Roughly 890 Oberlin College freshmen will flood campus Aug. 27 for the first day of orientation.
The newcomers, hailing from 44 states and 35 countries, will get to meet their roommates, take a downtown tour with their parents, and attend a ceremony at Finney Chapel where college president Carmen Ambar will welcome and address the Class of 2022.
Students will also learn the how to be responsible Oberlin residents. Ambar is introducing an orientation program called “Community 101: An Obie’s Guide to Being a Good Neighbor.”
The mandatory event will bring together several city partners including Oberlin chief prosecutor Farah Emeka, fire chief Robert Hanmer, police chief Ryan Warfield, city manager Rob Hillard, and Ben Franklin owner Kristin Long.
In a letter to the Oberlin business community, Ambar said the goal is to introduce students to the town’s many special qualities while communicating the college’s expectations for appropriate behavior on a wide range of issues, such as noise, street crossing, bike parking, and shoplifting.
“We want all our local businesses to prosper,” Ambar wrote. “With that goal in mind, we are interested in exploring opportunities to ensure our mutual success. In particular, we would like to identify opportunities to help Oberlin students and their families better understand the resources you offer.”
The future of the college and the city are “inextricably intertwined,” she said.
Another orientation activity on Aug. 27 encourages new students to shop locally. Those who provide receipts from Oberlin businesses will be able to enter a drawing to win gift cards.
On Wednesday, Aug. 29, the incoming class will venture into Cleveland to explore opportunities for service, internships, and employment.
“Our intent is to show our new students and prospective students how close Oberlin is to a dynamic city,” Ambar said. “This work builds on our existing, long-running service programs in Oberlin and Lorain County, and is designed to showcase for students how much they can learn from the vibrant communities in Northeast Ohio.”
The annual Day of Service will be held Saturday, Sept. 1. Students will get to know the local area and engage with community organizations in Oberlin and the rest of the county.
Residence halls open Sept. 1 for returning students and classes begin Sept. 4.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.