Speak like an Obie Oberlin student in no time.
There are some things you’ll have to learn if you want to find your way around campus, because the names on the dorms can be misleading. Sometimes names are just shortened: Stevenson is Stevie, Fairchild is Fairkid, Zechiel is Zeke. But Fairkid and Fairchild Chapel are not the same places. The Chapel, usually referred to as Fairchild, is on the North side of Tappan Square, where there are concerts. Program houses usually go by their program name; we call them French House, Spanish House, or Third World House instead of Bailey, Harvey, and Price, respectively. And other times, these rules are broken. Asia House is usually shortened to A-House, Johnson, the Hebrew Heritage House, is J-House, and Langston, a traditional dorm, essentially goes solely by North.
You won’t be stuck in the dorms your entire time at Oberlin (except if you stay during Winter Term), and dorms are not the only places with confusing names. The Cat, short for The Cat in the Cream (Make it dirty. Go.) has open-mike nights and student performances. It’s located West of the Science Center. The Sco is the student dance club/bar that is in the basement of Wilder, as is Decaf (pronounced Day-Caf without the e of a Café), which will soon be your savior for all things food. You’ll go to Gibson’s (Downtown) for cigarettes, and you’ll ask someone to make a Johnny’s run (North on Main St.) for alcohol. You’ll probably eat at The Feve (that’s not the Feeve—we like open Es), and Tooo Chinoise, which has no correct pronunciation.
Some other notes:
You can check your mail in the basement of Wilder.
There are kittens in the Ginko Galleries. Walk straight to the back, and you can play with them.
The Wisdom Tree is the tree in the center of North Quad. Go there for a good time.
If someone refers to a building called Hogwarts, they mean Peters or maybe Talcott.
Hales Annex is next to The Cat and they have a scary connected basement. The College Bowling Lanes and the Pool Hall are also in the same building as The Cat.
The closest things we have to frats, in terms of parties, are the sports team houses. In terms of cliquishness, it’s the co-ops. The two do not mix.
Go to the Arb. Walk down South Professor St. until you walk past two really cool dorms (J House and Old B) that you can’t miss. It’s on your right.
And lastly, the Art Museum (East of Tappan Square) is closing soon. Get over there.
Enter through the two sides of Stevie. You can’t use the middle entrance for food, and the balcony is fake. You will never use it.
We encourage returning students to add to this list. Let’s get them oriented.