How Oberlin Works

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Student Organizations

Student Organizations

Oberlin has nearly 200 chartered student organizations. There are two main benefits of being a chartered organization: 1) easier access to space and 2) better access to funds. Chartered student organizations are granted office space in the Student Union, and are also able to reserve space in advance of a meeting or event. (Individuals and non-chartered groups may reserve space as a ‘walk up’ within 48 hours of the reservation.) There are also spaces on campus, such as the Root Room, that are unavailable for individuals to reserve and must be reserved by an official organization of the College. Chartered organizations are also allowed to use the name of Oberlin College, whereas individuals are not.

The annual allocation of the Student Activity Fund is easier for chartered organizations who submit an itemized budget—although status as chartered does not guarantee Student Finance Committee funding. The Student Finance Committee does award funds to non-student organizations through an ad hoc process, which is appropriate for one-time events and projects.

The one body that exists solely for the purpose of chartering student organizations is the Joint Chartering Subcommittee, which includes a faculty member of the Student Life Committee, the senate chartering liaison, the senate liaison, a student, and an associate director of the Student Union. Please see individual pages for explanations of the other bodies within the process are outlined elsewhere on this web site.

The staff of the Student Union Office coordinates the process of each charter through the approval process. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the process:
Round 1
1. Submitted to Student Union
2. Submitted to Senate Organizational Coordinator
3. Approved by Student Union & Senate Organizational Coordinator

Round 2
4. Submitted to Joint Chartering Subcommittee
5. Approved by Joint Chartering Subcommittee

Round 3
6. Submitted to Student Senate
7. Submitted to Student Life Committee
8. Approved by Student Senate and Student Life Committee

Round 4
9. Submitted to General Faculty
10. Approved by General Faculty

Last Step
11. Filed at Student Union