Sallyportal: Madly Blogging Reed

Religion Major Named Rhodes Scholar

Rhodes Scholar Pema McLaughlin ’16 wrote their senior thesis on American Buddhism. Photo by Tom Humphrey

Religion major Pema M. McLaughlin ’16 was named a Rhodes Scholar on Sunday, becoming the 32nd Reed grad to win the prestigious award.

Pema compiled an impressive track record at Reed, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and winning the Class of ’21 Award for their senior thesis, “Pointing at the Moon,” which traced the development of Buddhism in America and posed deep questions about the nature and definition of religion.

Pema has also conducted research on Daoism, the Nation of Islam, and studied Chinese, history, humanities, and Japanese sword arts. Prof. Kambiz GhaneaBassiri [religion], who served as their thesis adviser, called Pema “an extraordinary student.”

Kroger Declares Reed a Sanctuary College

We steadfastly support all members of our community regardless of their immigration status.

President John R. Kroger today declared Reed to be a sanctuary college.

I hereby declare that Reed College is a sanctuary college for the purposes of immigration. We steadfastly support all members of our community regardless of their immigration status.

As a sanctuary college, Reed will not assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the investigation of the immigration status of our students, staff, or faculty absent a direct court order.

Reed Calls on Trump to Condemn Harassment, Hate

Reed has joined scores of other colleges around the nation to urge President-elect Donald Trump to condemn the episodes of harassment, hatred, and violence that have erupted on college campuses, including Reed, since the election.

President John R. Kroger signed on to an open letter to Trump that reads thus:

Dear President-elect Trump,

President Kroger Responds to Reedies Against Racism

On Wednesday, November 16, President Kroger responded formally to the demands of the student group, Reedies Against Racism. While discussion of the demands are fluid, we want to share with you his formal response and his follow up email to the community yesterday.

Lewis & Clark Students Issue Message of Support

In the wake of hate-filled graffiti discovered in the Hauser Library, we wanted to share this supportive message received from students at Lewis & Clark.

Dear Reed Student Body,

The Lewis & Clark community stands in solidarity with all of your students who today feel like targets of discrimination and violence. We stand with you in fighting and condemning any act of racial discrimination, sexism, homophobia, or anti-semitism that happens on your campus. Last year our community faced similar hardships. Prejudice​-​based violence continues to threaten students on our campuses. We must stand together to fight a climate of discrimination that is impacting individuals nationwide.

RIP Roger Hobbs ’11, Bestselling Novelist

Novelist Roger Hobbs streaked like a comet across the literary firmament. Leah Nash

Bestselling crime writer Roger Hobbs ’11, whose debut novel Ghostman became an international hit, died in Portland this week of a drug overdose. He was 28 years old.

A precocious storyteller, Hobbs demonstrated a passion and talent for writing even as a child. He streaked like a comet across the literary firmament, producing two thrillers that won numerous awards and critical acclaim.

He once described the experience of coming to Reed as “stepping into sunshine after four years in the dark. I could start fresh alongside hundreds of others who were ripe to shed their high school selves.”

Reed Rallies Against Hate

Prof. Kelly Chacón [chemistry] writes a message of support for students after hateful graffiti was discovered in the Hauser Library.

The Reed community came together Monday to stand against hatred and bigotry as hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and alumni converged in the lobby of the Hauser Library, which was the target of hateful vandals over the weekend.

Reedies wrote their own messages of love and support in a defiant response to the bigots. Penned on yellow sticky notes and posters, the messages sprouted through the lobby like daffodils after a winter storm. See a selection of notes, and add your own to the collection.

“We will not stand by silently when hate or bigotry occur,” read one.

In Response to Campus Graffiti Incident

Graffiti was found on Reed's campus late Saturday night. The college responded swiftly to remove the graffiti and the following email was sent to the campus community by the Dean of Institutional Diversity Mary James and VP of Student Services Mike Brody:

Dear Reed Community,

Members of the Reed staff were informed on Saturday night that racist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-semitic graffiti was found in the second and third floor library bathrooms. Maintenance crews were dispatched to removed it immediately. We do not know if the perpetrator was a member of the Reed community. Regardless of who committed this heinous act, such behavior is antithetical to Reed’s mission and values, and will not be tolerated. Anyone seeking to cause fear or harm to members of the Reed community should expect a vigorous response.

RAR Demands— November Progress Report

It has been over a month since several hundred Reed students, staff, and faculty participated in a day of events organized by students of color. Throughout the day on September 26, members of our community expressed their deep sorrow over black lives that have been lost, as well as their hope that Reed will do more not only to support our students of color, but also to make Reed truly inclusive as our campus becomes increasingly diverse.

As a culmination of the September 26 events, student organizers presented President John Kroger with a list of demands. The list includes more than twenty items ranging from enhanced financial aid and support services to ideas about potential changes to the curriculum.

Since September 27, staff and faculty have been engaged in a collaborative effort with students to address the demands. The following represents a summary of progress to date. This summary is not exhaustive, and it is important to understand that for some, and especially for some students of color, the pace of change remains a source of frustration. I do hope you find the following informative as we continue to do this important work.  

The Philosophy of Pain

Pain has deep philosophical implications, according to Prof. Troy Cross, especially when it comes to Hum 110.

Pain.

We all feel it. Most of us avoid it. Some of us dread it.

But as Prof. Troy Cross [philosophy] pointed out in a startling and memorable Hum 110 lecture on October 31, pain is a fundamental fact of existence that has deep philosophical implications for education and for the current debate over Hum 110.

Profs vote to accelerate Hum 110 review

In the interest of keeping colleagues, students and staff informed about events initiated by the Black Reedies Matter movement that have specific bearing on the Humanities 110 course, we would like to share the following.

1) In the spring of 2016, pursuant to SCAPP’s survey of student satisfaction with Hum 110 and its own survey of Hum 110 faculty opinions, the Hum 110 faculty charged two sub-committees to work on revisions to the Hum 110 syllabus over the course of the summer of 2016. The work of the first committee, proposing more explicit study of gender, class and race in the ancient world, will be presented to and discussed by the Hum 110 staff during the first week of November. The work of the second committee, proposing the addition of the study of Islam, will be presented to and discussed by the Hum 110 staff during the second week of November. In the short term, the staff is discussing changes to the spring syllabus (in no way intended to foreclose on long term solutions).

2) At the conclusion of an open meeting between the BRM student leaders, the Hum 110 faculty, and many concerned students in the Student Union on October 6th, it was agreed that a committee of at least six volunteer Hum 110 faculty and six volunteer BRM students would meet regularly to discuss the best process for Hum 110 syllabus revision. Meetings will start in the first week of November.

Oregon Biotech Leaders Descend on Reed

Looking to the Future: bioscience leaders seek to grow Oregon's bioscience landscape

Fall break is typically a quiet week at Reed: the rain has set in, many students have gone home, and others are holed up in the library and dorms getting caught up on coursework and sleep. But over break this year, more than 300 leaders in Oregon’s biotech industries convened at Reed to talk about topics ranging from lifesaving technologies to supporting diversity and inclusion, biomedical research, and investing in the Oregon bioscience field.

Campus became the hub of an annual effort to strategize and support the regional bioscience community, and many Reedies took part. The annual conference—Oregon Bio 2016—is not only a professional development and networking opportunity for the bioscience community, it's an important chance for industry professionals collectively to look to the future and set goals. Senator Ron Wyden addressed the conference, emphasizing the need for industry growth, enhancing Oregon's research climate, and attracting talent and companies to the state. 

Reed students, professors, alumni and staff also participated in the conference. Morgan Vague ’17, a biology major, was one of 10 researchers selected to participate in an opportunity called Research Fast Pitch. She competed against associate professors and PhD candidates with a timed, three-minute presentation about her research on plastic-eating bacteria. While she didn’t win, she was thrilled with the result of the experience: she drummed up interest and even potential funding offers for her work.

KRRC, Dirigible of the Airwaves, is Punctured

A trove of high-end audio equipment worth approximately $7,000 was reported stolen from the KRRC studio on October 13, 2016.

KRRC is the fiercely independent student-run radio station that has been broadcasting on-air (and now online) since 1954. It is entirely funded by the student senate and operates in facilities provided by Reed, namely the Student Union.

In response to the theft, the students set up a crowdfunding appeal to replace the stolen equipment, which included an iMac, mixers, turntables, and microphones. Generous alumni have stepped up to support the effort.

Spirited Debate Breaks Out Over Hum 110

Athena ponders the eternal question... is it time to update the Hum 110 syllabus?

In masterful fashion, Prof. Lena Lenček took the lectern last quarter and delivered a classic lecture on the ancient Greek poet Hesiod before an audience of 300 students in Hum 110. Ranging from the myth of Prometheus to the songs of Bob Dylan, Prof. Lencek zeroed in on the central issues posed by Hesiod’s epic Works and Days. Is toil a virtue? Are the gods just? Is it acceptable to use guile in pursuit of justice?

Sitting in the back of the lecture hall, I couldn’t help but marvel at her dazzling dissection. It reminded me of everything I loved about Hum 110 when I was a student in the ’80s, frantically scribbling notes and smoking Camels.

But times change, and Hum 110 has emerged as a campus flashpoint this semester. As racial tension in the United States has been ratcheted up by police shootings and ongoing racial inequalities, some students have called out Reed’s signature humanities course as an example of institutional racism. Following a campus demonstration last month, student critics have unfurled a lengthy catalogue of problems they perceive and proposals to fix them, such as this one printed on the front page of the Quest:

Prof. Paul Gronke: Just in Time for Early Voting

Paul Gronke  Early Voting Expert

Prof. Paul Gronke [poli sci]

As the last debate of the 2016 presidential election cycle approaches, we asked Professor of Political Science Paul Gronke, "what should we be looking for?"

Gronke strongly hopes the moderator Chris Wallace and candidate Hillary Clinton “push Trump on his accusations that the election is being rigged,” said Gronke. “His unfounded claims are threatening to the legitimacy of the system.”

Balls in the Air—Jugglers Converge on Reed

A focused performer gives the pins a spin at the Portland Juggling Festival Adam Brewer

It’s the ultimate balancing act. Poised ever-so-precisely on an overgrown skateboard that wobbles atop a rolling cylinder, Cate Great draws ooohs from the audience when she crowns her act with an eye-popping stunt—juggling no fewer than six balls while spinning in a circle.

Welcome to the 26th Portland Juggling Festival, a weekend of workshops, live shows, and community-building held at Reed College. Jugglers from around the world flock to the event, whose mission is not only entertainment but also education.

Since 1992, when the festival was founded, the highlight of each year is the Juggling and Vaudeville Extravaganza Show, featuring local professionals alongside national and international acts. Twelve acts graced the stage last week, with Anni Küpper from Bonn, Germany, bringing down the house with a dazzling performance art/juggling fusion.

Reed Run Raises Cash for Public Schools

More than six hundred dashing locomotorists took part in Reed’s annual 5K Fund Run, which raised more than $41,000 for local Portland public schools.

Undeterred by the gloomy sky, the runners set off from the Old Dorm Block, huffed and puffed their way up Woodstock Boulevard, recovered their breath on Cesar Chavez Avenue, and then raced back down Steele Street. All proceeds from the event went to local elementary schools Duniway, Grout, Lewis, Llewellyn, and Woodstock.

First across the finish line was Ethan Linck ’13, who posted the blazing time of 17:09. (The last time we wrote about Ethan, he set a record for circumnavigating Mount Rainier!)

Student Body President Apologizes for Email

Reed’s student body president has apologized for a mass email he sent to Reed students under an anti-Semitic subject line.

The student body president, who is a senior, sent the email at 10:55 p.m. on September 21, under the subject line “SB Info: Hasidic Jews are like the Jewish version of ISIS.”

The subject line was unrelated to the content of the email, a twice-weekly newsletter known as SB Info, which contains routine information about campus events and committee meetings. Indeed, it is not unusual for SB Info to carry surreal or nonsensical subject lines.

Protest Amplifies Discussion of Race on Campus

Student organizer Addison Bates ’18 leads protestors in a march across campus inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

A day of student protest inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement amplified the ongoing discussion about race on campus last week.

More than four hundred Reed students boycotted classes Monday and joined a campus demonstration to protest police brutality, black lives lost, and racial inequality in the wake of Isaiah Washington’s call for a nationwide boycott to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Students organized a peaceful but boisterous “Noize Parade,” complete with drums, kettles, pots, pans, and pails. Chanting “Black Lives Matter, Black Reedies Matter!” they marched through campus (briefly disrupting a Hum 110 lecture) before rallying in the Quad.

Reed Welcomes Two New Trustees

Reed recently welcomed two new trustees, Mo Copeland ’82 and Amy Madigan, who bring experience from the fields of science, education, and the performing arts.

Mo Copeland, who graduated from Reed with a B.A. in physics, has been an educator for more than 30 years. "I am thrilled to have an opportunity to give back and support Reed as an alumna trustee," she says. "I chose Reed as a school I knew would engage me in an intellectual conversation with fellow students and professors—and it did."

She is the head of the Oregon Episcopal School (OES), a private, preK-12 college preparatory school in Portland that has a boarding program for grades 9-12. Prior to her work at OES, she was the head of Saint George’s, a non-denominational K-12 school in Spokane, Washington, and she served as dean of faculty at Lakeside School in Seattle. Mo has extensive experience as a teacher of physics and math and has taught at the Moses Brown School in Rhode Island as well as the Putney School in Vermont. She has served on numerous advisory boards and accreditation committees such as the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools Board, where she was president from 2007-09. Mo’s husband Chris is a stay-at-home dad with an interest in book collection, and they have two children: Daniel, who graduated from Reed in 2011, and Nick, who graduated from Lewis and Clark. Mo served as an alumni admission volunteer at Reed for 22 years and says, "Reed holds a unique place in higher education in terms of its commitment to genuine, deep learning through engagement. I hope that by serving the school as a trustee, I can be a part of preserving that into the future."

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