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2 College Sophomore

Diversity: The student body is very white, and though the administration proclaims it's trying to get more diversity, their main concern is, of course, who brings in the most money.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Diversity: I've heard it described as "the most diverse group of white people you'll ever meet" but that's only partially true. But mostly it's true. There are a lot of white people, but the more interesting variety. You don't get a lot of cookie-cutter white people, which is nice. I'm a white person, but my whole family is from Iran, I have another caucasian friend who speaks fluent Spanish and Swedish, another caucasian friend who has lived in New Zealand for several years. SO, if you're into that, Reed has that type in plenty. People are very open about their sexualities. One thing I've learned is that assume nothing about anybody. Really, if you have a "gay-dar" it won't work here. You can't tell. It also isn't relevant, unless you're trying to sleep with someone/ date them, but even then, if you're at that point, you'll know.

9 people found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Diversity: It's not known for being hugely diverse, but I think the college does try to promote diversity and I think we have a surprising amount of international students for being such a small school.

5 people found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Diversity: Feels very rich and white. 50% of students pay full tuition. Only 8 black freshmen last year... We're getting better w/latino folks and it's a safer space than many for people of all/most genders/sexual orientations. People from all of the country and world, which is nice. You can build a diverse group of friends, the MRC is great for this, but you sort of have to work for it.

9 people found this useful Report
1 College Junior

Diversity: My experience of Reed's diversity has been *very* different from what others have described here. As someone who attended an economically and racially diverse public school for high school, I was shocked by Reed's monolithic whiteness and Reedies' overall privilege. There are definitely exceptions, but the dominant culture at Reed is very much upper-middle class. Most students (in my experience) attended expensive private high schools, and the vast majority of American students there are from California or the Northeast. While Reed is definitely accepting of quirkiness, different sexual orientations, and social awkwardness (and there's something to be said for those things), it lacks in the departments of socioeconomic and racial diversity. While Reedies are, or try to be, accepting of most people, in such a monolithic environment privilege is sometimes not noticed or called into question, resulting, at times, in a weird, pretentious, ivory-tower culture. Reedies have a tradition of proudly boasting that Reed isn't a trade school, for example (and one went so far as to shout this during a debate over whether or not the school newspaper should serve as a means of gaining experience in journalism). Most Reedies seem completely unaware of the classism inherent in demeaning trade schools. It's a small example, to be sure, but it's indicative of the way Reed's lack of diversity sometimes creeps into the public dialogue without being challenged.

36 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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While Reed continues to work toward acquiring a greater degree of diversity, nearly everyone on campus believes that Reed's diversity continues to be the school's weakest characteristic. On certain days, spotting more than a handful of ethnic students can be difficult. More than two-thirds of Reed's student body is Caucasian. Although the school is hurting for a greater degree of diversity, students agree that Reed is working hard to better the situation. The Admissions Office has worked to branch out to minority students in an attempt to increase Reed's diversity. Additionally, students find that, despite the lack of ethnicity, Reed continues to be one of the most progressive-minded colleges in the United States.

Although lacking in ethnic diversity, a great deal of social diversity does exist at Reed. The progressive and accepting nature of the campus draws many GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transexual) students to Reed. Furthermore, Reedies tend to come from all economic and sociopolitical backgrounds. In terms of the sexes, Reed's balance rests at nearly half and half, with the women slightly outnumbering the men. And, of course, if you want all ranges of liberalism, from moderate to crazy, then Reed's your place. Although some students may find the Caucasian liberalism of Reed overwhelming at times, most students enjoy studying at an institution where they can critically discuss liberal political issues with their peers.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Foreign countries
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Washington
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 2%
18-19: 46%
20-21: 43%
22-24: 7%
25+: 2%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 3%
Asian American: 5%
Hispanic: 4%
International: 5%
Native American: 0%
White: 83%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
Copious amounts of gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual students call Reed home, while the on-campus organization QA (Queer Alliance) gives them an active and loud voice in the community.
Political Activity
Reed students generally fall from moderate liberal to radical liberal on the political spectrum, with a few students per class being the notable exceptions. Students often choose to articulate their viewpoints through any number of political activities, from creating student-run organizations supporting presidential candidates to protesting in the greater Portland metropolitan area.
Economic Status
Although Reed students tend to come from all economic backgrounds, a large percentage of Reed students grew up in middle-class families.
Most Common Religions
There are numerous atheists and the traditional smattering of religious organizations, such as the Christian club called "Oh, for Christ's Sake!," the Jewish alliance Chaverim, a group for would-be pagans called the Pagan Circle, and a group for Unitarian Universalists. There is also an Interfaith Council.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Reed's multicultural organizations include Amnesty International, the Multicultural Resource Center, International Student Union, and Queer Alliance.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 11 responses

  • 18% Progressive/very liberal
  • 36% Liberal
  • 36% Moderate
  • 0% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 9% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 17 responses

  • 76% Progressive/very liberal
  • 12% Liberal
  • 0% Moderate
  • 0% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 12% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 16 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

What political party do you associate yourself with?    Based on 7 responses

  • 0% Republican
  • 43% Democratic
  • 14% Independent
  • 29% Other party not mentioned
  • 14% I don't care about politics

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 5 responses

  • 80% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 20% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 0% Somewhat accepted. LGBT students aren't necessarily out and proud on campus, for fear of intolerance.
  • 0% Not accepted. LGBT students generally stay quiet.

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 7 responses

  • 86% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 14% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 0% Somewhat accepted. LGBT students aren't necessarily out and proud on campus, for fear of intolerance.
  • 0% Not accepted. LGBT students generally stay quiet.

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 10 responses

  • 80% Very accepting.
  • 20% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 0% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 0% It's hard to be a minority here.
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