Do You Eat With Campus Dining or OSCA?

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

College second-year Sammy Singleton:  

I live and dine in Harkness [House]. I joined last spring, just dining only, and then I moved in this fall. When I started coming to Oberlin I didn’t know how to join my fall semester, and then I was like, “Oh, there’s a waitlist, let me do it.” And then I came and I really loved it and I met all my friends here and now it makes me so happy. 

College first-year Maeve Southard-Way:

I am in the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association. I’m in Harkness co-op and I joined OSCA because I wanted to be in a community that ensures that there’s high-quality food for vegan and vegetarian people, and it’s also nice to always have people to eat with and spend time with.

College third-year Kabir Sethi:

I dine in CDS partly because I simply have not had as much experience with OSCA as I would’ve liked to. I’ve been to a few co-op meals here and there, and I’ve loved the experience, but part of the reason why I haven’t joined is because I came in 2020 when all the co-ops were temporarily closed because of the pandemic. Unfortunately there was very limited exposure to co-op life, and I’m really grateful that now OSCA is taking more steps to do that. But I just have always dined in [Campus Dining] out of convenience, and it’s just more accessible to me in terms of the information that I was given.

College first-year Andy Roshal:

I dine in CDS. I did not know that OSCA was an option when I came here for the first time. I’m considering doing it at some point in the future. I feel like it’s a good sense of community and also the food might just be better. 

College third-year Helene Prince: 

I dine in OSCA because I have very specific dietary restrictions that make it really hard for me to process or digest a lot of CDS food. When I used to be on CDS my first year at Oberlin, I remember my stomach hurting a lot and the long walk to Clarity, which sometimes was really not worth it. I think the mistake that CDS often makes is it combines a lot of dietary restrictions into one dining hall, which makes the food options pretty minimal and makes it feel very restricting and kind of bland sometimes. I was tired of the hit and miss of Clarity. I decided that I wanted to eat food that was more healthy and that tasted better. I found myself applying to OSCA and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I could cook my own food. More importantly, I could cook fresh fruits and veggies and nutritious things that wouldn’t make my stomach hurt so that I could be a good, healthy student.

College second-year Daria Tamar:

I dine with AVI Foodsystems just because it was the default. I’ve thought about OSCA, but I’m a little bit lazy in terms of cooking and I can afford the meal plan.