Reed College Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.


Reed students are amazing individuals with a passion for learning and changing the world in ways no one else thinks are possible.


Socially awkward, pompous half-hipsters with an inferiority complex that they overcompensate for with academics.


The illest of the ill, the dopest of the dope, the dankest of the dank, the smartest, brightest, most inventive motherfuckers in this whole country who are going to rule the world; we are the bluest smurfs out there.


I've mentioned already that diversity is a bit of a problem. Mostly that's racial diversity, though. The queer community at Reed is fantastic, I think. Further, I'm pretty happy with the mixture of classes and backgrounds Reed has achieved. Though there are certainly plenty of rich kids, more than 50% of the student body is on some form of financial aid and I personally know a few who have a full ride. So we are okay in that respect. Religious issues are tricky. It's no secret that the majority of Reed students don't fall into easily defined religious categories. However, beyond the input of a few fanatic atheists, acceptance rules. That is, just because you are a Christian and I'm not doesn't mean we can't be BFF and absolutely respectful. That being said, I do not think that a staunchly conservative person will find any easy time at Reed. If we think you're wrong, it's likely that we'll question your beliefs. If you can't handle that, you might have a problem. Of course, it's just as unhelpful to be a close-minded liberal, but since the majority of the Reed population will agree with your beliefs, you likely won't experience the same degree of confrontation.


The most socially incompetent, amazing people I have ever met.


You got your yippies, your pool sharks, your Rugby boys (like me) and your Dungeons and Dragons players, but they're all reedies - extra-intellegent, extra-intellectual, and sharp as knives.


They are quirky misfits and enthusiastic, unapologetic nerds.


Liberal, open-minded, and quirky.


When I went to Reed it was very white, but the stats that are coming out nowadays show more diversification of the student body. Many Reedies are well-heeled and worldly (lots of diplomats kids), but they tend to hide their wealth by refusing to bathe. Nurturing environment for LGBT. Reedies are not known for their social skills. Somehow, miraculously, the Reed alums I have met post-graduation have figured out how to hold a conversation about something other than a book. Actual Reedies tend to spend too much time at their assigned library desks to know how to introduce themselves without the assistance of a few beers.


Reedies are the most intelligent, most awkward, and consistently atypical people I've ever met. There is no "Reedie prototype." We're different, and motivated by one thing: learning. Learning about the world, learning about each other, learning about ourselves. There's really not much more I can say.


We're pretty open around here. There's a sign on the door to the women's center: "Reed women's center, all genders welcome." I love that they say "all" instead of "both." It's little touches like that that can make you feel welcome. There is a lack of racial diversity, and some African-American students feel alone in a sea of milk, but probably the people who would feel most out of place here are fundamentalist religiosos. If you aren't willing to debate your beliefs, you won't be happy at Reed.


Most of student body spends far too much time in the library, but somehow, amidst the bookwork people are able to operate clubs and have events they are passionate about. Dinner conversations come in almost all flavors imaginable: from Foucault to P-diddy. I almost always come away having learned something and enjoyed myself. Campus events are numerous and turnout is usually modest. Sport event turnout is close to zero with what few sports are on campus. The larger turnouts are usually for dances and parties on campus on friday and saturday nights.


Every person is completely different, there are some stereotypes but for some reason nobody discriminates anyone for what they do and say... everybody is very respectful.


Diverse in some ways. I don't want to run over the stereotypes again, but of course at every college there are certain groups; there are the theatre kids, there are the kids who never leave the library, there are the frisbee team, there is senate. But honestly, these groups blend in and out of each other, and Reed is so small, I have seen little evidence of cliques alienating certain people. Perhaps this is because there is a certain fundamental similarity between most Reedies. In general, they like to talk, about everything from sex to drugs to philosophy and academia. You can find the people you will love, and then of course, you will also find the people who you merely interact with because you have to. But I feel a lot o goodwill and community at Reed, generally, if you put a smile on your face, you'll get a huge one back :)


As I said, Reedies are very creative and industrious. They will spend days on projects to make campus better or more interesting. Plus there is a lot of funding for these projects available through Senate. However, there isn’t as much effort put into projects aimed at bettering the world outside of Reed’s “bubble”. There are political groups or groups for human rights but these groups are frequently not as well attended as the joke communist group aimed at distributing communal small bikes around campus or free stimulants in the library lobby during finals week. Another important point about the students is that we are all governed by the honor principle. It’s not a joke among Reedies. Profs trust you to take a closed book test anywhere on campus, including your dorm room, and know that you will not cheat. Students leave their laptops in the library while they grab a snack from commons all the time and stuff is rarely stolen.


See above


Reed students come from all over the place. We are primarily a liberal, and somewhat agnostic school...well let me just quote the historic school slogan...Atheism, Communism and Free Love. This motto was of course born in the sixties, but some of the spirit has remained.


I would like to say that Reed students are diverse, original, colorful, creative, interesting. I would like to say that Reed students are politically active, internationally aware, environmentally friendly. And, for the most part, those things would be true. The Reed student body is made up of an eclectic mix of unique individuals, each with their own call to learning and passion for life. I have met the best artists of any art I've ever seen, the most dedicated and knowledgeable political activists, the most life-experienced, the most poetic, the most graceful, the most travelled, the most comfortable-with-who-they-are, and the most honest and honorable people I have ever met amongst Reed students. I have fallen in love with girls, dorm mates, house advisers, and drug addicts, none of whom I ever kissed or who even ever knew I loved them. I think the pure, unadulterated spirit of Reed comes alive when a student or group of students lets go, smiles at people, takes their clothes off and/or costumes ridiculously, climbs to the top of Eliot Circle in front of the library, plays, sings, or performs loud music and dances around, vocalizing. If you can't see yourself fitting into this, you will feel uncomfortable at times, and possibly never feel like a true Reedie. Reedies also have a committed dedication to that O Holiest of All Things that Come on a Golden Tripod, Time, with an accent above the e. That is to say, Greek honor. Reed has an Honor Council, a Judicial Board, and honest peers. When you take a test, even a final exam, there is no professorial supervision, no qualifier of Non-Cheater, not even a ceiling-installed surveillance camera. You are an adult, and you are honorable. If you take a test on which it is not honorable to read from a book or look over your friend's shoulder, you will not. The same is true for any act of honor or dishonor, and periodic discussion groups appear across campus at which such acts are defined in a student's moral code of judgement. These codes and abilities of discernment, if not already pre-instilled, will progress with the Reed student beyond his or her years at Reed, out past the bubble, and into the "real world" (where, sometimes, things happen that are a little less than honorable).


The student body is insane. Altogether we are politically aware and politically apathetic. We are not what you would call ethnically diverse. Rather, we are regionally and intellectually diverse. We have more African students than African-American students. If you are a minority student, don't let this deter you. You don't need a minority crowd to chill with, you need an intellectual bond with people who think differently than you. You'll find that but again... it'll drive you crazy.


As a science major, I've got no idea what goes on on the rest of campus. I sort of live in my office. Not everyone does, but not everyone is as dumb as me. If you're african american, you might feel out of place here, but then again, if you have money maybe you're used to having lots of rich white jewish friends. I wish that this campus was a bit more diverse, but then again few people can afford an education such as this. But such is the way of the United States. If you're extremely religious you probably won't be too comfortable. Most of the college is "atheist." In actuality very few people are atheists, and they are just too stubborn to admit that their agnostic. Religoin is widely excepted but if you try to preach your own damn gospal you will be beaten up intellectually by people questioning all of the logic, that extremely religious people tend to ignore. Students here are very liberal and very politically active. One of the question prompts for this section is "what do most students wear to class?" If you actually care about what you wear, this may not be the right school for you. Lots of people here are hipsters, some people here don't care what they look like and some do. But if clothing choice is a factor in your decision for college, then Reed is not the right place for you because academics are far far more important than looks. You will come here and assume that at least one student is actually a crazy hobo. Then that student will be in one of your classes, and no matter how hard you try, he'll be a hell of a lot smarter than you.


Most students here are very laid-back (I have overused this word, I know) friendly people who love talking about almost anything. Some people dress to impress, others dress to stand out, but most just dress casually. It's considered "weird" to come dressed up in suit and tie, but not the bad kind of "weird"! There are also a lot of animal-loving people on campus and you will find a lot of vegans attend Reed. Most students lean left, but are very thoughtful about it. If someone takes issue with something another person believes, mostly it'll end in a huge debate but there are rarely any huge issues on campus. One thing that does set Reed apart is the large number of smokers on campus.


Reed is very white, and very privileged. There is growing and productive critique of this, largely from organizations like the Feminist Student Union, Black and African Student Union, and Multicultural Resource Center. For the most part, though, most students and administration are very comfortable with their elite positioning and only give nominal attention to discussions of race and class. But on another topic, as a queer lady I found a huge amount of support at Reed. I felt comfortable, I felt visible, and I felt like we had space to organize and be heard. There is a large and welcoming queer and activist community of people doing amazing work and taking amazing care of one another. Of course there were plenty of issues that came up in dealing with administration and in navigating classrooms dominated by entitled, mostly male voices, but at the same time, those issues were continuously talked about and resisted.


Lots of Californians. Lots of liberals. Not as big into money, probably because they grew up with plenty. Students can wear pretty much anything and not get teased about it. Girls typically don't do the whole make-up/blowdried hair deal, although a few do. Some very shy people, awkward people, borderline-asbergers people. Some very friendly outgoing people. Students are often not that politically active 'cause they focus on their schoolwork too much, but I do know some anarchist-type activists. Drug use is very prevalent and accepted, although students who don't use drugs definitely exist too--not a problem as long as they accept that they'll be friends with folks who do use. People of all types can hang out. Although we have a few exclusive meanies, not very many.


Everyone's a little bit queer here, so it seems. It's certainly fashionable to be LG or at least hetero-flexible. But straight people are also still socially accepted. I'm not rich. Not even close. There are other people who aren't as well. But I was flabbergasted as to the number of students on campus who don't need financial aid when i got here. But just because their parents are rich doesn't mean the students drives BMW's. Plenty of them choose to reject their rich parents and wear the same thrift-store purchased clothes for weeks at a time. Not a lot of racial diversity in Portland (compared to say, San Francisco or NYC). Reed has several race-related groups such as the Latino-student union, the Black men's student union, etc. What do most students wear to class? Whatever they fucking feel like, whether that be a bathrobe, wedding dress, cape, historical reproduction of Elizabeth's corset, or fetish boots. Or, you know, clothes. There are as many different types of student as there are students, and yes we interact. Most of us are from CA, and most of those are from the Bay Area. There are activist/political groups on campus that are rockin'. Academics don't usually earn much cash. They spend too much on school and spend all their time locked away, so there's little to brag about. And performance artists, like myself, may expect to live very humble lives.


There are all types here. My first roommate was a pan-sexual vegan gal from Minnesota whose girlfriend was a tranny, for example. The student body is predominantly white, and often it feels like most of the minorities are from abroad. There was an incident at Halloween with some dummies being hung from trees - which created a scandal (especially in light of certain current events). But the prank wasn't done with malice or anything, more it shows how the Reed campus often has a lack of racist conceptions. Reedies seem to be mostly from the east coast, with a lot of Bay area people, some NWerners and midwesterners and fewer southerners. I think the financial situations are extremely diverse. Reed students often have very little concept of what's happening out in the world, we call it the "Reed bubble". There's so much happening with school, that current events often feel like an overload. Definitely a left campus, but there are many a right winger here - and I don't think they get a lot of shit. Reedies don't EVER talk about earning potentials. Most of us have no fucking clue where we'll be in twenty years. Sure it would be nice to have money someday, but most people are looking for an invocation not a bank roll.


Reed is full of hipsters. You can recognize them by their lame haircuts and remarkable ability to name at least five unknown indie bands in any conversation. I try to avoid them. Reed, like most of Oregon, is very white. I went to a public high school in a major city, so Reed is much whiter than what I'm used to. There are minority students, and a multicultural resource center, and we all interact with one another. Students tend to group themselves based on academic interests and extracurricular interests. For example, a lot of the linguistics students hang out together, and some of them are also in the association of Reed gamers, and they tend to hang out together. My roommate has friendships that seem mostly based on a love of Guitar Hero. The student body as a whole is less inherently politically charged than it used to be, but there are political groups on campus that organize events. While many students at Reed come from an upper middle class background, there are also many, many students on financial aid. We're ALL worried about finding jobs after graduation, but that has more to do with the current economy than with how well Reed is preparing us for the real world.


Reed is white. Lily white. Entitled upper-middle-class to upper-class brats who have decided to be liberal and weird. Reedies like to think that they are a cut above the rest. They also have very very little courtesy. The average middle-class American would NOT fit in at Reed, in fact, he or she would be made to feel very small indeed.


Reed is trying to diversify but it is pretty socially and racially homogenous. Most people here are white and upper-middle to upper-class. This can get frustrating. No one I've met is openly racist, though, and it's anathema to flaunt wealth (people try very hard not to act privileged). Students are predominantly liberal and non-religious. There are very few practicing religious people (I know two or three) and very few Republicans (though I know several libertarians and plenty who just don't care). There are LOTS of jews (secular/non-practicing, as a rule), LOTS of Californians, LOTS of socially awkward (and usually lovable) people, LOTS of cigarette smokers, LOTS of people with a genuine interest in learning for its own sake. And LOTS of psych majors, for some reason, or maybe I just run into them oddly frequently. For the most part, I feel comfortable interacting with different groups of students. There are clear groups but there are plenty of travelers also. You will probably feel out of place at Reed if you fit under any of these definitions (though it shouldn't necessarily stop you from coming--the school could use more diverse opinions): 1) Very religious 2) Very conservative 3) Very against drug use (you probably will not be pressured to use drugs yourself if you are against it, but be aware that drugs, especially weed, are very common. If smelling pot smoke bothers you, you will be probably be annoyed a lot.) 4) Very close-minded 5) Very against academic wankery (there's a lot of that here. It's lots of fun unless it bugs you, in which case it can get very annoying very fast).


Racially, religiously, socio-economically not diverse. Not one bit. You can find good community if you try and work for it, but as a whole community that is safe and healthy, Reed has much room for improvement.


Immature. People here are so immature they still take notes on their hands. Memo to the Reed Student Body: Grow up. You're not in sixth grade anymore. And no, you are not as smart as you think you are.


The LGBTQ community on campus is really great. Reed is really one of the best places to be gay in the US I think. It's really a non-issue. Otherwise, Reed is not racially diverse, and is often very sexist. I think it would be a difficult place for hispanic, black, and female students not because of actual oppression but because people are so politically correct that oftentimes dialogue that needs to happen just doesn't happen. As far as clothes go, you can wear basically whatever you want and no one will care, it's all been done before. Also there is a LOT of money at Reed, lots of very wealthy students.


LGBT folks are very much accepted. People seem to try to be different in clothing and manner. People are generally quite nice, though. Alot of Reedies from California...perhaps too many. If you don't swing left...well, even the outdoors trip leaders swing left, and they just work here occasionally. If you didn't come in a democrat, you'd probably leave one.


Reed's ethnic makeup is not very diverse; as a Hispanic person, I feel that the student body needs a serious makeover, in terms of attracting minorities. On the other hand, I have never experienced racism or any other overtly negative interactions because of my ethnicity; all people, whether genuinely or because of politically correctness, are very respectful and tolerant of diversity. People who identify with LGBT culture are overwhelming accepted and embraced. Students wear whatever they want to class, generally; from pajamas to suits. The student body is very much left of center and a majority could be classified as middle-to upper class.


Reed student body is not diverse. The school in recent years has been making some steps in the right direction in order to create some more diversity on campus, but as of right now the student body is mostly middle to upper class white students. The students that do go to Reed, regardless of their race or class tend to hold relatively similar ideas in respect to politics and also what is socially and culturally acceptable and what is not. Most Reed students are from the West Coast, as Reed does alot of its recruiting from California and the surrounding Northwest area. There are alot of self-prescribed 'acitivists' and 'anarchists' on campus, although I'd say there are probably nearly as many true politically and socially aware students as well. The student body has alot of people who were considered nerds or social outcasts in highschool and there is an understood stigma at Reed that Reedies are really awkward and sometimes border on completely inept in social circles. I would say the most uncomfortable type of student at Reed would be a Black, Evangelical, straight-edge conservative who eats alot of steak and drives a hummer.


The Reed student body needs more diversity. While Reedies are typically liberal, progressive, informed individuals, they are on the majority white and privileged. This makes being a minority somewhat difficult, because as smart and liberal as some kids are, the lack of exposure to people of different backgrounds, whether ethnic, religious, or socio-economic results in ignorance, and even a reluctance for open dialogue about important issues in the minority community. There are some support centers for minority students, but the majority of the student body has never had to confront issues of racism, classism, or sexism but many assume that they are an authority on these issues and as a minority student, I feel uncomfortable with this.


apathetic in general, but that seems to be changing with new Hum 110 initiatives and a stricter drug and alcohol policy. Everyone is different and there is a group of friends for every type of person. You can be yourself at this school. Conformity doesn't exist (unless you want the attention of the hipsters), and you can truly be yourself on campus.


Reedies are not a homogeneous group. If you make an effort, you will find people you with whom you fit in. Queer kids in particular are welcome. There are some militantly atheistic students at Reed, but my Christian and Muslim friends seem to feel comfortable. The one exception: vocally intolerant bigots are generally unwelcome. There are apparently a lot of very sensitive students at Reed, and as a result, every bit of political incorrectness incites an uproar. I view this as a sign that Reed welcomes students of every possible background. Politically and religiously conservative students are rare, but won't have trouble feeling welcome as long as they are assertive (but not aggressive!). A few common threads among Reed students: they are unmotivated by future earning potential, they want to make a difference in the world, and they are very, very bright.


Reed does its best to diversify the student body. I think conservative Christians are probably the smallest minority at Reed. I encountered just about any possible demographic group while I was a student at Reed. Most students are casual with dress, no one seems to care. Yes, I found a high degree of interaction between groups of students. The Reed dining hall is not segregated into cliques, everyone eats together.


Students are pretty homogenous in the sense that the average reedie is white, upper-middle class, liberal and atheist. I know more black kids that are on an exchange program from Ghana than actual African-American kids. There are a lot of really great exchange students especially from England. Reed is not cliquey at all and we all intermingle well with very little social hierarchy.


Reed's student body is young, averaging around 20 years old. They're quirky and critical. As a result, most Reedies are left leaning, and if religious, they practice it with their eyes open, not like robots.


There is a large homosexual community on campus that is open and unpersecuted. Reedies tend to be white, and a surprisingly large proportion are Jewish. People who practice religion aren't generally open about it. It seems like everyone is from the San Francisco Bay Area, and if not that, they are New Yorkers. We tend to be politically aware and have some activists on campus, but most people don't have time to get involved. We are stereotypically and practically uniformly leftists here. We mostly talk about how our great education will leave us starving.


The student body at Reed is liberal. Often times conservative viwepoints aren't voiced on campus. As for the mix of students, there's a large diversity of sub-cultures rather than a large ethnic diversity (reed college is working on this). YOu have your anarchist-folk punk activists organizing political rallies and playing bluegrass, fire-spinning hair-dyed kids who write theater productions, tight jean- thriftstore hopping coffee drinking hipsters, super techie bike-geeks, outdoor loving he-men and women, perky cute girlie girls, frisbee/rugby beer-drinking jocks, and so many others. Students are generally open and friendly to hanging out with anyone, i've rarely felt excluded from events on or off campus.


Students are... unique. Some of them try really hard to be unique, and some of them don't, but it's interesting anyways. I couldn't characterize what the "average" Reed student would look like... I think in terms of background they would probably be liberal, have at least one professor parent, dance awkwardly and often and have a secret passion for something odd that you would never guess from looking at them. Most likely they went to private school or alternative school or something, though I went to regular public school and I know one or two others. Students don't think about money in the future, but most have big ideas about their contribution to the world, either artistically, philosophically or scientifically. I think most would be willing to starve for those things, though apparently most alum go on to be comfortable and upper middle class.


Although people often claim that Reed is the most un-religious school in the nation, as a Christian, I have enjoyed my time here. Almost no one at Reed goes to church regularly, but I have had better discussions about the nature of God here than anywhere else. I've also realized that while a lot of kids put down that they're "agnostic" or "atheist," most of them have more nuanced and interesting ideas than that. And, while a few freshmen are sometimes rude to avowed theists, that really isn't part of the Reed culture: they realize that it's inappropriate to do that pretty quickly. We have shirts in the bookstore that read "Atheism, Communism, Free Love," but in 2008, it's normally more like "Agnosticism, Socialism, Safe Sex."


student groups: queer alliance, black and african student union, asian student union, activist organizations, etc.--plenty of similar organizations here. reed bends way, way, way to the left, bordering on pinko sometimes. i have not been personally involved in any political-ish group, but they are a presence on campus, and they are active. the feminist student union and the new men's feminist group, mr. fakk, are pretty vocal, and sometimes controversial. but not in any divisive or harmful way. difference of opinion and debate are not just tolerated here, they are revered. unless you're a republican. as for religion, their is a multi-faith council and a chaverim, and the christian group is called "oh for christ's sake." i think that's pretty telling. normal kids would feel out of place here. the types interested in frats and sororities and mega team sports. probably extremely observant or orthodox religious kids. ver conservative students who might be offended by the slightest hint of nudity. people who crave a more typical college social scene. however, if your are a biracial atheist transgender student interested in stopping the oppression in burma and metaphysics, come on over! another important note: reed is sadly not very racially diverse at all. it's largely white, with some asians, few black students, and even fewer hispanic students, though there are a surprising number of international students from places like bulgaria and algeria. what do students wear to class? what don't they wear to class? i recommend that you abide by the "no shirt, no shoes, no service" rule (even if some don't). at the very least wear pants. that's the best rule of reed dress i can think of. only applies in class. yes different types of students interact, but visible groups do emerge over time. most reedies come from california or the pacific northwest, followed by new york, the midwest, and probably the international scene before it even gets to the south. there is not a great deal of socio-economic diversity because reed is so pricey. however, with the little endowment reed does have, they provide full rides to a fair amount of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. on the flipside, this means that the lower-middle/middle class students (like myself) often do not receive the financial they need or might get more easily at a different institution. but i would say most of the people i know come from rather privellaged backgrounds. students are keenly aware of current sociopolitical issues and active as well. reed has a history of radical liberal activism, and that tradition is slowly being rekindled (even if it means unplugging our coke machines). LEFT.


A lot of Reedies dress like they're poor. Usually, these are the ones who are self-conscious about how much money they have. Reedies are generally pretty liberal, but are so caught up with academics that a sense of apathy pervades student life.


I would say that most are white, straight, from the middle to upper class strata, liberal, and nonreligious.


There's a clear lack of diversity in terms of racial, religious, and socio-economic groups. While students don't segregate themselves, it's a fairly homogeneous group.


Reed is very white, and middle-to upper middle class for the most part. it's definitely gay-friendly. I don't know that I can speak to racial issues. I'm white and most of my Reed friends are white. My friends in high school and after Reed are much more racially mixed than at Reed. As far as class goes, students dress badly were less concerned with money and clothes than how badass they are in writing and speaking well about complex academic ideas. Someone who is not interested in academics, or who is only interested in partying or shopping would be out of place at Reed. Four tables: 1. Freshmen talking about HUM reading, 2. More freshmen talking about how they have to finish the Hum paper before they can go kayaking this weekend, 3. seniors who moved back onto campus to be closer to the library, 4. Scroungers Most students are from the Pacific Northwest, California, the Northeast, and a few from various other place and international. Students are generally very politically aware and pretty far to the left.


Very accepting. The student body is quite polarized in terms of financial background. Politically left as left can be- this is no bad thing. Very visible and vocal LGBT community which was great.