Alumni & Parents

Benefits & Services

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Reed ski cabin: a letter from the president

This summer I received the report of the ski cabin review committee. The committee, composed of students, staff, faculty, and alumni, was formed in 2002, with a charge to investigate how the ski cabin is used and to make recommendations on ways to improve operations. The committee was thorough in its investigations and analysis, and I thank the members for their good work.

The committee made two safety-related recommendations that I believe should be implemented immediately. First, when the cabin is not in use, it should be locked. The Government Camp area is growing and, yes, times have changed. A lock is necessary to protect college property and ensure use only by members of the Reed community. Secondly, we ask that users limit occupancy to 15 people per night at the cabin, including the cabin manager. This number was agreed upon after negotiation with the Hoodland fire lieutenant. This limit represents the building's legal capacity and will help ensure the occupants' safety.

The committee also recommended that the college implement a reservation system for the ski cabin. A reservation system would allow individual students and student groups to plan activities at the ski cabin and be assured of available space. A reservation system would also help the college to manage the facility in a safe manner for the occupants, ensuring that only Reed community members (alumni, students, faculty, and staff) use the facility and that occupancy limits are observed for everyone's safety.

While I am inclined to agree that some sort of reservation system is called for, I recognize that a reservation system would change the "culture" of the ski cabin and will thus stir some opposition. Further, questions would need to be answered about the precise way in which a reservation system would work. Accordingly, I believe that the Reed community should have an opportunity to comment on this aspect of the committee's report. Please feel free to share your questions, concerns, and suggestions by writing to Your input will help us make the best decision about the use of this valuable resource.

In the meantime, I hope that many of you are able to take advantage of the ski cabin. Over the summer, the college installed a fire suppression system for the cabin, a feature added to a number of surrounding residences as well. The cabin was painted, and plans are in place to improve egress from the basement. A ski cabin manager remains in place. If you plan to use the cabin and want to be sure it will be open, please email our current cabin manager at or call 503/272-3464.

--Colin Diver, president