The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Reedies Root Through Garbage: This Time, It’s for the Environment

As part of a larger sustainability effort that has included an energy-savings contract and a curbside composting initiative, Reed College students have performed “trash autopsies” to help assess the waste habits of campus community members. The autopsies consist of investigators looking through trash cans to catalogue the types of waste being thrown away. The particular […]

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Community Safety to Unveil Pool Hall Smoking Sign

Last week, Vice President Ed McFarlane received a letter from the Multnomah County Department of Health. The Department of Health had received an anonymous complaint about smoking in the pool hall, which is illegal in any indoor area. This will add fuel to the fire that is the debate about smoking in the GCC pool […]

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Graffiti Struggle Raises Gender’s Ghost in GCC Bathrooms

With no easy solution to the ongoing struggle over graffiti in sight, students continue to mark up the walls in the lower-level GCC bathrooms. But between the two rooms, graffitiers’ approaches vary widely. In the left-hand room, which was a men’s room before the bathrooms were converted to gender-neutral status last year, the majority of […]

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Comedian Under Fire for “misogynistic, racist, and homophobic” Comments

Sal Rodriguez

Controversy roiled Saturday at a stand-up comedy show in the Student Union. During the set of comedian Sal Rodriguez, a student took the stage and grabbed the microphone from Rodriguez to criticize him for what she called his “blatantly misogynistic, racist, and homophobic” performance.

Debate has continued since the event, with a discussion and support group hosted by the Feminist Student Union on Monday, and discussion of a possible honor case against Rodriguez. Rodriguez, for his part, said via email, “I apologize for nothing.”

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CEP Captures Ecologically Damaging Canyon Kittens

Canyon Kittens

Students have eagerly adopted the numerous cats that live in the Canyon as a part of Reed lore, dubbing them “Canyon kittens,” but whether they’re a feline blessing or a grimalkin curse depends on who you ask. Canyon Specialist Zac Perry says that cats pose a threat to the health of the Canyon ecosystem. According […]

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Curbside Composting Comes to Reed

As part of an increased effort to move the campus towards more sustainable policies, Reed will begin to participate in the city’s public composting program. The curbside service will only apply to residents of the Birchwoods, Reed College Apartments, Garden and Farm Houses, and select Language Houses. Senator Marie Perez, whose Economics thesis investigates Portland’s […]

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Students and Administration Talk Graffiti

The issue of graffiti has captivated and frustrated members of the student body for the past two months. To address simmering tensions between students and the administration, Honor Council held an open forum on the place of graffiti on campus Wednesday afternoon. “The issue of graffiti has received a lot of attention recently,” said Alberta […]

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Commons Theft Ramps up at Semester’s End

Commons Line

Every day, approximately $100-200 of food is stolen from Commons. This is a recurring problem, and at the end of the semester, theft tends to be especially prevalent. One likely contributing factor is that students run out of board points, according to Vanessa van Staden, operations manager of Bon Appétit at Reed. “If the chef […]

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Villain Sells Chemistry Handouts to Course Hero: Website Offers Study Material, for a Fee

Members of the Chemistry department discovered early September that their class materials were being offered for sale on the academic assistance website Course Hero. These materials, which consisted primarily of course handouts and lecture slides, had been distributed to students enrolled in chemistry courses or posted to the Reed Chemistry webpage for download. Course Hero, […]

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Philip Metres Sings Abu Ghraib an Aria

When I first met Philip Metres, I was surprised by the ease with which he spoke of Abu Ghraib Arias, his heart-wrenching book of poems and winner of this year’s Arab American Book award for poetry. In the hours I spent listening to his experiences writing the book, however, I realized that this ease sprung […]

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A Firsthand Account of the Demise of the Toaster in Commons, or: What Really Happened

The culprit was asked for their account of the incident and agreed to give it on the condition that their anonymity be preserved. Said culprit will be referred to by the grammatically, though not politically, correct “he.” Any objections should be directed to the editors of The Quest. While the event occurred on Oct. 24, […]

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Mongol Invasion Victory in the SU

“INVASION” read the signs hung all about campus the week before Friday, November 9. At 7 PM that evening, about a hundred students gathered in the SU to celebrate Mongol customs, courtesy of a combined effort from the Chinese and Russian houses. In the first hour alone, the attendees ate an entire roast pig, hung […]

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“Salvation is just words too”: A Reading of As I Lay Dying

“Darl. Darl. Darl,” Lauren Nelson’s voice repeats as she stands on the altar in the chapel, dressed all in black, with glass encased tea candles burning down on the table beside her and Jimmy Curry IV, also all in black, looking on; it is a wake for Addie Bundren. Curry and Nelson, both freshmen, are […]

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Housing Justice Movement Sees Dedicated Local Support

Reedies, high school students, and other citizens of Portland were recently pepper-sprayed in two different protests addressing flaws in the US economic system. The students asked not to be named, due to potential legal action from the law enforcement. According to the press releases from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, in both instances the police […]

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Women’s Basketball Wins, in Spirit

The first women’s basketball game in recent memory was held last Friday, Nov. 2, in the gym. As the game against Pacific University was merely a scrimmage, official score could not be kept. However, Reed scored 4 points to Pacific’s 49 in the first half, and 9 to Pacific’s 51 in the second half. According […]

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PDX Opera Presents Magnificent Don Giovanni

Looking at the barren, monochrome stage or reading a plot synopsis detailing a slew of thoughtless sexual conquest won’t make Don Giovanni look like a rich production. Going to the Portland Opera’s production this weekend will change anyone’s mind. The superficial simplicity gives the show a special power. At any given moment the morality, genre, […]

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Students Celebrate Four More Years of Obama

John Iselin Election

Students camped out in Vollum Lounge on Tuesday night to watch the election unfold. It did not take long, however, for the outcome of the presidential election to be decided. At approximately 8:15 p.m. PST, the room erupted into applause. After winning Ohio, President Barack Obama won the presidency with 274 electoral votes; Romney had […]

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Reed Signs $5.4 Million Energy Efficiency Contract

Reed has signed a three-year $5.4 million energy efficiency contract with Ameresco Quantum, the energy efficiency company announced Wednesday. The effort is expected to reduce the college’s energy costs by $2.7 million over the next decade and annual carbon dioxide emissions by 1,202 metric tons, an eighth of the 9,500 metric tons Reed emits annually. […]

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Is Secularism an Obstacle in the Search for Truth?

Mary Poplin

Reed wears its atheism proudly, and, according to Reed’s own surveys of its incoming classes, has one of the most secular student bodies in the nation. “Radical secularism in our modern western culture is bankrupting the university,” said Mary Poplin, a professor of education at Claremont Graduate School. She went on to explain that the […]

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Senate Discusses Bike Theft

Junior Andrew Watson got a bike for his birthday last April—but he didn’t get to keep it long. He says the gift was recently stolen from behind Eliot Hall, where he had locked it. He is concerned that there is not enough to prevent thieves from stealing bikes on campus. “There’s no actual impetus for […]

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Residence Life Refuses Chicken Coop Proposal

Student efforts to add a chicken coop to the student garden adjacent to the Farm Co-op were shut down by Residence Life and Facilities Services. In their proposal to Residence Life, students who use the garden asked permission to purchase four adult hens and house them beside the student garden. Students intended the effort to […]

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Undocumented Journalist Tells Reed His Story

Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer-winning journalist and immigrant rights advocate, spoke in Kaul Auditorium on Oct. 24, sponsored by the Multicultural Resource Center. Vargas, who lived in the United States for almost 20 years as an undocumented immigrant, revealed his status in a controversial essay in The New York Times Magazine last year. Vargas last came […]

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Students Clash with Meghan McCain

Meghan McCain

Tensions rose at a Gray Fund event in Vollum Lecture Hall during questions between students and columnist, author, and blogger Meghan McCain. McCain, who writes for The Daily Beast and appears as a contributor on MSNBC, and is the daughter of Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, spoke at Reed Tuesday night promoting America, You Sexy Bitch: […]

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Senate Searches for Graffiti Wars Solution

Senate is seeking an olive branch between students and administrators in the ongoing struggle over campus graffiti. This fall semester has been marked by a conflict in which students repeatedly graffitied the gender-neutral bathrooms while administration repeatedly painted over the walls. The painting over of graffiti stopped for about a week just before fall break, […]

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Psychedelic Sounds Fire Up SU


Students listen to The Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka in the Student Union. Things got loud this weekend when two of indie rock’s biggest and most-loved bands descended upon the Student Union—in recording, that is. First, on Friday night, students had the opportunity to dance themselves clean at This Is Happening, a dance to LCD Soundsystem’s last […]

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Trustee John Gray Passes Away at 93

John Gray, Reed trustee and husband of the late Betty Gray, with whom he founded the Gray Fund, passed away on October 18. He was 93 years old when he died of cancer. Gray, a renowned Portland developer, sat on the Board of Trustees from 1961 to 2006, serving as chairman from 1967 to 1982. […]

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Roof Climbers Cost Reed $10,000

ODB Roof

In 1895 Cambridge student Geoffrey Winthrop Young published The Roof Climber’s Guide to Trinity, inadvertently inventing the sport of stegophily. Unknowingly following in his footsteps, students have been climbing on the rooftops of Reed buildings for years. Recently, Community Safety reports of stegophily have increased and roof climbers have done thousands of dollars in damage. […]

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Senate Beat: RD Patrols, Graffiti, and Sustainability

A new program in which residence directors walk through dorms caused a stir at last week’s Senate meeting. The program, which has had Resident Directors patrolling dorms between the hours of 10 PM and 2 AM on Friday and Saturday nights for the past couple weeks, is intended to help promote integration of RDs into the community. But it also allows RDs to write up students who are using illegal drugs or alcohol and pass the information on to Community Safety—essentially giving them to power to issue AOD violations.

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Proposal for the Repurposing of the Ministry of Propaganda

For background on this proposal, read the relevant Senate Beat. Sunset Clause: This proposal will be in the fall of 2013. If at that time it appears the Ministry of Propaganda is no longer needed, the Ministry shall be disbanded. The Reed community recognizes the challenges of maintaining a physical environment consistent with the values […]

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The Rocky Horror No Picture Show

A chorus of “START THE FUCKING MOVIE” signaled the start of each showing of The Rocky Horror No Picture Show last weekend. The production, which defined itself as “a different kind of thesis,” ran from October 4-6 at the Black Box Theatre on campus. Thesis candidate Tristan Nieto directed the Rocky Horror No Picture Show […]

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“Truth to Power” Graffito Fake; Administration Reconsidering Graffiti Policy

Alleged Kara Walker Graffiti

A piece of graffiti in the Gray Campus Center that claims to have been made by controversial artist Kara Walker is a forgery.

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Reed Senior Runs 27 Hours, Breaks Record

Ethan Linck

Ethan Linck ’13, a Biology major, joined an elite group of record holding distance runners when he ran the 93-mile Wonderland Trail on Sept. 28. Linck completed the course in 27 hours, 19 minutes, 19 seconds, besting the previous record of 28 hours, 50 minutes. The run was Linck’s second attempt at the Wonderland Trail, […]

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Youngest-Ever MacArthur “Genius” Fills Vollum

Vollum was bursting at the seams on Tuesday, October 2 as both Reed students and other Portland community members crammed into the lecture hall for artist Kara Walker’s highly-anticipated lecture as a guest for the Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors in the Arts series. Walker graduated with an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994 and became the youngest person ever to receive the MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 1997 at the age of 28. Both the lecture hall and the Vollum Lounge were so full that many were away due to lack of available seating.

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A Bright Day for the Canyon

Canyon Day Fall 2012

The sound of English Ivy being ripped from the ground mingled with jovial conversation in the north corner of the canyon on Saturday, October 6th. The discarded weeds fell into piles along with the nightshade, Himalayan blackberries, and other undesirables as the forces of good united for Fall Canyon Day. Around thirty students, faculty, staff, and […]

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Library Graced with Man and His Dulcimer

Melodic tunes waft through the air near the library, these days, courtesy of Portland resident John Harkwood playing his dulcimer. His large white poodle, Elvis Voltaire d’Artagnan, keeps him company. Although he mostly plays the guitar, as well as the mandolin, Harkwood picked up the dulcimer a few months ago, and has been coming to Reed this year to play. “It’s a research project to see how young people interact with old instruments,” Harkwood says.

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Students, Honor Council Discuss Future of Smoking

Students tired of walking through smoke on the way to the library gathered with smokers in the Student Union Thursday, Sept. 27 to discuss the future of smoking at Reed. Around 20 smokers and 8 non-smokers sat in a large couch circle to discuss how to smoke honorably at Reed and to gauge others opinions […]

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Reedies Find Solace in Calligraphy Revival

Over thirty Reed community members sat shoulder to shoulder in Vollum 120 last Thursday afternoon, carefully writing and rewriting the alphabet. Their instructor, Inga Dubay, projected her own handwriting onto a screen while she described how to form the lowercase letter “l.” “It’s like an ‘i,’ but longer. I always like to exhale when I do the down stroke,” she advised.

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The Kollektiv Unklad

Many young buttocks were displayed last week as freshmen streaked through campus, chanting the celebrated phrase, “We have no names, we’re part of the kollektiv!” Last Thursday night, RKSK initiated the freshmen, as it always does, with a lesson in group solidarity. The kollektiv’s first destination was Reed’s library, through which freshmen strolled more or […]

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Smoking Haven No Longer

Pool Hall Smoking

As smoking on campus has risen to prominence in campus dialogue, a first action has been taken in the pool hall. Smoking will no longer be allowed in the pool hall during tournaments, announced pool hall manager Wren Kominos-Marvell during the tournament the night of Thursday Sept. 27. CSOs will also be increasing their monitoring […]

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Dry Spell the Cause for Extended Sprinkler Use

“Well, it was a lovely, sunny afternoon,” reminisced Mark Angeles, ‘15, “I was leaning against a lamppost outside the library.” Angeles recalled having his laptop and a newly checked out library book right in front of him when he started to hear “a mysterious hissing noise,” right before he was shot full in the face […]

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Brommunity Safety: CSBros

Just who is Brommunity Safety, and what do they want? Surrounded by hotdogs and rootbeer supplied by members of the group, Director of Community Safety Gary Granger says one thing is certain: “They’re not mocking us.” Brommunity Safety is made up of “fans of community safety that want to help with community safety events,” says […]

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Ezra Klein Knocks Congress

Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein thinks a lot of things are terrible, foremost among which might be the United States Congress. He started his presentation last Friday with a graph that showed just where the approval rating of Congress – which is currently at about 9% – relation to many other events and institutions, like Nixon during Watergate, […]

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Linguist Traces Development of Spanish

The Spanish House’s common room provided a comfortable setting for Eva Núñez Méndez and her modest audience of Spanish aficionados–curious passersby from the exotic halls of Sequoia, ceseantes and seseantes from vibrant Buenos Aires, and your reportero from The Quest. Méndez, an associate professor of Spanish at Portland State University who earned a Ph.D. in […]

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Remembering Reed’s Presidents’ Areté

Muriel Wyatt started Reed College as a freshman in 1943. Her mother attended Reed under William Foster, Reed’s very first president, but dropped out during World War One to get married and attend secretarial school. When Wyatt’s mother moved to Corvallis, Oregon, with her husband and her growing family, President Foster made the trip down […]

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Judicial Board 2011-2012 Case Summaries

The Judicial Board is required by the J-Board Bylaws to send “a summary report, not violating confidentiality,” of the previous semester’s cases to The Quest. These are the belated case summaries from last fall and the summaries from last spring. —Editor Fall 2011  The Judicial Board adjudicated a complaint brought by a student against another […]

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Sustainability Committee Sits on $13,000

Though Reed’s Sustainability Committee has $13,000 in reserve, it does not have any plans to spend it. The committee, founded in the spring of 2009, has been “a dead horse” for much of its life, says Senator Marie Perez ’12, Senate liaison to the committee. The Sustainability Committee has not yet met this year, and […]

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“The Ultimate Prospie”

John Kroger Inauguration

President John Kroger was inaugurated with special gifts, a poetry reading, and many speeches last Friday, Sept. 21. He will be the fifteenth president of Reed College succeeding Colin Diver. The ceremony had a budget of $200,000, says treasurer Ed McFarlane, who estimates that it was slightly under budget. This included a fireworks show with […]

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Gray Squirrel Lives the Life of the Mind


A young and injured gray squirrel was thrust through a KRRC window by a man claiming to have ties to Reed on Monday, Sept. 19. Freshman David Satten-Lopez was told that, in exchange for caring for the squirrel, he would receive a free tattoo. For over two days, the squirrel attended class, studied on the […]

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Administration Frowns at Inaugural Drinking Game

While the school seemed charged with energy in the days preceding President John Kroger’s inauguration, a number of students just couldn’t get that excited about the event. That is, until a certain game helped them see inauguration through a new lens: the lens of cheap and poor-tasting alcohol. An “Inauguration Drinking Game,” which instructed participants […]

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Kroger Discusses Portland, Curriculum, and Drugs

John Kroger has demonstrated his ability to deliver a speech, but at the Kroger Forum Wednesday, Sept. 19 students got to know the president more personally in a session ahead of his inauguration. For an hour in the Vollum Lounge, Kroger opened himself up to any student questions. Of the fifteen or so attendees, one […]

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