President’s Office

President’s speeches, letters, and articles 

Subject: Day of Boycott

September 25, 2016

Dear Reed College Faculty and Staff:

As you may know, actor and activist Isaiah Washington has called for a National Day of Boycott tomorrow (9/26) in order to call attention to issues of racial discrimination and violence in our country. A group of Reed students will be joining this national demonstration. They intend to boycott classes and to protest conditions at Reed and across the nation. I appreciate their concern and commend their commitment to building a more just community.

As faculty and staff at Reed College, it is an important part of our work to provide support to all our students. It is also important that the college, as a community, respect one another's heart-felt beliefs.

Reed as a whole will not cancel classes tomorrow, but individual instructors may determine how they wish to accommodate the protest. Options include holding class as usual, canceling class, or using class time to discuss issues raised by the boycott. Faculty members should refer to Dean Nicholson’s email, sent earlier today, for guidance.

For our staff: If you believe, as a matter of principle, that you should respect the boycott and decline to come to work tomorrow, the college will respect that decision. You will need to take a vacation day to do so. Please let your supervisor know as soon as possible. Other staff members may feel that they can best support students by spending part of the workday meeting with or listening to students away from their normal worksite. Should you choose to do so, the college will support that decision. Again, please discuss the specifics with your supervisor so we can all plan accordingly.

Tomorrow’s protest provides us all with an important opportunity to reflect on national events. I also hope we will all rededicate ourselves to building a more open and inclusive community at Reed – one that meets the needs of all Reed’s community members.

Thanks – John R. Kroger, President