Orientation 2019

SEEDS Community Engagement Experience

The SEEDS Community Engagement Experience is a powerful way to start the school year and begin to understand the Portland community. It is also a great way to begin forming your circle of friends at Reed.

Gear Up

SEEDS group photo

SEEDS Trips Information

Join other Reedies interested in community engagement on these exciting pre-Orientation experiences. SEEDS (Students for Education, Equity, and Direct Service) builds mutually beneficial relationships within the Portland community to foster sustainable and positive change. SEEDS is committed to expanding the scope of the academic mission and supporting Reed students in developing tools for self-reflection and passion for lifelong community engagement. The SEEDS experiences combine community engagement, volunteering, reflection, learning, and fun.

In small groups (10–12 Reedies each), participants work with various community partners. Activities include a range of different opportunities to engage with local community organizations. Some of the organizations that you may work with include:

  • Know Your City “engages the public in art and social justice through creative placemaking projects. Our programs and publications aim to educate people to better know their communities and to empower them to take action.”
  • Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) “is a statewide, grassroots organization, uniting Asians and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice. We use our collective strengths to advance equity through empowering, organizing and advocating with our communities.”
  • YWCA of Greater Portland aims “to educate the community about racism, sexism and other forms of oppression, so that together, we can strive for a more equitable world. The YWCA of Greater Portland’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.”
  • Potluck in the Park “Rain or shine, 52 weeks a year, hundreds of needy people have a hot meal and a community gathering place because of generous supporters like you understanding that food is a human right and hunger is a human wrong. Every Sunday for twenty-five years, Potluck in the Park volunteers have prepared and served healthy wholesome meals with dignity and kindness. The secret to Potluck in the Park’s staying power is the story of its people. Our tenacious teams of career volunteers have inspired thousands of other volunteers to donate their time, talent and money to fight hunger in Portland. Their dedication and passion has made Potluck in the Park a touchstone for a community in crisis.”

At night, the small groups come together to share meals, reflection, and lively conversation. Participants will sleep on campus in their assigned residence hall room.

If you register for a SEEDS experience, you cannot attend an Outdoor experience.

The trips occur after the International Student Orientation and Peer Mentor Program. International Student Orientation is required for all F-1 and J-1 visa holders. International Student Orientation is an essential part of the international student experience and helps to launch international students into a successful semester at Reed. The Peer Mentor Program builds community amongst students from marginalized backgrounds and introduces new Reedies to valuable campus resources and mentors. Students who are the first in their families to attend college, students of color, and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds are particularly encouraged to join PMP, however all students who identify with the mission of PMP are welcome to join.

Contact: Tara Sonali Miller, SEEDS Program Manager, 503/777-7563.

Important Dates

Friday, August 23
1–5 p.m. Check-in
5 p.m. Dinner with other participants (students only, please)
6–8:30 p.m. Large group introductions & small group meetings
Saturday & Sunday, August 24 & 25
Community Engagement Activities
Monday, August 26
Return from final day of engagement by 5 p.m.

SEEDS Experience Cost & Registration

Cost for a three-day SEEDS trip is $150, which covers food, transportation, and other expenses. Financial aid is available for those with financial need. Requests can be made through the online application during registration. SEEDS will respond to you by early August with information about your financial aid request.

  • Please do not send us payment. The business office will bill your Reed College account.
  • Cancellations made on or after August 1 will result in your account being charged $75. Cancellations or nonattendance after August 10 will result in your account being charged $150.
  • Registration for the trip and the required forms (waiver of liability & the medical information form) must be completed through IRIS.

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis; materials must be received by July 15. Within two weeks of applying, applicants will receive an email confirming their registration. If you do not receive a confirmation email, you are NOT registered.

Please note: If you cancel your trip attendance, you may not move into your residence hall on August 23. You will be able to move into your residence hall on Monday, August 26.

Gearing Up for Your SEEDS Experience

Students attending the SEEDS experience will need to bring some personal items on the trip.

Weather in the Pacific Northwest is highly variable. Although August tends to be quite warm and sunny, it can be cool at night and rainy. We suggest that you dress in layers to be prepared for temperature changes.

The following items are required for all SEEDS trips:
rain jacket

work clothes for three days (you will be getting dirty)

closed-toe work shoes
The following items are optional, but suggested:


spending money
favorite interactive games

notebook and pen

musical instrument (small)

Arriving for Your SEEDS Experience

Please check in at Kaul Auditorium between 1 and 5 p.m. on Friday, August 23, as there is considerable organization and orientation that needs to take place before our early-morning departure on Saturday, August 24. It is best if you check in early so you have time to move into your room.

Van shuttles from the airport will run approximately every thirty minutes beginning at 12:30 p.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 23. Reserve a space with Cyrus Monsef by 5 p.m. on August 12. You must provide Cyrus with your name, day-of cell phone number, airline, flight number, and expected arrival time.

Once on Campus for Your SEEDS Experience

Please plan to have dinner with us around 5 p.m. on Friday, August 23. The remainder of the evening will be spent getting to know your group better and making sure we are well organized for our departure early on Saturday. You will stay in your residence hall room each night.

Returning from Your SEEDS Experience

You can anticipate returning to Reed in the early evening of Monday, August 26. We anticipate that all SEEDS Experience participants will be done with cleanup by 5 p.m., so you should have some flexibility to enjoy some downtime in your new environment. Please note: We do not provide lunch or dinner on Monday, August 26. From then on, you may use your Board Points.


If you are a student in need of accommodations due to disability, physical or otherwise, please let us know in advance so we can be as accommodating and inclusive as possible in our programming. You may also contact Theresa Lowrie in the Disability Support Services office to discuss your needs and other possible accommodations for your time at Reed.

Contact us

Student engagement office