ObieSafe: Housing

The Office of Residential Education has identified a range of strategies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus. 

Our goal is to provide you with an excellent residential experience in the face of the pandemic.  Your housing experience will be different than you may have experienced in the past, but we hope these changes will help you and your family feel confident about your return.

If you are living off campus in 2020–2021, you are expected to follow the same guidelines as students who are living on campus. Your participation will help ensure that off-campus housing does not contribute to the transmission of COVID-19 in our community.

This overview provides a general summary of the rules and expectations for residence halls and village housing.  More specific information about particular buildings will be available when you arrive.

  • One person will be assigned to each bedroom.

  • You will be allowed to practice instruments in residence hall rooms if you live in the Music Making Community. No amplifiers may be used at any time regardless of building.

  • Extra furniture will remain in the rooms even if you do not need it. We do not have the capacity to remove and store the furniture. You will be billed the full cost for any furniture that is missing when you move out. Thank you for your understanding about the limitations of storage space on campus.

  • You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times, unless you are alone in a private bedroom or other room with the door closed. This expectation applies to the common areas of shared apartments

  • Exercise rooms, dance studios, game rooms, and computer labs in the residence halls will remain closed for the 2020-21 academic year.  Entry and use of closed spaces may result in conduct charges and serious sanctions, including suspension and dismissal from campus.

  • All reusable or shared items (e.g., board games) will be removed.  Please do not leave any personal items in common areas.

  • Extra furniture will be removed from the lounges to maintain 6-foot physical distancing, and tape will be placed on the floor where the furniture must be kept.

  • Free Store and food donation bins will be removed from all hall lobbies. The Free Store will not be operational for 2020-21 academic year.

  • You are expected to observe room capacities, physical distancing, and other directives that indicate how to share space in the safest way possible.

  • Physical distancing must be maintained while in common spaces.  Be thoughtful about how you share hallways.

  • Only one student at a time may use a shared kitchen.  Please limit your time in the kitchen so others may access the space.

  • You will need to disinfect kitchens according to provided instructions and with provided supplies before and after every use.

  • All reusable or shared items such as pots, pans, utensils, etc. will be removed from each shared kitchen.  Please do not leave personal cooking items in the shared kitchens.

  • Harkness, Keep, and Tank will not have full stoves and ovens for student use. The commercial kitchens will not be accessible to students living in Harkness, Keep, and Tank.

  • If residents are unable to share space appropriately or keep kitchens clean, those spaces may be closed permanently

  • Follow posted disinfection processes after each use of washers and driers.

  • Maintain physical distancing while using the laundry room.

  • After you remove your laundry from the dryer, take your laundry back to your room to fold your clothes.  All personal items left in the laundry room will be discarded.

  • Avoid placing toothbrushes or other personal hygiene items directly on counter surfaces. Totes should be used for personal items to limit their contact with other surfaces.

  • Follow disinfectant processes for sinks before and after you use them.

  • Do not use sinks that have been taken out of service to enable physical distancing.

  • Use a cup when drinking from sinks, water fountains, etc

  • The Party Registration process is suspended for the 2020-21 academic year. No parties will be approved or permitted.  This prohibition applies to students on and off campus.

  • Activities and sports that do not allow physical distancing will not be permitted.

  • Residential Education staff will offer alternative methods of social interaction via phone, Zoom, and other alternative methods in order to sustain thriving residential communities.

  • In-person events will have sign-ups and be limited to 10 students or the number of students who can physically distance in the space being used for the event, whichever is fewer.

For details, see the Policy on Parties during COVID-19.

  • Building access will be limited to residents, except for buildings with dining halls in operation.  Students entering residential buildings to go to dining facilities may not enter the residential parts of the building.

    • Village residents will have access to a space nearby to do laundry, but should not enter the other residential parts of the building.

  • Restrictions are in place for Oberlin College housing guests. Please see the Policy on Parties for detailed information.

  • Student visitors who are participating in Oberlin's COVID-19 testing program are limited to two per resident if you can maintain 6 feet of physical distancing and wear masks.

    • If you are hosting an intimate partner in your room, please follow all guidelines for affirmative consent in the context of COVID-19 and utilize self-isolation and other strategies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to others.

For details, see the Policy on Parties during COVID-19 and the Policy on Guests and Access to Campus (Fall 2020).

  • You must complete the housing and dining agreement prior to arrival on campus.

  • You must sign up for a 30-minute check-in appointment in advance.

    • Personal early arrival and walk-up check in will not be available for the Fall 2020 Semester.

  • At the start of your check-in period, you will need to complete a COVID-19 test at the testing center in Hales Gymnasium. You will not be able to check in until you complete the test.

  • After your test, please proceed promptly to the assigned location for your residence hall check-in, which you will receive with your housing information. Staff will be available at the testing location to assist you if you are not sure where to go.

  • Students may have two guests to assist with the move-in process.  Guests will be required to participate in an initial symptom screening and should depart immediately after assisting with moving your belongings.

  • After moving in, you will need to quarantine in your room until your test results become available.

    • Shared restrooms may be used during these periods; please observe social distancing and wear a mask whenever possible

  • Housing assignments are only guaranteed for one term unless the terms of enrollment are consecutive.  If you are not enrolled for consecutive terms, please plan to move out of your assigned space completely at the end of the semester.

  • Room changes will be suspended during the 2020-21 academic year.

  • Please observe information on doorways about entry and exit.

  • No more than one person may use the elevator at a time.

  • Stairways will be one-directional (unless in case of an emergency).