Love Across Campus

Tanya Rosen-Jones, OC ’97, was a South Campus girl and Ben Jones, OC ’96, was a North Campus boy. Loosely united by separate a cappella groups and campus jobs at the Dionysus Disco and the Cat in the Cream respectively, they were never officially together until the end of Ben’s fourth year.

Seeing her perform in Nothing But Treble, Ben didn’t even know if Tanya was attracted to men after she sang a song written by a man to a woman without changing the pronouns.

When email was first introduced to campus, it was accompanied by a simple page where people would post quotes. Those who visited the page were given the option to look up others and be presented with their personalized quote. Ben searched “Tanya Rosen” and found her quote which read: “And then it hit me: I can totally afford all this cheese.”

It was a line from a California lottery commercial, and an inside joke among Tanya and her friends. Ben, though, was concerned that Tanya would (hypothetically) buy too much cheese, thus gaining “like 100 pounds.” Tanya was quick to reassure him that chocolate was more of a problem than cheese. With incredible suave, Ben sent her a chocolate bar

with a note detailing that he hadn’t won the lottery yet, but he could still afford to buy chocolate. All of this was right before Ben’s spring break of his graduating year.

Fortunately, before they left, Ben saw Tanya in the mailroom where she assured him that he’d see her after break.

Their first date was to the Japanese tearoom that used to be located near Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant. They talked for hours and hours, until Ben dropped her off at the ’Sco for her shift. The next night, she went to his band’s show and the subsequent after-party. They never wanted to stop talking to one another.

When Ben graduated, he “just so happened” to have signed a lease to remain in Oberlin for the following year while Tanya finished up her last semester. That spring after Tanya had graduated in the winter, was almost like one big date, without the pressure of papers, readings, or anything academic.

Tanya and Ben came back to Oberlin for their class’ 10-year reunion, only to fall in love with the town anew after living around both the Bay Area and Boston in tandem. Living in Oberlin now is a different experience for the two, but the similarities in their ways of life are remarkable. They still go to on-campus performances, now with greater frequency without all the responsibilities of student-life.

For Tanya and Ben, Oberlin was able to unite them, even though Ben was really not her type. Still, she took the chance after hearing that he would treat her like a queen — clearly, something worked, for now the greyest winter days in Oberlin are made better when they each know they can come home to a cozy blanket and someone to love.

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