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FAQ

Basics

  • Zina Jawadi and Ana Sophia Mifsud organized the “Ask Me About My Disability” event held in White Plaza where Stanford students met with classmates and the community to answer questions about thier disabilities.
    What are we doing? We’re creating a coherent and supportive experience for students in the undergraduate residences. We’re helping students stay with their friends throughout their time at Stanford. We’re retaining the choice and variety of housing experiences that make Stanford, Stanford. We’re creating opportunities for students, student staff, and resident fellows to create and sustain their own communities. And we are supporting the opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.
  • Why are we doing this? We have four core principles that lead our thinking about these changes to the undergraduate residences. Check them out here!
  • When does this begin? The ideas started in 2018, and we were able to achieve many of the recommendations for the staffing of the residences in 2019. Check out more here. For fall 2021, we’re excited to be able to assign students into neighborhoods as their home base for their time at Stanford. This is an important step, but our work will continue to bring the ResX vision to full life in the coming years. 
  • Who is the leadership team? The Vice Provost for Budget and Auxiliaries Management, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education comprise the governing body. The Vice Provost for Student Affairs will convene this group and retain final decision-making authority for the undergraduate residential system. 
  • What do I do now? Review this website, stay informed, and get involved if you'd like.
  • What happens next? Check out our current projects
  • What is the X in ResX?  Great question!  ResX = Residential Experience.

Outreach

  • How did we do this? Big changes require big involvement, and we conducted extensive outreach.
    • The ResX Task Force spoke to some 500 students, alumni, faculty, and staff about their experiences, hopes, and dreams for the residences and for academic and residential education programs.
    • The task force also received 600 pieces of feedback through an online ResX portal and reviewed 493 long-range planning proposals.
    • The implementation teams that followed were made up of students, staff and faculty, and these teams led focus groups with students, alumni, RFs, and departments to try to find the best answers to some complicated questions.
    • We will need to continue to work together to make this dream a reality!
  • Will there be more opportunities for student feedback? Yes! Check out the “Get Involved” section of our website!
  • How will the university's decision to withdraw its General Use Permit application to Santa Clara County affect ResX plans? We’re working closely with Stanford’s Office of Public Affairs to think through implications. Meanwhile, we are continuing to implement ResX recommendations with our current facilities.

Neighborhoods

  • Why neighborhoods? We think neighborhoods are distinctly Stanford in that they imply an informality and are about relationships. They will keep friends together while continuing to offer a variety of housing choices, including the option to move from dorms to more independent living in the junior and senior years. At the same time, we know some students will be interested in living in university theme houses (coops, ethnic theme, fraternity and sorority, and special interest houses) for a year or more, and others may want to switch neighborhoods entirely. Our vision seeks to make all these things possible.
  • How will cohesive neighborhood communities be developed? We’ll invite students to take the lead! Most will stay in their neighborhoods for four years and will play a big role in creating and keeping traditions. In addition, each neighborhood will have its own professional staff, community council, and community gathering spaces, all designed to bring people together. Students who’d like to switch neighborhoods will be able to do so, but they will receive their housing assignments after their new neighborhood’s continuing residents.
  • You say “neighborhoods,” but the houses are not contiguous. How will they work as neighborhoods? Stanford’s undergraduate neighborhoods are not only about physical proximity; as important, they are about being able to easily stay with the same group of friends and acquaintances throughout your time at Stanford. Some people have called this “community continuity.” While some parts of your neighborhood are next door, and a few might be a jaunt across campus, they’ll all be filled with students and staff that you know. In designing each neighborhood:
    • We put together a core group of RF-led houses. 
    • We worked to have all the Row houses in a neighborhood close to one another and to the RF houses where possible.
    • We worked to distribute lower Row houses and apartments among the neighborhoods so that every student can have the opportunity to live in one of these spaces.
  • What if students want to venture outside their neighborhoods? They’ll be encouraged to do so! These won’t be gated communities. Stanford neighborhoods will be much like what you’d find in a big city made up of a bunch of communities, each with its own character, all open to visitors, and offering much to share.
  • What about all-campus events and parties? This is where The Social Project comes in. There are ways to open opportunities to all, and we have two great examples: The Arbor and Front Yard Friday.
  • What happens to RFs and RAs? Students and alumni made this clear: student staff and resident fellows are part of the heart and soul of our residences. Their roles will be amplified and coordinated; one way we’ve already addressed this is creating equal pay for all student staff and broadening their roles to help all student staff be able to support all of our students. We also know that students might want to become staff members in neighborhoods other than their own. They’ll be welcome to do so.
  • Tell me more about this common-area spaces group, what are they working on? It’s clear there isn’t enough suitable space on campus for students to gather, study, practice and play. We want to work on this!  This group will be looking at:
    • Identifying all common area spaces in each neighborhood that could be used by students for events, gatherings, meetings, etc. These are areas that would be used by the full membership of the neighborhood, not just a single house.
    • Determining what spaces should have limited access,what should just be generally available, and what should be reservable.
    • Articulating hours of operation for all spaces and any necessary reservation processes.
    • Working to ensure a balance across the system of available common area spaces and seeing where we need help.
    • Making recommendations for the necessary system and human infrastructure to support this use of the space.
  • What’s up with mail?  Will we get it in our neighborhoods? The ResX Task Force heard loudly from students that they would love to have easier access to their packages and mail. We are going to see what we can do. The world of mail is shockingly complicated, but we’ve got a group working on it and will keep you updated!

Assignments & Dining

Houses

  • Why all-frosh dorms? A multi-year partnership with Jamil Zaki, associate professor of psychology, has allowed us to better understand social connections and well-being in our student community.  Jamil's research demonstrated that students in our all-frosh dorms have more interconnected social networks, and also report greater well-being than first year students in some of our other residential environments. Our students have also shared that, for many, these dorms create strong, fun, vibrant communities, and we don’t have enough of them. Having said that, we know some frosh will seek alternatives, so we’ll continue offering ethnic theme dorms and academic theme dorms  To help the class bond as a whole, we’ll retain all the traditions in place now, beginning with New Student Orientation..
  • What happens to ethnic theme houses? Ethnic theme dorms are a treasure in our current system and they will continue operating much as they are today. Check out more on them here!

Theme Housing

  • I’m interested in living in a University Theme House (co-op, fraternity, sorority, ethnic theme dorm or academic theme house). How does that work? You might be thinking, “I’m looking forward to having a neighborhood home, but I’ve always wanted to live in Ujamaa. Can I do that too?” Yes! Everyone will have a neighborhood home. At the same time, our University Theme Houses are open to all students across the neighborhoods. You will have the opportunity to apply to live in the UTH of greatest interest to you.
  • What theme houses will be available to me? Check out our website for more detailed information! Here’s a quick summary of the themes approved to date.  
    • University Theme House - Academic

      • Equity, Access and Society Theme (EAST house - D Neighborhood): upper-class house
      • Explore Energy (Launching fall 2022, neighborhood to be determined)
      • Humanities (Ng House - F Neighborhood): upper-class house
      • Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture - ITALIC (Burbank - A Neighborhood): four-class house
      • Language and Culture Theme House: Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies, French and Italian (Yost House - D Neighborhood): upper-class house
      • Public Service and Civic Engagement (Otero - T Neighborhood): four-class house
      • Structured Liberal Education - SLE (Florence Moore - O Neighborhood): first-year and sophomore house
      • The Well House (Robert Moore North - N Neighborhood): upper-class house
    • University Theme House - Ethnic Theme Dorm (four-class houses)

      • Casa Zapata (A Neighborhood)
      • Muwekma-Tah-Ruk (O Neighborhood)
      • Okada (S Neighborhood)
      • Ujamaa (R Neighborhood)
    • University Theme House - Special Interest - Co-op (upperclass houses)

      • 576 Alvarado (O Neighborhood)
      • Columbae (A Neighborhood)
      • Enchanted Broccoli Forest (T Neighborhood)
      • Hammarskjold (N Neighborhood)
      • Kairos (F Neighborhood)
      • Synergy (D Neighborhood)
      • Terra (S Neighborhood)
    • University Theme House - Special Interest - Fraternity & Sorority (upperclass houses)

      • 675 Lomita (O Neighborhood)
      • 1018 Campus Drive (R Neighborhood)
      • Chi Omega (T Neighborhood)
      • Delta Delta Delta (A Neighborhood)
      • Kappa Alpha Theta (S Neighborhood)
      • Kappa Kappa Gamma (D Neighborhood)
      • Kappa Sigma (N Neighborhood)
      • Sigma Nu (A Neighborhood)
      • Phi Kappa Psi (N Neighborhood)
      • Pi Beta Phi (N Neighborhood)
  • I don’t see a theme house that I lived in on the list. Where is it? We have traditionally had a large number of preassignment and/or theme houses on campus. Every theme had the opportunity to apply to be considered a University Theme House - Academic (UTH-A). If a theme house is not listed above, it is most li kely that the leaders of the house or theme decided they did not want to be a UTH-A and/or the theme might make a better neighborhood theme. The vast majority of theme houses that applied to become UTH-As (9 out of 12) were approved. Those that were not approved will have an opportunity to apply again next year. We will not be releasing the names of those that were not approved as we want to maintain their privacy.
  • How were themes selected for University Theme Houses - Academic (UTH-A)? Historically, there has been a broad collection of theme and pre-assignment houses on campus. All current theme houses and any new proposals for theme houses were able to apply to be considered a UTH-A in the new ResX model. The Committee on Residential Learning (CoRL), a faculty-led committee under the Faculty Senate with faculty, students, and staff, led the review and recommendation process for UTH-As in February of this year. The application process launched on February 4, 2021, with the ResX announcement, and closed on February 24, 2021. CoRL held two information sessions and two drop-in Q&A sessions to help support applicants before the process closed, and the chair met individually with groups interested in submitting a proposal. CoRL evaluated theme house program plans based on leadership, interest and demand from students, learning and intellectual vitality, and institutional commitment to the program. CoRL then made recommendations to the Undergraduate Residences Governance Council (URGC) to review. URGC reviewed the recommendations and made final decisions on approval, placement, house type, and timeline. While reviewing CoRL’s recommendations, the URGC applied a few key principles in their decision-making process:
    • Honoring CoRL’s recommendations.
    • Supporting and advancing the core principles of ResX including: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Community and Belonging; Intellectual and Personal Growth; and Health and Well-being.
    • Placing all UTH-As in residences that have a Resident Fellow to ensure continuity and support for these critical programs.
      • Twelve applications were submitted to CoRL. URGC approved nine as UTH-As for this academic year or next academic year.
  • How did you decide to keep co-ops, ethnic theme dorms and Greek houses as university theme houses? Throughout the ResX process, students clearly and consistently stated that there were three house types they found to be incredibly meaningful during their time at Stanford: co-ops, ethnic theme dorms and Greek houses. Each provides a distinct experience, and students were clear that they wanted these meaningful experiences to continue to be available.
  • How many years am I able to live in a University Theme House (UTH)? Students are able to live in UTHs two of their three upperclass years. A student will be able to live in a UTH for a third year if the student staffs that house or is in an executive leadership position in a fraternity or sorority.
  • I’m a member of a housed fraternity or sorority. Do I need to try to get into the neighborhood my house is in to be able to live in my fraternity or sorority? No. Regardless of your neighborhood, you will be able to live in your organization’s house, as space allows.
  • For the current fraternities and sororities that have houses, how was it decided that they get to keep their houses? Was there a process? Our fraternity and sorority houses have been annually reviewed since 2014 through a process called “Standards of Excellence.” This is a process that all Greek-letter organizations went through, and that had the authority to remove housing from organizations that repeatedly do not meet the standards set by the university. Currently housed groups have been subject to the process and newly housed groups were approved through an application process in early 2020.  
  • There are some houses you’ve designated for fraternities and sororities that currently aren’t assigned to specific organizations. How will that work? Can organizations apply to live in these houses? The Committee on Residential Learning is working on a process to review and recommend applicants to the Undergraduate Residence Governance Council (URGC).  More info is coming soon!
  • 550 Lasuen used to be one of the houses for fraternities and sororities. I see that it is no longer listed and 1018 Campus Drive (previously Phi Sig) has been added. Why? Stanford and the Alpha Omega House Corporation (AOHC) have agreed that 550 Lasuen will be operated as a co-ed house until the end of AOHC’s lease term. 1018 Campus Drive, which was operating as a non-Greek self-op, will now be available to house Greek-letter organizations. We chose this house as it has 26 residents and can provide a broader spectrum of house size for our fraternities and sororities, allowing the opportunity for housing for some of our smaller organizations.
  • If I want to live in a specific co-op, do I need to try to get into the neighborhood of that co-op? No. You can apply to live in any co-op on campus. They are open to students from every neighborhood.
  • How will co-ops be reviewed? The Committee on Residential Learning is working on a process to review co-ops. More info is coming soon!

Staffing

  • How will you determine if I am eligible to staff?  For example, I was enrolled in my frosh year at Stanford and one quarter of this last year. Am I eligible? Staffing eligibility will be determined by your cohort year, which is based on the year you matriculated at Stanford. Students who matriculated in 2019 and earlier will be eligible.
  • Are co-terms eligible to staff this year? No.
  • How are the staff numbers for each house determined? Through the development of ResX, we determined a student staffing ratio by house type. Houses with first-year students will have one resident assistant (RA) for every 15 students. Houses with upperclass students will have one RA for every 20 students. University Theme Houses will have staffing to support the theme. UTH-Ethnic Theme Dorms will have three additional ethnic theme associates to support the house theme and serve the broader community. UTH-Academic dorms have one additional RA. We are still finalizing the staffing model for UTH-SI-Greek and UTH-SI-Co-op.
  • Can I staff any house, or only the houses in my neighborhood? You can apply to staff in any house.

Choice and Equity 

  • Will choice remain a hallmark? Yes! Frosh will chose between all-frosh dorms and university theme houses. Upperclass students will chose between dorms, theme houses and independent-style living within their neighborhoods, and university theme houses open to all students.