Residence Life

Division of Student Services

Theme Dorms & Language Houses

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 2015-16

The Theme Housing Committee approved the following themes for the 2015-16 academic year. Location, size, and names are all subject to change. Click here for information about Language House living options. 

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 Duncan Herb ( and Cecile-Emmanuelle Kenny (

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 Ashlinn Hatch (

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 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 Helen Spencer-Wallace ( or Garden House Theme Coordinator Kenzie Givens (

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 Josh Hepworth ( and Max Boddy (

The Justice League (MacNaughton I)
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 Sabrina Smith ( and Alexandra Boyd (

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 Hulali Alford ( and Rachael Cairati (

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 Sarah Allen (

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 Nick Franzese (, and Connor Cantrel (

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 Theme Housing Committee advisors Nicholas Martin at or Lindsay Hammond 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

2015-2016 Language House Contact Information

Language Housing Resident Director: Julia Nicholson

French House:        

House Advisor: Carrie Holt

Language Scholars: Lenaig Coum and Pomeline Tauziat

German House:     

House Advisor: Roman Garcia

Language Scholar: Alena Moser

Spanish House:      

House Advisor: Clay Loftus-Wilwol

Language Scholars: Barbara Caballero and Patricia Lopez-Gracia

Russian House:     

House Advisor: Isabel Meigs

Language Scholar: Dmitry Tyapin

Chinese House:     

House Advisor: Aaron Finsrud

Language Scholar: Tingting Feng

Arabic House:       

House Advisor: Mical Yohannes

Language Scholar: Yasmin Zakarya

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

Amy Schuckman
Assistant Dean

Clea Taylor
Assistant Director of Housing Operations

Julia Nicholson
Assistant Director of Training & Education


8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.;
closed noon–1 p.m.

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