Fracas in Foster is Reminder of Proper Guest-Host Relationship
Residents of Foster I woke up on Labor Day to a nasty surprise. Chicken and refried beans were smeared on the walls, bleach powder was coated on the floor, and various uncouth phrases, including “Where da crack at?,” were sharpied on the refrigerator. It soon became apparent that a group of three non-Reedie visitors, who were not invited on campus by a Reed student, were to blame.
As the story goes, a resident of Foster I was having a friend stay over for a few days as the friend travelled across the country. The resident went through the proper procedure to make sure that the community was okay with his guest: He asked around to a couple of his neighbors, who didn’t mind, and also cleared it with his HA, Adam Casey ‘14. However, when his guest went into downtown Portland that weekend, he met two males and a female, whom he invited back to campus “to party.” The actual resident of Foster I was not present, but at a physics study session, and unaware of what was going on.
The four non-Reedies returned to Foster at approximately 3 AM, where they proceeded to wreak havoc in the hallways and common rooms. Casey bravely confronted the no-goodniks and managed to convince them to leave the school grounds. Of the incident, he said, “There were some mistakes made, but, above all, no one at Reed is really at fault.”
Such an incident is unfortunate, but not unheard of in the Reed community. Vagrants, urban campers, and other various people-of-the-streets have found an accepting community in Reed common rooms over the years. In most cases, however, they are not so much a destructive force as they are unsettling to the residents.
While the Honor Principle is central to the Reed community, it is also a code that will almost always be unfamiliar to guests. “As for how guests interact with the Honor Principle, my opinion is that the person who invites a guest is responsible for that person’s behavior–and for letting guests know the way things need to go at Reed, Director of Community Safety Gary Granger said. “We allow access to most areas on campus to people without much restriction, but that assumes that they don’t disrupt our community.”
Casey made a statement about how such incidents can be prevented, saying, “Make sure that guests understand the guidelines of the community and what is expected of them. We want them to enjoy their stay at Reed, but not at the community’s expense. If guests do not honor the guidelines, or the community begins to feel unsettled by their behavior, get in contact with an HA, RD, and/or a CSO. If they threaten the community or make people feel unsafe, a CSO should be called immediately to escort them off campus.”
“It really is quite simple,” Sean Cohan ‘16 said, “If people are smearing beans on your walls, do something about it. If there is no one smearing beans on your walls, continue with your usual activities.”