Student Life Office

Student Life Communications

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Dear students,

Leading up to the presidential election on November 3 (and following the election), members of the college community have organized programming to support your emotional and physical needs. We recognize the impact that COVID-19, racial injustices, wildfires, and numerous competing priorities have had on you during this academic term and year. The presidential election has already proved to be divisive and disheartening, and it will likely heighten our anxiety and stress levels.

Every day I am reminded why we are all here. You are engaged students and citizens who ask rich questions and have vivid discussions that expand worldly views of the why, how, and what we have come to know as truth. We know your strong minds are even more effective with the support of a community, especially during the most challenging times. This is why the election season programming and safety measures will focus on three areas: psychological/emotional support, physical safety, and educational outreach/community engagement.

We are excited to share a sample of upcoming events and programs below. Most can be found on the Reed events calendar. (Important: Log in with your Reed credentials to view all events using the link at to top of the calendar.)

October 29 | Managing Election Stress Workshop hosted by the Health & Counseling Center

November 2 | Lecture: Kim Williams—Race, Gender, and Partisanship in the 2016 & 2020 Elections hosted by SEEDS

November 3 | Election Night Watch Party hosted by Student Life and Bon Appetit

November 3 | Zumba at the Sports Center hosted by Athletics, Fitness, and Outdoor Programs

November 4 |Mindfulness and Emotional Freedom Techniques for Election Distress Workshop hosted by the Health & Counseling Center

November 4 | Archery Tag on the Great Lawn hosted by Athletics, Fitness, and Outdoor Programs

November 11 | International Student Support Group: Building Resilience, Self-Compassion, and Navigating Transformations, hosted by International Student Services

If you missed the insightful panel discussion Start Making Sense: A Reed Perspective on the 2020 Election with Reed faculty and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene ’83, I encourage you to watch the recording.

In addition to planned events, college leadership has developed a set of thresholds and actions to protect the physical safety of the campus community. These thresholds range from potential external threats originating off campus to on-campus violence toward individuals. Community Safety encourages you to think about your personal safety plan, including COVID-19 public health behaviors. Community Safety has increased its staffing levels as a precaution to protect the campus community. We will have Community Safety escorts available should you feel unsafe. Please be aware we have blue light phones installed all over campus to make it easier for you to report an emergency situation. The Community Safety department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly at 503-788-6666 or by text at 503-849-8678.

We hope and encourage students to be cognizant and respectful of each other’s thoughts and ideas. The beauty of our campus community lies in the diversity of perspectives and our ability to have critical discussions about our experiences in a thoughtful manner.  Should you experience bias or discriminatory harassment, we encourage you to report the behaviors.

This moment in our country’s history is an opportunity for us to develop stronger community bonds and a sense of understanding while at the same time urging for a more equitable and inclusive campus environment.

Please reach out to Student Life ( should you have any questions or need additional support.


Dr. K

Karnell McConnell-Black, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Life