February 7, 2018

Greetings from the Student Senate and President Ambar!

A lot is changing at Oberlin, and much remains to change. You may have seen the recent renovations of the Wilder Hall Lobby. If you haven't, we recommend you check it out. So far the physical space has been expanded, new flooring was laid, and new paint has dried. Excitingly, there's more to come and more ways to be involved in shaping the future of that space.

Soon, this area will be fitted with a new TV, speakers, and other entertainment options that will allow open music and entertainment streaming. Wider student input will be sought as we work to make this space as cozy and comfortable as possible. For example, we will add a rotating student art display to showcase our tremendous student talent.  Student government channels will host a competition to select some new iconic furniture (think womb chairs, but better).

The renovation of Wilder Lobby rests as an example of how student government, including the Student Senate and Student Union Board, are working with Oberlin's administration to respond to student needs and craft solutions that enhance the student experience. In the fall, Senate carried out an intense week of student intake to better understand the state of campus climate and the needs of the student body at large. 

Students spoke pretty clearly: campus housing, transportation issues around campus and Cleveland, and a dearth of communal spaces on campus are just a few issues that stand out in our data. Senate has worked collaboratively across campus to address student concerns. Just last semester, Senate partnered with senior administrators to pilot a campus shuttle, essentially shrinking our campus and shrinking distances people trek in some of their most challenging moments. We're looking to build on this progress and provide reliable transportation to Cleveland. Senate has also advocated on behalf of student housing concerns, leading to the development of a regular painting schedule for all residence halls, plans to continue improving flooring, furniture, and other housing amenities, and the first phase of restroom renovations in Langston (North) this summer.

In the coming weeks, Student Senate will present their Constituents Week data to various groups across campus including the Oberlin student body, Senior Leadership, General Faculty, and the Board of Trustees. The President will present a series of presentations across campus regarding Oberlin's financial future. It's important that students are engaged, attend listening sessions, respond to Student Senate queries, and offer input through the channels provided. Student Senate is uniquely equipped to represent and advocate for vital student perspectives.  

Thank you for your continued enthusiasm for the future of Oberlin. We look forward to journeying together.

Sincerely,

Carmen Twillie Ambar
President
Kameron Dunbar ‘19
Student Senator