- 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.
- 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.
- 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 (co-ops, 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.
- How can I find a roommate? We will create virtual opportunities for you to make connections within your neighborhood and find the people you would like to live with next year. Stay tuned for more information! In the meantime, we encourage you to connect with the other students assigned to your neighborhood in your neighborhood’s Facebook group.
- How will the process of naming the neighborhoods work? Will students have input? We’ve been talking with students about how to name our neighborhoods. There have been a lot of great ideas including things like naming the neighborhoods after trees, elements and colors. We want to take some time to work with our community to find the right long-term names. We’d love to hear your ideas! Please share them here. Until then, we will be going with the most traditional of names, S-T-A-N-F-O-R-D. Each neighborhood will be one of the letters of the Stanford name (Neighborhood S, Neighborhood T and so on). This temporary approach reinforces how each neighborhood will be an integral part of our community as a whole.
- 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.
- Can I change neighborhoods? To build cohesive communities, the ResX Task Force envisioned incentives to encourage students to stay in their original neighborhoods. Higher priority in your neighborhood assignments process is one such incentive.
You may live in a residence outside your neighborhood, if you are in a university theme house, for two of your three upperclass years. You may add a third year if you accept a student staff assignment outside your neighborhood.
For students who simply want to change neighborhoods, there will be a process for students to file neighborhood change requests available next spring (for the 2022-2023 year) when current seniors are preparing to leave their neighborhoods. More details on this process will be available next spring. Exception: Students who have verified OAE or Title IX reasons for changing neighborhoods will be prioritized for immediate reassignment with no penalty.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
University Theme Houses (UTHs)
- I’m interested in living in a University Theme House (co-op, fraternity, sorority, ethnic theme dorm or academic theme house). Can I choose to live in a theme house in a different neighborhood? 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.
- How do I apply? All University Theme Houses fill 100% of their spaces through a process called pre-assignment. Please visit the Residential Education website for more details.
- What is the pre-assignment timeline? Pre-assignment applications for University Theme Houses opens on Monday, June 7, and closes on Wednesday, June 16 at 1:00pm PST. University Theme House pre-assignments will be announced Tuesday, July 6.
- What University Theme Houses will be available to me? Check out our website for more detailed information!
- 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 pre-assignment 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 likely 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 many years am I able to live in a University Theme House? 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.
- How are ethnic theme houses affected? 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!
- 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.
- I’m a member of a housed fraternity or sorority. Do I need to be assigned to 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 information 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.
- 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!
Choice and Equity
- Will choice remain a hallmark? Yes! Frosh will choose between all-frosh dorms and University Theme Houses. Upperclass students will choose between dorms, theme houses and independent-style living within their neighborhoods, and University Theme Houses open to all students.