The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Student Arrest Sparks Outrage

More than your standard Senate Meeting.

Even the lofts of the Student Union were full Thursday night as many students expressed resentment about Community Safety’s actions.

The arrest of two Reed students on Monday, February 13 has sparked debate between the student body and the administration about the role of Community Safety in incidents involving drugs. The students were arrested at their Reed College Apartment after Community Safety Officers, who had searched the apartment after investigating a noise complaint, called the Portland Police in compliance with Reed’s memorandum of understanding, which requires Community Safety to report felonious drug crimes, with the Portland Police Bureau. The police seized “an estimated” two to three pounds of marijuana, a small amount of LSD and MDMA, scales, and packaging materials.

According to the PPB’s FlashAlert website, one of the students was charged with delivery of Marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of marijuana, possession of MDMA, and possession of LSD. He will face these charges in late February. The other student was charged with delivery of marijuana and possession of marijuana, and has petitioned to enter a drug treatment program. The students were evicted from their apartment but will be allowed to return to campus for their classes.

On Thursday, February 16, at least a hundred students and multiple community members attended a Senate meeting set up to address questions and concerns about Reed’s drug policy. A reporter from The Oregonian was denied entry to the Student Union, but interviewed students after the meeting. Gary Granger, Director of Community Safety, and Mike Brody, Dean of Student Services, were present to answer questions. While they refused to answer questions about the specific case, citing legal and privacy concerns, both emphasized that room searches don’t happen unless students repeatedly refuse to seek mediation or counseling after multiple AOD violations. “We will search residences when there’s an escalating pattern, and conversation and documentation of violations have not resulted in a change in behavior. The other times is when there’s an imminent risk to life or safety,” Granger explained. Students claimed that the arrested students received notification of the imminent search only minutes before it occurred. Brody and Granger repeatedly emphasized that the arrested students had failed repeatedly to respond to mediation attempts and that they had been warned failure to comply with AOD policy would result in a search, “without delay.”

Several students, including Renee Mekuria ’12, said that they feared that students will be less likely to contact CSOs about more serious drug problems after the arrests. “I think that students feel less safe expressing whether they know that there’s heroin on campus or not,” Mekuria said. In response, Brody stated that the foremost concern of Community Safety is the safety of students. “This incidence has no bearing on the safety of a student with a heroin problem,” he said. He added that he shared the concern that students might be more “reticent to call for help because of what just happened,” and emphasized that he was not equating drug use with distribution.
Other students felt that the arrests signified a liaison between Community Safety and PPB that alienated the Reed community. One student shouted, “You’re making them refugees on their own campus.” Another said he had been stopped multiple times by CSOs after being reported as a suspicious person. Jordan Jackson ’15 asked, “Do you consider yourself a part of this community, or a liaison to the police?” Granger disputed that the two were mutually exclusive, saying, “Having a liaison with the police department is what allows us to deal with every small crime on this campus as a campus issue. We will never be able to exist in a place where we are outside the purview of the Portland Police Bureau,” he explained. “It is not my priority to go out and find marijuana. It is my priority to keep the campus safe.” Asked by a student whether he thought smoking marijuana was dangerous, Brody said he thought the distribution and possession of drugs was inherently dangerous.

The discussion touched briefly on the memorandum of understanding between PPB and Reed that outlines their mutual responsibilities to each other. Reed’s website explains that “Community Safety refers major crimes to PPB, and collaborates in further investigation of these incidents, in accordance with a written memorandum of understanding with PPB.” However, students expressed frustration that a copy of the memorandum could only be found on a single blog after extensive searching.

The Quest obtained a copy of the memorandum in an email from Granger. The memorandum states, “PPB will support the Reed College Campus Safety Department by responding to felony drug crimes that occur on the campus… If there is evidence of a felony drug crime… the evidence will be turned over to the Portland Police Bureau for its disposition and possible arrest.”

Comments
70 Responses to “Student Arrest Sparks Outrage”
  1. Neil Banman '00 says:

    Did any students express support of the Administration’s actions at the February 16th meeting?

    I know only what’s been reported in Quest and the Oregonian, but it looks to me like the Administration’s actions were consistent with the AOD and entirely appropriate.

    Reed has long been far more reticent than most institutions to narc on its students , and I respect that. But regardless of the equity of drug laws, crimes are being committed. If the administration completely turns a blind eye, then the police will start dealing with drugs at Reed directly. The heroin deaths have certainly shifted the balance of power to the police.

    The administration has long been caught in the middle. Cut ‘em a break.

    • Kieran Hanrahan says:

      There is certainly a less vocal group of students who support the administration’s actions. They did not express their opinions during the meeting, except for applause at certain moments after Gary and Mike had spoken.

    • Gary G. says:

      Neil, long before I sent CSOs into ODB this year I sent notes to the RD, that were passed to the HAs and, presumably the residents, that CSOs were smelling and/or finding people smoking marijuana and I asked that the community do something about it. The community did not solve the problem. I took the same tack with multiple residence halls on campus last year and this. The results are that most of the places where I’ve taken this approach have solved the issue internally and we don’t do daily walkthroughs. A couple of communities have simply not responded (come by and take a look at this year’s map and I will explain in detail), and they left me with a list of poor choices: do nothing, keep asking, increase CSO presence . . . I can’t ignore persistent problems, and I’m not crazy, so we are where we are. When ODB goes two weeks without a documented violation, I will consult with the RD and consider stepping back. The community has all the control.

      As for why we patrol, it is not to find violations: it is to prevent them. Residents of ODB know we patrol multiple times a day, and they know why. CSOs are there in the hope that students will recognize that they need to make different choices about how they behave in the residences, so that we stop finding problems and can move on to other work.

      My response to the rhetorical question about telling students to stop or I’d call police was pure incredulity. Students shouldn’t have to be threatened with arrest in order to make honorable choices, nor should anyone (me included) have to resort to threats in order to be heard. I asked the young woman who read from an e-mail allegedly given to her by one student to read the whole thing–multiple times. She did not. Someone might want to find out why?

      I will make time to talk with anyone–and any small group–about these issues in a meaningful way.

      Thanks for engaging.

      Gary

      • Ruthanne Roussel says:

        Gary, as a long-ago Reed grad, I don’t have a dog in the current fight, but I am gosh-darn confused.

        If the problem was that some people were bothered by noise or smells, did these people who were bothered go to their noisy, smelly fellow students first to try to resolve the problem? In my day, we sure had noise issues in the dorms, and boy, those clove cigarettes were the stink bomb. Much worse than pot, or the occasional cigar, if you ask me. But we were expected to bang it out with the party creating the stink or noise before running crying to whatever administrative helpers existed then.

        We were expected to act like adults, not “kids.”

        We were next expected to go to our dorm parents if we couldn’t work things out between ourselves. Did this happen? If not, why not?

        I am just a little puzzled as to how this escalated to this point at all. Maybe everyone on campus has been banging drums and waving flares for months demanding that these two disruptive individuals clean up their act, but if so, that is not clear from the coverage here or in the Oregonian.

        Oh, and usually the complaint people have about drug dealers in my post-Reed life has been “People are coming and going from there at all hours,” not “It smells like pot over there sometimes.”

        • Anon. says:

          I don’t want people smoking anything in my dorm. If I lived in ODB, I’d be thankful for regular CSO patrols, given regular smoking/AOD violations. My dormies can smoke outside.

          The CSOs won’t call the police without first pursuing an honor case / mediation, as detailed in the article. The arrested students had warning.

          “Brody and Granger repeatedly emphasized that the arrested students had failed repeatedly to respond to mediation attempts and that they had been warned failure to comply with AOD policy would result in a search, ‘without delay.’”

          • Shawn Flanigan says:

            Regarding the 24-hour notice law (as per ORS 90.725), certain arrangements are legally excluded from applications of said law. Germane to this case in the Oregon Revised Statutes is the following exclusion: “Residence at an institution, public or private, if incidental to detention or the provision of medical, geriatric, educational, counseling, religious or similar service, but not including residence in off-campus nondormitory housing.” (ORS 90.110 section 1).

            Hope that clears up some confusion.

          • A couple of facts says:

            According to the RCRRRG, which is a legally binding document signed and agreed to (and thus presumably read and understood) by every student living in Reed housing, “…the college reserves the right to enter all rooms at any time. Entering may be used…to respond to or investigate substantial violations of the college’s Drug and Alcohol Policy…without notice.” (The ellipses are other situations in which the college can enter a room without notice, removed for brevity. Full text here: http://www.reed.edu/res_life/assets/files/2011-12%20RCRRRG.pdf)

            Also from the RCRRRG, “Smoking of any substance is prohibited in the residence halls or apartments. This includes smoking out of the windows while you are in the building. Smoking is not permitted on balconies.”

            Despite the fluidity of the Honor Principle, a dorm community actually doesn’t have the right to decide whether or not people can smoke inside, since as individuals they’ve all agreed that smoking is prohibited in their residences.

          • KC Lewis says:

            We also sign away our right to 24-hour notice in our housing contracts. Also, “no conceivable part of the universe is in any way improved by this patrolling”. Wow. That’s quite a statement to make. Maybe you don’t like regular CSO patrols, but not being able to conceive of anyone at all being comforted by them? That demonstrates a startling unwillingness to attempt to understand viewpoints different than your own.

      • Isaac says:

        Gary, it seems that you have a different understanding of the honor principle than was the general consensus when I was at Reed. You seem to think that going to the police is a natural step in the honor process. I never understood it to be so. If the students were acting dishonorably, why was this not dealt with through the honor process?

        In my opinion, it is dishonorable to bring forth the wrath of a corrupt, vicious and hypocritical criminal justice system when other alternatives exist. In this instance, I have seen no evidence that the students who were arrested presented an immediate threat to the Reed community. If so, the community should have been notified. If not, I do not see why it was necessary to have involved the police.

        • Anon. says:

          If the CSOs had not reported them to the Portland Police Bureau, and the PPB had found out, they would have reason to investigate all drug related incidents, however minor, on campus. The memorandum the CSOs have with the PPB is the lesser of two evils.

          • Ruthanne Roussel says:

            Well now we are improving our understanding. Is this “memorandum the CSOs have with the PPB” available somewhere where Isaac, others and I can see it? Will it be clear from this memorandum (I’m hoping someone here has read the thing) who negotiated and signed it?

            • KC Lewis says:

              http://blogs.reed.edu/community_safety/2010/09/police-on-campus-why-when-where-what-the-heck.html

              The memorandum of understanding is here, as well as a FAQ about police presence on campus.

              • Ruthanne Roussel says:

                This link is behind a passworded screen. I guess that if passwords are available to alums I could run around and get one, but it seems like something important enough that it should be out in public somewhere.

                • Kieran Hanrahan says:

                  MOU

                  Partnership Agreement

                  Introduction

                  This Partnership Agreement seeks to enhance public safety and the quality of life at Reed College by strengthening the working relationship between the college, its Community Safety staff, the Portland Police Bureau, the Multnomah County Neighborhood District Attorney’s Office, and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention office for Southeast Portland neighborhoods. While most issues of misconduct and other campus public safety issues are handled by the College’s Community Safety Department, Reed College acknowledges that there are occasionally issues in its community life that require the intervention and assistance of the Portland Police Bureau.

                  This agreement is meant to:

                  · foster clearer communication between the College administration and the Portland Police Bureau.

                  · anticipate and overcome potential barriers to cooperative action between the College and the Portland Police Bureau.

                  · suggest effective problem solving strategies, which can be supported by Reed College, the Portland Police Bureau, the Southeast Crime Prevention Office and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

                  Our hope is that a greater understanding of the perspectives held by each of the partners can illuminate opportunities for compromise and cooperation.

                  Recognizing the benefits to be received by each and to promote a safe and secure living and learning environment on and around the Reed College campus,

                  the Portland Police Bureau,

                  the Reed College, Community Safety Department

                  the Southeast Crime Prevention Program, and

                  the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office

                  agree to form a working partnership agreement in order to provide better services and to fulfill the purpose and goals of each organization.

                  The Reed College Community Safety Department, through its Director, will be the contact person and college agency for any and all issues related to this agreement. The Central Precinct Commander will appoint the Central Precinct Captain as the police contact person for the college. The intention of the agreement is to provide a seamless transition between the services and security responses provided by the Reed College Community Safety Department and the services of the local criminal justice system.

                  The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) agrees to the following:

                  1. When conducting a sensitive or confidential investigation, Portland Police Bureau personnel will not be required to contact the Reed College Community Safety Department. On all other occasions, Officers are strongly encouraged to contact the Reed College Community Safety Department as both a resource and a courtesy to the College.

                  2. The Central Precinct commander will place a “flag” on Reed College addresses (3) in the Computer Aided Dispatch system reflecting the direction noted above as well as how to locate the Community Safety office/personnel.

                  3. PPB will provide technical assistance to Reed College Community Safety Department when it is gathering evidence and investigating a felony property crime scene on the campus, such as but not limited to a burglary.

                  4. PPB will respond to and investigate all person-to-person felony crime scenes on the Reed College campus.

                  5. PPB will assist with dignitary protection operations when directed by the Chief of Police and based upon the existing policy of the Portland Police Bureau.

                  6. PPB will support the Reed College Campus Safety Department by responding to felony drug crimes that occur on the campus.

                  7. Unless it would compromise an ongoing investigation, PPB will provide the Reed College Community Safety Department upon request with information regarding any police action exercised by the Portland Police Bureau while on the College campus.

                  Reed College Community Safety agrees to the following:

                  1. Escort and provide assistance to the Portland Police Bureau whenever there is a need to have its personnel on the Reed College Campus in the performance of their duty as police officers.

                  2. Be responsible for patrolling and providing basic security service to the Reed College campus.

                  3. Interview crime victims and submit Portland Police Bureau incident reports for all property crimes and misdemeanor person-to-person crimes on campus that do not require immediate Portland Police Officer response to the telephone report unit (TRU).

                  4. Investigate all offenses that are simple [minor in possession of alcohol and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana] violations of Oregon law and refer such cases to the Office of Dean of Students for appropriate action.

                  5. When there is a “reason to believe” that violations of the college drug and alcohol policy are taking place in college residence halls, conduct room searches based on provisions outlined in the housing contract with students. If there is evidence of a felony drug crime, or weapons offense, the evidence will be turned over to the Portland Police Bureau for its disposition and possible arrest.

                  6. Make information regarding the Southeast Crime Prevention Program services available to students, particularly those living off campus.

                  7. Provide property engraving to students living on campus.

                  8. Turn over to the Portland Police Bureau any unlawfully possessed firearms or other weapons seized from persons on campus.

                  Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) Crime Prevention Program agrees to the following:

                  1. Upon request, provide members of the Reed College community residing in the Southeast Portland area a variety of crime prevention advice and information, including rental security inspections and information on a variety of topics ranging from personal safety, to preventing auto theft, to setting up a Campus Watch program in their neighborhood.

                  Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, through the Southeast District Neighborhood Deputy District Attorney, agrees to the following:

                  1. At the request of Reed College, provide training and answer questions for the Reed College Campus Safety Officers relating to criminal laws and their enforcement on the Reed College campus.

                  2. At the request of Reed College, facilitate the review of and monitor the outcome of any cases arising out of the arrests on the Reed College campus wherein Reed College is the victim or complainant.

                  3. At the request of Reed College, participate in problem solving with the Reed College Community Safety Department.

                  This agreement will be subject to review by all parties after a 3-year period.

      • Alex Walker says:

        Jordan, you appear to be saying that if something is not an Honor Principle violation (as considered by most students), the CSOs have no business interfering. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) Do you think that the Honor Principle replaces Reedies’ obligations under federal, state, and local law? In other words, do you think that federal, state, and local laws apply on Reed’s campus?

        • KC Lewis says:

          Reed doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If you find a school that does, I know some Physics majors who would be thrilled to hear about it.

        • Alex Walker says:

          So now we’re getting somewhere. If it’s the laws that are the problem, why not focus on changing them instead of trying to keep law enforcement to a minimum? That seems like a pretty backwards way of trying to solve a serious issue.

          • Isaac says:

            Why does it have to be one or the other?

          • KC Lewis says:

            What you’re talking about is a fantasy. When I went to Reed, the CSOs didn’t turn a blind eye to drug use at all. Public use was not allowed; drugs and paraphernalia were confiscated and destroyed if they were found in public. There weren’t AODs back then, but even those amount to a slap on the wrist unless one can’t take the hint and continues to accumulate them. The situation now is essentially the same; the CSOs, as always, are required by law and policy to address drug possession and use that they are made aware of. We cannot attempt to hide or protect illegal activities from law enforcement; to do so would jeopardize Reed’s ability to do provide what it is actually here to provide (and what most of us are paying it for), a high-quality education. I can’t speak to law enforcement policy in Dolores Park, but I imagine since it isn’t an educational institution and doesn’t rely on compliance with government policy to stay open as a park, there is considerably less internal or external pressure to combat drug use there. Whether or not you agree with it, the fact remains that Reed has been getting a lot of negative attention for its drug culture, and has had to do what it must to establish a working relationship with local law enforcement. With all the complaining that’s been going on, I still haven’t heard any viable alternatives beyond “c’mon, just look the other way.”

          • Alex Walker says:

            Two considerations: 1) lax enforcement is not a very sustainable condition, as we are seeing now; 2) an ungenerous reading of your comments would conclude that you’re only concerned with preserving our bubble of lax enforcement — who cares about the people who don’t go to our fancy private school? I guess they’ll just have to deal with the actual police. Too bad.

            • Jordan Horowitz says:

              You’re right, Alex– that is an ungenerous reading so I’m not quite sure why you’d feel the need to bring it up. “So, if I were to miss your point entirely, I might say…”

              KC — I remember seeing your name during my time here. I’m not talking about the mid-to-late-2000s. Enforcement has become more and more pronounced since I’ve been here and from what I hear from alumni, that’s a trend that’s been going on for some time. I can tell you for sure, without describing specific incidents or naming names, that enforcement was *much* more lax my freshman year.

              I’m going to bow out of this discussion because I don’t have anything else to say.

        • Esther says:

          When I was at Reed, I would have agreed with you. Over the years, however, I have treated so many Reed students for drug addiction related problems that I can no longer support this beautiful (and probably misguided) ideal. I didn’t believe in the “camel’s nose” theory of illegal drug use, but was proven wrong so many times that my heart is sore for those who are lost to the world, who died, who are in prison.

          People hurt others by dying of drug overdoses. They hurt others by getting carted off to the hospital for drug related psychosis. They hurt others by hurting themselves so publicly that they suck up community resources to deal with “individual choices.” Marijuana is NOT innocuous, it is an hallucinogen. People possibly subject to delusions or hallucinations are made worse by this. People in the Reed College age group are the ones who are most subject to the development of psychotic disorders. I don’t like the way that drug use is treated (or sadly f*cking undertreated) in this society, but after years of experience, I can say that Reed students are not magically immune to the negative effects of illegal drug use.

      • anon4 says:

        Is it not true that emails were sent to Macnaughton 3 that if they received another AOD that the Portland Police would be involved?

  2. JL '00 says:

    Two pounds is A LOT of pot. It is one thing to tolerate a little smoke in the air, but a large distribution like this has no place in any safe community. Granger has been keeping the peace at Reed for a long time and his judgement should be respected and appreciated. I am glad to see that this was taken seriously and I only hope that those young men find a better path and not squander the opportunities of a great education.

  3. E. Martin, '12 says:

    To amend:

    It was not two to three pounds of weed, according to the police report. It was much less. Someone needs to find & cite that, & finally release the correct amount.

    The apartment search was three days after the referenced noise complaint. The noise complaint was on Friday the 10th, the search was on the 13th. The emailed warning about having their apartment searched was sent (timestamped) one minute after the CSOs entered the apartment.

  4. Charles says:

    Looks like Reed is joining the real world with this issue. When I was there people suspected of this would be called into an administrators office and told not to do it. There were a few people whom everybody knew liked to sell pot, but there weren’t enough complaints to get the police involved. It sounds like the local, state and federal goverments forced their hand in this, to show that the campus isn’t an island with it’s own rules. But outrage is kind of silly. The college tended to treat students with kid gloves too often.

  5. Writing a petition and holding a meeting is not outrage, it is wholesale compliance with standard narratives of power. With attrition rates as low as they are and so many parents willing to pay full freight, Student Services can easily afford to flush 5% of the total student body each year. Which 5% would you expect them to pick? Dealers on campus create a huge liability for the college. Most of the student body supports the “war on drugs,” as much or more than their parents. Outrage, my fanny.

    • Kieran Hanrahan says:

      I think that many students present at the Senate meeting would unhesitatingly use the word “outrage” to describe their reaction to the arrests.

    • Perhaps it is semantics but “outrage” for me implies something more visceral, verging on the point of riot or other physical action. Umbrage, annoyance, objection and concern all seem more fitting words here: venting that essentially maintains and reinforces the status quo. Of course authorities will hold a meeting, and of course they will “listen,” and they may even create a blue-ribbon panel or a committee or a task force which (many months from now) will decide that they did just peachy, thank you very much. “The establishment” is similar everywhere and so things go on as before. Seeing the pattern more clearly helps one choose one’s points and focus the attention more clearly.

      As for how this supports the war on drugs? Through hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is the cornerstone of all such “moral crusades.” If drug laws and the AOD policy are wrong, they should be opposed from the very beginning and not just when those we know and those like us (or our friends and suppliers) are busted. By not opposing unjust laws and counter-productive policies at all times, we support them. Selective “outrage” works to create exceptions for a lucky or privileged few, while the larger system eats up and destroys the lives of other (demographic)s on a routine basis.

      If the AOD and larger “war on drugs” was bad on Tuesday, it was probably on Sunday, regardless of what happened Monday. Self-serving or selective umbrage does not help the larger cause of justice or good public policy.

      • charles says:

        You seem awfully opinionated about a drug and alcohol policy for someone who graduated in ’90. The administration obviously had to contend with outside pressure from the US attorney and local law enforcement. It’s no secret that the local government enforces marijuana, and other drug laws. I think it’s silly to think campus would be any different. (Though, I don’t know about the search. Normally, for this to happen someone would have to complain to the police and the police would have to get a warrant from a judge and then conduct the search.) At other colleges and universities the “community safety” is a police force. I think the administration wanted to burst the bubble like atmosphere the campus tended to have, but few other places do. If, for example, one decided to work or study in Tokyo they would be taking an even greater risk by violating those laws, and those two guys would probably still be trying to get bailed out of jail.

  6. virginia sullivan says:

    I have nothing but respect for most Reedies and Reed. Your present issue seems important on many levels and the comments I’ve read for the most part seem honest and thoughtful…….but some random thoughts everyone might mull over…What is happening in Syria is an ‘outrage’. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education when so many will be unemployed is an ‘outrage’. A young man of color just walking down the street and being asked to ‘turn out his pockets’ by police (legal in NYC) is an ‘outrage’.
    These issues are happening outside the Reed campus…they are important and they deserve as much passionate energy as is being given to whether someone in a private institution has the right to be protected when breaking a Federal, State or local law(no matter how stupid that law is). Just something to think about.

    • Kieran Hanrahan says:

      Virginia,
      While the headline is accurate—I think that many Reedies would describe their reaction as outrage—it does not
      necessarily represent the majority’s opinion. It isn’t clear how large a fraction of the student body supports, and how large a fraction opposes, actions taken by the administration.

  7. Ace says:

    The vocal minority is ‘outraged,’ perhaps. But I would hold that a greater portion of Reed students see little point in fighting an administration’s decision to uphold state and federal law, an administration that (take off the tinfoil hat) really does have the school’s best interests at heart. It’s no comment on the accused students’ worth as human beings to say they made stupid decisions and got caught and had absolutely no right to expect they could get away with distributing three pounds of pot from a college-owned dorm. Yes, it’s a nuanced debate, and no, we shouldn’t bow to the prevailing winds of public opinion. But I’m a little sick of coming off as a collective of entitled little shits because students think Reed should be exempt from the drug war because they so vociferously disagree with it. Our most important relationship as a community is that we have with our home, the city of Portland, Oregon, and whose laws we are expected to uphold as citizens.

  8. Sallust says:

    Just a note to say how saddened I am that this happened. Back in my day, Reed students would be forced to move off campus, or forced to take a leave of absence; they would not be saddled with a drug conviction for life. Were these kids acting dumb as posts? Yes. Can the overuse of marijuana sometimes trigger psychotic symptoms in those with latent problems? Yes. Does this mean that these students’ lives should be destroyed? NO.

    Back when I was a Reed student I knew two students well who dealt on the Reed campus: one was not, I thought, worthy of my friend who finally broke up with him, but is a taxpaying member of society now. The other, very organized, was a great housemate, even if sometimes a pain in the ass, and went on to graduate school where he has done great work. In absolutely no way would they, our society, or the Reed community have been better served by sending them to the police.

    Finally, I spoke with a Reed faculty member who taught one of these students; the student in question was difficult but brilliant. The faculty member saw this student going on, eventually, to do great things, if he could only get past some personal challenges. I hope the student does go on to do great things; Reed sure hasn’t helped make it easier for that to happen.

    • anon says:

      But why should Reedies get an out? What about poor kids who don’t have a community to vouch for their “brilliance”? The law should apply equally to all.

      • anon2 says:

        sallust – thank you. that was perfect.

        anon – drug laws are shitty, unfair and make the world a worse place. i hope we can agree on that much. if that’s the case, then how about we just don’t enforce them in enclosed communities that deal with their own problems? how about we deal with them in a way that’s sane and has an eye towards harm reduction and not punishment? the “but poor people get busted!” argument is a complete red herring and i’m so sick of hearing it. no one thinks reedies should be exempt from the law because they’re rich and smart; we think rather that we’re a semi-autonomous institution with our own “police” whose aim should be to serve, protect and keep us from harm, NOT subject us to the U.S. legal system, an inherently violent institution. if you don’t agree with that then you’re of the “just following orders” stripe and i don’t have to tell you which side you’d be on if this were germany in the 1930s.

        if you think i’m comparing this specific incident– the arrest of manny and roland– to the holocaust, i’m not. look at the larger picture, the war on drugs. look how much damage it does. in terms of loss of life and human rights violations, it’s also an atrocity and this incident contributed to it in its own small way. if your whole stance is “b-b-b-but… it’s the law!” get a grip, or better yet, get a conscience.

        • KC Lewis says:

          Wow, you full-on Godwin’d right off the bat. There’s a lot wrong with the way that you are making your argument (your last paragraph in particular is unnecessarily condescending), but for my part I would just like to point out one flaw in your argument:

          “we think rather that we’re a semi-autonomous institution with our own ‘police’ whose aim should be to serve, protect and keep us from harm, NOT subject us to the U.S. legal system, an inherently violent institution.”

          No, a lot of us do not think this, and if you think this then you are being willfully ignorant of the reality of our situation. The CSOs are not the police. There is a vast gulf legally speaking between the rights and responsibilities of the CSOs and those of the police. Furthermore, we are not by any stretch of the imagination an autonomous institution. As many people have mentioned before in this debate, we are reliant on federal funding for a large number of things, funding which could be threatened by us openly flouting the law. Even if we were not reliant on such funding, we would still be bound by state and federal law, because we still reside in this state and this country. This argument of selective autonomy infuriates me when conservatives make it, and it infuriates me when Reedies make it too. It’s easy to say you’re “autonomous” when you come across a law you don’t feel like obeying when you know that you’ll still have access to the various resources and protections of the government that you rail against.

          • anon2 says:

            i said “semi-autonomous.” you’re responding as if i said “totally autonomous.”

            look, KC. we have this agreement with the PPD already to report felonies but not misdemeanors. that’s… not exactly legal. if it is, it’s on a very fuzzy boundary between legality and illegality. for you to be consistent, you should be pressuring the school to get rid of that agreement and have CSOs report all misdemeanor drug crimes. would that be preferable to you? i’m genuinely curious.

            also, please answer these questions:

            1. say phish is playing madison square garden. the owners and operators of the arena realize that stopping people from smoking pot would be impossible, so they don’t even try, save for a few token arrests to make it look like they’re doing their job. would this infuriate you?

            2. same scenario, but it’s rainbow gathering. 30,000 hippies camping out in the woods. the forest rangers and local police know it’s a huge drug-fest but they just let it happen. would you stand up and demand police presence?

            3. kc, i’m not going to reveal my identity but i know you and i know that you liked to walk around naked when you went here. i’m pretty sure that’s illegal in oregon, and even if it isn’t, i’m sure cops would still force you to put pants on if you were out in public. are you sure reed isn’t a vacuum?

            i read your last sentence as: civil disobedience is wrong because the government gives us so much. can’t we just be happy with what they give us? correct me if i’m wrong.

            • KC Lewis says:

              Wow. Yes, you are wrong, on many points and in many ways, and I will do my best to correct you.

              1. Our agreement with PPB is not on the “fuzzy boundary between legality and illegality”. You pretty clearly have done no research on the legality of such an agreement, and have no reason to believe the legality is at all questionable, but it suits your argument to say so, so why not. Police departments are afforded a pretty broad amount of discretion as to the enforcement of misdemeanors.

              2. It doesn’t infuriate me when people smoke pot, it infuriates me when people are intellectually inconsistent. Though it does infuriate me somewhat when people listen to Phish.

              3. No, I wouldn’t demand police presence. Note that in none of my comments have I been demanding police presence on Reed campus. I have simply stated the necessity that Reed College (the institution) conform to certain federal and state laws in order to continue existing as it does.

              4. It’s arguably super-dishonorable for you to be making reference to my on-campus behavior in a public forum while hiding behind your anonymity, but I opened myself up to that when I chose to post here with my full name. I made that choice because I’m not ashamed to stand by my opinions, I’m not afraid to have other people’s perceptions of me colored by them, and I’m not going to be intimidated by people like you who would use that against me. So yes, I liked to walk around naked sometimes when I went to Reed, particularly on sunny days. First of all, no, that’s not illegal in Oregon, because Reed is private property (do you even understand what “the law” is?). But if the CSOs had asked me to put pants on because my nudity was against Reed’s policies, I would have done it.

              5. You read my last sentence as: “civil disobedience is wrong because the government gives us so much. can’t we just be happy with what they give us?” My last sentence actually read “It’s easy to say you’re “autonomous” when you come across a law you don’t feel like obeying when you know that you’ll still have access to the various resources and protections of the government that you rail against.” I recommend glasses. Also perhaps a new shift key.

            • Kieran Hanrahan says:

              Public nudity is legal in Oregon if it is for the purpose of protest. If one is naked on private property, it’s perfectly legal.

              I don’t find anonymity inherently dishonorable, but anonymous ad hominem attacks are just as bad as any ad hominem attacks. Refrain from making such attacks or your comments will be censored by The Quest Board.

              • KC Lewis says:

                Thank you for saying so. I should clarify that I don’t find anonymity dishonorable either, and believe that anyone should have the right to make their arguments anonymously without it detracting from the arguments themselves. However, it does seem wrong for me for them to then use others’ lack of anonymity against them. It strikes me as particularly hypocritical for someone who is arguing for the autonomy and privacy of the Reed Community to then discuss the behavior of fellow Reedies in a forum accessible to those outside that community.

                • Jon Gilbert, Queditor 2001, '03 says:

                  This is ridiculous. If they really had several pounds of weed, then they were being idiots and endangering themselves as well as others. There is a no guns on campus rule. People respect it. Now, if you’re keeping several pounds of weed around, you might as well have guns.

                  That kind of quantity begs the question of where it originated from, and from who. The people who sold it to them are likely to be the sort who pack heat. Further, keeping $10k plus in drugs inside an apartment also means there’s a much higher likelihood o being robbed, or worse. Less than a month ago, two men were arraigned in Portland for a September shooting and robbery in NE Portland in which they tried to steal marijuana from a home.

                  Look. CSOs cannot be expected to simply “handle” thousands of dollars worth in drugs without involving police. CSOs cannot be asked to risk getting themselves involved in situations in which violent retaliation could come at them. What if the drugs had been fronted to these kids, and the owners came looking for it, or for their $10 grand, etc.? That’s not a CSO’s job.

                  I’m pretty disappointed to hear that anyone enrolled at Reed would be STUPID enough to keep this kind of quantity on or off of campus! And even more disappointed that people at Reed are actually attacking the CSOs… instead of the moronic idiots who risked their whole academic career, ability to ever vote, personal freedom, and safety of their fellow community members by keeping mass distribution quantities in their freakin’ RCA. The CSOs just did their job!

                  Even with the heroin deaths, it wasn’t those kids’ fault that the shit on the streets is damn near 100% pure these days, and has caused an epidemic-level wave of deaths across the US, not to mention Russia and Europe, in the wake of NATO flooding the market with heroin to try to bankrupt the Taliban. I mean, one shot didn’t kill you back when it was 20% on the street, just six months before that.

                  But in this case, these students have no excuse not to have known better. The argument that felony-level laws should not apply inside the bubble is ridiculous. This is the same as people protesting if the CSOs turned over a rape case to police, or if they turned over a car theft to police, or any other major felony. I’m not sure why anyone who’s not committing felonies should now be worried about being handed over to the cops, although I can’t blame people for still being annoyed about it if indeed there is a more restrictive environment now at Reed than there used to be… back at Olde Reed…

                  • jojack says:

                    “Now, if you’re keeping several pounds of weed around, you might as well have guns.”
                    An unnecessarily hyperbolic and down-right ridiculous statement. And, more than my annoyance at your use of hyperbolic language, I am surprised that you would expect us to attack our fellow students rather than those who had them arrested. In short, your comment made you seem like a real jerk.

                    • Jon Gilbert, Queditor 2001, '03 says:

                      (A) I’m not being hyperbolic, I’m being blunt. Now you might not agree with my opinion, but that doesn’t make my opinion hyperbolic. It just means that you do not view the storing of several pounds of weed on campus in the same way I do. I’m not trying to be a jerk by pointing out that hey, these guys were takin a huge risk by keeping that much weed in an RCA. Maybe you don’t agree it’s as serious as if they’d been keeping a firearm there, but that is just because you don’t understand that in this very city a few months back, someone was shot during a home invasion robbery in which the target loot of the theives was several pounds of weed.

                      The danger of keeping a firearm is that someone might get shot with it. The danger of keeping $10,000 in weed is someone might get shot by a robber. Now you may not think it’s possible for this to happen at Reed, because you imagine that it’s impossible, or whatever. But unfortunately, it is fully possible, and those who are responsible for the safety of the community are not in a position to take that risk.

                      That said, the sheer fact that it’s a felony to possess that quantity of drugs is reason enough that CSOs would get uninvolved. Can you think of other felonies that they handle themselves instead of calling the police? Can you think of similar other security personnel like mall cops or security guards who handle felony-level enforcement without involving police?

                      Also, (B), I did not say that I expect Reed students to attack other students. I said I’m disappointed they are attacking the CSOs in this case. And if they were going to criticize someone in this instance, then criticize the idiot students who jeopardized their academic careers over some stupid weed. Because what were they thinking? Seriously. Stupid.

                      Now you can call me a jerk if you want to; but I’m no fan of drug laws, or of getting arrested, or of students getting arrested, etc. However anyone blaming the CSOs or the administration for this needs to rethink their ethics. Do not put the blame on anyone’s shoulders other than on the shoulders of those who committed the crime itself, which in this case is (allegedly) these students. Had they not done that, then this would not have happened. It’s not the CSOs fault, since they were just doing their job. They are not obligated in any way to overlook felonies-in-progress and just ignore it or deal with a potentially dangerous situation themselves.

        • anon says:

          No, it’s not a red herring. Regardless of what people think, we are exempt from the law (to the degree that we are, which, regardless of recent events, is a hell of a lot more than the average citizen) *because* of our wealth and privileged status. My stance isn’t “bbbut it’s the law!” I come from an economically disadvantaged family, I know (probably better than you) the deep injustices of our legal system. My stance is that, if we are going to have a law, it should apply equally to everyone regardless of class. You shouldn’t get an out because you’re a college student at an ‘enclosed’ private institution. Check up on how these students’ cases turn out, then compare them to the average poor black kid arrested for possession, and you’ll see how truly unjust the system is.

          And oh man, comparisons to the holocaust are so rarely appropriate. This isn’t the holocaust. We live in a democracy and, despite its flaws, the legal system can be changed. It’s much, much more likely to be changed, however, if the laws apply to *everyone* equally, like they’re supposed to. Instead of fighting for a better position on the food chain, how about we work towards fixing the system where it’s actually broken? How about fighting for the folks who will actually get serious jail time for these offenses? Funnily enough, none of the Reedies I’ve known who’ve been caught with distributable amounts of illegal substances have been put in jail. Others have not been so lucky. I’ve known a few Reedies who care deeply about these issues, but the majority of people who go around acting persecuted rarely put their words into action on behalf of those who are much more vulnerable.

          My argument here isn’t that the law should be obeyed just because it’s the law. I don’t agree with that. What I see as problematic is the fact that Reedies feel they should be exempt from the law solely because of their status (and, to repeat, the ability to have a private institution enclosed from society is very much a matter of privilege. Poor, especially minority, communities endure regular surveillance, for example). My question wasn’t intended to imply that Reedies should be targeted, but that *everyone* should be free from the drug laws. When you argue that Reed should be exempt, you’re not arguing for the benefit of all, but rather for the protection of a privileged few so long as the system exists. A better solution would to be to fight for legal equality across class lines in tandem with an end to the drug war. So long as the drug war exists, however, I want people of all walks of life persecuted equally. If the wealthy were *actually* put in jail on equal terms with the poor, the law would change.

      • anon2 says:

        okay, here’s an analogy.

        you have two children, chris and michael. chris represents poor people. michael represents rich people.

        you treat chris like absolute shit. to michael, you act as any loving parent should.

        is the way to correct this situation to start treating michael like shit?

        i rest my case, your honor.

        • anon says:

          You have two citizens, Chris and Michael. Chris gets completely oppressed, Michael gets sometimes-oppressed but has a few privileges that place him above the other. As a result of this, Michael doesn’t really see the oppressiveness of the system, doesn’t really fight for change (except for the *few* occasions when it personally touches him, when he is suddenly outraged). Obviously the goal is for Chris and Michael to be treated equally, but in order for this to happen, the system as a whole needs to change, and in order for the system to change, Michael needs to have just as much incentive as Chris.

          The ‘outrage’ here has not been aimed at fundamentally changing the system, but at protecting Reed’s privileged space. Giving certain groups privilege in the eyes of the law does not result in change, but rather invests those groups in the system. We think that we’re outraged — yet we aren’t marching for the end of the drug war, we’re yelling about our lack of protection. If Gary were to announce tomorrow that no AOD violations would be followed up on, I guarantee you the vast majority of Reedies would smoke up on campus in peace and would leave it at that. Which is fine, which is ideal (or it would be, if everyone were given the same privilege), but it doesn’t address the real underlying problem.

          One of the *central* mechanics of the war on drugs is how specifically targeted it is. I’m not arguing that the police should round up everyone who smokes pot tomorrow. I’m arguing that we, as well-educated and privileged individuals, should look beyond our own borders at how the system actually works, recognize our relatively-privileged place within that system, and then work to change it for the better. Arguing that Reedies should be exempt because we’re “brilliant” really does nothing but reinforce the fucked up system you’re supposedly fighting against.

          • Jon Gilbert, Queditor 2001, '03 says:

            Reed is not a privileged space! It’s just private property. And it’s a personal debt factory. After Reed, when I get pan-handled by bums asking for a dollar, I ask them for $150 to help with my student loan payments. They may have zero money, but I have negative money, and will for quite awhile.

            I rent a home, does it make me privileged? I have just as much freedom or more, while in my own home, than I did when I sat in the SU or strolled the Reed campus. Reed’s just bigger than my home. But it doesn’t have any more privilege than my house, unless going into massive debt is somehow a privilege.

            Look, people at this very moment are smoking weed in their homes and apartments all across Portland. Some are doing it in public parks. Some in hotels. Probably not the airport, though, or sadly, the SU. Also sadly, I’m not, but then, I like my lungs and my memory being in good shape.

            Reed is not privileged, and no one here can seriously argue that anyone should be exempt from felonies at Reed. People are just sour because they just hate it that CSOs confiscate drugs and don’t let you smoke weed out in the open like they used to, to where Reed is actually a lot more restricted and less privileged of a space than even a normal public park, or even the smoker’s patio at a Blazer’s game, where folks routinely blaze! Let alone anyone’s private back yard.

            And that’s because of the fear of liability. It’s because of laws that say if you are on private property that you do not own, then suddenly you are someone else’s responsibility. It’s because of the feds who decided that Reed itself was somehow partly responsible for heroin deaths, while ignoring the fact that the heroin on the streets is nearly pure and can instantly kill you now (which is really NATO’s and the US govt.’s fault due to flooding the market with heroin to bankrupt the Taliban, who retaliated by also flooding the market with heroin). It’s because people are annoyed that the CSO’s keep you from smoking weed in the open, even though by doing so, they create a paper trail that protects Reed from losing federal funding.

            Of course everyone knows that CSOs confiscating weed has no effect on its use, and people just go somewhere less visible and feel like they are being marginalized and criminalized in their own homes (which is how it is at any state university campus as well). CSO activity also has no effect on heroin purity levels nor NATO flooding the market with heroin. It doesn’t change the astronomical increase in heroin deaths in the USA in the past three years, nor that the deaths at Reed were statistically likely to happen as a part of that spike, caused by that purity and cheapness that come from a flooded market. It doesn’t change the fact that people being driven into hiding to do drugs could be the real reason the deaths happened.

            The reality is, CSOs are just doing their job. So is Diver. You can’t realistically expect them not to.

            Sure, we all pine for Olde Reed where people could be comfortable using recreational drugs in the open, where their honor-bound peers would keep them from overdosing or doing something stupid. Sure it was a much safer environment than this one, in which I must imagine people clustering into groups in the dark and murky Canyon, or hiding alone. Yet the cold, mechanical march of liability dredges onward, and encompasses more and more things with each passing year. And so institutions continue to protect themselves from it, and until some brave hero can defeat liability once and for all, it will continue to ravage the landscape of the America and the Resd we all once loved. Ahem. [/sarc]

            None of that changes the fact, however, that students should never be keeping felony levels of weed etc. Whether or not the campus us open or closed regarding drug use, or how the FBI forces Diver to enforce the drug policies, etc., nothing will ever make it OK for kids to have pounds of weed in their rooms, or to steal cars, rape people, or commit any other felony activity around campus. It’s that simple.

        • anonomouse says:

          essentially, your argument is “it’s the law. don’t break the law.”

          mine is “unjust laws should be flouted until they are overturned.” [see: http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

          it’s going to sound like i’m arguing that the plight of reedies not being able to smoke pot in the open is equivalent to the plight of southern blacks in the 1950s. i am claiming no such thing. i do, however, think ending the war on drugs today is as important as desegregating the south back then.

          enforcement is a dead-end. it does not stop people from doing drugs. it’s a ridiculous, harmful system that costs billions each year. to comply with the system is to feed it, to feed the world-wide destruction, loss of rights and loss of life it brings about.

          if you want to expand its reach, be my guest.

          • KC Lewis says:

            So, not only are your opponents Hitler, but you’re MLK now? If you think that ending the war on drugs is as important as desegregation, then you’re certainly entitled to that opinion. I would disagree. You also seem quite fond of misrepresenting your opponents’ opinions, setting them up as authoritarian strawmen. I don’t believe anyone here has come out in support of the war on drugs; the disagreement is simply over how to put an end to it, whether it is more effective to work to change the law or simply not obey it. You say, “unjust laws should be flouted until they are overturned”. I say, what’s to stop anyone from making that argument about anything they would like to do, like not paying taxes, or running a dogfighting ring, or hunting humans for sport? As is mentioned by an above commenter, it is one thing to flout the law while working to change it. But an environment in which students feel completely immune to the law tends to lead to complacency, not action. Furthermore, I never even argued “it’s the law. don’t break the law,” as you state. My argument is not that individuals should never break the law. My argument is that Reed, AS AN INSTITUTION, is bound to uphold it to a greater extent than any individual is.

          • Anon says:

            My argument has not ever been “don’t break the law.”

            Martin Luther King didn’t argue that a certain group of people should be able to gain equality as a result of their privileged status while the rest suffered. He broke the law knowingly and publicly and was put in jail for it. He broke the law in protest, and drew attention to the cause as a result. There’s a difference between refusing to obey an unjust law and demanding *protection* from it.

            And, no, the plight of reedies not being able to smoke pot is not at all comparable to Jim Crow in the South. You know what is comparable, though? The completely racist and classist ways these laws are implemented. An end to the war on drugs is important because of the way the war on drugs so frequently works as a new jim crow (forced labor, for example), and functions to keep specific groups of people in poverty/under surveillance.

            By all means break a law you don’t believe in — suffer the consequences just like those without the resources of a Reed student. Do it en masse. Show the country how fucked up the system is. Demanding that a specific group be protected while the rest suffer is not a means to this end, though.

  9. Peter Stockman says:

    As an alumnus (’77) and a Trustee I have a view that is informed by four years at Reed and at least two years engaged with the administration and faculty as they deal with drug and alcohol policy. These events do justify outrage. There should be general outrage that a very small number of students are so self-directed that they will engage in an activity (drug sales and distribution) that so damages Reed’s reputation. This damage is so costly in so many different ways: it prevents us from recruiting the best students, it hurts our ability to raise money for the endowment from the local business community and it demands huge amounts of time from our President, Dean of Students and other members of the Reed community which could be directed to better uses.

    The policy and implementation related to drugs has been developed with impeccable process. What is required of students and guidance relating to actions of Community Safety is clearly stated and transparent. Those students who feel “outrage” regarding these events need to adjust their expectations: the days when a very small number of students can consume Reed’s good name and endanger themselves and other student with little consequence are over….full stop.

    Peter Stockman

    • Ruthanne Roussel says:

      Peter, perhaps I’m just being obtuse, but I don’t feel very informed in this argument, despite being an alum (and despite having no recollection of drugs being openly used in public on campus in the early 1980′s, as some seem to think — I can’t speak for other decades). I have sympathy for your evident passion and sincerity, but little way of judging the merits of your position.

      Apparently there’s a “memorandum the CSOs have with the PPB” — is there a place alums can see this without going behind a passworded wall? Has the Oregonian seen it? Has Willy Week seen it? (I know, maybe it’s been all over the place for years and I am the only one who has not seen it.)

      Also, where can I have a look at this “AOD policy”? Again, I apologize if the whole world has seen it except me, but I bet I am not the only person who could use a reminder. I don’t remember any heads-up notices in Reed magazine to the effect that one was being drawn up.

      Thanks! Ruthanne

    • KC Lewis says:

      Thank you very much for your comments, Peter. I feel like yours is a perspective to which few in our community are ever directly exposed. Out of curiosity, do you have any recommendations for Reedies or Alumni who are curious about the perspectives of the trustees on issues such as this? Are there minutes of meetings available or anything like that? I am always curious to know more about these things.

      • Peter Stockman says:

        KC: I don’t know the answer to your question with certainty. I know minutes of the main Board meeting (which occurs on Saturday morning on “Board Weekends) are prepared because the minutes approved at each subsequent Board meeting. The content of these minutes relates to many topics which are necessarily confidential: for example matters relating to faculty tenure decisions and college personnel matters. For this reason my strong hypothesis is that the minutes cannot be be published. That being said, Reed is a place that is pretty transparent and very tightly controlled by a set of governance documents. These documents require the approval of the Board for many things and when these decision are made the activity of the Board on the matter is quite public: a change occurs. Many of these Board decisions have gotten previous approval from other governance bodies of the faculty and, in some cases I believe, the student body in advance of presentation to the Board. So, the questions at hand can be quite familiar.

    • Toby Sheppard Bloch (98) says:

      I’m curious as to why you choose to make villains of drug sellers and distributors without any reference to drug consumers. Eerily similar to societies wider war on drugs which has not been a public health or criminal success…if the Honor Principle has any bearing here Reedies who buy are just as culpable, no?

      • Jon Gilbert, Queditor 2001, '03 says:

        Toby: you can’t blame pot-smokers for the felony activities of some students. There will always be casual pot-smoking going on around campus — just as there is extra-prescriptional usage of other prescription drugs — but that does not necessitate the on-campus storage or transportation of felony quantities of weed, let alone multiple pounds.

  10. Peter Stockman says:

    And thanks, as well for the full-text.

  11. Sharon Toji says:

    I stumbled on this through a Linked In comment. More than fifty years ago, when I was at Reed, certainly things were much different. We didn’t have patrols, and I suppose didn’t need them. The honor principle was taken seriously and discussed seriously. I knew little of any activities that would have involved police, although there were discussions of experimental drug use. My closest brush was that the Les Squier called me in to ask me to room with a student during my senior year to provide her with some social connections and grounding. She purportedly was experimenting with mushrooms — which we heard a small circle was using in some sort of ceremonial fashion. She was considered in danger because she was obviously at least mildly psychotic — a brilliant literature student not quite connected with reality. I certainly was not asked to spy or to follow her, or to report on her — just to discuss literature and perhaps life with her, in a grounding fashion. I know that after graduating, she spent the rest of her life in a remote part of India.

    It’s saddening to know that there have been drug connected deaths, arrests, and that the police have come on campus. Portland thought we were strange, and sightseers were known to bring guests to campus on Sundays and point at us and the man who lived across the street once wrote a letter to the Quest accusing us of looking like unmade beds. Actually, we were more like flower children ahead of our time — what some called “upper bohemians,” the boys with beards and guitars and girls with long braids and peasant skirts, folk dancing and singing along with Pete Seeger about unions. We didn’t do drugs. We played scrabble in multiple languages and talked about whether Kafka really was talking about a cockroach or a transformation of the spirit.

    One grandson had his heart set on Reed but is at the special honors college at Portland State instead next year, because he could not get a large enough scholarship for Reed. Another wants to attend in four years. I recommend Reed to all the bright and unique young people I know. It is tragic that all the beautiful new buildings — luxury we never dreamed of and didn’t even know we needed — go with so much lost innocence. I hope you are able to come together as a community and solve this.

    Sharon Chapin Toji 1958

  12. Bruce McQuistan says:

    In the mid 70s, Dean of Students Jack Dudman used to work with dorm daddies and mommies to manage out of control drug use. And I think it was usually pretty soft peddled unless Dudman came in to the offenders and said “You have until X to fix this”. And I think people generally respected Dudman. I know of at least 1 instance in which the college overtly protected some students dealing weed at the time.
    At the time drug use was fairly obvious. People smoked on the steps of the SU, but it was not done in a really flagrant, confrontational way. It hadn’t become the Object it has now.

    But time only changes and so do the circumstances, polemics and paradigms. I know that during the 80s there was a big swing in drug management nationwide (thanks to Nancy Reagan). As a result, Reed was threatened with a lack of federal funding unles they created some more formal drug policy. So it became more formalized and, evidently, aggressive.

    I’m fairly confident that Reeds administration does what it can to manage the issue constructively and focus on academics rather than wasting cycles and resources policing people.

    I might take issue that Reed is not a priviliged space. It is a privileged space and like all privilieges, that comes with responsibilities and consequences. Isn’t that a cornerstone of the Honor Principle?

  13. Toby Sheppard Bloch (98) says:

    I’m having a hard time squaring the outrage over implementation of the AOD with the lack of candidates for Senate.

    Beyond that, it seems to me it’s time to have an honest conversation about the Honor Principle, which in my experience was rooted in self-restraint and peer adjudication. If the community has decided serious violations are best addressed by law enforcement, the Honor Principle has been compromised in important ways.

    While that troubles and disappoints me personally, I can accept that the community (and times) have changed–but let’s be honest about what’s happening.

    If the community would rather involve law enforcement that deal with things like this directly (ask student to leave campus housing, for example) then the Honor Principle ought be revised to reflect that.

    In fact, the train has left the station. Student apathy to self-governance has given way to an Administrative nanny state, more like a typical college or university than different.

    The Reed I love is a collection of intense misfits and outsiders. Outliers, iconoclasts and rebels who see and experience the world differently. The Honor Principle was always central to that identity.

    I’m not suggesting students should be able to do anything at all–just can’t believe there wasn’t a better solution to this incident than searching the room and calling Police. The MOU compromises the Honor Principle in critical ways, and ultimately compromises self governance at Reed broadly.

  14. Toby Sheppard Bloch (98) says:

    Rereading the account of the meeting…..Mike Brody is trying to have it both ways.

    “emphasized that he was not equating drug use with distribution.”

    Why not? Without use, there is no distribution. The stork doesn’t deliver drugs, you know. Chasing distribution off campus means users will be doing business with distributers from off campus…individuals who surely pose a greater threat to the safety and reputation of the community.

    • Jon Gilbert, Queditor 2001, '03 says:

      Toby: this wadn’t just distribution, this was large-scale distribution. And honestly, I’m sure that the administration is not trying to “chase it off-campus” — they’d prefer that students were not involved in felony-level activities no matter where they are located.

      That said, these kids wouldn’t have had their apartment searched by CSOs had they been smart enough to simply rent an apartment or house somewhere off-campus.

      Also, I think you are confusing “off-campus” with “non-community.” Just because someone is off-campus buying something — like beer at Safeway or liquor at the liquor store or Ritalin at Walgreens or a sack of weed from a class-mate who lives off-campus — that doesn’t mean they are exposing themselves to additional danger or buying something illegal from a non-Reedie.

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