HA Interviews: 2 cents from a current HA

Remember to wear some business-casual attire

The first round of HA interviews is coming up! These interviews will be individual, where the candidate will sit down with a senior HA and a Resident Director (RD) to answer a few questions and ask a few of their own. As ever, I have my two cents to share when it comes to the interview process, but first let’s revisit the Res Life mission statement:

The Department of Residence Life facilitates a residential experience in which students feel supported in their academic pursuits, personal growth, and participation in an interdependent community.

We envision a vibrant, safe, and inclusive living environment where every student is actively engaged. It is our intention that students develop a sense of pride and investment in Reed.

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Mardi Gras: A twist on the tradition

king cake babyNext Tuesday, Feb 9th, join the Sub-Free dorm as they celebrate Mardi Gras. Yep. 8:30PM. Be there.

(As told by Marin Sklan, House Advisor)

I can’t help but wonder if there is something comically ironic on this, the eve of SubFree’s third annual Mardi Gras celebration. Somehow, a holiday infamous for its alcohol consumption has become tradition in a dorm that is known for quite the opposite. Instead of flashing and drinking, our celebration features an educational discussion*, king cake, plastic babies**, and zydeco renditions of 18th century Baroque music. Colorful beads are the standard dress code, though more theatrical residents often pile on plastic glasses, hats, and the occasional cape. Naturally, things become a bit chaotic (think plastic babies in our air vents), and beads seem to proliferate when no one is looking. But despite the saturated green, gold, and purple ribbons, there is something wonderfully coherent about a celebration that exchanges drinking culture for community norms. Feel free to pop by on Tuesday, February 9th around 8:30, for what is certain to be a colorful hot mess.

*That goes something along the lines of “In the beginning there was no Mardi Gras, only alcohol. Then Jesus happened, Europe invaded America, the French did stuff and Mardi Gras was born.”

**They are hidden in said King Cake, and are meant to represent baby Jesus. Whoever receives the slice with the baby must buy the next cake. Or so I have been led to believe.

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HA Applications are due Tuesday at noon!

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Email res.life@reed.edu with any questions. Good luck to our candidates!

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Dogs of ResLife this Thursday!


So, this is happening. Tell all your friends. Open to all of campus!

dogs of RL

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Theme Community Applications Are Now Available!

Would you like to create a new Theme Community? Are you interested in seeing your Theme return next academic year? The Residence Life Theme Housing process is now underway! We are now accepting proposals for new Theme Communities as well as renewal applications for returning Themes for the 2016-17 academic year!

Applications are available online at reed.edu/themehousing. Both applications (for new or returning Themes) must be submitted to res.life@reed.edu no later than Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at noon.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Theme Housing Committee advisors Lindsay Hammond (hammonl@reed.edu) and Nick Martin (martinn@reed.edu) or email Residence Life!

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The Co-ops Present: The Thanksgiving Hootenanny!

It’s the annual fall tradition you’ve all been waiting for!

1424411_663462637027986_1577993020_nYes, the “bigthanksgiving feastparty” is happening again. The Co-ops (aka the Farm and Garden Houses) are making lots of food from scratch. There will be meat options, as well as vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. (Word on the street is that there will be duck!) There will also be square dancing with a live string band and caller, and a twinkling atmosphere of cozy jollification.

When: November 22nd

More specifically: 7:00pm-9:00pm

Where: SU


Please please please help us cook, set up or clean up and you will have our unending love.

Sign up HERE!

Email hamueller@reed.edu if you have any questions/concerns.

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Applying to be a House Advisor


Time is flying past us, and soon it will be December 1st, 2015: the day that the House Advisor job application becomes available for the school year of 2016-17. Being an HA is a yearlong commitment to a residence hall and a team of community members who are dedicated to supporting their peers. The role of the HA is to assist the Residence Life department in accordance with our mission statement:

“The Department of Residence Life facilitates a residential experience in which students feel supported in their academic pursuits, personal growth, and participation in an interdependent community. We envision a vibrant, safe, and inclusive living environment where every student is actively engaged. It is our intention that students develop a sense of pride and investment in Reed.”

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Winter Clothing Drive: November 3

“Reedies Care for Other Reedies” is one of many iterations of a broader philosophy grounding our students and the work they aspire to accomplish on campus. As the Portland area transitions into the much cooler fall and winter seasons, several groups on campus have captured this philosophy of care through the organization of a donation drive for winter clothing. The groups want to ensure that students in need of winter clothing can stay warm throughout the next few months by being prepared for the colder weather. Donations have been received since October 14th, and campus community members (students, faculty, and staff) have been dropping off items to the Student Center (home of the Multicultural Resource Center and Student Activities).


Reed community members are donating gently used winter clothing items at the Student Center as part of a clothing drive sponsored by several student groups. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

The Peer Mentorship Program (PMP), the Low Socioeconomic Status (SES)/First-Generation student group, and members of the Justice League Theme Community will be hosting a Free Winter Clothes Pickup for students that are in need of winter attire between 4:00pm and 6:00pm this next Tuesday (November 3). The event will be held in the Grey Lounge (located in Kaul). We’re excited to see this effort take shape, and want to share information with everyone regarding next steps for this event.

For those that are interested in supporting this effort, volunteers are needed for set up in Kaul on Sunday at 2:00PM (meet in the Student Center/MRC). Additionally, donations are still being requested and encouraged! If you gently used winter items, including gloves, scarves, or coats that you’re willing to part with, please visit the Student Center and drop off items in one of the donation drop boxes. You can also bring items to the pickup event next Tuesday.

We’ll be sharing more updates and additional information on this and other events sponsored by student groups in the near future! In the mean time, please consider attending this event and making a donation!

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HA Superstar 1: Camila


Camila Medina Mora is our first HA superstar! She kindly answered my questions about her experience as an HA and as a Reedie.

This is  my second year as an HA, I am a senior art major, and I use she/her/hers.

Q: What extra curricular activities do you do on campus?

I, alongside two other students who are also HAs (Caitlin and Sidra) signate for FSU. I am also a peer educator and advocate through the SAPR programme.

For FSU I help plan the weekly meeting topics and facilitate the discussion, as well as organise campus wide events and collaborate with other student groups.
Working for SAPR, while challenging, is very rewarding. As a survivor, I find it really healing to help others with similar life experiences and I love the other students I work with. I have also found that the training has made me a better HA, and has been super helpful for programming.

For those who are not familiar, the SAPR program stands forSexual Assault Prevention and Response. They rely partially on the efforts of student advocates like Camila. Visit SAPR at Reed if you are a Reed student interested in becoming a SAPR advocate!

Q: Could you describe your experience of being an HA?

My experience as an HA has been overall really positive. I love the ResLife team and how supportive they have been when I have had issues I don’t feel comfortable handling by myself. I love feeling like I am helping foster a sense of community in my dorm, and getting to know freshmen in a way that, as an upperclassman, wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

Q: Do you think of yourself as an introvert or an extrovert?

I identify as an extrovert, for sure! I think when we took the [Myers Briggs] I tested as 100% extrovert. And while that might be a bit of a stretch, it’s not entirely untrue.

Q: What would you say to anyone who has doubts about applying to be an HA?

I would encourage future applicants to get to know the ResLife team and ask as many questions as they have. We are here to help and we were once an applicant too!
I would also comment on how great ResLife is as a support network.


Thanks so much Camila for your words and your efforts as an amazing community member!

Are you interested in applying to become a House Advisor? Click here to get started!

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Old Dorm Block, Steve Jobs, and (not) Ghosts


The HAs of Old Dorm Block and Anna Mann present…

ODB: A History

Old Dorm Block, 1920. Photograph. Reed College Hauser Library Special Collections and Archives. Portland, Oregon.

In 1912, when the building’s construction began, the building’s architects designed the campus in the Tudor Revival style of Saint John’s College at Oxford in order to signify the college’s mission of scholasticism and create the visual ambience of an elite college.

The original campus master plan organizes the academic and residential buildings around connected quadrangles. Old Dorm Block was the second building constructed, after Eliot Hall (formerly the Arts and Sciences Building). The plan proposes forty-nine buildings, comprising two colleges, a men’s and women’s.  A central quadrangle divides the colleges and opens onto several gardens, much like Saint John’s College’s Front Quadrangle, which opens onto The Gardens.

Doyle Owl and ODB
House F residents pose with their prize, originally swiped from an Eastmoreland residence.

Doyle owl: “Strigidus cementus. Unofficial mascot of Reed College (the official mascot being the griffin (q.v.). While the griffin is a mythical beast, the Doyle Owl is concretely real, although most of the tales of the owl are myths. The original owl was a local piece of garden sculpture, which was carried off as a prank by students living in House F (later renamed Doyle). Since then, there have been many incarnations of the Doyle Owl; the present avatar is owl number 23, plus or minus 11. Almost all of them are made of concrete and weigh over 100 pounds (although there was at least one anti-owl, made of papier-mâché). Contrary to prevalent myth, the Owl was never one of the animals adorning the roof of Old Dorm Block; those are and always have been beavers.” (From “The New (Olde) Reed Almanac” Reed Magazine, 2011)

ODB student

ODB “Doubles” Myth! “The reason why some rooms are big and some are small is because Reed used to be for elite students who brought their butlers and/or servants. The butlers and/or servants lived in the small rooms.” FALSE. We’re pretty sure that they used to be all huge rooms and have since had walls erected, dividing them into two living quarters, explaining why only the inner rooms have built-in closets. Although I’m sure someone tried to bring a butler at some point…

The Sundial: According to alumnus Beatrice Olson, ‘24, the sundial on the south side of ODB tells time most accurately on the following days of the year: 4/20, 6/9, 9/3, 12/22… at least when there is sun… (Reed Oral Histories)

No Boys Allowed… Unless: In the 1940s, male-bodied visitors in women’s dorm rooms had to keep “one foot in the hall all the time” (Reed Oral Histories, Phyllis Glasener Whitman ’44). But I heard it was “one foot on the floor”… either way this is pretty great.

Rooftop ODBPhyllis Whitman on the Old Dorm Block roof, 1943. Photograph.
Reed College Hauser Library Special Collections and Archives. Portland, Oregon.

Old Dorm Poets (errr.. I mean Anna Mann Poets…): Poets Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder ’51 gave a poetry reading in Anna Mann in February 1956, from which the first known recording of Ginsberg’s “Howl” was taken.

KRRC in ODB: The KRRC was originally run out of the Doyle basement, next to the washing machines (which are still located in the same spot!). KRRC has since moved just across the way in the Student Union.

KRRC ODBDJ in the KRRC station, ca. 1989. Photograph. Reed College Hauser Library Special Collections and Archives. Portland, Oregon.

Daring Climber: While he was a Reed student, Gary Snyder ‘51 was spotted climbing up a rope dangling from his girlfriend’s third floor window of Ladd. He clearly wasn’t keeping one foot in the hall.

Steve Jobs and doyle owl

Jobs posing with the Doyle Owl in Palo Alto, CA in 1996 (Photo courtesy of Jeremy Stone ’99)

The Man, the Myth, the ODB resident: Steve Jobs reportedly lived on the third floor of Westport during his short tenure at Reed before leaving us for bigger and better things (read: computers). Here’s a Quest article about our most famous dropout complete with a few great quotes from him about his time at Reed.

Ghosts: I know you wanted to hear about hauntings in ODB, but, honestly, we don’t think there are any. Yet.

And, finally, watch this awesome silent film of Reed campus scenes, filmed 1938-1942 by student Donald G. Krause! Trü Olde Reed!

The ODB/Anna Mann House Advisor staff hope you enjoyed this read! Come back soon, ya hear?

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