Campus Bulletin: Current Students, Faculty and Staff, Parents, ObieSafe

ObieSafe Weekly: September 29, 2020

September 29, 2020 3:45 PM

Office of Communications

Register to vote before Oct. 5; important message about contact tracing

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

Coronavirus Testing Results
September 22–28
New Tests 815
New Positives 2
% Positive 0.25%
More information on testing and test results is available at the ObieSafe website.


Transcription follows.
Created for ObieSafe by the talented Beth Wolfensberger Singer P’19.

An Oberlin student with blue hair converses with their toothbrush.

Toothbrush: Morning! Did you check your email yet, like you agreed to every day?
Student: Wait. Since when do you talk, let alone nag?
Toothbrush: What, like this is the weirdest thing in your life right now?
Student: Touché, talking toothbrush. Touché.
OC Votes: Engaging in Democracy

Register to vote before October 5 deadline

Oberlin’s Voter Friendly Campus Coalition, in partnership with OC Votes, is working hard to get students and staff registered before the October 5 voter registration deadline. You’ve likely seen the many voter registration stands around campus; keep an eye out for the tables set up over the next week staffed with student volunteers who can guide you through the paperwork process:

  • Daily from 5:30-7:30 p.m. outside Stevenson Dining Hall, Wilder Hall, and Lord Saunders;
  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (through October 1) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. outside Wilder Hall.
QR code
Want to register now? Scan the QR code to take you to Oberlin’s Voter Friendly Campus Resource Page.

Please note that ObieSafe guidelines will be followed during this important process. Physical distancing guidelines will be followed; clean, sanitized pens will be used for each person; and hand sanitizing wipes will be available.

An important request for students regarding contact tracing

When a student tests positive for or has symptoms of COVID-19, it is critical that contact tracers interview them as soon as possible to determine if any close contacts are at risk. We also reach out to the contacts to let them know of exposure. We have a few urgent requests which are not only your responsibility, but demonstrates your care for the Oberlin community:

  • Please make sure that Oberlin has a correct cell phone number.
  • Make sure that you can receive calls from unknown numbers as most of the contact tracers will call from their cell phone. Do not block unknown calls.
  • If you have been moved to isolation, expect a call from an unknown number and answer it.
  • If you know you were in close contact with a friend who tested positive, expect a call.
  • Listen to your voice messages to see if a contact tracer has called you. Call them back immediately.
  • Talk to the contact tracer when they call. We know that we might call you at times that are inconvenient, but we are making every effort to control the spread of the virus.

ObieSafe protocols in the classroom, lab, and practice space

In a classroom, people are seated in a circle, far apart from one another. They are wearing masks,
Professor Caroline Jackson Smith leads a theater class. (Tanya Rosen-Jones)
A violist plays in a Bibbins Hall classroom while the professor looks on from a remote video screen.
A viola lesson with Professor Peter Slowik. (Tanya Rosen-Jones)
A professor points to equations on a whiteboard for his remote students.
Lab work with Associate Professor of Neuroscience Patrick Simen. (Yvonne Gay)

Professor of Theater and Africana Studies Caroline Jackson Smith is teaching a new course tailored to the present moment titled Playwriting and Performance in the Time of Black Lives Matter. “I have been so pleasantly surprised about how well we are doing with our 6-foot-apart circle and masks—and with two students Zooming in,” says Jackson Smith.

“One of the great innovations we are using on campus is a digital tool called an "OWL," which allows the remote students to see the full classroom and all the students in a panoramic way. This has been crucial in helping us all feel as if we are in class together. Since I am in our Welch Rehearsal Hall classroom, I am fortunate to have not only the OWL, but multiple large spaces upon which to project images, as well as great sound and a beautiful space.”

Faculty are invited to share how they’re adapting to safety protocols and new technologies. Drop us a line at

Get in touch with the ObieSafe team

Have something to share in a future issue of ObieSafe Weekly? Email 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.