The Oberlin Initiative in Electoral Politics (OIEP) encourages Oberlin graduates to run for and serve in public office. The various components of the non-partisan OIEP include:

Campus Wide

  • Encouraging young people to vote and run for office through outreach activities
  • Bringing speakers to campus to address topics related to campaigns and elections
  • Offering workshops in the various skills needed to run for office

Cole Scholars

  • Selecting Cole Scholars from students at Oberlin College with high academic performance and a demonstrated interest in electoral politics
  • Training Cole Scholars in the academic literatures of campaigns and elections
  • Supporting Cole Scholars financially and professionally in field placements for eight weeks during the summer
  • Requiring that Cole Scholars use their field placement experiences to test theories from the academic literature
  • Supporting Cole Scholars in continuing their skill building through activities on campus and by partial support for their attendance at relevant conferences


  • Supporting alumni who are considering running for public office with modest cash allotments to attend campaign training sessions
  • Providing the means by which alumni can network and find like-minded activists in the world of campaigns and elections

Keynote Speakers

  • Inviting major speakers who have served in the public realm with distinction

Faculty Support

  • Supporting faculty in the development of courses and/or training in campaigns and elections

About Us

The Oberlin Initiative in Electoral Politics (OIEP) is a non-partisan program that encourages Oberlin graduates to run for and serve in public office.