue at Oberlin. But it was cool to see it from that side, how live TV is sort of pseudo-live."
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 7, October 30, 1998
Contact us with your comments and suggestions.