At the start of last month, the 100+ banners hanging in Reed’s gym came down. It didn’t go unnoticed.
Because of the waves made and opinions created, Reed administration held an open forum in school’s theater Thursday evening for the public to recommend ideas for the banners. Unfortunately, despite the myriad emails and tweets sent by those claiming to be upset by the decision, only eight people showed up—three of whom are coaches at the school.
The forum, hosted by new athletic director Ryan Sims and first-year principal Josh Rosenbloom, lasted for an hour. Not a single Reed student was in attendance.
After numerous points and ideas were brought up for the banners, the only choice made was to postpone any decision. Although, the eight in attendance along with the two Reed administrators, said they would prefer find a compromise.
Sims pointed the discoloration of numerous banners, the cost ($400), the “visual clutter,” affected lighting, ventilation issues and the interference with balls in play for the removal of the banners.
Reed’s new athletic director said he would prefer the money go directly to the student-athletes, paying for those who couldn’t pay required fees as well as funding the maintenance and upkeep of the school’s struggling athletic facilities. Himself a Reed graduate, he made it clear he recognized the school’s rich athletic tradition and is not trying to hinder it.
Opponents of the banner’s removal said taking the banners down took away from that tradition and said the myriad yellow reminders of decorated squads served as an intimidation factor for opponents.
Girls soccer coach Jason Saville was the most vocal opponent of the gym’s new look.
“Forty-one years of tradition came down when they (the banners) came down,” he said.
The Raiders’ soccer coach also spoke about his disappointment in the forum’s attendance despite the countless people in the community and former student’s he’s heard from.
Teams that won regional and state titles will not go unrecognized if the banners remain unhung. Sims plans to order large plates/banners for individual sports and teams that won titles would be recognized by the year of their accomplishment.
The cost of stickers that would go on the each sport’s banner will cost approximately $50, $350 less than a banner.
Sims did not come up with the idea to take down the banners on his own. Former athletic director and current football coach, Ernie Howren, who was also in attendance, said he had starting gathering opinions on the idea before stepping down from the AD role this summer.
Howren said the interference of balls in play, particularly in volleyball, was the largest reason for investigation into giving the gym a sleeker look.