Reed College criticized over rowdy gods festival
By Faith News Note:
Before the first lecture of the Humanities 101 class, a required course for all Reed College freshmen, a group of juniors and seniors gather outside the building yelling and gesturing, some dressed as gods, some naked, to demand libations be poured out to the gods to assure luck in the coming academic year. Freshmen are to pour their coffee or other drinks on the ground in response.
The decade-long ritual by students at Reed has come under investigation as a possible violation of Title IX, which prohibits sexual discrimination at public institutions. In an email to students, staff and faculty, Reed President, John Kroger, disclosed the investigation.
The Oregonian quotes Kroger’s email:
“Unfortunately, the conduct of the nude students caused deep distress to some members of our community. These community members suggest that forcing prior victims of sexual assault to pass through this gauntlet in order to enter a classroom creates a hostile educational and work environment . . . The central challenge of community existence is for members of the community to learn how to exercise their freedom in ways that do not impinge upon the rights of or cause harm to others.” Kroger assured readers that when the investigation is completed, the college will take the necessary steps to ensure a safe environment for students and staff.