The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Student Presidential Finalists Interviewers

The Quest sent questions to the students chosen to interview presidential candidates. Of the fifteen students that were picked, seven sent responses.

Molly Case ’12

Major and Hometown:

Economics major from Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Why you volunteered for the lottery:

I think that the Presidential position is one of enormous importance and influence at Reed, and I wanted to play a part in choosing who will hold that position next.

What you’re looking for in a President:

Someone who understands Reed institutionally but also as a group of individuals—this is a unique school and the person who leads it needs to show that they can do their job in a way that fosters our community.

One question you want to ask the finalists:

Will there still be apple cider in the President’s office on Halloween?

 

John Iselin ’14, Senate Representative

Major and Hometown:

Political Science major from Brooklyn, New York.

Why you volunteered to be a finalist interviewer:

I volunteered because there were clear and specific questions that I felt I wanted to ask, and that this was a meaningful process that I wanted to be involved with.

What you’re looking for in a President:

I am looking for an intelligent, resourceful individual who has a nuanced understanding of the Honor Principle, respect for the Reed system of multi-group government (faculty, students, administration) and above all supports the singular academic focus of Reed College.

One question you want to ask the finalists:

I plan to ask about student autonomy and student involvement in the management of Reed College. Beyond this (an issue close to my heart) I am curious about there envisioned interactions with the Student Body on a more regular basis, and about their perception of the Honor Principle.

 

Samuel Law ’14

Major:

Anthropology

Why you volunteered for the lottery:

I volunteered to be an interviewer because I believe that the President of a college has great power over the future direction of the college and I wanted to have a say in choosing that President.

What you’re looking for in a President:

I am looking for a President who has a strong commitment to social and environmental justice, searches and enacts possibilities outside of dominant models in our culture, and believes strongly in the importance and liberatory potential of the life of the mind.

One question you want to ask the finalists:

I will ask the President about their previous experience with social justice and anti-oppression work and how they see their own identity connecting to such issues.

 

Charlie Mitchell ’15

Major:

Philosophy

Why you volunteered for the lottery:

I volunteered because it seemed like an interesting opportunity.

What you’re looking for in a President:

I’m looking for a lot of things, though primarily I want to focus on her or his own thoughts on the violences of power structures.

One question you want to ask the finalists:

“What’s YOUR take on Vietnam?”

 

Liz Montgomery ’12, Honor Council Representative

Major:

Biology

Why you volunteered to be a finalist interviewer:

I want to help represent the Student Body and the Honor Council so that the students have more of a voice in the decision of who will  lead the college in the coming years. The office of the President is  an extremely important position, and I think that the relationships students are able to have with the President plays a large role in how well our school functions.

What you’re looking for in a President:

Being the unique institution that we are, I hope to find someone who will be a good fit for Reed, who will be able to interact well with all members of the community at the interpersonal, academic, and  institutional levels, and who will be able to help guide Reed College in the direction we want it to go.

One question you want to ask the finalists:

Based on your current knowledge and experience, how would you describe the Honor Principle, and how would you see yourself interacting with it as the President of Reed College?

 

Lilli Patore ’13, Jboard Representative

Major and hometown:

History major from San Francisco.

Why you volunteered to be a finalist interviewer:

I am one of the Judicial Board representatives.

What you’re looking for in a President:

I am looking for honesty, adaptability, and intelligence in a President.

One question you want to ask the finalists:

I am going to ask them what experience they think that they have had that will give them insight into upholding, altering, or changing Judicial Board recommendations. Do they see sanctions as restorative or punitive in nature?

 

Michael Zhao ’14

Major:

Math-Econ

Why you volunteered for the lottery:

What impresses me most about Reed is the independence of our Student Body and our willingness to assert ourselves.

What you’re looking for in a President:

The most important lesson that I’m learning at Reed is that I should be willing to stand up for what I think is right, but with the knowledge that I could be proven wrong at any moment. I say “learning” because it is an ongoing process, one that I hope our next President is willing to partake in. There is a fine balance between being principled and having one’s head up one’s ass and I hope they can strike it.

One question you want to ask the finalists:

What do you see as your role in our community? The President should understand that being Reed’s President is about more than achieving tangible goals set by the board of trustees. I hope that they don’t see themselves as above any other member of our community regardless of their position in the institutional hierarchy.

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