Stanford will only house students part-time, expects them to enroll full-time

The university proposed “that all classes larger than 50 students will need to be taught online.”

Stanford University announced that undergraduates will only be allowed on campus for two quarters out of the year.

As colleges across the country grapple with plans to return to campus, Stanford University will only house students for part of the 2020-2021 school year, while requiring them to enroll for the entire year. The same announcement did not state whether resident students will still have to pay for a full year of room and board, given that they will not live on campus for the entire academic year. 

Stanford University did not respond to Campus Reform in time for publication. 

Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Provost Persis Drell released a message to the student body regarding plans for reopening the campus in the fall, noting “three factors” which have ultimately led to their current proposal for reopening. 

Tessier-Lavigne and Drell stated that the university does not want to be forced to send students home “if COVID-19 infections increase in a second wave,” noting that when all students are on campus, the “classrooms and undergraduate residences do not allow for sufficient physical distancing” to prevent the virus from spreading. He also noted that the school must also take into account housing for students to quarantine or self-isolate on campus. 

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Undergraduates who will be living on campus will be designated single rooms, resulting in less available housing space for on-campus residents. This is less of a concern for graduate students since Stanford offers “apartment-style living spaces with single-occupancy bedrooms on and off-campus.” 

In response to this challenge, for the upcoming academic year, Stanford University will only allow half of its undergraduate student body to be housed on campus at any given time. The year is divided into four quarters for the undergraduates, including the summer of 2021. Two class years will be permitted “back on campus for the fall quarter and each subsequent quarter, changing each quarter.” 

Students are generally enrolled in classes for three quarters, which will “allow all Stanford undergraduates to complete two quarters of instruction in residence on the Stanford campus in 2020-21, and require most to complete at least one quarter remotely.” 

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While Stanford is planning to house freshmen and transfer students on campus in the fall and seniors in the spring, Tessier-Lavigne and Drell say, “Beyond that, we have not made decisions about which undergraduates would come to campus in which quarters.”

In any case, Tessier-Lavigne and Drell say “We expect that all classes larger than 50 students will need to be taught online, although the limits could be smaller depending on local health conditions.”

Tessier-Lavigne and Drell also note that despite not being able to be on campus all year, incoming freshmen “will need to enroll at Stanford for your entire first year, not for individual quarters alone.”

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