Residence Life at Reed

Division of Student Services

Theme Communities

Living in a theme community is a great way to connect with other students, build community, and enhance your residential and learning experience at Reed.

Theme communities are centered on a variety of shared academic, cultural, and personal interests. Theme housing allows students with common interests and lifestyle preferences to live together and support each other through thoughtful engagement, informal interactions, and planned events.

There are two types of theme communities at Reed:

Theme Communities, most of which are located within portions of residence halls, rely on student Theme Coordinators to create a unique and engaging community for students with shared interests. Most themes are a mix of first-year students and returning Reedies. All themes are open to first-year students with the exception of the Co-Ops (Farm House & Garden House).

Language Houses are each staffed with a visiting language scholar and are organized by a student House Adviser who works with the Resident Director and academic department associated with the house's specific language to create a language and culture hub. Fluency or participation in the academic study of the language is not required, but demonstrated interest in conversing in and learning the language are required. Language Houses are not open to incoming first-year students, with the exception of Arabic House, which is located in Bragdon Hall on a wing of the second floor.

Returning students may submit a theme application during the Room Registration process. Applications will be available beginning February 16 and are due by February 25. Incoming students interested in living in a theme community can indicate a theme living preference on their housing application once it opens in May. 

Apply to live in a theme community (Returning Students)

Housing Application (Incoming Students)

Renew your theme (Theme Coordinators)

Theme Coordinator role and responsibilities

Current Themes

The Theme Housing Committee approved the following themes for the 2017-18 academic year. 

The Co-ops

(Farm and Garden House) Not open to incoming first-year students

The Co-ops are home to a total of seventeen returning students who choose to create an intentional community revolving around collective meals. We value consensus-based decision- making, teamwork, awareness of environmental impact, and sharing knowledge and skills. There is little distinction between the two houses, although Farm House houses 7 students and Garden House houses 10. While the Garden House has historically been the vegan Co-op, both Co-ops tend to eat vegetarian or vegan and current residents have a variety of dietary preferences. We always cook to the lowest common denominator to ensure that everyone is happily fed. Please note: The Co-ops are available only to returning students and involve a commitment of 4-6 hours a week. You can apply to live in both houses, but please state which house is your preference in your application, as well as any dietary restrictions!

For more information, contact Farm House Theme Coordinator Mary Snook (snookm@reed.edu) or Garden House Theme Coordinator Anton Zaytsev (anzaytsev@reed.edu).

GameDEV

(Naito III)

Have you ever wanted to design your own board game? Do you have aspirations of writing RPG plots? Our community is for anyone who loves games and has an interest in their design and development. Any sort of interests and skills you bring are welcome—this is not just a residence hall for hardcore gamers and strategy enthusiasts! Whether you're into computer games or card games, plot writing or programming, GameDev is a place to analyze and enjoy games of all sorts. Our weekly game night has included cooperative video games, showcasing our favorites, trying out board games from the Association of Reed Gamers, and an XCOM playthrough with characters representing all community members. But really, we pride ourselves on having a community outside of preset events - at any given time, you can walk into the common room and are very likely to find a game of Super Smash Brothers, Magic the Gathering, a discussion of Dungeons and Dragons plots, or playing one of the various games we have strewn around. We also host events around campus like larger Game Nights in the PAB. All creative thinkers welcome; no experience necessary.

For more information, contact Theme Coordinator Liam Dulany (dulanyl@reed.edu).

Mad Science

(Bragdon III)

If the words “For Science!” thrill your heart, you may belong here. Mad Sci is a close-knit community for all those who love science and want to live with others who love it too — whether that means late-night biochemistry study sessions, making liquid nitrogen ice cream, or just watching Doctor Who together. Anyone who wants to become part of this group of spontaneous, engaging, and generally awesome people need only walk into a common room and join the conversation!

For more information, contact Theme Coordinators Lorenzo Barrar (lorkbarra@reed.edu) and Sophie Bender (benders@reed.edu). 

Music Appreciation Society 

(MacNaughton I)

Music Appreciation Society is a collection of music lovers of all kinds and genres looking to share their passion for life and sound. We talk music, we listen to music, and we play music (all at reasonable levels and times, of course). We create a healthy and tight community of creative spirits, and host a free exchange of music and ideas. As a member of The Music Appreciation Society, you will have the opportunity to perform or participate in regular music shows and listening parties. We even have nice speakers in the common room. All members are encouraged to be active participants in the continuation of our theme culture, and rock in paradise.

For more information, contact Theme Coordinators Melanie Meredith (mmeredith@reed.edu) and Sierra Wilensky (wilenssi@reed.edu).

Students of Color (SOC) Community

(Naito I)

The Students of Color Community (SOCC) is an intentional living community for students of color from all backgrounds to heal together, explore our individual and shared cultures, and build a vibrant, loving community. We value equitable decision-making, connecting with local communities of color, and affirming individual identities in all of their complexity through sharing and growing together. We consider larger group interactions a necessity and will regularly host campus-wide events open to the greater community of students of color at Reed. If you have been searching for a supportive space to heal, dream, and interact with other students of color, please consider applying to live with us!

For more information, contact Theme Coordinator Raquel Diaz (diazra@reed.edu) and HA Tessa Verbal (tesverbal@reed.edu).

Tír na nÓg 

(Sullivan III)

Did you enjoy hanging out with the handful of nerds at your high school? Do you wish there were more of them? Tír na nÓg is the sci-fi/fantasy theme dorm, but in truth, it’s just the nerd theme dorm. If you want to spend your weekends playing in RPGs, arguing about world building, sharing your favorite fictional movies and books, or otherwise bonding over interests, both shared and newly developing, this is likely the dorm for you. The nÓg is a welcoming and close knit community, with an enthusiastic group of core members, that loves new people. Whether you’re well versed in all sorts of nerdy things, or just want to be, the nÓg is absolutely the right place to be.

“You just come along with me and have a good time. The Galaxy's a fun place. You'll need to have this fish in your ear.” ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

For more information, contact Theme Coordinators Piper Summers (rusummers@reed.edu) Kieran Sheldon (sheldoki@reed.edu).

Living Options

In addition to themes, the Substance-Free and Women's Floor living options are also available to all students. First-year students should familiarize themselves with the descriptions below and note their interest when submitting their housing preferences. Returning students who feel that living in one of these communities is essential to their academic success are encouraged to submit an application during the Room Registration process. Residence Life staff will review applications to ensure the students applying understand the purpose of the living option, and are willing to engage in collaboratively developing and then living by community norms.

Spaces in these communities are limited, and students for whom these specific types of living environments are not a necessity are asked to refrain from applying so as to leave space for others who need it.

Substance Free

(Aspen & Bidwell)

Generally, the Sub-Free community agrees to not consume tobacco, alcohol, and other substances in their residential community. At the beginning of the academic year, the House Advisers of Sub-Free guide the community members through establishing community norms. Community members are expected to uphold these community norms and have intentional conversations (guided by the Honor Principle) if they feel the norms are not being followed. 

Women’s Floor

(Sullivan I)

Women's Floor is a small, close-knit community of students that is accepting of individuals regardless of their assigned gender. This space is designed for those who identify as feminine-of-center. At the beginning of the academic year, the student House Adviser guides the community members through establishing community norms. Community members are expected to uphold these community norms and have intentional conversations (guided by the Honor Principle) if they feel the norms are not being followed. 

Questions? Need more information?

Please contact Theme Housing Committee advisors Sydney Spiller or Tim Kay for information about themes or Language Houses For information about Living Options, please contact Clea Taylor, Assistant Director of Housing Operations.

Connect With Us

Contact Us

res.life@reed.edu
503/777-7536
Fax: 503/517-7691
Office: 28 West,
5436 SE 28th Ave.