10 of the Coolest Clubs at Oberlin College

An aerial view of Oberlin College

University students can find it hard to manage their schoolwork with their extracurricular activities, but often find their activities outside of school to be worthwhile in the end. University is a place to experiment with new hobbies and make friends, rather than to work everyday. Below are 10 of the coolest clubs to join at Oberlin College:

1. Hip Hop Collective, Oberlin (OHOP)

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OHOP is a team comprised of talented and committed dancers who strive to instill self-confidence, motivation and diversity through their high-energy performances. OHOP has become a family, supporting each other even after they graduate.

2. Oberlin Student Theater Association (OSTA)

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OSTA is a student organization at oberlin college dedicated to producing theater on campus. It is a student-founded, student-run organization that brings theater to campus all year round. In addition to producing five fully-staged shows a year, OSTA also facilitates playwriting workshops, holds staged readings, and hosts a semiannual 24-hour theater competition in the fall and spring, in which students are challenged to create and perform new pieces in just one day.

3. Comics Collective, The Oberlin (OCC)

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The Oberlin is the place for students who love to read, draw, write, and learn about the tricks behind the best comics or graphic novels. If you want to have fun with your friends, are a creative thinker, or if you can see yourself becoming involved in this industry someday, then this is the place for you!  

4. 3D Print Club

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The Oberlin 3D Printing Club provides students with the means and opportunity to construct and work with open source 3D printers and projects associated with 3D printers.

5. Archery Club (OCAC)

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The Archery Club exists for the purpose of providing its members and the general public with a positive safe environment to practice and learn the recreational and competitive sport of archery. This organization is in a position to provide instruction to new members as well as access to official archery competitions for those students who wish to compete on the high school level.

6. Tumbling Club, Oberlin (OTC)

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The Tumbling Club includes members of varied backgrounds in acrobatics, gymnastics, tricking (a combination of acrobatics, martial arts, and capoeira), and several circus arts.

7. Musical Theatre Association, Oberlin (OMTA)

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OMTA is committed to promoting the highest standards in the education and training of musical theatre performers, teachers, coaches, and consultants for all performance media. The association serves teachers and administrators who teach students in professional musical theater training programs.

8. Improv Coalition, OC (OCIC)

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Improvisation, or improv, is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. Often improvisers will take a suggestion from the audience, or draw on some other source of inspiration to get started.

9. Photography Association Co-op, Oberlin (OPAC)

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The mission of the Photography Association is to provide a supportive environment for interested photography students to share their creativity, knowledge and passion for photography while attending Oberlin College.

10. Oberlin College eSports Club (OCeSC)

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OCeSC is a multifaceted community that hosts casual gaming events and supports competitive team eSports. Its goal is to foster a community of students of any major across campus to rally behind their peers playing against other college eSports teams while also having fun playing games themselves.


Top Events During the School Year at Oberlin College

1. Big Parade

An image of the Big Parade at Oberlin

The Big Parade project began in 2002 as a collaborative arts event created by artist Zach Moser ’02. He described the project as an experiment in the power of our human need to express ourselves as well as in the effectiveness of decentralized organizational theory. The premise was to facilitate a parade that allowed an open forum for individuals and organizations to represent themselves in any way that they saw fit.

2. Commencement

An image of Commencement at Oberlin

Commencement has been a mixture of tradition and ceremony often taking place on Tappan Square and in earlier years, inside First Church or Finney Memorial Chapel. From the big tent brought in by late 18th century revivalist Charles G. Finney to lighting the campus walkways with Japanese lanterns, Commencement at Oberlin has always been a distinctive occasion. While ceremonies have changed over time, the basic concepts of pageantry, hopefulness, purpose, and celebration have remained.

3. Convocation

An image of Convocation at Oberlin

Oberlin College and community enjoy a long, proud history of discussing important and compelling issues. To deepen that dialogue, over a decade ago the Office of the President, in partnership with the Finney Chapel Lecture Committee, inaugurated what is now the annual Oberlin Convocation Series. The series has brought to campus many of the country’s leading thinkers who represent an array of viewpoints, disciplines, and professional fields.

4. Drag Ball

An image of Drag Ball at Oberlin

Activists within Oberlin’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) communities began Drag Ball to celebrate non-normative gender presentation and the art of drag. Initially, the celebration was the final event of Oberlin’s first Transgender Awareness Week in the late 1980s, but has since become its own entity.

5. Illumination

An image of Illumination at Oberlin

The first illumination in Oberlin occurred in November 1860 to celebrate the election of Abraham Lincoln as the 16th president of the United States. However, the longstanding tradition began in May 1903 during the inauguration of Oberlin College President Henry Churchill King. Frederick O. Grover, professor of botany, helped mark the occasion by stringing and lighting Japanese lanterns around campus. The former Harvard professor suggested it after a custom he had witnessed of illuminating the Harvard Yard. The college purchased several thousand lanterns to string along the posts on campus and several streets of the town.



Author: Chelsea Wang

First-year student at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing a B.S. in computer science with an additional major in mathematical sciences.

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