Kroger on Boycott

President Kroger responds to RAR Day of Boycott.

By President John R. Kroger | September 25, 2017

Dear Reed community,

Today, a group of students called Reedies Against Racism (RAR) called for a Day of Boycott to draw attention to national and local issues of racism. The students have a noble intention. They believe we live in an unjust world and hope to change it for the better. Many of us share that goal and that hope. 

The protesting students engaged in many productive actions today. Unfortunately, the students also chose to express their concerns by disrupting an ongoing Humanities 110 class. The college respects the students' right to dissent. At the same time, Reed College believes all of us must work for change in ways that increase, not decrease, rational discourse and understanding. In particular, it is wrong for some students to protest in a manner that disrupts teaching and prevents other students from attending class and obtaining the education they came to Reed to pursue. As the protesters know, the disruption of the HUM 110 lecture today violates Reed's dissent policy. Marching through a lecture hall while chanting prevents other students from hearing the lecture and, as such, is an unacceptable disruption of the educational process. 

The college will use Reed's established honor process to respond to today's protest in the Vollum lecture hall. This process will determine what disciplinary measures are appropriate. The goal of the honor process in this—as in all matters—is to hold community members accountable for their actions while seeking to restore and maintain an inclusive living and learning environment that helps all students to be successful at Reed.

Reed is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for students from every background and identity and to eliminating inequities and barriers that prevent students from engaging fully in their Reed education. You can read about our efforts in Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-racism at Reed: A Progress Report. We invite all students to come to a series of community-wide conversations already scheduled where concerns raised today and over the course of the past year are to be discussed. 


John R. Kroger

Tags: Institutional, Campus Life