A few considerations for choosing where to live on campus

Applying to live on campus is an exciting part of starting your time at Reed! Maybe you’re moving away from home for the first time and aren’t entirely sure what kind of housing might appeal to you as an independent human. Or maybe you aren’t sure how Reed housing will be different from places you’ve lived before. So, as we gear up for housing selection, I figured it might be useful for you to know how our housing process works and what factors you might want to consider as you go through the process of applying.
First, as you may know from the housing application process, you get to preference three buildings/living communities. And, unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that you will get placed in one of your top choices. That is definitely the goal, but certain buildings get preferenced far more than others, and due to the reality of limited space, it’s not always possible to give you one of your top choices. Anyway, disclaimer aside, here are a few factors I think are worth considering as you embark on the journey of choosing housing:
Theme communities:
As you can read about on the Res Life website, we have certain dedicated theme communities . You should peruse the theme and community living options available to decide if one looks like it might suit you. Most themes are focused around shared interests and will have theme based events. Theme communities are incredibly welcoming and care about you having a willingness to try to engage in the theme more than having prior experience. For instance, if you want to apply to live in GameDev, they don’t require coding experience but look for a desire to learn about and play games of all types.
Some themes are based around shared lifestyle preferences more than shared interests. For example, substance free housing fosters a community that chooses to leave tobacco, alcohol, and other substances outside of their living space.
Especially as you choose to live in a new place with new people, it can be helpful to know that you’re going to join a community with shared interests. Of course, your HA (House Adviser) will work diligently to help you feel at home in or out of a theme community.
Location on campus:
Do you want to be able to roll out of bed and into commons in the morning without spending more than 30 seconds outside? If so, ODB (Old Dorm Block), Anna Mann, or any of the buildings in FSM (Foster, Scholz, and MacNaughton) might be a good fit for you.
Do you want to be able to live in a quieter corner of campus and walk across the canyon to be reminded of Reed’s beauty on your way to class? In this case, Bragdon, Naito-Sullivan, or The Grove might be great options for you.
Another consideration when thinking about your location on campus is noise. While ODB might be great in terms of proximity to commons on Saturday morning, it is also close to the SU (Student Union), which hosts Reed balls on some weekend nights. If you want to be able to choose whether or not you can hear the festivities, ODB may not be the most ideal dorm for you. Sullivan and Naito, for example, are far enough away that you won’t hear noise from central campus but will still only take a few minutes to walk across the fish ladder to commons.
Some of our awesome theme communities (like the co-ops) are only open to returning students, so you can look forward to applying for those next year!
No matter where you end up, we can’t wait to build community with you and for you to be part of Reed.
 An increasingly sappy, rising senior HA
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Finding Housing after the housing portal has closed

Due to a limited number of housing spaces available, Res Life cannot guarantee housing to all who fill out a housing application. Each year, when it appears that every room has been filled, each person participating in the housing lottery is notified and given information on how to sign up for the wait list.

Once we have a wait list and people begin to cancel their housing contracts as extraneous circumstances lead to a change in their plans, we start to offer those newly-vacant spots to the wait list. Because the wait list is constantly changing, it is hard to know exactly where each student is on the list. So how will you know whether to make new plans?First, make sure to join the wait list, and make your housing preferences as broad as possible. Contact us to find out in a very general sense where you are on the wait list, and we can advise you on whether or not to plan to find off-campus housing.

So what to do about this off-campus housing pickle:

  1. Join Reed College Housing Board & Lost and Found Facebook page. This is an unaffiliated page, but very populated with Reed people. This is where community members post offers for housing positions as they become available in Reed houses, and where you can post an “ask” for available rooms within your price range, and with however many people you are trying to find housing with. It may be possible to only find subletting conditions until the end of summer, and then getting on a permanent lease. Figuring out the logistics may take patience and some creativity.
  2. Join Reed College Switchboard! This is a Reed Affiliated site that allows current students and alumni to post asks/offers for housing. The advantage of the Reed-specific housing pages is that the available housing stays within the Reed community. So “ask” away! Be as specific and as flexible as possible.
  3. Look into unaffiliated apartments: The Wimbledons and the Garden Parks are the closest and some of the most popular apartments for current Reed students due to their proximity to campus and their proximity to community safety. A new apartment community by Solterra in the Brooklyn neighborhood is also opening up.

Make checking these sites a part of your daily habit for a bit to avoid making the very last day of school incredibly stressful! email us at res-life@reed.edu with further questions.



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GameDev Highlights

Join Game Dev!

This week, Residence Life is highlighting Game Dev (Game Development), a Theme Community located in Naito/Sullivan, as presented by Theme Coordinator Miles Baker! Residence Life will be accepting Theme and Language Housing applications through Sunday, February 28. To submit an application, please visit housing.reed.edu.


Here at the Game Dev theme community, we pride ourselves on the four F’s: fun, friendship, and fantastic games. Well, I guess that was only three F’s, but the point still stands: Game Dev is a great place to live if you’re interested in the process of making games. No matter what your specific interest, we probably have something for you! There are a lot of different talents involved in game design, so almost everyone can find something that interests them. Are you some kind of super genius programmer? Do you have latent artistic talent? Do you like watching people obey arbitrary rules that you’ve created? Game Dev might be for you! But it’s okay if you don’t have any experience with these kinds of things – all you need is an interest in game design and a willingness to learn!

Over the past semester, Game Dev has hosted a dizzying array of events related to game design. We hosted several game jams, with themes ranging from “combine the rules to two different board games” to “witches’ brews.” We held an instructional session on beginning to build 3D video games using Unity. We even had a conversation with a local game development studio after playing through their game as a community. If you join us, you can look forward to more events like these, as well as whatever other crazy things we may think of!

Anyway, if literally anything I’ve described above sounds interesting to you, you will probably have a great time in Game Dev. Heck, you will probably have a great time even if everything I just said sounds super boring. You should apply!

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The Group Interview

Friendly neighborhood senior HA here to give some tips on that daunting (and exciting) group interview. “Group interview, what’s that?” you may ask. The group interview is the last phase of the HA interview process. Here are some logistics:

You will receive an email by the end of the day on Thursday, February 18 indicating whether your application has continued on to Phase Three. If it has continued, you will be required to attend a Group Interview on Sunday, February 28. You will be assigned an interview time that lasts at least 90 minutes. You must be available for this interview in order to continue in the HA selection process.

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Theme Housing Options for 2016-2017

Theme and language fair

We’ve added an updated section on our blog to showcase our awesome theme and language houses. Each year, students have the opportunity to propose a theme community or join an existing one that appeals to their interests or needs. These communities have a common goal of providing an inclusive environment full of learning, living, and having fun together. Read about our theme and language house options by clicking on the links below:

Language HousesGame Dev | OuthaüsMad Science | Tír na nÓgFarm House | Garden HouseMusic Appreciation SocietyStudents Of Color Community (New 2016-2017)Random House |  Silver Screen (New 2016-2017)

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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!

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 11.33.04 AM

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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