September 15, 2020 12:15 PM
Office of Communications

Follow the big yellow bins; important policies on parties and guests

Obie Safe Weekly: Caring for Our Community. (The squirrel mascot is wearing a mask.)


Coronavirus Testing Results
Sept. 7 through Sept. 14
New Tests 627
New Positives 0
% Positive 0%
More information on testing and test results is available at the ObieSafe website.

Going out? A helpful primer on what to wear these days.

A fun illustration titled What to Wear when Outside Your Room. Transcription follows.
Transcription What to Wear When Outside Your Room
  • Underwear: Technically quite optional. (Boxer shorts with stars and hearts.)
  • Hat: Sometimes. Consult your hair. (Rainbow colored hat.)
  • Sunscreen: Up to you. Skin damage / vitamin D trade-off. (Tube of sunscreen.)
  • Enigmatic fanny pack: Whenever you're feeling it. (Fanny pack with the word "Karma" on the front.)
  • Mask: Pretty much always, until we fix this. (Cloth mask with ear straps.)

The first in a series of delightful illustrations by the talented Beth Wolfensberger Singer P’19.

Look for the yellow bins in dining halls

Two men stand next to a big yellow bin.
Caleb Crandall, Resident Director of AVI Fresh, and Scott Callow, Oberlin College Facilities Operations Project Director.
Photo courtesy of Wayne Wood.

Campus Dining Services routinely serves more than 5,000 meals per day. When the seating areas in the dining halls were closed as a result of COVID-19 and all meals began to be served “to go,” one of the biggest questions was how to manage take-out containers and reduce waste.

Bridget Flynn, the college’s sustainability manager, was quick to note the damaging effects of so much waste, and notes that “as a leading educational institution, we have a responsibility to take action.”

Thanks to a collaboration with AVI Fresh, Scioto Services, the Office of Environmental Sustainability and the college’s Facilities Operations department, new reusable food containers and collection bins were procured to minimize waste from takeaway dining. The program was rolled out as students arrived on campus, and yellow collection bins have recently been popping up in high traffic areas around campus.

Caleb Crandall, Resident Director for AVI Fresh at Oberlin, has been working to place these bins in and around dining halls and in high-traffic areas. His mantra lately? “Look for the yellow bins!”

Students can feel comfortable in knowing that the reusable containers will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized through a rigorous multi-step process. But the program will only be successful through the efforts of the entire campus community. ObieSafe encourages everyone to do their part in ensuring the long term success of this program by returning your containers to the yellow bins. Thank you for your help to reduce waste on campus!

Policy on parties during COVID-19

Public health and state of Ohio guidance discourage social gatherings because of their potential to trigger the spread of COVID-19. States across the country, including Ohio, have regulated social gatherings, as well as the hours that bars and restaurants may conduct business, to slow the spread of the virus. Oberlin’s policy pertains to academic gatherings and the hosting of a limited number of friends.

Read the full policy

Questions we’ve been asked

Q. How can I arrange for my parents to visit campus?

A. Parents and other guests should avoid visiting campus during the fall semester. Virtual opportunities to observe student performances will be planned and promoted when feasible. In the Conservatory, all indoor performances will be available to watch live over the internet via livestream. No in-person audiences are permitted at any indoor performance on campus. If a family member must visit campus in case of an emergency, please register with the Office of the Dean of Students by emailing deanstu@oberlin.edu.

Read more in the Policy on Guests and Access to Campus for fall 2020.

Out and about

A student wearing a mask browses bags and jewelry at an eclectic shop.
Students browse items in Ratsy's Store in downtown Oberlin.
Photo credit: Yvonne Gay

The campus enjoyed warm weather for the first week of in-person classes. View the photo gallery.

Tip of the week

Have a virtual event you’d like to advertise? Don’t forget to post it on the Oberlin events calendar. The calendar is self-serve, and submissions are typically approved within a couple of hours.

Get in touch with the ObieSafe team

Have something to share in a future issue of ObieSafe Weekly? Email obiesafe@oberlin.edu with story ideas or information you’d like to have considered for publication.


ObieSafe Weekly provides the news, information—and the occasional smile—we all need to navigate the pandemic and help our community thrive. Find the tools you need in your inbox every Tuesday at noon.