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Townie complaint: Oberlin “akin to a gated community”

Townie complaint: Oberlin “akin to a gated community”

Double-secret townie No Trespass list finally coming to an end

Since the 1970s Oberlin College, one of the most liberal colleges in the nation, has maintained a secret “No Trespass” list which barred members of the community from campus, usually without telling them they were on the list .

The secret list stood in contrast to the college’s emphasis on its mission page to a “commitment to social engagement and diversity,” and the loud demands for diversity voiced after the racism hoax last February and March.  Apparently that diversity did not include townies.

Oberlin treated town members “differently from students, creating an atmosphere akin to a gated community,” reports the Plain Dealer.

The list was controversial because many members did not know they were on the list, and even after learning about it, they were not told the reason for the barring. This made the ban virtually impossible to repeal.

If the person on the secret list was caught on campus, he or she could be arrested.

“I’ve been on that list for two years, and I couldn’t believe what I received in the mail,” said Shane Brendes, a 1996 Oberlin College graduate, reported the Plain Dealer. “I was put on the No Trespass list and banished without knowing what the charge was. How could I defend myself?”

Now, after a campaign against the policy, trespassers are allowed to find out why they were barred from campus, and have an opportunity to repeal the ban. The new policy will provide “detailed information, in writing, about the basis for their trespass orders when issued,”  according to an Oberlin press release.

Ironically, the college’s website aims to recruit applicants with the phrase, “We welcome young passionate intellectuals who are eager to help make the local community and the world a better place.”

In February 2013, the same campus was outraged when a series of bias incidents occurred, going so far as to cancel class in an “act of solidarity.”

As it turns out, the acts of bias were perpetrated by two students, one an Obama-supporting liberal activist, (despite what Huffington Post  commentators might assume),  in order to “troll” and raise controversy on campus.


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Why aren’t these two students being named every time there is a story about the incident they caused?

So they put members of the community on “double secret probation.” Wonder what else Dean Wormer has been up to.

Does the college have an official position on illegal immiration?

I have some sympathy with Oberlin on this, because I attended a very small, liberal arts college with an open campus. It was a life lesson for me to learn that there are people who look perfectly normal, but who are destructive pigs that, given the opportunity, will waste and destroy any thing, just because they think they can get away with it.

The ones I knew were either students or alumni of my college.

I can certainly understand how a “secret list” like this could come to be.

After the Dean gets woken up about the sixth time in one week over some after-midnight incident, he gives written permission to the campus cops and possibly the local police to remove the Usual Suspects. That immediately increases his valuable sleep time.

At the outset, there is no need to publish the list, it’s just an informal measure to allow the police to take action without waking up the dean every night. Over time, the list gets longer, it’s not culled, and eventually other people start adding to the list. That last item is where some huge abuses can come in.

Is it possible that some clerk in the office, who has no business messing with the list, might take a little bureaucratic revenge? Oh, yes.

Is it possible that some alumnus, who knows perfectly well why his name is on the list, will lie about it, because he figures there wasn’t anything else in writing? Oh, yes.

What this incident really says is that there is more serious misconduct by students and trespassers at Oberlin than its administration wants to admit.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to Valerie. | September 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    You may be right about the list being started as a convenience for campus security. Unfortunately the local news paper reports hundreds of names got put on the list. That should have been a huge tip off to the college’s top executives. How probable is the existence of hundreds of bad apples who create an ongoing problem for campus security when the entire city of Oberlin has only 8,300 residents?

      Oh, I agree the end result is nuts. I’m just saying that I could see it all starting in the 70s, when I was in college. If I were an Oberlin alum, I’d post a copy of the list on Facebook, and ask people to say why they were on the list. There’d probably be some really good stories, some that grew in the telling….

        NC Mountain Girl in reply to Valerie. | September 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm

        It seems unlikely alumni would be on any such list. Students who misbehave too badly get expelled. They aren’t likely to be placed on a banned list unless they were dumb enough to come back afterwards but that wouldn’t be more than a handful at Oberlin. In addition who would hang around in tiny Oberlin after leaving school? It isn’t a party school and less than ten percent of the student body is from Ohio in the first place.

        Every college administrator knows some of the wildest students grow up to be successful people who write large checks to their alma maters. One of the very worst in my college days ended up president of his state bar association!

        BuenaVista in reply to Valerie. | September 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm

        This, and you, are disgusting. We are not required to rebut public reputational assaults (on FB or anywhere) just because some exercised female calls us a “destructive pig.”

    Anchovy in reply to Valerie. | September 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    If you don’t know you are on the list then how would you know you are trespassing unless everyone, except specific authorized people, is considered trespassing?

    BuenaVista in reply to Valerie. | September 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Valerie, what gives you the authority to put someone’s name on a list for non-criminal activity, and then have a college pursue and discriminate against him?

    Anyone committing a crime is arrested. But you would like to shame and harass someone whom you dislike, or who loses on style points?

    Tell us what you mean by “destructive pigs”, such behavior not rising to the level of a misdemeanor. Is “destructive pig” supposed to mean something that the rest of us understand?

      scooby509 in reply to BuenaVista. | September 6, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      If it’s private property and they’ve been causing incidents with the campus police, that’s authority in spades.

      If you harass employees or customers at a store, you’ll get kicked out. Why would a college be any different?

The next Detrout! cLEAVEland. Even Cpl. Maxwell ‘Max’ Q. Klinger from Toledo knew that one.

Turnabout on the stale old cliche of the townspeople harassing the college kids. Of course, if the tables were turned, and local businesses began mistreating Oberlin students, you can imagine the howls of injustice.

NC Mountain Girl | September 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Take pity on the poor college executives. (/s)They have a lot on their plates right now. In addition to all this, Moody’s downgraded them last month.–PR_279308

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | September 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Great find NC Mountain Girl.

    Oberlin College, OH

    Rating Action: Moody’s …$55 million of Series 2013 Revenue Bonds, outlook to negative…dropped to Aa2….”

    “The negative outlook reflects financial reserves that have not rebounded to pre-2008 levels combined with increasing leverage and recently weaker operating performance. (Hmmmm….that’s 5 years ago, half a decade ago….)

    “The negative outlook reflects limited growth in financial resources…

    Source – same as above in NC Mountain Girl’s post.
    “Moody’s assigns Aa2 to Oberlin College (OH) $55 million of Series 2013 Revenue Bonds, outlook to negative”


The perpetrators’ goal was to “troll” about hate crimes, the administration used that as “a teaching moment” to reinforce their existing leftist PC regime of thought control.

When the hoax was discovered, the admins kept it quiet and proceeded with their program.

It all begins to make sense . . .

It would be interesting to know if the two students who faked the racial incident are on the banned list. I bet they have more reason to be included than 99% of those who are on the list.

And I agree. The students should be named just like the administrators who came up with the list of undesirable people should be named.

Sorry – but I do not believe a word of this claptrap. Oberlin, the town, and Oberlin, the college, are both too small for this to make any sense.

First of all, if a townie was banned, the news would spread throughout the community – when people talk at the grocery, barber shop, beauty salon, bar, restaurant and even the public library. Yet people do not know they were banned?

Secondly, how would it be possible for the small campus police force to have time to enforce such idiocy? How would the “banned” be identifiable by the school cops?

But maybe I am wrong. After all, the Oberlin mascot is the Yeoman – and Yeomen lived in the Tower of London to guard the castle and the Crown Jewels.

“Secondly, how would it be possible for the small campus police force to have time to enforce such idiocy? How would the ‘banned’ be identifiable by the school cops?”

From the story it appears that the policy was enforced by the town police as well as the college security department.

    rabidfox in reply to Akatsukami. | September 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    It makes even less sense then. I’ve worked with small college town cops and 1) they don’t much like students and 2) they gossip like washer women. With them involved I don’t see a ‘secret’ list remaining so for more than five minutes.

      Akatsukami in reply to rabidfox. | September 6, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      I suspect that that could only be answered in a frank, open conversation with the (town) chief of police. Bring a soldering iron.

If there wasn’t a policy like this why would the Dean of Students be issuing a revision to it? See

Is there a problem with posting or did I get banned and not know it?

Liberal, thy name is hypocrite. (But you knew that already.)

Orwellian is as Orwellian does.

These people have neither shame nor self awareness.

They are evil.