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 intentionally designed living communities 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, are approved each year and rely on student Theme Coordinators to create a unique and engaging community for students with shared interests.

Language Houses, which make up a small group of houses on the southeast corner of campus, 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. Click here for information about Language House living options.

Apply to live in a theme community

Renew your theme (Theme Coordinators)

Theme Coordinator role and responsibilities

Current Themes

The Theme Housing Committee approved the following themes for the 2016-17 academic year:

Students of Color (SOC) Community (Canyon House)

Students of Color (SOC) Community is an intentional living community for returning students of color to heal together from systemic white supremacy, recover the parts of ourselves and our cultures that have been stolen through colonization, and dream new visions as we build vibrant, loving community together. We value equitable decision-making, connecting with local communities of color, and affirming individual identities in all of their complexity through sharing and remembering personal stories and collective histories. We center black and indigenous voices, as well as queer and gender-nonconforming voices. We consider mentorship a necessity and will regularly host campus-wide events open to the greater community of students of color at Reed, with particular emphasis on involving first-years. If you have been searching for a supportive space to heal, dream, and make ancestors smile by exploring how to dissolve patterns of domination in your relationships in order to become the beautiful relational being you are, please consider applying to live with us and join us for a community dinner in the coming weeks!

For more information, contact Will Carter ( 

Silver Screen (Foster I/Scholz II)

A themed community dedicated to the appreciation of the cinematic arts and the promotion of student­produced films at Reed. Silver Screen’s goals include fostering a community of cinema enthusiasts, educating and exposing members of the Reed community to the cinematic arts, and promoting the creation of student films at Reed College.

For more information, contact Ethan Sandweiss (

Returning Themes

Residence Life is pleased to welcome back the following themes and their traditions:

Music Appreciation Society (Chittick)

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, jam sessions, 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 Beadle Beadle ( and Melanie Meredith (

Random House (Old Dorm Block – Kerr)

Random House is the abode for the verbally inclined, the literature obsessed, the edification intrigued—the Reedie excited to read. Converse and live in a space not only occupied by peers excited to discuss literature and do some extracurricular exploration, but filled with the imaginations, opinions, and characters of great authors, poets, and essayists. Every month, the community votes on a book to read within a pre-determined genre or theme, followed by discussion and related activities, such as based-on-the-book film screenings, field trips, and the annual literary-themed, campus-wide dance. Previous genres and themes include science fiction, contemporary literature, horror, mystery, Shakespeare, young adult fiction, and Southern literature, and change from year to year.

For more information, contact Theme Coordinators Bailee Cruger ( and Claire Stevens (

The Co-ops (Garden House and Farm House)

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 Tara Borgilt ( or Garden House Theme Coordinator Gwynne Leavitt (

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 wants to get involved in actively developing them. Any sort of interests and skills you bring are welcome—this is not just a residence hall for coders and strategy enthusiasts! Whether you're into computer games or card games, plot writing or programming, GameDev offers a place to show your skills and teach others. In addition to designing and playtesting each others’ games, we’ll also be analyzing board games from the Association of Reed Gamers (and playing them lots, too!), holding talks with professional game developers, and hosting exciting campus-inclusive events, such as game jams. All creative thinkers welcome; no experience necessary.

For more information, contact Theme Coordinators Alex Abrahams (, Claire Berlinger (, and Miles Baker (

Mad Science (Woodbridge)

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 Patrick Bedard ( and Trevor Schlack (

Outhaüs (Naito I)

The Outhaüs is more than a residence hall. It is a family of Reedies interested in having fun in the great outdoors. It is a place where hikers, climbers, backpackers, cyclists, snow enthusiasts, kayakers, and anyone else with a passion for the outdoors can live together and get outside together often. All experience levels welcome, from beginner hikers to expert mountaineers!

For more information, contact Theme Coordinator Noah Truesdale (

Tír na nÓg - Land of the Young (Griffin and McKinley)

One Dorm to rule them all, One Dorm to find them,

One Dorm to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them,

In the land of Tír na nÓg where the shadows lie.

One does not simply walk into Mordor, but one can walk into Tír na nÓg. However, we can't guarantee that you'll ever want to leave. Here there be dragons, science fiction, fantasy, and a friendly community of nerd folk. This residence hall is about imagining, sharing, experiencing and telling tales from the distant future and far off realms. Come share your story with us. Welcome home!

For more information, contact Theme Coordinators Rudy Summers ( and Denis Ivanov (

More Living Options

In addition to these great themes, Residence Life offers the following living options. Residence Life may review these applications to ensure the students applying understand the purpose of the living option, and will be willing to engage in collaboratively developing and then living by community norms. Spaces in these communities that are not filled by applications may become available in the general housing lottery.

Substance Free (Sullivan II & Sullivan III)

As a sub-free community, this residence hall agrees to leave tobacco, alcohol, and other substances at the door. Full of a diverse array of people, a warm atmosphere, and lots of fun, Sub-Free might be your ideal community. 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.

Women’s Floor (Sequoia I & II)

This is an intentional, small, close-knit community of students that is accepting of individual 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 Lindsay Stoddard.

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Fax: 503/517-7691
Office: 28 West,
5436 SE 28th Ave.