University Campus Life Policies
University policies relating to campus life are intended to give each student programmed opportunities within the context of a Christian community to develop and to expand those potentialities which can give full expression to personality. The formulation of behavioral expectations into policy is guided by Baptist beliefs, and these policies provide the basis of creative social relationships in the OBU community.
OBU students are afforded the privileges and responsibilities of campus fellowship. Within University guidelines, a student is encouraged to make educational and social choices which enhance personal development. Students may actively participate in the process of institutional governance through University Committee membership, agencies of student government, and advisory groups.
Oklahoma Baptist University is a Christ-centered university dedicated to the spiritual development of students along with their social, academic and physical development. Spiritual Life is committed to supporting the University’s Mission through Chapel, Student Ministry, the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach, and Pastoral Care. Spiritual Life helps create and advance an atmosphere beneficial for spiritual formation through vibrant worship encounters, small group experiences, and through service/mission opportunities in Shawnee, across the U.S. and around the world.
Worship and Chapel
OBU provides occasions for worship in Chapel and through various Student Ministry organizations.
The Chapel program is a long-standing tradition on Bison Hill and is an integral part of the life of Oklahoma Baptist University. It is the central gathering where the OBU family worships and glorifies God while building community, faith, and knowledge. Chapels emphasize praise and participation in a creative and celebratory atmosphere. Chapels are provided each Wednesday of the semester at 10:00 am. In addition to Wednesday chapels, OBU provides chapel experiences at 10:00 am on select Mondays and Fridays throughout the semester.
In addition to Chapel, other worship opportunities exist for students each month. Student-led worship teams allow students to use their gifts in worship experiences like Canterbury and FCA. Many of these teams also find opportunities to use their gifts in church settings both locally and nationally.
OBU provides ample opportunities for spiritual community to take place through local churches and Student Ministry.
Local church involvement is the principal area of community for OBU students, staff, and faculty. As an extension of the church, OBU partners with local churches in a variety of ways to encourage all members of the OBU community to be active members of local bodies of believers. OBU affirms the necessity of healthy church membership for Christ-followers and seeks to strengthen the relationship between the OBU community and local churches through events like Noonday, OBU Day in the Church, Falls Creek, and countless others.
Student Ministry organizations offer diverse ministry experiences that allow students to connect, grow, and learn together. Additionally, Student Ministry participates in state and national collegiate ministry events that allow students to form an expansive community of fellow believers.
Discipleship - As the foundation of Spiritual Life at OBU, discipleship groups offer personalized attention, spiritual formation, and a sense of belonging. They encourage students to walk in the spiritual disciplines and discover gifts and passions that help focus their involvement in personal spiritual growth.
Channels for local outreach are available throughout campus. Service learning is provided through select classroom experiences and student led service teams that are life giving agents throughout the Shawnee area. Every week more than one hundred fifty students from across the campus are leading and serving in youth, inner city community, volunteer, senior citizen, prison and special needs perpetual service projects. New projects are added each year.
Global Outreach opportunities are provided through select courses, faculty direction, and student leadership. Global Outreach is coordinated through the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach and is available to the OBU community as a whole. OBU students participate in J-term, spring break, summer, semester and extended term mission opportunities each year. Global Outreach opportunities develop through select courses, faculty direction, and student leadership.
Before graduation, most OBU students will have first-hand local and global outreach experience.
Oklahoma Baptist University is owned by the Oklahoma Baptists. The beliefs of the convention are found in the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM).
Though the attitudes and beliefs of individual members of the academic community generally reflect the viewpoints of the Baptist constituency, there is no attempt to seek religious conformity from students of diverse persuasions. The freedom of the individual to develop his own spiritual insights is one of the most cherished of Baptist traditions; it is of paramount importance on this campus.
The Residential Experience
A long-standing tradition of Oklahoma Baptist University has been the provision of a residential campus. This position has been affirmed through research, which reveals that if students remain in campus housing they are more likely to complete their college education, develop a strong spiritual formation, participate in campus activities, adjust to various social situations, and establish lifelong friendships with students and faculty.
The Student Handbook provides further information, including policies and procedures related to living on campus and off campus. These documents are located on the web at www.okbu.edu/campuslife.
The University Maintains Four Housing Units for Men.
Agee Residence Center, (named for former OBU president Bob Agee and his wife Nelle and formerly known as Brotherhood Dormitory), includes rooms with movable furniture, accommodates 281 men, and features its own laundry facilities, fitness center and big screen television viewing area. Agee is equipped with OBU computer WiFi network access in each student room.
Apartment Village accommodates 92 junior and senior men in 24 furnished apartments. The Apartment Village features four individual rooms, two shared bathrooms, full kitchen, and shared living room. Ten of the apartments have washers and dryers. All apartments include computer WiFi network access and cable television.
The Lodge is our newest hall that is able to house 160 men. This hall is designated primarily for freshman and sophomore men in furnished suites each having their own bathroom facilities and computer WiFi network access. The Lodge also features its own laundry facilities and big screen television viewing area, with community kitchen and eating area as well.
MacArthur Drive Apartments accommodate 64 sophomore men in 16 furnished apartments. MacArthur Drive Apartments were built in 1991. These apartments are equipped with computer WiFi network access in each.
There are Six Housing Units for Women.
Apartment Village accommodates 135 junior and senior women in 36 furnished apartments. The Apartment Village features four individual rooms, two shared bathrooms, full kitchen, and shared living room. Sixteen of the apartments have washers and dryers. All apartments include cable television and WiFi network access.
Kerr Residence Center, a residence for 231 women, was named for Mrs. W.S. Kerr, mother of the late Senator Robert S. Kerr. This facility was extensively renovated during 1995, 1996 and 2009. Each student room is equipped with OBU computer WiFi network access. Kerr provides a community kitchen as well as kitchenettes and gathering areas for residents.
The Doris and Jim Taylor Residence Center, a hall for 156 women, opened in August 1997. This hall houses sophomore women in furnished suites each having their own bathroom facilities and computer WiFi network access. The common spaces were updated in 2022.
West University Apartments house 160 junior and senior women in 40 apartments. These apartments are furnished and each equipped with computer WiFi network access.
WMU Residence Center, which was built by funds provided by the Woman’s Missionary Union of Oklahoma, is a residence for freshman women. This facility was expanded and extensively renovated in 2009 to accommodate 198 students. WMU has WiFi network access in each room, a community kitchen, as well as kitchenettes and a fitness center.
Howard Residence Hall, houses 31 sophomore women in a completely updated and renovated space. It is suite style with 4 residents sharing a bathroom. It has a kitchen and common living and dining area. WiFi access enabled.
Howard Apartments, houses 48 sophomore women in 12 apartments. These have been completely updated and renovated. Each apartment has its own kitchen, dining, and living area. Two residents share a room. All four residents share a large bathroom. Wifi access enabled.
Residence Hall Regulations
Each residence is supervised by a Residence Director who is a member of the administrative staff of the University. The director is assisted by student resident assistants, who are carefully chosen and trained for this important responsibility.
Residence halls are closed during official University holiday periods. There are options to stay during holidays via application only.
New students who desire to have a room reserved in a residence hall should contact the Office of Admissions for next steps. Those steps should be completed at the earliest possible time prior to the opening of the semester to which the student is applying.
Burns, Cobbs and West Devereaux Apartments for Independent Students
The University has a limited number of unfurnished apartments available for rental to independent students. If married, at least one spouse must be classified as a full-time student, taking a minimum course load of 9 credit hours each semester. A prospective student’s name will be placed on the apartment waiting list only after his/her application for admission to the University has been accepted and the required deposit has been paid. Students who desire information about married student housing and the application process should contact the Office of Residential Life. Please see the Residential Life office for additional qualifying criteria.
Career Development Services
The Career Development Office provides guidance and career assessment services and resources for students and alumni, information concerning vocational opportunities, and the job search process including resume review.
The University offers up to ten personal counseling sessions per academic year free of charge to all students. Additional sessions can be booked for $10/session. Appointments are confidential and may be made by calling the Kemp MFT Clinic at 405-585-4530.
The Disability Services Office provides support services to students with disabilities. The office is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunity and full participation for students with disabilities. Students are required to provide documentation of disability prior to the provision of services. If you have a need for services due to disabilities, please contact the Disability Services Office for details regarding applicable policies.
International Student Services
The International Student Services Office supports International Students, Missionary Kids (MKs), and Third Culture Kids (TCKs) throughout their time at OBU. For students on F-1 visas, assistance is provided for matters related to the Student Exchange Visitor Program.
Campus Health Services
Students are expected to assume primary responsibility for individual health needs, including financial responsibility for medical treatment which may be required. The University offers supplementary services through the employment of a Campus Nurse, who is available during daytime hours to consult with students concerning health needs and practices. The Campus Nurse partners with TEAM Clinics to provide full service to students.
Bison Recreation and Wellness
The Department of Bison Recreation and Wellness, housed at the RAWC (Recreation and Wellness Center), exists “to engage, encourage, educate, and equip the OBU Bison community towards Christ-like wellness in the areas of physical, emotional, social, mental, and spiritual well-being.” Our mission is accomplished through the department’s four program areas: Wellness, Club Sports, Intramurals, and Recreation. The RAWC is the center of campus recreation with facilities for our Bison to experience diverse forms of recreation to include: outdoor recreation through our climbing wall, social recreation found in our re-purposed student recreation lobby, and leisure recreation such as basketball, wallyball, racquetball, volleyball, weight training, and cardio fitness. Bison RecWell also offers a wide variety of club and intramural sports with activities such as soccer, flag football, racquetball, softball, wallyball, basketball and more.
As a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and the Great American Conference, Oklahoma Baptist University offers men’s intercollegiate athletic teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, and track and field. Women’s intercollegiate sports include basketball, cheer, cross country, golf, pom, soccer, softball, track and field, and volleyball.
The following are the stated purposes of the OBU athletics program and are compatible with the overall University mission statement:
To provide programs of intercollegiate athletic competition which will be consistent with and supportive of the purposes and goals of the University.
To provide a forum by which the athletically gifted student may develop his/her talent to the fullest while representing the University against outside competition in a wholesome, Christian manner.
To provide an environment which will stimulate the academic growth of the student athlete which will be beyond minimal conference/national standards and which will lead to graduation of the athletes.
To encourage growth as Christians and as campus citizens by becoming involved in and assuming leadership roles in all aspects of campus life.
To enhance the public image of the University to students (spectators and players), prospective students (athletes and nonathletes), alumni, other schools and other segments of the public.
To serve as a means of aiding the participant, through teams participation and cooperation, to define, organize, and clarify a system of values, which is in harmony with a code of Christian ethics and which helps to establish a direction of personal, professional and societal behavior.
To make a positive contribution to the campus social environment by providing competitive athletic contests in a wholesome atmosphere for the OBU community as spectators.
The Geiger Center
The Geiger Center (GC) is a facility which serves the entire community and is the hub for campus life. The GC houses the Geiger Counter Snackbar/Convenience Store and the coffee shop, OBU Campus Store (mailroom and bookstore), Café on the Hill, meeting rooms, special dining areas and information desk. Campus Life offices housed in the Geiger Center include: the Dean of Students/Vice President of Campus Life, Director of the Residential Experience, Director of Student Leadership and Engagement, Director of Career Services and Alumni Engagement, Director of International Student Services, Director of Community Experiences, Student Health Services, Director of Global Mobilization, Global Outreach Logistics Coordinator, the Director of Student Ministry, the Vice President of University Culture, and the Student Government Association.
OBU Campus Store
The OBU Campus Store is located on the lower floor of the Geiger Center and is open Monday through Friday. Students can get their textbooks, mail and packages, and OBU gear all in one place! Visit obugear.com for specific hours.
The OBU Campus Store’s signature textbook service is called Slingshot. With Slingshot, each student’s required books are delivered to their on campus dorm or apartment (if they are a residential student) prior to the first day of class. Non-residential students can pick up their pre-packaged book order in the Campus Store. Book charges are then automatically charged to the student’s account allowing the student to utilize scholarships or financial aid to purchase their books or to include their book charges in their semester installment plan. Students who do not wish to participate in Slingshot may opt-out.
The OBU Campus Store offers a full service mail center. Students and faculty can pick up incoming mail and packages in store. Mail and packages may also be shipped out and stamps are available for sale.
The OBU Campus Store carries a large selection of OBU themed apparel and gift items. With a range of professional, sports, and casual wear, you will find everything you need to represent OBU well. Online shopping is also available at obugear.com.
Possession and operation of an automobile on campus is considered a privilege.
All automobiles operated on campus must be registered with the University Police Department. Laws and regulations promulgated by state, local, and University authorities must be observed. Responsibility for an automobile resides with the person who registers it. Regulations are published each year in the Student Handbook.
Chapel attendance is a graduation requirement for all students enrolled full time (12 credit hours or more) and for students residing in campus housing without regard for the number of hours enrolled. In order for a student to graduate and receive a diploma, all academic requirements must be met including satisfying the chapel attendance policy. Failure to meet the number of required chapels will result in the student contracting to make up the deficiency before a degree is awarded.
Students are required to attend a total of 96 chapel programs to receive a bachelor’s degree. The number is prorated for students who attend fewer than eight fall/spring semesters. Credit for chapel attendance is given only for attending chapel. Absences are neither excused nor unexcused. Doctor appointments, illnesses, school-related activities, and other reasons for failure to attend chapel do not reduce the total number required.
Attendance is recorded by scanning a valid, functioning OBU ID card when departing the chapel program. Students must be in the auditorium for the full length of the chapel program and successfully scan their ID card at the conclusion of the program in order to receive chapel credit.
All students of the University are expected to maintain the highest standards of moral conduct and concern for the well-being and rights of their fellow students.
The Student Handbook, the student handbook, provides detailed statements of University policies, procedures and penalties relating to campus citizenship. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the information contained therein. The Student Handbook may be accessed at www.okbu.edu/campuslife.
Student Educational Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect.
The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. A student may ask the University to amend a record that he or she believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record he or she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The following are some, but not all, of the exceptions which allow disclosure by the University without the student’s consent.
Disclosure may be made to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
The University may disclose directory information, that is, information contained in the education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory information includes, but is not limited to, the student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors and awards received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended unless the student notifies the Director of Academic Records/Registrar in writing within two weeks of registration that the student does not want any or all this information disclosed without the student’s consent.
The University may disclose information concerning a student which is furnished to the University by the State of Oklahoma pursuant to the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act.
The University also may disclose, to a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, the final results of the disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University with respect to that alleged crime or offense.
The University may release information to the parents of students under the age of 21 at the time of the disclosure when the University determines that the student has violated University rules or the law governing the use or possession of alcohol or other drugs. The University also may release any student record to the parents of a dependent student, as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Oklahoma Baptist University may issue a copy of the academic transcript of a deceased student to the executor/executrix of that individual’s estate upon receipt of a written and signed request accompanied by a copy of the court document of appointment. If the individual’s estate did not go through probate and there is no court-appointed executor/executrix, a copy of the academic transcript of the deceased student may be issued to the next of kin who possesses the state-issued death certificate upon receipt of a written and signed request accompanied by a copy of that certificate. Transcript copies issued under such circumstances will be clearly labeled as being the academic record of a deceased individual.
Note: Students desiring to share their records with their parents/guardians may declare such intentions by submitting a completed FERPA Release form at the Registrar’s Office in the Academic Center.