On September 26, , students organized a boycott of all college operations in participation with the National Day of Boycott, a national day of protest which was proposed by actor Isaiah Washington on Twitter in response to the issue of police brutality against African-Americans. The primary demand concerned Reed's mandatory freshman Humanities course, proposing that the course either be changed to be more inclusive of world literature and classics or to be made not mandatory.
One element of the class deemed racist by the protestors was the use of the Steve Martin song "King Tut" in a discussion about cultural appropriation. In January , Humanities Chair professor Libby Drumm announced in a campus-wide email that the course curriculum would be restructured in response to student feedback as well as input from an external review committee composed of humanities faculty from other institutes, adopting a "four-module structure" that would include texts from the Americas and allow greater flexibility in the curriculum which would be integrated beginning fall The external review had not in fact been completed nor reviewed at the time of the announcement.
The Reed College campus was established on a tract of land in southeast Portland known in as Crystal Springs Farm, a part of the Ladd Estate, formed in the s from original land claims.
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The college's grounds include acres 0. Portland architect A. Doyle developed a plan, never implemented in full, modeled on the University of Oxford's St. John's College. The original campus buildings including the Library, the Old Dorm Block , and what is now the primary administration building, Eliot Hall are brick Tudor Gothic buildings in a style similar to Ivy League campuses. In contrast, the science section of campus, including the physics, biology, and psychology originally chemistry buildings, were designed in the Modernist style. The Psychology Building, completed in , was designed by Modernist architect Pietro Belluschi at the same time as his celebrated Equitable Building in downtown Portland.
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The campus and buildings have undergone several phases of growth, and there are now 21 academic and administrative buildings and 18 residence halls. Since , Reed's campus has expanded to include adjacent properties beyond its historic boundaries, such as the Birchwood Apartments complex and former medical administrative offices on either side of SE 28th Avenue, and the Parker House, across SE Woodstock from Prexy. At the same time the Willard House donated to Reed in , across from the college's main entrance at SE Woodstock and SE Reed College Place, was converted from faculty housing to administrative use.
Reed announced on July 13, , that it had purchased the Rivelli farm, a 1. Reed's "immediate plans for the acquired property include housing a small number of students in the former Rivelli home during the —08 academic year. Longer term, the college anticipates that it may seek to develop the northern portion of the property for additional student housing".
Reed houses students in 18 residence halls on campus and several college-owned houses and apartment buildings on or adjacent to campus. There are also theme residence halls including everything from substance-free living to Japanese culture to music to a dorm for students interested in outdoors activities hiking, climbing, bicycling, kayaking, skiing, etc.
Under the year Campus Master Plan adopted in , Foster-Scholz is scheduled to be demolished and replaced, and MacNaughton to be remodeled. At present, the College provides on-campus housing for students".
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In Spring , the College broke ground on the construction of a new quadrangle called the Grove with four new Leed certified residence halls Aspen, Sequoia, Sitka, Bidwell on the northwest side of the campus, which opened in Fall A new Spanish House residence was completed. Together, the five new residences added new beds. Reed also has off-campus housing. Many houses in the Woodstock and Eastmoreland Portland neighborhoods are traditionally rented to Reed students. On February 21, , Reed announced the construction of the "largest residence hall in its history.
The Reed College Canyon, a natural area and national wildlife preserve, bisects the campus, separating the academic buildings from many of the residence halls the so-called cross-canyon halls. Canyon Day, a tradition dating back to , is held twice a year. On Canyon Day students and Reed neighbors join canyon crew workers to spend a day helping with restoration efforts. A landmark of the campus, the Blue Bridge , spans the canyon. It attracted great architectural interest during its lifetime".
A new pedestrian and bicycle bridge spanning the canyon was opened in Fall Reed's Cooley Gallery is an internationally recognized contemporary art space located at the entrance to the Eric V. Hauser Memorial Library. It was established in as the result of a gift from Susan and Edward Cooley in honor of their late son. The gallery is currently under the directorship of Stephanie Snyder,  who succeeded founding director Susan Fillin-Yeh in The cafeteria, known simply as "Commons," has a reputation for ecologically sustainable food services.
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It is currently the only cafeteria on the small campus, with the exception of Caffe Circo formerly Caffe Paradiso , a small cafe on the other side of campus which also operated by board points. Scrounging is a long tradition at Reed College allowing students to offer unfinished Commons' food to students without board points from their trays as they are returned to be washed.
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These are the only campus dorms that are independent of the school's board plan. They traditionally throw an alternative "Thanksgiving" celebration that has sometimes included a square-dance. The Co-ops house students who purchase and prepare food together, sharing chores and conducting weekly, consensus-based meetings. It is a close community valuing sustainability, organic food, consensus-based decisions, self-government, music, and plants.
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In the Paradox opened a second coffee shop, dubbing it the "Paradox Lost" an allusion to John Milton 's Paradise Lost , at the southern end of the biology building, in the space commonly called the "Bio Fishbowl. The recent addition of a circus-themed mural to the cafe prompted a name change, and it now operates as Caffe Circo.
The official mascot of Reed is the griffin. In mythology, the griffin often pulled the chariot of the sun; in canto 32 of Dante 's Commedia the griffin is associated with the Tree of Knowledge. The griffin was featured on the coat-of-arms of founder Simeon Reed  and is now on the official seal of Reed College.
The official school color of Reed is Richmond Rose. The most common examples of "Richmond Rose" are the satin tapes securing the degree certificate inside a Reed College diploma. Reed students and alumni referred to themselves as "Reedites" in the early years of the college. It was a label that the Reed community claimed from critics during the s as a "tongue-in-cheek slogan" in reference to Reed's nonconformism. Reed's founding president William T. Foster's outspoken opposition against the entrance of the United States into World War I, as well as the college's support for feminism, its adherence to academic freedom i.
The faux Reed Seal has changed over the years. In its original form the griffin was holding a hammer and sickle in its paws. Later versions had the griffin wearing boxing gloves. The original Doyle Owl originally "House F Owl" after the dormitory named House F that later became Doyle dormitory was a garden sculpture from the neighborhood stolen by House F residents as a prank there is a photo of House F residents around the original owl that has been made into a T-shirt.
The on-campus folklore of events surrounding the Doyle Owl is sufficiently large that, in , a senior thesis was written on the topic of the Owl's oral history.
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The original Doyle Owl was destroyed many years ago; the current avatar is Doyle Owl number 13, plus or minus Each January, before the beginning of second-semester classes, the campus holds an interim period called Paideia drawn from the Greek, meaning 'education'. The classes are intended to be informal, yet intellectual activities free of the usual academic pressure endemic to Reed.
More structured classes such as martial arts seminars and mini-classes on obscure academic topics , tournaments, and film festivals round out the schedule, which is different every year. The objective of Paideia is not only to learn new possibly non-useful things, but to turn the tables on students and encourage them to teach.
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In his Stanford commencement lecture, Apple Inc. Renn Fayre is an annual three-day celebration with a different theme each year. Born in the s as an actual renaissance fair , it has long since lost all connection to anachronism and the Renaissance , although its name has persisted. The event is initiated by a procession of seniors throwing their thesis notes in a large bonfire after the completed theses are submitted.
Reed Arts Week is a week-long celebration of the arts at Reed. It features music, dance, film, creative writing, and the visual arts. The fee underwrites publication of the student newspaper and extracurricular activities, and partially supports the student union and ski cabin. The funding poll uses a voting system in which each organization provides a description that is ranked by each member of the student body with either 'top six,' 'approve,' 'no opinion,' 'disapprove,' or 'deep six.
The following day the senate makes decisions about each budget in a process called Funding Hell. The school's student-run newspaper, The Reed College Quest or simply the Quest, has been published since , and its radio station, KRRC has been broadcasting, with a few interruptions, since Although some that partner with outside groups such as Oxfam or Planned Parenthood are more structured, most organizations are highly informal.