Office of the Dean of Students

Student Rights During Conduct Process

No part of the Rules and Regulations are intended to abrogate the civil rights of students, either as members of the college or as members of the greater college community.

Civil Rights

Oberlin students are members of the college and the greater public communities. The college supports students in the exercise of their civil rights and the free exchange of ideas. Students have the right to be free from harassment and harm for reasons of their race, color, sex, marital status, religion, creed, national origin, disability, age, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, family relationship to an employee of Oberlin College, and gender identity and expression.

Students have the right to enjoy a reasonable degree of privacy, within the constraints imposed by living together in close quarters.

Fundamental Fairness

Students at Oberlin College will be treated equitably and fairly under the terms of the Student Conduct System.

Freedom from Unwarranted Search

Oberlin respects students’ right to privacy. The college and its officials abide by set procedures pursuant to entering or searching college property leased by or assigned to students with the understanding that this procedure in no way limits bona-fide law enforcement for warranted searches.

Responsibility and the Law

Oberlin students shall accept full responsibility for their own actions under federal, state, and local laws. They shall recognize the rule of law and expect no special immunity on account of their student status. Students shall abide by college regulations and the decisions of the college’s disciplinary bodies. When students incur penalties prescribed by civil authorities, they may also be subject to further discipline by the college Student Conduct System.

When students of the college are charged with a violation of law, the college has no obligation to assist them.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. Our office is required to maintain strict confidentiality of information pertaining to student discipline files, but we generally encourage students to discuss their discipline cases with parents/guardians.

If a student under 21 years of age has violated alcohol or drug policy and the student is at risk of suspension, expulsion or eviction, the college may notify the student’s parents, of those facts. Students can authorize parents/guardians access to their information by filing a FERPA waiver form.

Medical Amnesty

To promote the health and safety of students who consume toxic levels of drugs or alcohol, the college reviews cases involving students whose friends call for assistance when concerned that medical attention is needed. Following the review, a hearing officer will make a determination about whether or not medical amnesty will be extended to the person who needed medical attention and the friends who sought the assistance.

Medical amnesty negates status sanctions such as warnings, probation, suspension, and dismissal; however, an individual who has been extended medical amnesty may still be required by a hearing officer to take part in specified educational activities that are designed to increase the individual’s awareness or their patterns of drug or alcohol use. For more information, please see the Alcohol, Tobacco, and other Drug policy.