Residence Life

Division of Student Services

Theme Communities

on campus pics   farm house   fsm

Theme Communities at Reed

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. Each theme community has one or two Theme Coordinator(s) and access to additional funding for theme-related events and activities. The Residence Life office also supports five language houses that represent the five modern languages taught at Reed: French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese. For more information, please visit our Language Houses web page.

Themes for 2014-15

The Residence Life Committee approved the following themes for next year. Location, size and names are all subject to change. Click here for information about Language House living options. 

New Themes
The Residence Life Committee is happy to announce the addition of two new theme communities for the 2014-15 year!  Let’s give them a warm welcome!

The Justice League (Naito or MacNaughton, depending on number of applicants)
The Justice League is a safe space for students to explore various identities and social justice issues in Portland and beyond. Through monthly meetings, the community will decide which organization or project to collaborate with as a group. This community will encourage students to take advantage of off-campus social justice opportunities, and there will also be many discussions and activities designed for the residence halls. A reading list and other appropriate resources will be available to anyone who seeks them. The Justice League is perfect for anyone who seeks to supplement their Reed curriculum, wants to take action on critical issues, and wants to be a part of an inclusive tight-knit community.

For more information, contact Theme Coordinators Natalie Condon ( and Brandon Ross (

GameDev (Naito or MacNaughton, depending on number of applicants)
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 dorm 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 dorm 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 Josh Hepworth ( and Max Boddy (

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 music playing in the showers. All members are encouraged to be active participants in the continuation of our theme culture, and rock in paradise. 

For more information, contact Theme Coordinator Chloe Nielsen (

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 dorm votes on a book to read within a pre-determined genre or theme, followed by community-wide 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 Erin McConnell ( and Brynn Tran (

The Co-Ops (Garden House and Farm House)
The kitchen forms the heart of the co-op communities. We share meals and midnight snacks, making our own bread and granola while valiantly struggling to keep up with our own dishes. The Co-op is formed of 7 (Farm House) and 10 (Garden House) returning students who have chosen to make a commitment to intentional community, consensus-based decision-making, respect and responsibility for the Honor Principle, awareness of environmental impact and ethics, and sharing a lot of really good food. We’re a family, and there may be no better feeling than coming home to the dinner bell and friends gathered at the table. Come join us! Please note: The Co-Ops are available only to upperclass students. You can apply to live in both houses but please state which house is your preference in your application!

For more information, contact Farm House Theme Coordinator Rosie Sokolov ( or Garden House Theme Coordinator Blake Stewart (

Japanese Culture (Scholz III)
The Japanese Culture dorm is a place for people to nerd out about all aspects of Japanese culture.  This ranges from our weekly movie nights (Wednesdays at 9) to kicking butt in Smash tournaments to eating ridiculous amounts of mochi to giggling over silly anime, but no matter what, we aim to inform and entertain.  Everyone from the diehard Japan fan who can debate the symbolism in their favorite Satoshi Kon movie to the naïve and curious beginner who vaguely remembers that Pokemon is from Japan is invited to our community.  Youkoso!

For more information, contact Theme Coordinators Alicia Molina ( and Jennifer Benitez (

Mad Science (Foster II & 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 as a dorm. 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 Robby Gottesman ( and Forrest Glebe (

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 Alex Freitag (

Tír na nÓg - Land of the Young (Griffin, McKinley, and Woodbridge)
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 Joe Winitsky ( and Drew Jackson (

Living Options
In addition to these great themes, Residence Life continues to offer three living options. Any spaces in these communities that are not filled by applications will become available in the general housing lottery.

Arabic Culture House (Bragdon 201-210)
Students interested in the language and cultures of the Arabic-speaking world are invited to join this interest hall. Students will live with a young Fulbright scholar selected by the Institute of International Education to study at Reed College and enhance Reed community understanding of Middle Eastern cultures and the Arabic language. Students with background in Arabic language who wish to continue their study are particularly encouraged to join this community, although all students regardless of language background are encouraged to apply.

Substance Free (Sullivan II & Sullivan III)
Are you looking for the perfect residence hall environment? Do you want a community full of fun, creative, accepting members? Love the weekend parties, but prefer to live in a quieter, substance-free space? Never fear! The Sub-Free Community is here! As a sub-free community, this residence hall agrees to leave tobacco, alcohol, and other substances at the door. Full of wonderful people, a warm atmosphere, and lots of fun, Sub-Free might be your ideal community.

Women’s Floor (Aspen III)
This is a space for women who desire to live in a small, close community of women. Any spaces that are not filled by applications will become available in the general housing lottery.

Questions? Need more information?
Please contact the Theme Housing Committee chair at


Contact Res Life
Phone: 503/777-7536
Fax: 503/517-7691
Office: 28 West,
5436 SE 28th Ave.

Amy Schuckman

Assistant Dean

Clea Taylor

Director of Housing


8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.;
closed noon–1 p.m.


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