SU Piano – The Piano Technician’s Verdict

Yesterday I took our piano technician over to the Student Union to assess the damage to the piano.  Although I had previously taken a look at the damage, my heart broke again when I comprehended the brute force it took to destroy the instrument, and yes, it is destroyed…beyond repair. The damage done:

All 69 dampers were ripped off.  The dampers sit on stiff wires that are very difficult to break. Several keys had the white coverings pulled off. The fallboard (the solid piece of wood that covers the keys) was split in two.

Letter: Beyond “Fucking Shit Up”

At Nü Reed, self-reliance is no longer the defining characteristic of the Reed experience outside the classroom. Nü Reed is certainly a friendlier, more forgiving place than Olde Reed, but there is also a vague feeling that something has been lost, that Reed isn’t quite the college of distinction it once was. Reed has not lost something so much as forgotten it. In its transition from a rebellious pressure-cooker to a respectable institution of higher learning Reed has forgotten the value of self-reliance. Because student body autonomy is so tightly intertwined with principled self-reliance (in some ways, the former is the expression of the latter), the disremembering of self-reliance endangers student body autonomy.

Sustainability: Honor that Endures

By Fossil Free Reed

Last Saturday four Reedies took to the roof of the PAB with a message for their community. The students and their banner remained on the roof for 40 minutes until negotiations with the CSOs came to a dead end. At the behest of the students, the CSOs made phone calls to request additional time on the building. After instructions to leave the roof became more stern, the students decided to descend to keep the situation from escalating. “We painted a banner, walked in the PAB, rode the freight elevator to the roof and sat down with our message hanging over the front of the building.

Reed Student Advocates Letter

By Reed Student Advocates

If you’ve ever been angry about sexual assault at Reed, you’re not alone. Yes, despite the Reed community’s positive attitude toward upholding the Honor Principle, and for the most part practicing it in earnest, there are still members of our community who victimize others via sexual assault and other forms of emotional and/or physical violence. That these acts still happen on campus should anger any reasonable Reed community bystander, personal ally, survivor, or administrator, if not make them soberly aware that our community as a whole can and does fail to live up to the HP’s standards. Despite this, it may feel difficult, even paralyzing, to think of how to respond when a sexual assault effects–however directly or indirectly–our lives.  How should we position ourselves toward, define and prioritize the needs of those who have violated another’s psyche and/or body in addition to those who have been subject to this unjust treatment?

Letter: What Has Happened to Civility?

By Virginia Hancock, Professor of Music

I am very much troubled by two recent incidents that I fear show an unfortunate change in Reed culture.  They’re of very different levels of seriousness and their impact on the community, but I think similar in their disregard of what should be normal civilized behavior. First is the destruction of the SU piano.  It was a beautiful instrument with a long history of service to music theory classes; it lived for decades in Eliot 416, where it was played by generations of students and many faculty members before it was acquired by the student body last summer.  That someone could wantonly and thoughtlessly deprive many more students of the pleasure of playing and hearing it is a hideous act of mindless vandalism.  I hate to think that any Reed-connected person could be capable of such an act—but it looks as though someone is. Second is an experience I had yesterday morning  when I arrived at the front door of the new performing arts building.  I encountered a student (I assume a student from his age) who was putting out a cigarette on the pavement.  When he started to walk away without picking it up, I asked him if he intended to do so; he cursed me out with language that is certainly inappropriate to use with any stranger, let alone someone old enough to be his grandmother—although he did ultimately pick up the butt and take it away with him.  (There is in fact a cigarette disposal location within a few yards of where he stood.)  Yes, it was a minor incident and affected only me, but again it makes me sad that someone connected with Reed is capable of such uncivilized behavior.   Most Reedies are really good people and I would hope that there is no tolerance for this kind of thing.

An Open Letter to the Reed College Community

By Jack N. Levy ’65

I am writing with a question about how the Honor Code should apply to members of the Reed College community;  in this case my question specifically relates to an alumnus who was honored as a keynote speaker at the college’s centennial celebration,  and more recently elected to the Board of Trustees.  This alumnus, Richard Danzig, was a classmate of mine (class of 1965). I did not know him well.  I understand from other classmates that he was (and presumably is) a very bright and highly competitive person.  He has served as Secretary of the Navy and as a consultant on biowarfare to the Pentagon and to the Department of Homeland Security.

Letter: Transmisogyny Has No Place at Reed

Last week, an article called “Bathroom Confessional” ran in the Quest – opening with a brief description of a new California law allowing transgender students to use public bathrooms of their choice, denouncing it as eliminating a women’s safe space, and then proceeding to sing the praises of women’s bathrooms in creating a shared aspect of women’s culture – and I am absolutely baffled as to why. I’m baffled because this article fails to meet any proper standard for not only lack of blatant bigotry, but also argument quality, or even relevance to the Reed community as such. Its failure in making an argument becomes apparent within the first two paragraphs, which after describing the law make some leap of logic (counter to actual facts) that these bathrooms will now be entirely gender-neutral, while nowhere managing to explain how the subsequently- described horrors of removing all gendered bathrooms is actually related to said law. The reader is thus forced to assume either authorial incompetence, or filling in the leaps of logic that would require the argument to make sense, authorial transmisogyny. Because how else does one move from “trans people can use bathrooms congruent with their genders” to “women’s bathrooms are now gender-neutral and no longer safe spaces for women”?

Letter: Another Punny “Bathroom” Title

This was written in response to the original ‘Bathroom Confessional’ letter, not the revised version found here. Last week in the Quest, someone wrote an op-ed in opposition to California’s new trans rights law, advocating instead for “female-only bathrooms.” As a woman I have a huge problem with this. It has been suggested to me that last week’s article was an elaborate joke. If this is the case, feel free to stop reading here. Initially, I want to start with the assumption that I found most offensive: that trans women and girls are not women and girls.

Letter: What is Honor?

I want to instigate a community-wide discussion about what does the Honor Principle ‘really’ mean. This discussion should happen and needs to happen on the level of individuals and their peer groups. Our understanding of the Honor Principle cannot be a top-down procedure; nor should it be something as radically individualistic as the version found in the Honor Council Code. … the Honor Principle entrusts the responsibility of acting in accordance with one’s personal sense of right or wrong to each member of the Reed Community (Student Body Constitution, 1919)…

I am unsatisfied because of the chosen words, “personal sense.” What does it mean for me to have a “personal sense” of ethics and where is this “personal sense” coming from? Should we decide the meaning of the Honor Principle based on what each of us individually think is right?

Letter: Bathroom Confessional

These are my thoughts on women’s bathrooms.
There’s a trend towards all gender neutral bathrooms that I have a bit of a problem with. The reason is not that gender neutral bathrooms are dangerous or bad or scary; in fact, they’re necessary for all types of people who feel outside of any societally imposed gender or sex role. There should always be a gender neutral bathroom available at any school. That said, to eliminate female bathrooms as a space safe from men will have harmful repercussions. Looking back at my emotional middle school and high school years– and, come to think of it, even college– the bathroom was the scene of many cries, fights, tender moments of friendship, and kindness (usually in the form of a donated tampon).