The Reed College Quest


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  • Education for the 21st Century, Part 2

    So, what can be done? Although Reed is currently far from the sort of progress its pedagogy must undertake—namely, the offering of an education that is at once critical, practical, and conscious of the dynamics of inequality, hierarchy, and oppression—there is reason to hope that we might attain this change sometime in the near future. […]

  • When I Go to 28th

    I’m a Reed graduate and former sex worker. I was a first-generation college student from a poor family, and Reed cost money that I didn’t have. In order to pursue a better life for myself, I chose to commodify my sexuality. I worked as an escort and professional dom/sub to support myself during my years […]

  • Essentializing 82nd Avenue

    Recently, the “82/28: Exploring 82nd Avenue” art installation prompted backlash from various sections of the Reed community. Articles in The Quest have testified to some problematic elements of the project, highlighting the potentially triggering nature of the material. Yet what worries us about the piece has little to do with its “lewd” nature or its […]

  • Education for the 21st Century, Part 1

    What do I mean when I say “education for the 21st century”? Am I talking about teaching advanced sciences, with the purpose of creating better technology? No, I’m not. Am I talking about an education that looks backwards, that is modeled on how things were taught in the past? Definitely not. I’m talking about education […]

  • Why We All Should Join the Million Student March

    This year, I swallowed my first dose of student loans. It was innocent enough — $3,500 in federal loans with fixed interest rates at or below 5%. But according to Reed’s financial aid formula, I’ll be asked to take on more and more loans each year, raising my predicted debt at the end of my […]

  • Art is Not Above Honor

    Some of you may know me as the person who has taken up a crusade against the student mural on the Reed Theater Annex. I have been working almost non-stop since I first noticed the provocative art to get it removed, and now I am asking for your help. I would like to explain my […]

  • Sculpture students address the changing cityscape

    82nd Avenue: the boundary of eastern Portland features schools, restaurants, groceries, and goods, scattered alongside strip clubs and used car lots. Far from the boutiques and small bars of the Inner Eastside and the commerce across the river, 82nd is a different kind of hub. On Thursday, October 29th, we bring our interpretations of 82nd […]

  • Honor Isn’t Incapable of Preventing Sexual Violence; It’s Essential to It

    Several community members at last week’s Senate meeting claimed the Honor Principle is incapable of preventing sexual assault. I am glad the community is actively discussing sexual assault prevention; however, I believe this claim rests on a flawed assumption about the Honor Principle. The Honor Principle, when viewed from a different perspective, is essential to […]

  • Deterrence is Not the Only Option

    One of the things that sets Reed apart from other colleges is Community Safety. Historically, the trust between students and Community Safety Officers (CSOs) has afforded a wide range of privileges to the student body while offering a true sense of safety. Many, if not all, CSOs genuinely care for their community, and several have […]

  • A Letter of Apology from Gary “Stranger Danger” Granger

    From Gary “Stranger Danger” Granger, Head of Community Safety AKA Minister of Mischief* To All Reed Community Members: It is I, Gary “Stranger Danger” Granger, and I would like to apologize for the racially charged remarks I made at the first Senate meeting this fall. Honor compels me to make this apology and I hope […]

  • Nigel Nicholson on Honorable Dialogue

    Dear Reed community, Many, if not most, of you are aware that one of our students prompted a heated debate on campus before spring break, and that the situation also precipitated public attention from social media as well as some mainstream media. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Reed cannot […]

  • Lost Accountability: Are Students Ignored by the Administration?

    I am disappointed. An inclusive institution requires a leadership capable of listening, discussing and addressing differing opinions especially if these positions are presented with respectful and polite means. Recently, our community, that is Reed, has gone through a difficult time regarding opposing views and the lack of regard to community members and their own personal […]

  • On Recent Events in Oklahoma

    Some members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity at the University of Oklahoma chanted the following words: “There will never be a nigger at SAE. There will never be a nigger at SAE. You can hang him from a tree. But he’ll never sign with me. There will never be a nigger at SAE.” […]

  • Protected Free Speech: A Guide for the Perplexed

    By now, most Reed students are probably acquainted with what has become this year’s Spring Crisis: Jeremiah True ’18 was permanently ejected from Pancho Savery’s Humanities 110 conference because, according to Savery, True’s actions in conference had engendered a hostile learning environment for survivors of sexual assault, and could no longer be tolerated. In a […]

  • “Corinthian 15” Student Debt Strike Is A Strike for All Students

    On Monday, February 23, 15 former students of the Corinthian College network announced that they are engaging in a debt strike and refusing to pay back their student loans. The students are part of “Debt Collective,” a spinoff of the Occupy movement that has been working to build an online community of Corinthian and other […]

  • What is a Healthy Relationship?

    “What does a healthy relationship look like?” asked one of my residents halfway through a healthy relationships workshop. As college campuses across the country (have been forced to) join the battle against sexual assault, discussions on intimate partner violence continue to take a back seat. When we do talk about abusive relationships we often focus […]

  • Honor at the Doyle Owl Fight

    Last semester, Honor Council held a forum for the community to discuss honorable behavior at owl fights. We received feedback, ideas, and concerns from both students and members of Community Safety, and after the forum, Gary Granger drafted a four-page interim directive proposing “guidelines for engaging groups regarding Doyle Owl crowds.” The student members of […]

  • A Proposal for Bon Appetit

    When you walk into Commons the first thing you approach is the menu, which sets you up facing away from the soup and salad and towards the dessert table. You then wend your way to the grill or daily planet or wherever your meal of choice is being served. Three out of the five hot […]

  • Letter: Senate Should Attend Upcoming Forum on Political Neutrality at Reed College

    The two-year-old student campaign for the divestment of fossil fuels is an issue for which the Student Body Senate should take some responsibility. The upcoming forum on political neutrality represents precisely such an opportunity. As fossil fuel emissions accelerate worldwide, the United States government continues to militate against the effective regulation of fossil fuel industry. […]

  • Fossil Free Reed Explores Alternative Means of Approaching Divestment

    The movement to divest university endowments from fossil fuel companies just got a booster shot in late December, when a new candidate for your year-end dollars came onto the scene: the Multi-School Fossil-Free Divestment Fund ( The fund, a collaborative initiative between sixteen university divestment campaigns, leverages the greatest power we as alumni supposedly hold: […]

  • I Will Not Be Giving You Trigger Warnings

    Unfettered expression is essential on a college campus, as it is for any writer’s freedom to say things others might not want to hear. Just as speakers must have the right to say the unsayable, so writers must be able to write the unthinkable, even the unmentionable, and to challenge the seemingly unchallengeable. Philip Roth […]

  • Using Trigger Warnings Should be a No Brainer

    Though the debate about trigger warnings (TWs) has been brewing throughout my four years at Reed — and I’d imagine it began long before I even applied — recently the discussion reached critical social media mass. Multiple comment threads on the Reed Facebook page, each hundreds of posts long, cast proponents of trigger warning use […]

  • There’s More to Graduating Than Wearing a Hat

    Reed College has an alumni problem. Granted, this is not the case with most of the alumni: the majority of Reed alumni are not a problem. In fact, they’re part of what makes Reed great: they help students out with career advice and internships, they stay in touch with friends even after they graduate, and […]

  • Why We’re Going to Divest From Fossil Fuels

    There is no question of whether or not Reed College will have to divest its endowment from fossil fuels. The only question is when. It is certain that in the coming decades, as the oceans rise, as famine and drought expand, as our cities sink beneath increasingly severe storms, as climate refugees number globally into […]

  • Using Your Outside Voice

    In November 2014, I had the privilege of attending the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) national conference, which was held in Portland and co-sponsored by Reed College and PSU. I went because I love the outdoors, I want to be an educator someday, and I am always looking for new perspectives on teaching. […]

  • There Are No Trigger Warnings in The Unconscious

    Over winter break, I posted an article on the Reed Facebook Group that sparked a vigorous debate about trigger warnings. Both sides were supremely confident of their positions, a fact that did not prove conducive to productive discussion. Students argued that warnings on syllabi would not detract from their education, would reduce the suffering of […]

  • Since when is respect too much to ask of Reed professors?

    Before I explain why I think content warnings are vital to creating a learning environment that is supportive of survivors of violence and other traumas, I want to define the change that I’m calling for. I see a content warning as consisting of two parts: advance notification that on X date, a topic will be […]

  • Trigger Warnings Are Just Another Form of Sheltering

    Trigger warning: you probably won’t agree with me. In the beautifully sensitive and secure bubble that is our school, trigger warnings have been just another thing that I have learned to hold my tongue about. While I am more than aware that traumatic events like rape, drug abuse and suicide can be particularly sensitive topics […]

  • Are Blanket Trigger Warnings What We Need?

    TW/CW: This article deals with graphic bodily harm I admit that trigger warnings were at the outer edges of my awareness as I surfed the internet during the last, idyllic months of high school. Then I came to Reed, where I quickly learned that trigger and content warnings were robustly present within Reed’s culture. I […]

  • Comments on recent discussion of staff policies and sexual harassment

    I want to thank the students who organized the sit-in and the forum last week. The events permitted the discussion of serious questions about how sexual harassment involving staff is handled at Reed. I am submitting this letter as an individual; these are my thoughts, and should not be misconstrued as an official statement. I […]

  • The Conception & Function of DiversIfY

    Systemic inequalities are entrenched in the administrative processes and policies haunting institutions in the United States; Reed College is no exception. Dispersed de juro segregation and little bureaucratic power mark the institutionalization of minority groups. The history of race, gender, and ethnic studies programs at Reed College follows similar patterns. Since 1968, students and faculty […]

  • Letter from President John Kroger

    Dear Reed Student Senate: Thanks to you and other community members for your thoughtful letters to me and others published in the Quest today. I very much appreciate your deep concern for the safety and well-being of community members. I think your letter and those of other community members raise, at the very least, three […]

  • Letter: How we can talk about #hum110takeover

    The last week of November proved to be a difficult time for the Reed Community. In light of events in Ferguson, many on campus were feeling anxious, restless, and unbearably tense. Nov. 24 and 25 saw staff and students from the Multicultural Resource Center, the Health and Counseling Center, the Black and African Student Union, […]

  • Letter: JOIN DiversIfY in the fight to bring RACE, ETHNIC, and GENDER STUDIES to Reed!

    JOIN DiversIfY in the fight to bring RACE, ETHNIC, and GENDER STUDIES to Reed! WE CALL TO ACTION members of the Reed College community in the ongoing struggle to erase systemized colonialism, gendered and racialized power structures, unconscious biases, and unequal representation. Academic institutions ought to fulfill an obligation to students. They must teach us […]

  • Letter: I Believe What I Want About This

    These are my thoughts, and mine only. I’m writing not as a representative of Senate, or the Admission Office, or anyone other than myself. These thoughts are also not sanitized, and not politically neutral. When I look at the definition of sexual harassment in the Discriminatory Harassment and Sexual Misconduct policy, it makes me feel […]

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