The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

After Absence, Student Handbook Makes Online Debut

At a school as overwhelming as Reed, many wish there was a guide for it. Such students need despair no longer: After a yearlong hiatus, Reed’s missing Student Body Handbook is back.

The Reed Student Body Handbook contains articles on local restaurants, information on prospective majors, advice on safe drug usage, and an overview of the college’s history. Thin copies of 1950’s handbooks can still be found in the school archives. Traditionally, freshmen would receive a printed copy of that year’s handbook at the beginning of their orientation week.

However, last year those appointed to edit and print the handbook did not complete it until the end of school year. “I was pretty disappointed.” says Annam Swanson ’14, who edited this year’s Handbook along with Helen Spencer-Wallace ’14. “It was a pretty big part of my coming to Reed and I thought last year’s freshman class missed out on it.”

After being reminded of the unfinished handbook at a KRRC radio station party this summer, Swanson and Spencer-Wallace teamed up to finish the student handbook by the beginning of this school year. Meeting every week, they edited and updated the handbook using last year’s unfinished handbook as a guide as well as handbooks from decades past.

Students in different majors were invited to edit the articles specific to their major. Gary Granger was enlisted to ensure the accurate presentation of Reed’s new AOD and sexual assault policy. Sawyer Strode ‘14 rewrote the outdated article on being queer or transgender at Reed.

“I could not have done it by myself” Swanson says. “This is something you can use through all four years at Reed.”

The new handbook comes with some notable changes. This is the first year that the Student Handbook is only available in fully searchable .pdf form. Because the handbook is entirely digital, it was produced without any college funding or environmental impact.

The handbook’s editors have also made it available to those outside the freshman class, at For those interested in writing or formatting next year’s Student Body Handbook, the Appointments Committee will be sending out emails at the end of the year asking for student help. After an application and interview, students will be chosen to start organizing the handbook that will help incoming Reedies for years to come.

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