Residence Life

Division of Student Services

Theme Dorms & Language Houses

Reed College theme dorm   

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.

There are two types of theme communities at Reed:

Theme Dorms, 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 Advisor who works with the Resident Director and academic department associated with the house's specific language to create a language and culture hub.

Themes Dorms for 2014-15

The Residence Life Committee approved the following themes for the 2014-15 academic 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 (MacNaughton)
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 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 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 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 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-ops are comprised of 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 theme 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 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 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 living options. Any spaces in these communities that are not filled by applications will become available in the general housing lottery.

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 Residence Life Committee advisor Nicholas Martin at

Language Houses

The Residence Life office supports six language houses that represent six academic departments at Reed: FrenchGermanRussianSpanishChinese, and Arabic. Each house is staffed with a native speaker (see language scholars below) and a student house advisor whose responsibility it is to work with a resident director, the appropriate academic department, and student residents to make each house a center for language and culture for the entire campus. Each house sponsors a variety of programs during the year that enhance the opportunity to learn about the various languages and cultures each house represents. The language houses are only available to upperclass students through an application process (Arabic House is open to incoming students depending on available spaces).

Application Information for Language Houses

2013-2014 Language House Contact Information

Language House Resident Director: Julia Nicholson

French House:        

House Advisor: Maya Campbell

Language Scholars: Audrey Brizard, Yaëlle Oliva

German House:     

House Advisor: Katrina Bastian

Language Scholar: Ludwig Prokop

Spanish House:      

House Advisor: Fedora Copley

Language Scholars: Albert Jornet Somoza, Marina Franco

Russian House:     

House Advisor: Sasha Peters

Language Scholar: Anastasia Gushchina

Chinese House:     

House Advisor: Natalie Pong

Language Scholar: Li’e Liang

Arabic House:       

House Advisor: Mical Yohannes

Language Scholar: Sarkawt Amir Sabir

Language Scholars

Reed College brings to campus each year eight language scholars.  Each language house is supported by a language scholar who is a native speaker of one of the six languages (French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic). 

These scholars live in Reed's language houses to support the learning of language and understanding of other cultures both in the halls and classrooms. In addition to initiating new cultural programs, the scholars are often involved in sponsoring conversation sessions, tutoring students to assist regular coursework, and giving presentations to the community on contemporary life in their homelands.

foreign scholar image

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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