OK, folks, seriously here, I'm not kidding. I went on "Oberwiki.net" (click on "housing" under "What's new") to find out more about Oberlin, and, to my surprise, discovered a thing called "group showers." Apparently, 2 of the dorms and one of the co-ops have large, community "shower rooms," (sort of like a gym shower) with multiple shower heads. (there may or may not be curtains, depending on the shower and whether they have been torn down!) The students on each floor vote whether the shower rooms should be co-ed or not! And I guess they have been in the past. And even if you, as a student, don't want to do the co-ed-showering-together thing, you are still possibly taking group showers with the other girls on your floor. (there is a way to indicate that you do not want anyone to join you in the shower, lol!)
This whole thing shocks me. For the amount of money the school charges, they can't convert these shower "rooms" into individual stalls?? I'm really not a prude, honestly....BUT, I have never heard of this in ANY other college; and, I'm not happy about it. Most of the students on this "live journal" say it's no big deal. Fine, but perhaps it could be a big deal to certain students (like my D.) who might be hesitant to speak up about it, fearing they would be thought of as prudish.
Am I wrong to be amazed and concened about this? I haven't shown it to my D. yet. She will be visiting next week.
:Your opinions, please; especially current Obie parents!
(the 2 dorms are Burton and Fairchild)
I don't know anything about shower facilities at Oberlin, but the community shower issue is way overblown. Chances are, there are individual shower stalls with curtains, which insures privacy. And even if there aren't, not everyone on a dorm floor takes a shower at the same time. Except for the morning rush (just like at home), you probably won't encounter more than 2 or 3 people in the community shower at any given time.
Youth of the 21st century are much more "adult" and mature than us prudish adults of the 20th century. They just don't have the hangups around nudity that us crusty old folks have!
asked my s. about this. he heard about this when visiting campuses and said it is no big deal, but is clear that he wants to live in a dorm with solo showers and bathrooms that aren't gender neutral. his impression is that it's just a matter of individual preference, no real issue either way.
Yes, the shower situation is true, and yes, some kids in the dorm might think it was prudish to vote against co-ed showering. So be it -- it's just a part of life at Oberlin that some people are going to be to the left of you and think that you're a tool of the patriarchy for: eating eggs/participating in biology experiments that use rats/wearing clothes that aren't hemp/etc. It's possible for a mainstream liberal student to find a niche at Oberlin, but you do have to get used to the fact that you will never be "progressive" enough to satisfy some segment of the population.
My recommendation: avoid that dorm. They still let you express a preference, don't they?
I'm a recent(last year) oberlin grad. group showers are in only a few dorms, and are simple to avoid if they make you uncomfortable. co-ed bathrooms take a little getting used to. it's embarrasing to go potty while someone of the opposite sex can hear you. two things: first, this, too, is not hard to avoid, second, it's not something you should worry about anyway.
you should under no circumstances let this put you off oberlin. i had a wonderful time there, and i'm not someone who is particularly excited about taking showers with people whose names i don't know.
what you should do is look into the co-ops. if *they* sound really cool, then oberlin is for you. i've never heard of anything like the oberlin co-op system, in college or out. OSCA is a unique and wonderful organization. look into it!
I am a current Obie (class of '08) and would like to clarify about "group showers." I live in Burton, one of the larger dorms on campus. Our bathrooms each have either three or four shower heads, with curtains separating them. In order to reach the showers in the back, you need to go through the two in the front. This may seem strange to all of you, but it really isn't very exciting. At the beginning of each semester everyone on the floor votes on whether to make the dorms gender neutral or gender specific (although there always has to be one gender neutral bathroom on each floor). Therefore, if you have a problem wth sharing the showers with people of the opposite sex, you won't have to.
First semester, we had one gender neutral, one boy's, and one girl's bathroom on our floor. This semester they are all gender neutral. Only one person has ever walked in on me when I was showering, and 99% of the time, I'm the only one in the room. I've heard stories about group orgies happening in some showers in other dorms, but, I don't think that's very likely. (And if it does happen, I'm sure everyone involved is a willing participant) Hope this dispells any myths you guys may have heard.
Regarding co-ops: Co-ops are dorms in which you can choose to live and eat in. They have their own kitchens and you take your meals there rather than going to the dining hall (although you can have one meal a week in a dining hall). If you live and eat at a co-op, you must commit a certain number of hours cleaning and cooking there every week. If you have a job and/or play sports you don't have to commit much time. You can also choose to live somewhere else and eat in a dorm. It's a pretty cool system.
How can you possibly make any friends without group showers. Seriously. I'm not talking about sexual stuff either. Be real, its just showering. Maybe some people just can't understand that. And especially in a co-op. Spoken from a true Habonim-Dror member!