Common Questions - Student Life

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What's the Reed community like?

Reed students are defined by a passion for learning and a spirit of independence. Students come to Reed from around the globe, bringing a diversity of viewpoints and backgrounds as well as openness to new experiences. The Reed community shares a desire for academic integrity and intellectual growth, and a collective interest in free expression and autonomy. Reed's intimate size (about 1,400 students) promotes substantial interaction among the students, faculty, and staff.

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What characteristics define the Reed student body?

Reed is committed to building a diverse community, providing intellectual challenges to all students, and encouraging critical thinking and original thought. Respectful social interaction among people with geographic, ethnic, economic, or ideological differences is paramount to the success of the entire community. Students who have identified an ethnic minority background account for 25 percent of the current enrollment. Geographic diversity is represented by the latest entering class from 39 states, the District of Columbia, and 14 countries. For the 2007-08 year, there are students from 43 countries, including Ghana, Romania, Singapore, and Brazil. In addition, 11 percent of the 2007 incoming class are the first members of their families to attend college.

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Where do students live?

Living in a residence hall on campus is a wonderful way to become a part of the Reed community. First-year students are guaranteed a space in the dorms, and nearly all of them take advantage of that opportunity. Housing for returning students is distributed by lottery. Each room on campus has its own phone line and Ethernet port. Dorms are co-ed with the exception of one all-women's floor. Theme dorms include a food co-op, a dorm for people interested in outdoor activities, a classics dorm, a film dorm, and a cat dorm. Other housing options for returning students include apartments (one- or two-bedroom) and language houses (Chinese, French, German, Russian, and Spanish). Reed has no fraternities or sororities, and the dorms are not segregated by class year. To facilitate the development of a strong community on campus, at least one student house adviser (HA) lives in each residence hall.

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How's the food?

Residence halls have kitchen facilities, but they're primarily for late night (or anytime!) snack attacks. All students who live in the residence halls are required to be on the board plan and eat in the "commons," the campus cafeteria. Meals are always prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients, special needs are accommodated, and there is plenty of variety, including vegetarian and vegan options.

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How does Reed address substance abuse?

In compliance with federal and state law, Reed community safety officers enforce college policies prohibiting the use and distribution of legally prohibited substances such as narcotic drugs, as well as the consumption of alcohol by persons younger than 21 years of age. In addition, Reed takes a comprehensive educational, medical, and therapeutic approach to students with drug and alcohol abuse problems. Reed encourages a frank and open dialogue about drug and alcohol abuse in hopes that students will recognize the inherent self-destructiveness of such behavior. When problems are identified, trained professionals work with students and their parents to find appropriate rehabilitative solutions. Violation of the premises of self-responsibility and community respect stipulated in the honor principle, which governs all members of the college community, are adjudicated by the college judicial board.

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What support services are available to my student?

Reed is a small school with a focus on serving its students. The student services office provides many support services for students attending Reed, including disability services, housing and residence life, health and counseling, academic support, financial aid, student activities, international student programs, community service, and the career center. The Reed community is committed to helping your son or daughter have a successful college experience.

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How safe is Reed?

Reed is situated in a safe, attractive, tree-lined residential neighborhood. Reed's community safety officers patrol the campus and the perimeter 24 hours a day, and alert the college community of incidents, either on campus or within a two-mile radius, that may be a threat to student safety. The small student body at Reed makes it easy for students to know each other well, so strangers on campus are generally very conspicuous and often identified immediately by students. Each dorm is accessible only to its residents. The "One Card" swipe system is used to enter campus buildings. If a student feels unsafe walking at night, community safety will provide an escort. A night bus is available to drive students to locations off campus between 10 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. That said, it is not unusual for students to walk or ride their bikes late at night to their dorms or off-campus housing, and to feel safe doing so.

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