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Group showers???

wnydancemomwnydancemom Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
edited December 2012 in Oberlin College
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)

Thanks, a ???future Obie mom?
Post edited by wnydancemom on

Replies to: Group showers???

  • mchsmchs Registered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
    oh jeez...and i was concerned about pot smoking??!! am eager to hear more info
  • sdskylesdskyle Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    That is pretty weird. I guess you should request other housing. Or make use of the E system. http://oberwiki.net/index.php?title=E_system
  • TroglodyteTroglodyte Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    By no means is every dorm is like this. There are some very eccentric people at Oberlin, but by no means does everyone want/participate in co-ed showers.

    Personally, I think you should just let your "D" experience what she wants to experience.
  • gsp_silicon_valleygsp_silicon_valley Registered User Posts: 1,542 Senior Member
    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!
  • mchsmchs Registered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
    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.
  • wnydancemomwnydancemom Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Yeah, guess I am somewhat of a prude after all, lol. I'm sure the kids mostly think it's no big deal. thanks for all your input!
  • bluealien01bluealien01 Registered User Posts: 1,941 Senior Member
    This sounds like a joke. It looks like the Wikipedia Encylopedia website....
  • UCLAriUCLAri Registered User Posts: 14,740
    Having experienced a group shower experience (Japanese dorms), I have to say that after the first week or so, it becomes quite comfortable. Why? I dunno. You just get used to seeing it.
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,202 Senior Member
    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?
  • montythefrogmontythefrog Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    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!
  • elusivestrangerelusivestranger Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    what exactly is a co-op? (i've heard of it alot, but i really don't understand it fully. like i know oberlin has vegan co-ops and different others, but what do you do in one etc?)
  • girlinbraidsgirlinbraids Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    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.
  • Fanatic517Fanatic517 Registered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    I'm pretty sure you're just a prude. When I visited Oberlin, it was the pot smoking more than anything that disturbed me. Very cool school though.
  • fhqwgads2005fhqwgads2005 Registered User Posts: 944 Member
    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!
  • ShaquitaPackShaquitaPack Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    The bathrooms are fine. They have single-sex bathrooms everywhere so you're not forced to shower with guys at all and they have curtains. When I showered there was NO ONE in the room and this was at night and early in the morning. I only bumped into someone as I was coming out and she had a towel on. I wouldn't do co-ed bathrooms but the single-sex ones are fine
This discussion has been closed.