Social Conduct and Regulations

A. Statement of Social Responsibility

The following statement remains in effect as adopted by the Student Senate on October 2, 1966.

We, the students of Oberlin College, recognize that social responsibility inheres with membership in the college community. Because we have the right to establish our own rules, each student will create and adhere to a set of individual values consistent with the rights of other members of the community. Collectively, we will establish a framework of rules that leaves a wide area of free choice, while building a tradition of respect for responsible behavior. Individually, we commit ourselves to govern our actions within this framework, not only by our own personal needs and desires, but also by a concern for the welfare of others. A social system that encourages individual choice and responsibility goes hand in hand with the fostering of intellectual freedom and academic excellence. We value highly that freedom which is rooted in the willingness to enforce and administer our own rules, and in the willingness of all students to cooperate with the entire community. We believe that not only the ability to make decisions, but also the development of a respect for the decisions of others is essential to the education process and the working of a viable community.

B. Faculty Statement on Freedom of Speech and Expression

The following resolution remains in effect as adopted by the General Faculty on May 20, 1986.

The General Faculty has observed with grave concern recent incidents at Oberlin College in which members of the college have appeared to interfere with the efforts of other members and guests of the college to freely express their views. The General Faculty urges aggrieved persons or groups to make use of established judicial procedures to resolve specific instances in which rights may have been violated. Oberlin College, in its traditions and as an academic institution, is devoted to free and open inquiry. Therefore, it is important that freedom of speech and freedom of expression be guaranteed to individuals and groups to express whatever views they wish, so long as they do not interfere with the rights of others. The General Faculty therefore calls upon all members of the college community to join in the assertion of this tradition of academic and civic freedom and to continue to foster a climate in which it is cherished.

C. General Posting Policy

Approved by General Faculty in April 2003.

Advertisements are an important means of communication among the members of the Oberlin College community. Compliance with this posting policy will ensure that advertisements are not removed and that individuals and groups take responsibility for their words. This policy applies to Oberlin College community members, whether as individuals or as members of college departments, offices, or organizations. Those not affiliated with Oberlin College do not automatically have the right to use college spaces for the display of posters or flyers. The posting of notices on campus does not necessarily represent endorsement or sponsorship by the college.

The Office of Safety and Security, representatives of the student life staff, the grounds department, or designated building representatives will remove postings that are in violation of the following regulations. Postings on undedicated (i.e., nondepartmental, nonorganizational) bulletin boards that comply with the following regulations must not be removed until a reasonable amount of time has elapsed, nor should they be defaced.

1. POSTING REGULATIONS

a. Posted materials must be in compliance with the posting regulations of Oberlin College listed below as well as general Oberlin policies. Please remember to be courteous to others’ posting privileges.

(1) Posters that compromise the safety of others (for example, obscuring windows and doors) are not permitted.

(2) Posting on emergency phones, equipment, or on vehicles in parking lots, is prohibited.

(3) All informational materials intended for public viewing must have the sponsoring department, student organization, college committee or individual name clearly displayed. This includes: flyers, posters, table tents, etc. In accordance with the Student Bill of Rights, “members of the college are expected to take responsibility for their expressions; anonymous expressions are inimical to the free and open exchange of ideas.”

(4) Except for posters or flyers placed on identified departmental, office or organizational bulletin boards, posters or flyers from entities outside the college must bear the clearly labeled sponsorship of a college office, department, organization, or individual.

(5) Individuals must be aware of the potential consequences—for themselves and for others—of advertising events that violate college policy or state and local laws. [Examples include the serving of alcohol to minors and cash bars.]

(6) Guidelines have been developed regarding responsible alcohol service. The guidelines include guidance for responsibly publicizing events where alcohol will be served. Students planning events in college housing must be acquainted with the relevant language in the policy or residence hall party planning. This policy is available in the Office of Residential Education, and can be found in the Housing and Dining Regulations section, C.1.

(7) Some campus buildings (such as Mudd Center and Wilder Hall) have more restrictive regulations on postings. Contact the administrator in charge of each building for specific guidelines.

(8) Bulletin boards dedicated to a specific department or organization may be used only with their permission. Departments and organizations should consider using a stamp or similar device to indicate approval or endorsement of posted material.

(9) Chalking is permitted on concrete outdoor sidewalks only. Chalking is not permitted on any vertical surfaces, buildings, walls, or on any surfaces that are bricked or tiled. Areas of sidewalks that are on a porch or under an overhang should not be used for chalking. Only water-soluble chalk may be used to ensure that removal will be done naturally by weather and wear. Although individuals are encouraged to take responsibility for their statements, chalking need not conform to posting regulation (see paragraph 3 above).

(10) These policies apply to college property only; students and others are reminded that different policies apply on Oberlin city property.

2. ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS

a. All members of the Oberlin College community are urged to abide by the following guidelines in order to ensure that information is most effectively transmitted:

(1) Do not post printed materials advertising events earlier than two weeks prior to the event.

(2) Do not advertise for events until the venue for the event is confirmed.

(3) All sponsors need to be mindful that the college is open to members of the Oberlin town community. Members of the college community should consider the placement and timing of posters and their effect on workplace environments and town residents (including children) whose values may be different from their own.

(4) Do not attach posters to surfaces (such as painted surfaces, wood, or glass) that may be damaged by tape, glue, staples, tacks, etc.

(5) Remove posters when the advertised event is over, or after they have been posted for two weeks.

(6) To help ensure that posters remain in place for two weeks, they should bear the date on which they are first posted.

(7) Members of the college community should be mindful of the fact that taping flyers to sidewalks creates significant additional work for college workers and compromises the environment.

b. Bulletin Boards. Individuals are encouraged to use bulletin boards in a responsible manner. Although individuals and organizations are responsible for making their own decisions about the use of posters and flyers, they should consider the following:

(1) The use of designated public bulletin boards is strongly encouraged.

(2) Pushpins or staples should be used on bulletin boards. To avoid possible puncture of wheelchair/bicycle tires, please do not use thumbtacks or staple guns. Masking tape and/or sticky-tack putty are preferred types of adhesives. Duct, gaffers, packing, or scotch tape should not be used. (These materials are very difficult to remove and cause damage to surfaces.)

(3) No more than one posting for the same event or issue should be placed on a single bulletin board. Avoid posting on top of other material.

3. ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF ADVERTISING (SAVE PAPER)

a. Newspaper ads.

b. Painting a rock in Tappan Square (etiquette suggests that you don’t paint over an event that has not yet occurred).

c. Radio (WOBC and other local stations).

d. Outside banner on Wilder porch (must be scheduled in Student Union Office).

e. Inside banner (primarily Wilder lobby).

f. Press Releases (campus and off-campus publications).

g. Information tables in Wilder Bowl (must be scheduled in Student Union Office).

h. Electronic events calendar, Oberlin Online.

D. Faculty Statement on Social and Political Unrest

The following statement was adopted by the General Faculty on February 27, 1968, and remains in effect.

The form and nature of protests and other social and political actions should not obstruct other persons in the exercise of their rights as members or guests of the academic community or in the conduct of their business in a normal manner. Acts of social and political protest must not disrupt the essential operations of the college and should not violate standards of civility and respect important to the achievement of the college’s educational purposes.

Because definitions of the limits of acceptable actions cannot be free of ambiguity, and because clarity about the limits and about the penalties that may be incurred for violation of the limits is desirable, the following procedures are established:

1. A person or persons sponsoring a demonstration or similar action may obtain an advisory opinion from the Office of the Dean of Students as to the permissibility of the planned action and as to the possible penalties which the Office of the Dean of Students might impose or recommend if an impermissible action is carried out. If the Office of the Dean of Students rules that a planned action is not permissible, an effort to compromise should be made, in cooperation with the Student Life Committee.

2. If an action is carried out that has been ruled impermissible in accordance with paragraph1. above, or that has become disruptive in the judgment of the Office of the Dean of Students, the said Office of the Dean of Students, or appropriate representative, will warn the participating students to desist, inform them of the possible consequences of refusal to desist, and allow the participants a reasonable amount of time to desist. The same procedure will be followed when the advice of the Office of the Dean of Students has not been sought.

E. Faculty Statement of Policy on Student Demonstrations

General Faculty adopted the following statement on December 17, 1991.

1. FREEDOM OF SPEECH AT OBERLIN/AFFIRMATION OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS

On May 20, 1986, the General Faculty adopted a resolution on freedom of speech and expression that remains in effect today. It urges aggrieved persons or groups to make use of established judicial procedures to resolve specific instances in which rights may have been violated and affirms that freedom of speech and freedom of expression be guaranteed to individuals and groups to express whatever views they wish, so long as they do not interfere with the rights of others. The resolution calls upon all members of the college community to continue to foster a climate in which this tradition of academic and civic freedom is both cherished and asserted.

Within this context, Oberlin College emphatically affirms the right of all its members to protest and demonstrate. Both civil authority and college regulations reflect the obligation to balance rights of free speech and expression against such other rights as privacy and normal conduct of business. Thus, the college deems inappropriate any actions that intrude upon the rights of other members of the community, including reasonable expectations of peace and privacy, and tactics or behavior that include coercion, intimidation, or harassment. Additionally, obstruction of the normal conduct of business of the college, or of members or guests of the community is considered inappropriate.

2. OBERLIN COLLEGE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR PROTESTS AND DEMONSTRATION

a. Existing Authority

The college recognizes that the legal authority of the Oberlin City Police to enforce laws according to their best judgment extends to all areas of the city of Oberlin, including the Oberlin College campus, and that this authority will not in any way be restricted by college policies and procedures. Additionally, the college reserves the right to invoke its own judicial procedures in response to incidents that may occur at student protests and demonstrations, whether on or off campus.

b. Role of Students

Students enrolled at Oberlin College are subject to the laws of the city of Oberlin, the state of Ohio, and the United States. Students who plan demonstrations or participate in protest activities should be aware of the applicable civil laws and regulations in addition to college regulations that govern their conduct. Consistent with the Faculty Statement on Social and Political Unrest that was adopted on February 27, 1968, students are encouraged to consult with the Office of the Dean of Students prior to sponsoring a demonstration, protest, or other activity where First Amendment rights are exercised, whether on or off the central campus. The purpose of such consultation is to obtain an advisory opinion as to the suitability of the planned action and as to the possible penalties that might be imposed or recommended if an unsuitable action is carried out. Such consultation may also reduce the chance that students might place themselves at risk by unknowingly violating college regulations or civil laws and regulations. The college recognizes that students may choose to participate in spontaneous demonstrations and that prior notification from students may not occur. Whether the advice of the Office of the Dean of Students has or has not been sought, students participating in a protest or demonstration should be prepared to assume the consequences of their behavior.

Students are also encouraged to communicate openly and actively with faculty and administrators who they feel can assist them in developing effective strategies for attempting to bring about institutional change.

c. Role of College Officials

Professional staff in the Office of the Dean of Students and those college officials who hold broad responsibility for institutional policy are expected to maintain active and open channels of communication with students and to advise them on the most effective strategies for attempting to bring about institutional change. In the interest of student safety and the protection of student rights, college officials and other members of the community who learn about demonstrations and protests, whether on or off campus, are encouraged to notify the Office of the Dean of Students immediately. In the event of student demonstrations, both on and off campus, the Office of the Dean of Students or an authorized designee from that office will serve as the responsible official and spokesperson at the scene for the college. When the Office of the Dean of Students is unavailable, the authorized designated representative of that office will be one of the following, listed in order of authority:

· Associate Dean of Community Life.

· Associate Dean of Students/Judicial Coordinator for Nontraditional Housing and Nonresidential Areas.

· Associate Dean of Student Life/Judicial Coordinator for Traditional Housing.

· Associate Dean of Students/Director of the Multicultural Resource Center.

· Associate Dean of Students/Director of Residential Education.

This person will have responsibility to oversee normal college procedures for student demonstrations, to decide whether and when to call in civil authorities to campus, to act in an advisory capacity to students and police for off-campus demonstrations, and to speak on behalf of the college administration at the scene of any student demonstration. When appropriate, the Office of the Dean of Students (or its authorized representative) will notify the Oberlin Police Department of student demonstrations.

d. Role of Campus Security

Campus security officials act under the authority and at the request of the Office of the Dean of Students in situations involving student protests and demonstrations. In an emergency, until a representative from the Office of the Dean of Students arrives, Campus Security will follow procedures worked out in advance with the Office of the Dean of Students that are intended to provide for the safety of persons and the protection of property from serious damage. These procedures include the following measures:

(1) Ensure that the Director of Safety and Security and the Dean of Students, or a representative, has been notified.

(2) Observe the activity from an appropriate location to determine the extent of the protest.

(3) Maintain a visible but neutral presence until the arrival of the Director of Safety and Security and the Dean of Students, or a representative of that office.

(4) Safety and Security officers shall not undertake any enforcement measures or active enforcement stance unless necessary to prevent physical violence to any person, physical conflict between any persons or groups of persons, or serious damage or vandalism to buildings, physical facilities, or their contents. Security officers shall not employ electronic surveillance techniques, nor photograph persons at the scene of any protest.

(5) Enforcement measures related to the protection of property shall be limited to actions necessary to prevent serious damage or vandalism to buildings, physical facilities, or their contents.

e. Role of City Police

The legal authority of the Oberlin City Police extends to all areas of the city, including the campus. Police authority is not restricted by college policies and procedures for handling student demonstrations. Nevertheless, the Oberlin Police Department normally will not interfere with any student demonstration conducted on and confined to the central campus, unless the laws of the city or state are being violated, a complaint is filed by a citizen, or the behavior of the protest’s participants suggest a risk of physical harm to persons or serious property damage. Property considered by the college to be part of the central campus includes all administrative offices, academic buildings, student residence and dining halls, libraries, Hall Auditorium, the Allen Art Museum, gymnasiums, and the grounds around them.

The city police may monitor student demonstrations that originate on the central campus and expand onto the public streets, or block public access. The college recognizes that the city police have authority to enforce laws according to their best judgment, and without consultation with college officials. It is urged, however, that before taking action at any student demonstration, the civil authorities would communicate with the responsible college official who would normally be expected to be present at the scene. The purpose of this communication is to allow, when possible, the Dean of Students (or an authorized representative) an opportunity to ameliorate the situation.

f. Demonstrations on the Central Campus

College authority and procedures for handling demonstrations on the central campus fall under the auspices of the Office of the Dean of Students. The dean (or the authorized representative) may summon civil authorities to the campus on behalf of the college and request appropriate action should circumstances warrant such a response.

Once a demonstration has been confirmed, standard procedures for college response to central campus demonstrations call for the Dean of Students or an authorized representative to make every effort to be present at the demonstration and to serve as the responsible college official at the scene. This person, in addition to monitoring the demonstration, will judge the need for college disciplinary action or for the intervention of civil authorities when circumstances warrant. Before initiating college disciplinary action or invoking civil intervention in central campus demonstrations, the authorized college official will typically take the following course of action:

(1) Attempt to gain an understanding of the demonstrators’ grievances, and come to some resolution if possible and appropriate.

(2) Attempt to notify protesting students about what actions are considered unacceptable and warn them of the consequences if they persist.

(3) Allow a reasonable time for demonstrators to respond before establishing identification of students liable to college judicial procedure or requesting civil intervention in the case of central campus demonstrations.

(4) If the behavior of the protest participants indicates an atmosphere of provocation or physical confrontation that is likely to cause a high risk of harm to persons or property, or, if the situation is judged as an emergency state such that the existing time will not allow the implementation of the normal procedures presented above, it shall be the responsibility of the dean or authorized representative to formulate and embark upon an appropriate plan of action that is intended to secure the safety of persons and property. Normally, the college will request the appropriate civil authorities to take action only in cases of fire, extensive damage, physical injury to persons, or in some instances, when persons not affiliated with the college are demonstrating.

g. Off-Campus Demonstrations

Student demonstrations that occur off the Oberlin College central campus fall under the jurisdiction of civil authorities and their judgment in enforcing the law. When aware in advance of such demonstrations in Oberlin, the Dean of Students (or the authorized representative) will notify the city police and remain available at the scene in an advisory role, and will invoke college judicial procedures if warranted. College charges against students will be at the discretion of the Office of the Dean of Students. The dean’s discretion in such cases would necessarily be informed and guided by consideration of whether the students’ behavior poses a threat to college persons or property, or violates college regulations. College-owned homes rented by college employees, college-owned properties rented to persons not affiliated with the college, private homes owned by college officials, and nonresidential college owned properties that are not used for official college functions (such as the arboretum) are not considered by the college as part of the central campus. Students planning to participate in off-campus demonstrations are urged to be aware that the final authority on what is legally permissible in the city of Oberlin is the Oberlin City Chief of Police. Students should be aware that some protest actions away from the central campus, such as impeding access to city streets during a march, may require that they apply in advance for a permit from City Hall.

h. Special Cases

(1) The President’s House, 154 Forest Street.

The college recognizes that the president’s home (154 Forest Street) is college-owned property at which official college functions may occur. The president’s home is also regarded by many students as a symbol of the college and its administration. Therefore, the president’s lawn at 154 Forest Street may, on occasion, be the focus of student protests. When the Office of the Dean of Students learns in advance of demonstrations at this site, the college will treat such protests procedurally as central campus demonstrations. The city of Oberlin defines the residence at 154 Forest Street as private property in a residential neighborhood. Accordingly, the Oberlin Police Department shall respond to incidents at this site and take needed actions according to the best judgment of the duty officer in charge, pursuant to city police policies. The college urges but cannot guarantee that police action would be taken only after communicating with the responsible college official at the scene (see paragraph 4 below). Students involved in demonstrations at the president’s house are urged to consider with care their actions within the context of time, place, and manner (see paragraph 5 below).

(2) The Oberlin College Inn

The Oberlin College Inn is also college-owned property at which official college functions occur. Therefore, it may, on occasion, be the focus of student demonstrations. When the Office of the Dean of Students learns in advance of demonstrations at this site, the college will treat such protests procedurally as central campus demonstrations. Therefore, the manager of the Oberlin College Inn or a representative is urged to notify the Office of the Dean of Students if a student demonstration occurs at the inn. If the dean or authorized representative cannot be reached, the Inn manager should contact campus security, in which case campus security will be responsible for contacting a representative of the Office of the Dean of Students.

Because the Oberlin College Inn is a commercial business accessible to the public, it is defined by the city of Oberlin as public property. As a commercial business open to the public, demonstrations at the Oberlin College Inn should not interfere with normal business, including restaurant service, privacy of guests, conferences and meetings, and public access via lobby, driveways, and parking lots. Regarding potential divergence between college and city authorities, see Note to Students (paragraph 4 below).

(3) Tappan Square

A court decision has found Tappan Square to be in the city domain and subject to normal city police procedures because it has open access for all citizens. At the same time, Tappan Square is also college-owned property and the site of official college functions such as Commencement. Therefore, it may, on occasion, be the focus of student demonstrations. When the Office of the Dean of Students learns in advance of demonstrations on Tappan Square such demonstrations will be treated procedurally by the college as central campus demonstrations. Again, the college urges that police action would be taken only after communication with the responsible college official at the scene (see 4 below).

(4) Note to Students

Persons involved in demonstrations at the above referenced sites are urged to consider with care their actions within the context of time, place and manner (see section 5 below) as well as within the context of the primary authority of the Oberlin City Police. The college will attempt to treat protests at these sites procedurally as central campus demonstrations and will urge that police action be taken only after communicating with the responsible college official at the scene. Nevertheless, students should recognize that the police have the authority to respond to complaints at these sites according to their judgment at the scene and without regard to consultation with college officials.

(5) Time, Place, and Manner

The Oberlin College community emphatically affirms the right of all its members to speak out and demonstrate. Restraints regarding time, place, and manner reflect the need to balance the rights of free speech against other rights such as privacy and the normal conduct of business.

Thus, students involved in planning or carrying out demonstrations should bear in mind the following guidelines:

• Actions that intrude upon the rights of other members of the Oberlin College or town community, including reasonable expectations of peace and privacy, will be considered inappropriate.

• Obstruction of the normal conduct of business of members or guests of the community and disruptions of the essential operations of the college will be considered inappropriate.

• Tactics or behavior that include coercion, intimidation, or harassment will be considered inappropriate.

It is important to note that these guidelines describe general procedures. Their application to any specific demonstration shall be governed by the particular situational context. For example, considerations related to time, place and manner would normally be expected to inform and guide judgments about what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Unambiguous definitions of what is acceptable behavior in all cases cannot be provided. Similarly, unambiguous statements about the implementation of these guidelines in all cases cannot be provided. For example, what is considered acceptable noise in a residential neighborhood during the day may be unacceptable after 10:00 p.m. What is considered to be acceptable expression of free speech at the Oberlin Inn if no patrons are disturbed, would be considered unacceptable if it intruded upon the rights of the public. It is incumbent, therefore, on all members of the college community to be aware of applicable state, local, and federal laws in addition to college regulations that govern their conduct. Oberlin College will cooperate as required by law with civil authorities; the college cannot protect members of its community from prosecution under federal, state or local laws. Within this context, the college seeks to foster a sense of community in a climate of “civility.” That is, it seeks to create an environment where free and open expression can take place without intimidation or interference with the rights of others.

F. Guidelines for Meetings Involving Speakers, Films, and Other Forms of Artistic Expression

The General Faculty Council adopted the following policy on November 3, 1989 pertaining to student sponsored events. On November 13, 2001 the GFC extended the jurisdiction of this policy to include all relevant campus events. The final version was adopted by the General Faculty on December 3, 2002.

1. COMMITMENT AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF OBERLIN COLLEGE

Oberlin College is committed to maintaining an environment where open, vigorous debate and speech can occur. This commitment entails encouraging and assisting organizations that want to sponsor speakers, films, and other forms of expression as well as informing students who seek guidance concerning forms of protest against speakers. It may also involve paying for extraordinary security measures in connection with a controversial speaker. Consistent with these obligations, the General Faculty Council promulgates these guidelines, which are intended to be content-neutral.

2. APPLICATION OF GUIDELINES

These guidelines apply to all meetings held at the college to which speakers are invited, films are shown, or other forms of artistic expression are part of the program.

3. MEETINGS TO BE DESIGNATED AS OPEN OR CLOSED

a. A meeting to which a speaker is invited, a film is being shown, or at which there is some form of artistic expression may be designated “open” or “closed.” In either case, incidental college facilities such as room and utilities may be used.

b. The press may be invited to either open or closed meetings.

c. If an organization or group uses college funds, including student activity fee funds, for costs other than incidentals, the meeting must be designated and treated as open. The cost of the use of room and utilities is considered “incidental.” All other expenses are not considered incidental, e.g., a speaker’s expenses, an honorarium, and refreshments. These expenses may be covered using student activity or other college funds only if the meeting is open. (This requirement does not apply to meetings for which college funds have been authorized to finance a training event carried on by a chartered organization or college office.)

d. Closed Meetings

(1) A closed meeting may be limited to membership in the organization, or by invitation to designated persons or groups, but cannot be closed on the basis of any category that is, or that is a pretext for, discrimination in violation of the college’s published antidiscrimination policies.

(2) To the extent that a closed meeting is publicly advertised, there must be clear disclosure that the meeting is closed.

e. Open Meetings

(1) A meeting is considered open even though the sponsoring organization limits the audience to members of the college community or to portions thereof (e.g., first-year students) unrelated to the sponsoring organization.

(2) At an open meeting, up to one-third of the seats may be reserved for guests of the sponsoring organization.

(3) Adequate and timely notice—in the Oberlin Review, via posters or flyers, on a college website, or similar advertising—must be given for an open meeting.

4. IDENTIFICATION

a. According to college regulations, students must show and/or surrender their ID card when requested to do so by an appropriate college officer. Other attendees may be required to produce identification, so long as:

(1) Advance notice is given as to what specific types of ID will be required.

(2) Identification procedures are enforced consistently and uniformly.

b. When required for an open meeting, identification or press credentials, should be checked by an official perceived to be neutral (e.g., an administrator or a designated general student monitor), not by a member of the sponsoring organization or by any person perceived as partisan.

5. DISSENT/PROTEST

a. General Principles

The right to dissent is the complement of the right to speak, but these rights need not occupy the same forum at the same time. The speaker is entitled to communicate their message to the audience during the allotted time, and the audience is entitled to hear the message and see the speaker during that time. The dissenter must not substantially interfere with the speaker’s ability to communicate or the audience’s ability to hear and see the speaker.

When a meeting is closed, dissent by those not attending is limited to activity outside the meeting that does not impede access to the meeting or substantially interfere with the communication inside. When a meeting is open, the acceptable form of dissent will depend on whether the dissenter is inside or outside the meeting, and on whether the dissenter is acting before, after, or during the meeting.

b. Some Examples of Dissent

The following guidelines, which are neither comprehensive nor absolute, suggest the limits of acceptable dissent. As spelled out in the Faculty Statement on Social and Political Unrest (Students’ Rights and Responsibilities section V., D.), “A person or persons sponsoring a demonstration or similar action may obtain an advisory opinion from the Dean of Students.”

(1) Picketing, literature. Picketing in an orderly way or distributing literature outside the meeting is acceptable unless it impedes access to the meeting. Distributing literature inside an open meeting is permissible, however, it should cease once the meeting is called to order and after the meeting is adjourned.

(2) Silent or symbolic protest. Displaying a sign (signs may not be mounted on poles when displayed indoors), wearing expressive clothing, gesturing, standing, or otherwise protesting noiselessly is acceptable and must not be interfered with, unless the protest interferes with the audience’s view or prevents the audience from paying attention to the speaker. Any use of signs, prolonged standing, or other activity likely to block the view of anyone in the audience should be confined to the back of the room. Security may confiscate signs and posters that interfere with the audience’s view; signs and posters must be returned on request immediately following the event.

(3) Noise. Responding vocally to the speaker, spontaneously and temporarily, is generally acceptable. Chanting, coughing, or making other sustained or repeated noise in a manner which substantially interferes with the speaker’s communication is not permitted, whether inside or outside the meeting.

(4) Force or violence. Using or threatening force or violence, such as defacing a sign or assaulting a speaker or a member of the audience, is never permitted. Any interference with freedom of movement and the usage of threatening force or violence are all constituted serious violations of personal rights.

c. The Audience’s Responsibility

The audience, like the host and the speaker, must respect the right to dissent. A member of the audience or the host organization who substantially interferes with acceptable dissent is violating these guidelines in the same way as a dissenter who violates the rights of the speaker or audience.

d. Question and Answer Period in Open Meetings

In any open meeting the sponsoring organization may arrange with the speaker to assure a reasonable opportunity for a question and answer period.

6. SECURITY

a. The Dean of Students (or if absent the Provost or the President of the College) shall determine, of their own initiative or after hearing from student organizations or groups, whether the protection of free speech at an open meeting requires security measures.

b. Upon making the determination that security measures are required, the Director of Security, acting in consultation with the Dean of Students, will have and will exercise the responsibility to determine the nature and extent of security measures required. The college will fund these measures. They may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Bags and other containers may be subject to search only by the security staff and their delegates. Security can require that they be put in a checkroom before entering the event.

(2) Security may require that coats or outerwear be put in a checkroom before entrance.

(3) Videotaping of the event for security purposes may be done, with notice to the audience. Videotapes will be erased after the statutory time for filing charges has expired or after a final appeal has been handed down. Videotapes may be used only if charges are filed and only as evidence in a judicial hearing.

c. When a meeting is closed, the sponsoring organization, in consultation with the Dean of Students (or designee) will ordinarily be responsible for planning, obtaining, and funding its own security from or through the Office of Safety and Security.

7. USE OF A MODERATOR or FACILITATOR

a. Determination of Need

The Dean of Students (or designee) may determine that the protection of free speech at an open meeting requires the use of a moderator or facilitator. If so, the meeting shall be held with a moderator or facilitator.

b. Selection

The moderator or facilitator will be selected by the Dean of Students (or a designee) after making every reasonable effort to consult with the Chair of the Student Life Committee, the sponsoring organization, and any others whose advice the dean might find useful. The person selected shall be perceived to be neutral and nonpartisan. The person selected will generally be a member of the college faculty or administration.

c. Role

The moderator or facilitator should make clear at the meeting that their role reflects no position for or against the views of the speaker or sponsoring organization.

At the event, final decisions regarding balancing the rights of the speaker with the rights of those who disagree will be made by the moderator or facilitator. These decisions include, but are not limited to:

(1) Whether to require a disrupter to leave the room and seek the assistance of college security to escort the disrupter from the room.

(2) Whether to suspend an event temporarily if disruption occurs.

(3) Whether to move an event because of disruption or security.

(4) Whether to cancel an event because of security concerns.

(5) If an event must be cancelled by a special moderator or facilitator before the program has been fully executed, those responsible for the cancellation may be fully or partially liable for covering the costs of the event as determined by the Community Board.

8. SANCTIONS

Violation of the free speech rights of any person, as protected in these guidelines, will be treated seriously. Violators, whether or not they are members of the Oberlin community, will be subject to the following sanctions:

a. Dismissal from the meeting or event.

b. Arrest or other legal action.

c. For students, disciplinary proceedings before the Community Board, which may impose any of the following sanctions:

(1) Warning.

(2) Written reprimand.

(3) Suspension.

(4) Dismissal.

Pursuant to existing procedures, these board sanctions may be noted on the student’s transcript.

d. A referral will be made to the appropriate faculty committees or college officers or other members of the college community.

9. QUESTIONS OF INTERPRETATION

All questions of interpretation and application of these guidelines shall be decided by the Dean of Students (or designee) after consultation, as needed.

10. OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES

The General Faculty Council (or designee) is responsible for:

a. Offering advice to the administration concerning the further development and the enforcement of these guidelines through content-neutral policies related to time, place, and manner.

b. Reviewing of the effectiveness of these guidelines and offering proposals for change.

The General Faculty Council recommends that the Dean of Students and the Director of Safety and Security adopt the relevant portions of these guidelines for public events sponsored by the college or by departments.

G. Faculty Statement on Intrusion of Unauthorized Persons into Private Offices

The following resolution was adopted by the General Faculty Council on April 10, 1987 to clarify the college’s stance on the intrusion of unauthorized persons into private offices.

The General Faculty Council views with grave concern the intrusion by unauthorized persons into private offices containing sensitive materials. Such intrusion can result in the exposure of confidential information to possible violation and abuse and can constitute serious violations of individuals’ rights to privacy.

H. Oberlin College Policy on Discrimination and Harassment

J. Sexual Offense Policy and Procedural Guidelines

K. Noise

College housing units are students’  homes and must inevitably accommodate a wide range of lifestyles, freedoms, and values. A continuing subject of concern in Oberlin’s college housing is noise, as must be the case in any community where people live in extremely close quarters with their peers or community members and have tastes, schedules, and habits that differ widely. It is appropriate to have agreed-upon times and occasions when the noise level will be much higher than usual, for instance when parties have been planned. However, every Oberlin student is expected to ensure that no situation for which they have responsibility, is persistently noisy enough to disturb their fellow residents or persons who live in the neighborhood close to college housing units. 

It is expected that house councils and other groups with the responsibility for governance will establish rules and guidelines in college housing to address particular situations. Such groups, along with the residential education staff, OSCA, and individual students are expected to work collaboratively to encourage compliance and to promote such principles, procedures, and policies among students. Early in the year, students are expected to discuss whether or not they want to implement specific quiet hours. It is essential to bear in mind that college housing units are students’ private homes; while they are of course places to relax, these rooms are the only place where students are guaranteed space and opportunity for sleep; they must also provide private study space. Therefore, the college makes the following housing regulations, which may be augmented by those that members living in college housing units will establish:

1. All stereo systems, television sets, radios, etc., in college housing units must be used either with earphones or at a level that does not disturb others. These standards for appropriate noise levels are purposely stringent; students living on campus are encouraged to establish standards for at least moderate quiet hours.

2. The practicing or playing of musical instruments in student rooms or other areas of the building is not permitted except where the house council or other governing body has designated particular times and areas for such activity. Amplified instruments are not permitted under this clause unless the house council or other governing body and the area coordinator approve other specific parameters.

3. Specifically, music that is loud enough to possibly disturb persons outside the building, or in other buildings, must be restricted to the times designated. The house council or other governing body has a responsibility to determine what times and conditions will be considered acceptable:

a. In conjunction with the house councils or other governing bodies of neighboring college housing units.

b. After careful consideration of the wishes of people in other buildings in the surrounding area.

c. After consultation with professional in-hall staff and other staff or persons who can bring a helpful, long-term perspective to these considerations.

4. At all times, students have responsibility for showing consideration for roommates and neighbors, for cooperating when reasonably requested to reduce the volume of noise, and for negotiating agreements with neighbors and other concerned parties about appropriate guidelines for the playing of music or any other activity that has the potential to be a noise disturbance.

Students are encouraged to take the following steps to counteract the problem of noise in each college housing unit:

a. The section, floor, or house should gather at the beginning of the academic year to discuss various community issues and to establish what standards for quiet are desired. Responding to a brief written questionnaire prior to discussion is often helpful so that all those at the meeting are aware of their neighbors’ concerns and ideas.

b. A meeting of representatives from the staff and house councils or other governing bodies of nearby college housing units should be held early in the year to discuss issues of noise that may extend beyond the confines of individual buildings; students are also urged to consult with neighboring townspeople before establishing any guidelines for noise control of situations that may affect such neighbors.

c. Individual students who are disturbed by noise are urged to make a direct, courteous request to the relevant person(s) to reduce noise.

d. If a problem persists, any student who is disturbed should request a meeting to review the agreements that have been made and to discuss a solution. Students may want to ask for the support of a staff member in facilitating such a discussion.

In the event that conflicts are not resolved by any of the above consultations and negotiations, students are encouraged to communicate their problem to the house council or other governing body, to seek the assistance of the residence hall staff, or, if necessary, to lodge a complaint with the judicial coordinator.

L. Room Inspections

Amended administratively in August of 2005 to reflect structural and functional changes in the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services formerly known as Residential Life and Dining Services.

Approved by the Rules and Regulations Task Force on April 18, 2001, approved by Student Senate on April 21, 2001; and approved by the General Faculty on April 22, 2001.

There are numerous occasions in which a staff member has the right to enter a student’s assigned room in a college housing unit. When entering a room for the purposes of life safety inspections, closing a building (fall, winter, and spring breaks), facility maintenance, checkouts, and informal visits, the following activities may occur:

1. If staff members observe items in plain view that are prohibited by the Code of Conduct, such items may be reported.

2. Judicial action may be taken against the resident and any other student involved in the violation.

3. Staff members may have representatives of the Office of Safety and Security confiscate and turn over to the proper authorities prohibited items such as weapons, alcohol, illicit drugs and paraphernalia that could be used to ingest illicit drugs. Staff members may have safety and security officers or professional in-hall staff members confiscate other items found in plain view that are prohibited according to college housing policies.

4. Confiscated items may be used as evidence in college judicial proceedings.

5. The college reserves the right not to return confiscated items.

6. Notifying students prior to entering their rooms is not necessary in cases of life safety inspections and facility maintenance. Students will be notified in advance of staff inspections prior to the closing of college housing (fall, winter, and spring breaks).

M. Room Searches

Individual room searches are permitted when there are reasons to suspect the existence of contraband or crime. Except for life safety searches, which the college reserves the right to conduct at any time and without notice, room searches will comply with the following regulations:

1. General room searches are prohibited and may not be authorized.

2. All searches are to be authorized by the Office of the Dean of Students or designee in advance in writing.

3. Students will be notified if a search of their room has been authorized, but they need not be present at the time of the search. The resident may send a witness to observe the search if they wish.

4. The resident has the right to be present during the search or to appoint a witness to observe the search.

5. A college official will oversee each search.

6. The resident retains the right to compensation for any damage done to their property during a search.

7. If a search has not complied with these regulations, college judicial action against the resident(s) may not be taken on the basis of evidence discovered during the search.

N. Policy on Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco

O. Identification Cards

Oberlin College has a computerized ID card system that serves as general identification, college housing unit access, and dining hall access along with additional services. For information about additional services, visit www.oberlin.edu/cds/idcardoffice/. New students are issued OCID cards and all students are expected to use the original OCID card during their entire student career.

Lost ID cards should be turned off immediately either by deactivating the card via the online form found at www.oberlin.edu/cds/idcardoffice/ecard.html or by contacting the Office of Safety and Security. Lost cards may be replaced after paying a replacement card fee and obtaining a new ID card from the ID card office located in the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services. Cards that appear damaged through normal use may be replaced at no charge. The Office of Safety and Security can provide temporary housing access-only cards on evenings and weekends. The Stevenson Hall Biggs entrance line checker can provide temporary dining hall access cards during meal hours when the student presents the temporary housing ID card issued by the Office of Safety and Security.

Students are expected to carry their identification card at all times. At the request of any Safety and Security officer or employee of the college, a student must identify themselves and surrender their OCID card. Failure to do so is considered a serious violation that could lead to suspension, probation or a fine. Failure to identify oneself also may lead to the assumption that one is not a student, and, if there has been misbehavior, civil action may be taken. Any attempt to use an OCID that has expired or to make any use of another person’s OCID is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

P. Appearance Codes Policy

Oberlin College recognizes choices of dress and appearance as issues of free speech and expression. There are, however, some college and organizational functions (e.g. theater productions, varsity games, etc.) for which a specific attire/costume is required, or for which some dress code or appearance policy must exist. Accordingly:

1. Any dress codes or appearance policies must be explicit and must be communicated to potential participants in an activity or group prior to their participation.

2. Because dress codes and appearance policies may effectively bar students from participating in college events they would otherwise wish to, the greatest care should be taken when determining and applying such codes and policies. Interference with a student’s ability to participate in college events and activities is normally grounds for judicial charges under the rules and regulations and so any decision to limit this ability must be carefully considered.

3. In general, the college discourages the creation and application of dress or appearance codes unless such codes are demonstrably necessary to the function of the program.

4. Adherence to an appearance or dress code may not be required for membership in a student organization.

Q. Animals in Public Buildings or on the Campus

Dogs may not be brought into college buildings, including college housing units or other facilities. (Service animals accompanied by their owners are exempted from this section of the regulation.) Dogs running loose on the campus, in violation of the city leash law, may be picked up and impounded by Office of Safety and Security or the City Dog Warden. Dogs may not be tied or leashed to any trees, shrubs, signposts, railings, or other such stationary objects on campus.

For information pertaining to animals in residence halls, see Housing and Dining Regulations, section D.6.

R. Unauthorized Keys

Any student who is found to have in their possession a key to any college room, residence or building for which they are not authorized, or who misuses an authorized master key, is subject to suspension or dismissal. Unauthorized keys must be surrendered upon demand to any college officer or staff representative.

S. Dangerous Weapons, Fireworks, or Explosives

Because of the danger posed to the college community, possession of dangerous weapons, fireworks, or explosives on college property is expressly forbidden. Definition of these items includes, but is not limited to, the following: firearms (to include BB guns and all other types of air or spring-powered weapons), knives, firecrackers or sparklers, gunpowder, dangerous instruments (including lock-picking devices), and unstable or hazardous chemicals, except for those stored and used in the appropriate laboratory facilities.

T. Use of Fire Escapes and Roof Tops

Use of the fire escapes on any college building is permitted in emergency situations only. Any nonemergency use of fire escapes is expressly forbidden and will be considered an act of trespass.

Presence on the rooftop of any college building is forbidden. Persons with a need to go on the rooftop must have written authorization from the Director of Facilities Operations and the Director of Safety and Security prior to doing so. Any unauthorized presence on a rooftop will be considered an act of trespass.

Sunbathing is permitted on the designated sun deck roofs located at Harkness, Fairchild, and South Hall. Any roof area that must be accessed by a window is not a designated sunbathing area.

U. Unauthorized Entry or Presence in College Facilities

Unauthorized entry or presence in college facilities is strictly prohibited and will be considered an act of trespass. Unauthorized entry or presence will include, but is not limited to, the following violations: entry or presence in a residence hall when said facility is closed for a vacation or break period; remaining in a facility after closing hours; entry or presence in the office, studio, laboratory or residence hall room of another person without the permission of the assigned occupant, resident, building representative, or college official with valid authority to permit same; and entry or presence in any college facility that is closed or otherwise restricted as to use or activity.

V. Possession of Stolen Property

Property rights are an important consideration within any community. For this reason, no person shall at any time have in their possession or under their immediate control, on Oberlin College grounds, the unlawfully obtained (stolen) property of another person or of any firm, institution or municipality.

“Unlawfully-obtained” or “stolen” property shall refer to any items of material value possessed or controlled by an individual without the explicit permission or authorization of the owner or the owner’s designated representative.

W. Motor Vehicle Parking and Traffic Regulations

1. Motor Vehicle Parking and Traffic Regulations are designed to best utilize existing parking facilities and maintain an orderly flow of traffic on campus.

2. The Oberlin College Office of Safety and Security is responsible for the administration of the regulations.

3. Oberlin College assumes no responsibility or liability for a motor vehicle or its contents while parked or operated on the property of the college.

4. Registration – All motor vehicles owned or operated on college property must be registered with the Office of Safety and Security. This includes vehicles owned or operated by students who live off campus but park on campus, even for a short period of time and vehicles owned or operated by students living in college village housing units.

a. Vehicles must be registered as soon as they are brought to campus. Annual registration will be valid until 72 hours after    Commencement day of each academic year.

b. First-year students are discouraged from having a motor vehicle at the college.

c. Registration fees are due at the time of registration of the vehicle.

5. General Information. Individuals may register only those vehicles for which they are the primary owner or operator. Persons must be prepared to show proof of ownership and proof of insurance at the time of registration.

The person to whom a vehicle is registered will be responsible for all citations issued thereto. If the vehicle does not display a valid permit, the ticket will be the responsibility of the owner.

Oberlin College reserves the right to revoke registration and campus parking privileges for the following reasons:

a. Repeated failure to abide by the regulations, as shown by four or more paid or unpaid violations of record within an academic year, not including those successfully appealed.

b. Falsification of information on registration forms.

c. Actions deemed hazardous to the community or property of Oberlin College.

d. Failure to register a vehicle in accordance with state laws. All vehicles registered and parked on college property must be properly licensed and inspected for operating conditions in accordance with the laws of the state of Ohio or the laws of the state in which the vehicle is duly licensed.

Anyone registering a vehicle and accepting the appropriate permit shall, therefore, be deemed to have acknowledged the parking regulations and shall be deemed responsible for compliance with the regulations.

A complete list of vehicle rules and regulations may be obtained from the Safety and Security Office.

X. Use of Bicycles

1. STUDENT BICYCLE REGULATIONS

a. Students owning a bicycle (whether new or second hand) must register it in their own name with the Oberlin Police Department (85 South Main Street) before using it on campus or in town. A registration permit will be attached to each bicycle so registered. [The Office of Safety and Security provides this service for no fee.]

b. Students who ride their bicycles in the evening (within one half-hour after sunset) are required to use a white front light and red rear light (on their bicycle or person) as well as a red rear reflector on their bicycle. Side reflectors are recommended for wheels.

c. City ordinances require that bicycles be equipped with a bell or horn by which the rider may warn pedestrians of their approach.

d. Bicycles must normally be ridden on the right side of roads and sidewalks at a reasonable and safe speed (for the sake of pedestrians and drivers as well as that of the rider). Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks, pathways, and crosswalks.

e. Bicyclists must use appropriate hand signals to indicate turns when riding.

f. Cyclists must comply with the Oberlin City ordinances that directly affect the operation of bicycles in the city. (It is a violation to ride a bicycle on the sidewalks in the downtown area.)

g. Both on campus and in the city, bicycles may ONLY be parked in properly constructed racks. Recommendations on locking bicycles can be obtained from the Office of Safety and Security.

h. Bicycles not in use but not removed from campus or, improperly registered and stored with residential education invite theft and vandalism. Bicycles not removed or properly stored by the day after final exams (unless in active use by students on campus for summer employment) will be considered abandoned property. (Bicycles not in working condition for a period of more than two weeks are considered abandoned even during the semester.) If removed and stored by Campus Safety and Security, a fee of $50 will be charged for not properly storing the bicycle. Any bicycles not claimed after September 15 of the following year will be disposed of by Oberlin College.

Y. Mailroom Regulations

A mailbox is assigned to each student at the beginning of the academic year by the Office of the Registrar. Boxes are located in the basement of Wilder Hall. All boxes are for registered students only and cannot be used for other purposes including, but not limited to, operating a business.

College Mail Service’s student mailboxes are to be used only for campus mail, U.S. mail (personal mail), and mail notices regarding parcels. To permit matching mail with a mailbox, all mail delivered to OCMR boxes must display the student’s first and last name as registered in the Office of the Registrar (no nicknames or business names) and the proper OCMR box number. All items must be placed inside student mailboxes. Mail should be picked up daily.

Messages should NOT be attached to the outside of student mailboxes in the lobby of the Student Mailroom. Doing so violates fire regulations and creates a fire hazard in the Student Union building. The college reserves the right to correct fire regulation violations or other violations of its agreement with insurers.

There is a charge for 10 or more pieces of personal mail between students per day.

Students should receive mail at the college ONLY during the academic semesters or year of attendance. It is the student’s responsibility to notify each correspondent of the complete change of address at the end of the academic semester or year of attendance, or if leaving during the year or semester, i.e. withdrawn, enrolled off-campus, leave of absence.

Z. State Laws Governing Coin Machines

Section 2911.32 Tampering with coin machines. No person, with purpose to commit theft or to defraud, shall knowingly enter, force an entrance into, tamper with, or insert any part of an instrument into any coin machine.

Whoever violates this section is guilty of tampering with coin machines, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender has previously been convicted of a violation of this section or of any theft offense as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, the offense becomes a felony of the fourth degree.

AA. Student Records

1. Pursuant to section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act and its implementing regulations, with the exceptions noted in item 2 below, current or former students in attendance* at Oberlin College have the right to review and inspect their education records relating to their attendance as a student. An “education record” is any record, file, document, or other material that contains information directly related to a student and that is maintained by the college.

* A student is considered to be “in attendance” on the first day the student attends classes at Oberlin College for credit. No student applying for admission to the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music, nor a student transferring from one division to the other, may see his/her admission file until he/she is formally admitted to that particular division of the college (e.g., the College of Arts and Sciences or the Conservatory of Music).

2. The right to review and inspect education records does not extend to the following categories of records:

a. Financial records, including any information in those records pertaining to the student’s parents.

b. Records that are maintained in the sole possession of the maker, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except as a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.

c. Records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in his or her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity that are made, maintained or used only in connection with the treatment of the student, and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment to the student. However, the student may have these records reviewed by a physician or other appropriate healthcare professional of the student’s choice. NOTE: Medical records are also available for review pursuant to federal law. (Call 440-775-8180 to learn more about procedures for obtaining medical records from the Student Health Center.)

d. Records that only contain information about an individual after he or she is no longer a student in attendance at the college (e.g., alumni records) and are not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student.

e. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation that were placed on file before January 1, 1975, as long as the statements are used only for the purposes for which they were specifically intended.

f. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation that were placed on file after January 1, 1975 in which the student has waived his or her right to inspect and review those letters and statements pursuant to the guidelines delineated in Part 6 below, and that relate to the student’s admission to an education institution, an application for employment, or receipt of an honor or honorary recognition.

g. Records created and maintained by the Office of Safety and Security.

h.  Records relating exclusively to student employees of the College in their capacity as employees.

i. Grades on peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.

3. Offices keeping records that may be reviewed by the student include but are not limited to: Career Services, Communications, the Conservatory, Financial Aid, the Registrar, the Dean of Students, Residential Education and Dining Services, and Student Academic Services.

4. In order to inspect a student’s education records, the student must submit a signed and dated written request addressed to the supervisor of the office in which the records are maintained on a form prescribed by the college. The request form must describe the records sought and the purpose for which access is being requested. The responsible college official will make arrangements within a reasonable period, but not more than 45 days from the date of receipt of the written request, for the student to review the records at an appropriate office at Oberlin. If the records are not maintained by the college official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

a. Oberlin will not destroy education records if it has received a proper request to inspect the records from a student, until such time as the student has had an opportunity to access the records.

b. Pursuant to federal law, only those education records directly related to the student will be made available for review. To the extent that a student’s education record contains references to another student, all personal identifiers pertaining to the other student will be redacted from the record before the requesting student is provided with access to the record, unless the information cannot be so redacted without destroying its meaning.

5. Federal law generally does not require the college to provide copies of education records to students (or authorized third parties as explained in part 7 below), and the college reserves the right to refuse to provide copies of education records to students or authorized third parties in its sole discretion. It is the policy of the college not to release copies of disciplinary records, Student Honor Code records and proceedings, Sexual Offense Policy and Procedural Guidelines records and proceedings, Discrimination and Harassment Policy records and proceedings, judicial case files, or investigative files to third parties.  Individuals may contact the Office of the Dean of Students to make arrangements for a file investigation. In exigent circumstances that effectively prevent students from exercising their right to inspect and review their education records, the college may elect at its option to provide copies of the records to students, or, alternatively, to make the records available to students for their inspection in a supervised setting at a location remote from Oberlin.  In cases in which the college determines that copies of a student record may be provided, the copies will be made at the student’s expense. A fee schedule, covering administrative costs, will be available in the office where student records are kept.

6. Students may waive their right of access to confidential letters and confidential statements of recommendation regarding admission to an education institution, for applications for employment, and for receipt of an honor or honorary recognition that are placed in the student’s education records after January 1, 1975 by completing a signed written statement which describes the letters or statements with reasonable particularity and which contains the following language:

“I hereby waive my right of access to this document now or at any time in the future. I do so with the full understanding that a waiver may not be required as a condition for admission, or receipt of financial aid or any other service or benefits of the institution.”  (Signature must follow).

The college will provide to a student a list of the names of individuals who provided letters, statements, and recommendations upon written request, and the letters and recommendations will be used only for the purpose for which they were intended.

7. Under federal law, the college retains the discretion not to disclose education records to third parties.  No such disclosure will be made in any event without the prior written consent of the student, which must be made on a form prescribed by the college. Such written consent must specify the records that may be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, and the party or parties to whom the disclosure may be made. Upon receipt of a properly completed request, the responsible college official will make arrangements within a reasonable time, but not more than 45 days from the date of receipt of the written request, for the third party to review the records at an appropriate office at Oberlin. If the records are not maintained by the college official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. 

a. The student has the right to access a copy of any records disclosed to a third party pursuant to the student’s consent.

b. In certain cases, the college may permit a third party to obtain copies of records for which a student has supplied a duly executed consent for disclosure.  However, under federal law, the college is under no obligation to provide copies of education records to third parties, and the college reserves the right to refuse to provide copies of education records to third parties in its sole discretion. It is the policy of the college not to release copies of disciplinary records, Student Honor Code records and proceedings, Sexual Offense Policy and Procedural Guidelines records and proceedings, Discrimination and Harassment Policy records and proceedings, judicial case files, or investigative files to third parties. Individuals may contact the Office of the Dean of Students to make arrangements for a file investigation.

c. Third parties to whom education records are disclosed pursuant to a duly executed consent are not permitted to redisclose the information contained in the record without the prior consent of the student, and the information may only be used for the purpose for which the disclosure was made.

8. The college may disclose education records to third parties without consent of the student in the following instances:

a. To a school official who has a legitimate educational interest.  A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional duties for the college. School officials who occasionally have reason to examine records generally include without limitation: employees in the following offices: Office of the Dean of the Conservatory, Office of the Registrar, Office of Residential Education and Dining Services, Office of the Dean of Students, the Counseling Center, Financial Aid, Student Academic Services, Office of the Dean of Studies, and Safety and Security; the student’s faculty advisor; individual faculty members who have been asked to write a recommendation for the student; healthcare personnel; and members of the Board of Trustees of the College. In addition, contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other individuals with whom the college has outsourced college services or functions and over whom the College maintains direct control may also be considered school officials, and include the college’s attorneys, auditors and consultants, as well as students serving in an official capacity on behalf of the college, such as on a Community or Judicial Board, the Student Honor Committee, designated members of the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association (OSCA) when serving in the role of officer of OSCA, or others who are assisting in the performance of college services or functions that would otherwise be performed by a college employee.

b. Disclosures in compliance with a lawful subpoena or judicial order. 

c. Disclosures in connection with a student’s application for or receipt of financial aid.

d. Disclosures to state authorities exempted from the prior consent requirements of federal law.

e. Disclosures to accrediting organizations.

f. Disclosures to the parent(s) of a ‘dependent’ student, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.

g. Disclosures to appropriate persons to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons in an emergency situation.

h. Disclosures to the parent(s) of a student permitted by law in a case where a student who is under 21 years of age has been found responsible for committing a violation of law or college policy pertaining to the use or possession of drugs or alcohol or a controlled substance.

i. Disclosures permitted or required by law in cases where a student is found responsible for a violation of the rules and regulations pertaining to an act of sexual or physical assault or violence or a non-forcible sexual offense.

j. Disclosures to a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense.

k. Disclosures to authorized federal officials who have need to audit and evaluate federally supported programs.

l. Disclosures for public directory information, that is, information that the college has the policy of announcing publicly. “Directory Information” includes the student’s name, photograph, address, telephone listing, major field of study, electronic mail address, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees, honors, and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.

Any student may refuse to have directory information released if he/she notifies the registrar in writing on or before the end of the second week of his/her first semester in residence during a given academic year or on or before the end of the second week following a mid-year change of college address.

m. Disclosures to officials of other institutions in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, provided the institution gives the student an opportunity to request a copy of such record and an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the record.

n. Disclosures to organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of education institutions to develop, validate, or administer predictive tests, administer student aid programs, or improve instruction.

9. If a student believes that the information in an education record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy rights of the student, he/she may request that the college amend the record by submitting a request in writing to the college official responsible for providing the student with access to the record. 

a. If the college declines to accept the amendment, the student may request a hearing to challenge the contents of the student’s education records on the grounds that it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy rights of the student. A committee consisting of members who shall not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing – a departmental chair, a faculty member, and an administrator (normally the Dean of Students) – shall conduct the hearing.  During the academic year, when students are in residence, the Dean of Students will select one student to be added to the membership of this committee. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

b. If as a result of the hearing, the committee agrees with the student’s contentions, the record will be amended accordingly. 

c. If the committee disagrees with the student’s contentions, the student will be afforded the option of placing a written statement in the record commenting on the contested information or stating why the student disagrees with the decision of the college.  Such statement will be retained with the record for as long as the record is maintained, and will be disclosed whenever the college discloses the portion of the record to which the statement relates.

10. Effective September 4, 2007, the Office of Career Services has discontinued the credential mailing service and has implemented a partnership with Interfolio to maintain reference and credential files for current students and alumni. This service will replace the former method of maintaining paper-based files through the Reference Service/Student Academic Services. Students and Alumni choosing to use the Interfolio service will agree to the terms outlined in the Interfolio Service Agreement.

11. All Oberlin College offices that maintain education records shall keep a log of instances in which a student’s records are disclosed pursuant to a request by persons who are not otherwise authorized to have access to the records. The access log shall include the following: date the education record was examined; name and title of the reviewer; and the legitimate education purpose of the disclosure. The access log shall be available for inspection by the student.

12. A student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with Federal law pertaining to the maintenance of education records. The name and address of the office responsible for education record issues is:

Family Policy Compliance Office 
U.S. Department of Education 
400 Maryland Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20202-5901

BB. Grievance Procedures

As a first step, students are urged to go directly to the person(s) concerned and discuss the source of their problem as openly as possible. If this confrontation of the difficulty and airing of a grievance leads to no resolution, or when it seems inappropriate, a number of formal and less formal avenues are open to students, depending upon the nature of the complaint. These are outlined below. At times, a grievance may involve a number of different areas and students may feel uncertain which procedure to follow; in this case they should seek advice from the Office of the Dean of Students, The Office of the Ombudsperson, or the deans of Residential Education and Dining Services. At any stage in the process students are welcome to seek counsel and support from members of the faculty or staff as well as the student body, and should feel free to bring an advisor to any meetings they may have as part of an adjudication process. Some suggestions are made under the following sections.

1. GRIEVANCES RELATED TO ACADEMIC AFFAIRS OR OTHER MATTERS INVOLVING

  THE TEACHING FACULTY

a. A student with a complaint should first attempt to resolve the issue through discussion with the instructor.

b. If this fails to resolve the issue, the student may present the grievance to the director of the division, or the chair of the department or program, and request their assistance in resolving the issue.

c. If the director of the division or the chair of the department or program is unable to resolve the matter, the student may present the complaint to the Associate Dean of the Conservatory or to the Dean for Arts and Sciences, as appropriate to the faculty appointment of the instructor. The dean will invite the opinions of all parties involved, will ascertain matters of fact, and will make a determination about the disposition of the matter. Final judgment rests with that dean.

d. In matters of academic dispute, students may find it useful and appropriate to consult with their academic advisors or a dean in the Office of the Dean of Studies. Students studying applied music in the conservatory should present their grievances to the Associate Dean of the Conservatory.

2. STUDENT INFRACTIONS OF THE Honor Code

Any form of academic cheating should be referred to the Student Honor Committee. (See Students’  Rights and Responsibilities, section I.).

To report a suspected violation of the Honor Code, or to ask questions about how the Honor System functions, contact:

Student Honor Committee  
Wilder Hall Suite 105/ Student Union Box 22  
(440) 775-8462  
ohonor@oberlin.edu

Coordinator: Hillary Mullan

Cochairs: Jamilla Jamal,

              Matt Kendrick

Secretary: Hannah Gilfix

Treasurer: Nina Axiotaxis  

 

3. NONACADEMIC COMPLAINTS AGAINST STUDENTS REQUIRING ADJUDICATION AND POSSIBLE

    DISCIPLINARY ACTION

(Violations of the student regulations, of college policies, or of the tenets of the Constitution of the Association of Students and its student governing bodies.)

Complaints may be brought before the all-student Judicial Board by filing a complaint with the Judicial Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office. (See Students’ Rights and Responsibilities, section IV. F.). Students are encouraged to seek the advice of the Judicial Coordinator at any time. Where both parties agree to this, complaints can often be mediated rather than handled through formal adjudication.

4. GRIEVANCES UNDER SECTION 438 OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION PROVISIONS ACT 

(“BUCKLEY AMENDMENT”)

Rights to review and inspection of educational records maintained by the college that contain information directly related to the student. (See the Student Records section, V. AA.).

5. GRIEVANCES AGAINST OFFICERS OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND GOVERNING BODIES

Such grievances should be taken first to the executive body of the group concerned. Students are encouraged to consult with the advisor of the organization. In some cases complaints of this nature may appropriately be brought before the Judicial Board for final adjudication, but they are most often effectively dealt with by the internal procedures of the organization itself.

6. COMPLAINTS RELATED TO HEALTH SERVICES OR OBERLIN COUNSELING CENTER

Complaints may be taken to any faculty or student member of the Student Life Committee. Complaints concerning services provided by the Student Health Services or the Oberlin College Counseling Center may be initiated by pursuing any of the following options: (1) the student may discuss their complaint directly with the health care professional concerned; (2) the student may discuss their complaint with the providers’ supervisor or department head; (3) the student can request that a Student Life Committee member discuss the complaint with the health care professional and inform the student of the outcome; (4) the student may request that a Student Life Committee member be present when they discuss the complaint with the health care professional concerned; (5) the student may request that the Student Life Committee assign a second health care professional to conduct an informal inquiry into the complaint and report back to the student; (6) the student may request that a formal inquiry of the complaint be conducted.

7. GRIEVANCES RELATED TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF HOUSING AND DINING POLICIES

a. Students who have requested exception to the Housing and Dining policy and have had this request denied by the Assistant Director for Housing Administration may appeal the decision to the Appeal Board of the Housing and Dining Committee. All appeals must be submitted in writing to the board in care of the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services. Students may request that their name remain confidential from members of the Appeal Board. The Appeal board will hear a case within 30 days of receipt of the appeal or, if the appeal is received after December 1 or May 1, within 30 days after the beginning of the next semester.

b. The Appeal Board will be furnished the student’s original request for exception and the assistant director’s letter of denial. Members of the Appeal Board will gather at the appointed place and time and conduct the business of the Appeal Board. The chair of the Appeal Board will indicate whether additional information is needed from the student, ask the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services for information related to the case, including the relevant policy, and will then call the board into session. A student has the option of attending the appeal meeting to make an oral request to supplement the written request or respond to questions.

c. The function of the Appeal Board is to hear and act on grievances related to the administration of housing and dining policies, not to change policy. If the Board decides that the student has been dealt with unfairly with regard to process, it may overrule the judgment made by the Director of Residential Education and Dining Services or the Assistant Director for Housing Administration.

d. The action of the board will become effective when the board or its chair reports the judgment of the board in writing to the Director of Residential Education and Dining Services or the Assistant Director for Housing Administration within 48 hours.

e. The director or assistant director may request a meeting with the Appeal Board to reconsider a case to clarify the distinction between policy and process. The judgment of the board, however, will be final in all cases and will be sent to students in written form within 48 hours of a final decision.

8. GRIEVANCES RELATED TO PROCEDURES OR BILLINGS OF THE OBERLIN STUDENT COOPERATIVE

ASSOCIATION

a. A student with such a problem should first bring it to the treasurer of their individual co-op, or to the OSCA treasurer for resolution.

b. If this does not result in resolution, the student may appeal to the OSCA financial manager.

c. The student may make a final appeal to the OSCA Board.

9. SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSPERSON

a. The Ombudsperson can listen, offer information about Oberlin’s policies and procedures, accept suggestions from people who seek confidential channels for raising responsible concerns, and work for orderly and responsible change in systems.

b. The Ombudsperson is a good source of support for those who may want to examine their options for dealing with a particular concern or who may wish to learn how to resolve problems on their own.

c. The office provides feedback on trends, issues, policies, and practices equitable to all parties without breaching confidentiality.

d. The Ombudsperson does not act as an advocate for either side in dispute, but strives to consider and fairly present all sides of a situation.

10. GRIEVANCES RELATED TO DISCRIMINATION AND HARRASSMENT

Complaints alleging discrimination or harassment carried out by employees, students, and or third parties that are based

upon disability, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, age, military or veteran status, and family relationship to an employee of Oberlin College may be filed with a designated administrator. (See Students’ Rights and Responsibilities, section H.)

 

Before filing a complaint, any student or employee of the college may elect to consult with the special assistant for equity concerns or any other administrator named in the policy to seek additional information about the policy and the grievance procedures. Such consultation is not a prerequisite for filing a complaint.

 

For general assistance and guidance during the 2013-2014 academic year, you may contact:

 

The Office of Equity Concerns at (440) 775-8555

Overall equity concerns regarding allegations of harassment and or discrimination

 

Athletics equity coordinator:

Natalie Winkelfoos, (440) 775-6463

Allegations of discrimination or harassment in athletics based on sex and or gender

 

Section 504/ADA coordinator:

Kimberly Jackson Davidson, (440) 775-8462

Allegations of discrimination or harassment based on disability

 

Cochairs, Equity and Diversity Committee:

Meredith Raimondo, (440) 775-8410

Pablo Mitchell, (440) 775-8191

Allegations of discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, creed, national origin, age, military or veteran status, and family relationship to an employee of Oberlin College.

CC. Hazing Policy

Oberlin College’s Policy on Hazing

This policy was approved by vote of the General Faculty on May 21, 2008.

Oberlin College prohibits hazing of any member of the college community by campus organizations, clubs, intercollegiate or intramural athletic teams, students, employees and volunteers.

The state of Ohio acknowledges hazing as a crime. The Ohio Revised Code defines hazing as “doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person.” (2307.31) The college further defines hazing as any activity that is expected of someone to join or maintain membership in an organization, club, team or any other group that is affiliated with the college that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers him or her, regardless of intention or willingness to participate.

The activities in the following list constitute hazing if they humiliate, degrade, abuse, or endanger participants, regardless of the intention of the activity or the willingness of the participants. The list is not intended to be comprehensive:

  • use of alcohol or other controlled substances;
  • nudity or partial nudity;
  • physical violence in any form;
  • branding, tattooing, piercing or shaving;
  • excessive calisthenics or creation of unwarranted fatigue not associated with practice or competition;
  • consumption of excessive or an unusual combination of food or drink;
  • physical and psychological shocks;
  • wearing of apparel which is conspicuous;
  • engaging in public and/or private stunts and activities that put people at risk;
  • sleep deprivation;
  • line-ups or any interrogation for information that is not consistent with legitimate testing;
  • engaging in degrading or humiliating games and activities;
  • requiring personal errands of participants, such as driving to class, cleaning room, laundering clothes;
  • any other activities which are not consistent with state and local law (including legal drinking age), or the regulations and policies of the college.

The college prohibits all individuals from soliciting, aiding, or agreeing or attempting to aid another person in planning or committing acts of hazing. It is not a defense to a violation of this policy that the hazing victim consented to or acquiesced in the hazing activity. The college prohibits all hazing activities whether conducted on or off the college premises.

Violations of the this policy should be reported to Safety and Security, the Director of Athletics, the Dean of Students, or a Class Dean. The Office of the Dean of Students will investigate the complaint in accordance with the student disciplinary procedures. The college provides a list of possible sanctions for violations of this policy (see K. Sanctions in this section).

DD. Oberlin College Missing Student Policy

The following information and requirements regarding missing students is provided in accord with the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, section 485(j).

1. Each Oberlin College student, 18 years of age or older, has the option to identify an individual to be contacted by the Office of the Dean of Students not later than 24 hours after the time circumstances indicate that the student may be determined missing. For each student who is under age 18 and not emancipated, the institution is required to notify the custodial parent not later than 24 hours after the time that the student, may be determined missing.

2. A confidential contact is a person designated by the student in addition to the emergency contact listed with the Office of the Registrar. The contact information will be registered confidentially, and this information will be accessible only to authorized campus officials. It may not be disclosed, except to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation.

3. Each student, 18 years of age or older, may register a person as a confidential contact during the first two weeks of each semester by completing and filing a form in the Office of the Dean of Students, Wilder Hall 105, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The student wishing to register a confidential contact is solely responsible for the accuracy of the information, as well as any update of information regarding the confidential contact. Update of information provided may be filed with the Office of the Dean of Students during business hours at any time during the semester.

4. At the end of the fourth week of each semester, a new list is finalized and distributed to appropriate officials at the college for the purpose of reporting a missing person.

5. In cases where a confidential contact is not designated, or the confidential contact cannot be reached at the number provided by a student, the emergency contact provided to the Office of the Registrar will be used. The emergency contact may be notified in addition to any confidential contact provided.

6. Oberlin College students and faculty should report a missing student directly to Oberlin College Safety and Security Office, even if 24 hours has not yet elapsed. Safety and Security will also take reports concerning the wellbeing of a community member. The Safety and Security Office can found at 159 West Lorain St., or reached by phone at (440)-775-8444.

EE. Oberlin College Temporary Art Installation Policy

In cooperation with the Art Department, Facilities Operations, Residential Education, and Safety and Security, this policy has been established to provide general guidelines for students requesting the use of space for the purpose of temporary art installations. Temporary art installations include, but are not limited to sculptures, 3-D art, murals, gallery displays, live performances, and may not permanently alter the existing space in any way. Each space request for use of a temporary art installation will be looked at individually to determine its appropriateness.

Students must identify the requested space and complete the Temporary Art Installation application. This form and the full policy description can be obtained in Facilities Operations, Residential Education, and in the Student Union Office in Wilder Hall 111. It is recommended that the application with all required signatures be completed at least two weeks prior to the proposed installation. Proposed installations that conflict with areas already reserved will be denied.

NOTE: Oberlin College’s insurance underwriters do not allow the college to sponsor any activity like or related to fire poi. While hazards associated with open heat sources can be controlled through a properly implemented fire prevention policy, fire poi and other similar equipment are not fixed sources of ignition and present an extreme risk of fire and personal injury.

FF. Oberlin College Policy on Trampolines and Hammocks

The use of trampolines is strictly prohibited on college property, including Tappan Square and village housing. Violations of this policy will result in judicial action.

Hammocks are permitted for use on college property only after receiving written approval from the Office of Facilities Operations. Students interested in obtaining approval should contact the Director of Facilities Operations by e-mail, as well as the Assistant Director of Residential Education, Kourtney Arcaba. The e-mail should include the student’s name, place of residence, contact information, style of hammock, and location where hammock will be placed. Hammocks will not be permitted in locations that will interfere with egress from buildings, impede grounds maintenance, or harm property. The Director of Facilities Operations or designee shall have the sole discretion to determine whether to grant any request to use a hammock on college property. It shall be the student’s responsibility to use and maintain hammocks in a safe manner per the manufacturer’s specifications and any conditions imposed by the Director of Facilities Operations. Any hammock displaying signs of undue wear and tear must be removed by the student. Oberlin College reserves the right to remove hammocks from service for any violation of this policy or any other applicable college policy, rule, or procedure.