New Student FAQ

Housing

  1. How are new student housing assignments determined? 
  2. How can I find out where I am living?
  3. Can I move in earlier than August 22nd at 9 am?
  4. What is provided in a room? What should I bring?
  5. If I come to visit Oberlin this summer, can I see my room?
  6. What if I require special housing or dining accommodations?
  7. What are the different types of housing at Oberlin?
  8. What are housing clusters? Which residence halls make up which clusters?
  9. Are refrigerators available in the residence halls?
  10. Are the halls air conditioned? Am I allowed to bring my own A/C unit?

New Student Move-In

  1. How do I get into my room? Where do I get my room key?
  2. If we arrive at Oberlin by car, where do we park to unload?
  3. What is a RCR? Where do I find one?
  4. How are fees assessed for room and or floor damages at the end of the year semester?

General Information

  1. What is Oberlin's smoking policy?
  2. Where can I do my laundry?
  3. When are fall break, Thanksgiving break, and spring break? What residence halls and dining access is there during these breaks?
  4. When do residence halls close for the fall semester and spring semesters?
  5. Does the College offer storage options?
  6. Is personal property ensured by the College?
  7. What are Res Ed's bathroom and gender policies?
  8. What are the polices regarding drugs and alcohol?
  9. Is cable TV available in the residence halls?
  10. What do I do if I lose my ID card or my room key?
  11. What happens if I lock myself out of my room?
  12. Where do I get my mail?
  13. How about thefts and security?
  14. Are the halls safe? Do thefts occur in the halls?
How are first-year housing assignments determined?

Residential Education staff reads each and every housing registration form and matches students based on your housing preferences.  They take into consideration your habits and patterns.  Students are sorted based on the main issues that tend to cause conflicts in roommate situations (e.g., bed times, noise/activities in the room, and room cleanliness) as well as musical taste, academic interests, and other personal information they share.  We work to put students together who have similar interests and habits.  We do honor mutually requested roommates regardless of a students preferences.  We do not take requests for specific buildings or sides of campus.  We also do not place athletes from the same team together unless they mutually request each other as roommates.  We believe that all of our communities are great places to live and that each student will have an enjoyable experience in the living environment they are assigned to during the fall.

Students who complete and submit their housing registration forms by June, may review their housing assignments, along with roommate contact information, beginning the last week of July.  Each student will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to find out where they are living and who will be their roommate(s) for the year. Housing assignments are for an entire academic year unless a student requests a room change.

How do I know where I will be living?
 
New students who complete and submit their housing registration forms by June, may review their housing assignments, along with roommate contact information, beginning the last week of July.  Each student will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to find out where they are living and who will be their roommate(s) for the year. Housing assignments are for an entire academic year unless a student requests a room change. 

Can I move in earlier than Tuesday, August 22nd at 9 a.m.?
We are able to accommodate first-year students who must arrive early because of travel difficulties or family conflicts. However, the earliest we can provide housing is Sunday, August 20th at 9 a.m. unless you are sponsored by a department.  There are fees associated with early arrival. The charge will be applied to your student account. If you would like to request an personal early arrival, please review the Fall Opening pages for more information about fees and how to submit a request.

What is provided in a room? What should I bring?

Each student is provided the following:
  • A single bed frame and a mattress. Most beds are bunkable or loftable. The mattress is "twin, extra long" (36"x80"). Please note that traditional twin fitted sheets are too short. You will need extra long twin sheets.
  • Desk and desk chair
  • Bureau/chest of drawers - some have built-in chest of drawers, some have movable wardrobes
  • Closet - some rooms have built-in closets, some have movable wardrobes
  • Bookcase or built-in bookshelves
  • Lighting - rooms have general room lighting, but desk and floor lamps are not provided 
  • Window coverings
  • Telephone jack - one jack and phone number per room
  • Ethernet connection as well as wireless capability-  see the Oberlin Resnet web page for more information. You might also be interested in the wireless network coverage map.

Blinds, carpets and walls are coordinated for each room. There are a variety of color themes ranging from off-white to beige to light blue, etc. We do not maintain a listing of the colors of each room, and we do not have enough staff to locate that information if all new students were to call and ask, so come see a "surprise" hue.

The room under each bed varies by bed frame. Most of the beds are wood with square feet. If you are thinking about putting risers under the feet, check that they can accommodate the large legs - or wait until you get here and know what your bed looks like.  Bed risers will elevate the bed frame about five or six inches while still providing a solid and safe footing on the floor (these commerical products are made of plastic and less likely to scratch the floor).

You are responsible for providing your own (extra long) sheets, blankets, pillows, pillowcases and towels. Bring warm blankets. In the winter, between midnight-6:00 a.m. building temperatures are kept at approximately 62 degrees. Electric blankets are not allowed because of the danger of fire. Bedspreads are not provided. 

A list of items you may want to bring to campus is available online at:New Student What to Bring to Oberlin Checklist. We encourage you to coordinate with your roommate to avoid duplicates.  

See also

If I come to visit Oberlin this summer, can I see my room?

Unfortnately, most of the residence halls are in use during the summer by groups who rent the facilities for a variety of conferences, sport camps, theater workshops, etc. The Admissions Office conducts several campus tours every day. You will be shown a typical double room on this tour, but access to all buildings is not possible.
An average double room is approximately 220 square feet. Some rooms are larger, others are smaller. Some rooms are square, others are unique in shape.
What if I require special housing or dining accommodations?
No, problem. You will simply need to complete the Housing and Dining Accommodation paperwork. The housing and dining accommodation process is coordinated through the Office of Disability Services.

What are the different types of housing at Oberlin?

Most new students live in multiple occupancy rooms. Singles are in high demand but relatively short in supply.  Residence Halls have eight different types of spaces: Open Doubles, Divided Doubles, Quads, Triples, Super Quads, Singles, Connected Singles, and Super Singles.  

Open doubles are undivided rooms shared by two students.

Divided Doubles have a dividing wall separating inner and outer rooms. An internal room door allows access to both sides. 

Triples are undivided rooms shared by three students. There are only a few triples available on campus. 

Quads are a "suite" style arrangement with two open doubles joined by a central living room. Most quads are available in the larger residence halls. 

Super Quads are a "suite" style arrangement with two super single rooms joined by a central living room. There a limited number of super quads available on campus that typically go to juniors or seniors.

Super Singles are open doubles for one resident. Super singles are also limited and typically go to juniors or seniors.

Singles are undivided rooms for one person.  

Connected Singles are single rooms with exterior door connecting the two single rooms. Each single room has an interior door which is what differentiates a connected single and a divided double. In a connected single a student can lock the connected door and treat the space as a single.

Oberlin College proudly offers Village housing for seniors and a few juniors. Students must have four semesters in residence to be eligible to live in Village housing.  Village housing consists of several small, domestic-style houses; townhouses; and apartments.  Village housing is categorized in two different types which are shared bedroom or separate bedroom. Shared bedroom apartments mean a student will share a bedroom within the apartment whereas in a separate bedroom apartment or house each student has a separate bedroom to themselves. Village housing offers a variety of different size houses and apartments ranging from a six person house to single occupancy apartments.

How do I get into my room? Where do I get my room key?

Students will check in from 9 a.m. on Tuesday, August 22th from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. in their assigned hall in the main lobbies.  Student arriving after 12 p.m., may check in at the Residential Education office from 1-5 p.m. on August 22nd. After 5 p.m., new students contact Safety and Security staff to access their room that night and return to Residential Education in the morning to officially check in. Students arriving after August 22nd should contact the Residential Education office regarding a late check-in.

Students access their space either using their Oberlin ID card or a room key. New students will receive their Oberlin ID card and room key (if applicable) when checking into housing.

What are housing clusters? Which residence halls make up which clusters?

Oberlin College Residential Education groups halls based on clusters. The five clusters are First-Year Residential Experience (FYRE), Program Houses, ZEBRA, Village Housing, and FEAST. An Area Coordinator, a professional staff member who lives on campus, oversees a cluster area. Each cluster offers a different residential experience.

First-Year Residential Experience (FYRE) cluster is an integral part of the overall first-year programs on Oberlin's campus.  Students living in these communities, which include Barrows, Dascomb, and Kahn halls, will recieve support and resources specific to the needs in the first year at Oberlin.

Program Houses are ten multicultural and identity based communities arranged across campus and cover a variety of interests: language-based houses (French, German, Russian, Spanish); healthy living (Substance Free); cultural and identity-based houses (Afrikan Heritage House, Asia House, Hebrew Heritage, Third World House, and Women and Trans Collective). More information about the program houses is available online at: http://new.oberlin.edu/office/housing/housing-options/program-houses/

FEAST (Fairchild, East, South, and Talcott) is comprised of four traditional, mixed class year halls mostly on the southern part of campus.

ZEBRA (Zechiel, Burton, Noah, and Langston) is comprised of four traditional, mixed class year halls located on the northern part of campus. ZEBRA also houses the majority of our themed communities. Theme communities are created and renewed each year based on student interest.  

Village Housing is our community for students with four or more semesters in residence that houses mostly seniors and a few juniors in apartments, town houses, and houses located around the College.

Are refrigerators available in the residence halls?

At least one community refrigerator and microwave is provided  in the kitchenette areas of each residence hall.  Students are permitted to have fridges (without microwaves) in all residence halls and village housing.  More information about fridges and microfridges is available online at: http://new.oberlin.edu/office/housing/services/refrigerators.dot.

Are the halls air conditioned? Am I allowed to bring my own A/C unit?

Only Kahn Hall, Firelands Apartment Complex, and Goldsmith/Union townhouses have air conditioning.  Personal air conditioning units are not permitted.  If you require air conditioning for a medical reason, please complete the housing accommodation paperwork for approval for an air conditioner.

If we arrive at Oberlin by car, where do we park to unload?

When you arrive on campus, you will be instructed by our Safety and Security staff of where to go. You are able to unload your belonging right in front or near the building and then you will be instructed to move your car to a designated lot

 What is a RCR? Where can I find one?

For your protection, as well as the College's, you complete the RCR (Room Condition Checklist) to check the condition of your room when you move in.  It is important that you check each item listed on the RCR as you are responsible for the condition of everything in your room. Review the RCR which is available online through your housing portal and note any discrepancies that you see. Student and professional staff will check your space when you move out and any changes in the condition of the space may result in charges to your student account.

How are fees assessed for room and or floor damages at the end of the year semester?

Resident Assistants, Area Coordinators, and Facilities Staff inspect all public and private and bathrooms in the halls and house at the end of the year to determine if there are any damages. All occupants of a room/house/apartment are held equally responsible for returning the space to move-in condition when they move out (remove all personal belongings, remove trash, and thoroughly clean and vacuum room, bathroom, kitchen, etc.) All occupants are held equally responsible for any charges incurred for cleaning or repair.

What is Oberlin's smoking policy?

Oberlin College is a tobacco free campus. More information about our policy is available online at: http://new.oberlin.edu/tobacco-free-oberlin/
Where can I do my laundry?
Each residence hall has coin or card operated washers and dryers. The washers cost $1.50 and the dryers cost $1.00. The washers and dryers in Asia House, Bailey House, Barrows Hall, Burton Hall, Kahn Hall, Langston Hall, Lord-Saunders House, South Hall, and Zechiel Hall all operate with an ID card swipe. The cost is deducted from a student's Obie Dollar account. The remainder of the washers and dryers in the college's residences are coin operated and accept only quarters.
 
When are Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, and Spring Break? What residence halls and dining access is there during these breaks?
    Fall Break begins Saturday, October 14, 2017 through Sunday, October 22, 2017.  College Housing remains open; however, no board meals are served during this time.
    Thanksgiving Break begins on Thursday, November 23, 2017 through Sunday, November 26, 2017. College Housing remains open and board meals are provided.
    Spring Break begins on Saturday, March 17, 2017 through Sunday, March 25 2017. College housing remains open; however, no board meals are served.
    When do residence halls close for the Fall Semester and Spring Semesters?

    All halls (including Village housing) close for Fall 2017 semester on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 9:00 am. 

    All undergraduates, with the exception of Commencement workers and graduates, must vacate housing at the end of the spring term by 9 a.m. on Monday, May 21, 2018.  College housing closes to non-graduates and guests by 4 p.m. on Monday, May 25, 2018.  College housing closes to all graduates at 10:00 am on Tuesday, May 26, 2018.

    Is personal property ensured by the College?

    The College and the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services does not insure and is not responsible for loss or damage to personal property for any cause.  Students are encouraged to confirm that their property is covered by their family's homeowner's insurance or to carry personal property insurance.  Information about a few personal property insurances are available online at: http://new.oberlin.edu/office/housing/forms-and-policies/personal-property-loss-and-reimbursement.dot

    What are Res Ed's bathroom and gender policies?

    Oberlin College has an all-gender housing policy which means that anyone can live in a room with anyone else, regardless of their genders.  This is implemented in a way that is consistent with student preferences and comfort level.

    By policy, every residence hall has at least one all-gender bathroom. As soon as students move in, your floor will have a discussion and confidential vote, facilitated by a Resident Assistant to decide how the remaining bathrooms will be designated. They may be men's, women's, all-gender, or have a rotating designation depending on who is in the bathroom at a given time.  If problems arise, there are opportunities for mediation through the Oberlin College Dialogue Center.

    More information about Oberlin's gender policy and bathroom policy are available online at: http://new.oberlin.edu/office/housing/forms-and-policies/gender-policies/

    What are the polices regarding drugs and alcohol?

    Oberlin College prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol or drugs. It is the college's policy to provide a learning, living, and work environment that is free of illicit drugs, tobacco smoke, and the unlawful use or abuse of alcohol.  More information about the College's policy on Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco can be found online at: https://new.oberlin.edu/students/policies/alcohol-drugs-and-tobacco and https://new.oberlin.edu/students/policies/alcohol-policy.

    What are quiet hours and when are they in effect?

    Quiet hours vary by floor. Students will vote on quiet hours during their first floor meeting for weekends and weekdays. 

    Is cable TV available in the residence halls?

    All residence halls have a television set in a lounge area with cable.  It is also possible for students to contract individually with the local cable company for services.

    What do I do if I lose my ID card or my room key?

      If you lost your ID card (room accessible with a student's Obie ID card), please visit the following site for information about what to do: https://idcard.oberlin.edu/manage/lost

      If you lost your room key, please stop by the Residential Education and Dining Services in Stevenson Hall to have your lock changed. It will cost $60 to replace the lock. You will be given a temporary key to access your space until the lock change has been processed.

      What happens if I lock myself out of my room?

      If you live in a keyless building, a student can call the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services at 440-775-8472 during business hours or Safety and Security after hours at 440-775-8444 and obtain a lock out code to access their room.  

      If you live in a keyed building, a student will need to go to the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services in Stevenson Hall to obtain a temporary key to access the space and return the key within 24 hours. If a student is locked out after hours, the student should contact Safety and Security at 440-775-8444 and an security office will let the student into their room.

      Who cleans the room?
      You and your roommate! Vacuums and brooms are available for your use in the halls. The custodians clean the public areas and bathrooms, except in co-ops where you and other residents clean the public areas and bathrooms. Cleaning supplies are not provided in residence halls.
      Are the halls safe? Do thefts occur in the halls?
      Thefts do sometimes occur. The majority of thefts are a result of carelessness, such as students not locking their rooms or leaving personal belongings unattended. Outside doors to residence halls are locked 24 hours/day. You will be issued an ID card which allows entry to the residence halls. For your protection you should keep the door to your room locked. The Campus Security Office is open 24 hours a day, and a phone call will bring you help, should you need it.
      Does the College offer storage options?
      Oberlin College does not provide storage for student's belongings; however, information about local vendors available online at: http://new.oberlin.edu/office/housing/services/storage.dot 
        Where do I get my mail?
        In the Mail Room in Wilder Hall (Student Union Building). Each student is assigned a mailbox for the receipt of both on-campus and U.S. mail. All students receive their mail in a mailbox at the Oberlin College Mail Room.
        On or before July 1, new students will be assigned an Oberlin Campus Mail Room (OCMR) box number. Once the mailboxes have been assigned, the box numbers will be available in PRESTO. To find your mailbox number, click on: Personal Information, then View, then Addresses, and then Phones. When you arrive on campus in August, you will be given the combination to unlock your mailbox. The address format for mailing items to your mailbox is:
        Your Name
        OCMR (your number)
        135 W. Lorain St.
        Oberlin, OH 44074-1081
        Shipments of students' belongings will typically be accepted in the mail room after the Thursday before Orientation. Please check with the student mail room for exact dates.