Senate Launches ObieReal Project

As coronavirus cases soar in America, and with Oberlin College now in its second week of classes, the safety of our community is on everyone’s mind. These are unprecedented times that demand unique responses, and so the Oberlin Student Senate is launching a project to clearly outline safe, but enjoyable, practices with ObieReal.

While maintaining physical health is vital, the mental health of staff and students is also essential. Being trapped in a dorm room 24/7 for the next few months does not sound ideal, so ObieReal aims to detail and explore safe options that promote a sense of normalcy on campus. Student Senate is working in collaboration with the Conservatory Council of Students to release a series of 13 infographics on important topics that the administration is unable to speak about.

While the administration can release information on safe living and the reorganization of classrooms, they cannot speak openly about things that parents might consider “inappropriate.” So, Senate has decided to address these topics — doing research and providing information on safe-sex practices, smoking, partying, and dating during a pandemic.

Social activities are a key part of college life — parties, meeting new people, exploring a new town, etc. However, during a pandemic, many of these activities are incredibly unsafe. That being said, there are still ways to experience college life, and that is what ObieReal aims to show you.

We believe that Oberlin College students are not likely to make choices that endanger the people around them, but we think it is helpful to have a set system of best practices in place. Senate’s role has always been to create a line of open communication between the students and the administration. Now, we have also taken on the task of making sure students know what is and isn’t safe. During these times, it’s crucial to have transparent systems in place. 

The ObieSafe project is working to create an “umbrella” of smart behaviors that keep every student safe and well-informed. We made sure that all of our research came from reputable sources so that we could make informed decisions on how to move forward with campus life. While being back on campus this fall or spring will be strange and may feel isolating, we want to make sure students have a worthwhile experience. Through ObieReal, Senate aims to help students find a way to safely build community and human connections, while taking the precautions necessary to keep our campus healthy.