News

Stanford undergraduates will no longer come to campus this fall

University president announces change in reopening plans, citing worsening coronavirus trends

On Aug. 13, Stanford University announced that will not bring undergraduate students back to campus this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Embarcadero Media file photo.

Stanford University has reversed course on reopening, announcing Thursday that undergraduate students will not be coming back to campus this fall as planned.

Citing a "dramatic reversal in California's reopening" due to spiking coronavirus rates and state guidance for higher education institutions that would require a restrictive in-person experience, including no indoor classes, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said almost all instruction for undergraduates will be fully online for the fall quarter.

"The public health challenges associated with bringing large numbers of undergraduates back to campus dormitory residences under current health conditions, coupled with the limited nature of the on-campus experience we would be able to offer, have led us to the conclusion we are announcing today for our undergraduates," he wrote in his announcement.

Graduate students will still be allowed on campus in person given their "living, dining and academic experiences" are different from undergraduates, Tessier-Lavigne wrote.

Stanford had planned to bring half of its undergraduate students to campus during different quarters, with the majority of courses still happening online, even for students who are living there in person. Official statements repeatedly emphasized that this plan could change and was subject to local public health conditions.

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"There have now been nearly 600,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 10,000 deaths in California, and much of the state, including all of the Bay Area, has been placed on a 'watch list' due to worsening trends in public health indicators," Tessier-Lavigne wrote.

Undergraduate students who have already been approved to live at Stanford due to special circumstances will still be offered campus housing, he said. The university will soon provide more information about campus housing and issues related to residential staff, international students and financial aid.

Stanford hopes that freshmen, sophomores and new transfer students can return to campus for the winter quarter. The university is also offering leaves of absence as an option for returning students.

"This is a disappointing turn of events because so much of what makes Stanford a special place is embodied in the in-person interactions we have here — in the residences, with faculty at office hours, walking with friends across campus, in our student organizations and artistic venues and sporting events. All of us miss the unique, vibrant, palpable spirit of Stanford that is created when we are here together, living and learning in community," the president wrote. "Each of us embodies this Stanford spirit, and I am confident that we can sustain the collective energy of our extraordinary community throughout this crisis, until we can be present together once again on the Farm."

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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Stanford undergraduates will no longer come to campus this fall

University president announces change in reopening plans, citing worsening coronavirus trends

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 1:26 pm

Stanford University has reversed course on reopening, announcing Thursday that undergraduate students will not be coming back to campus this fall as planned.

Citing a "dramatic reversal in California's reopening" due to spiking coronavirus rates and state guidance for higher education institutions that would require a restrictive in-person experience, including no indoor classes, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said almost all instruction for undergraduates will be fully online for the fall quarter.

"The public health challenges associated with bringing large numbers of undergraduates back to campus dormitory residences under current health conditions, coupled with the limited nature of the on-campus experience we would be able to offer, have led us to the conclusion we are announcing today for our undergraduates," he wrote in his announcement.

Graduate students will still be allowed on campus in person given their "living, dining and academic experiences" are different from undergraduates, Tessier-Lavigne wrote.

Stanford had planned to bring half of its undergraduate students to campus during different quarters, with the majority of courses still happening online, even for students who are living there in person. Official statements repeatedly emphasized that this plan could change and was subject to local public health conditions.

"There have now been nearly 600,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 10,000 deaths in California, and much of the state, including all of the Bay Area, has been placed on a 'watch list' due to worsening trends in public health indicators," Tessier-Lavigne wrote.

Undergraduate students who have already been approved to live at Stanford due to special circumstances will still be offered campus housing, he said. The university will soon provide more information about campus housing and issues related to residential staff, international students and financial aid.

Stanford hopes that freshmen, sophomores and new transfer students can return to campus for the winter quarter. The university is also offering leaves of absence as an option for returning students.

"This is a disappointing turn of events because so much of what makes Stanford a special place is embodied in the in-person interactions we have here — in the residences, with faculty at office hours, walking with friends across campus, in our student organizations and artistic venues and sporting events. All of us miss the unique, vibrant, palpable spirit of Stanford that is created when we are here together, living and learning in community," the president wrote. "Each of us embodies this Stanford spirit, and I am confident that we can sustain the collective energy of our extraordinary community throughout this crisis, until we can be present together once again on the Farm."

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Aug 13, 2020 at 3:39 pm
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2020 at 3:39 pm
21 people like this

As there will be more housing available for graduate students -- Stanford can now assign safer living spaces for these students. Students should not have to share bathrooms. Glad Stanford has made the ethical decision to emphasize health and now can do the right thing by giving the graduate students decent and hygienic living quarters.


Curious
Registered user
another community
on Aug 13, 2020 at 4:02 pm
Curious , another community
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2020 at 4:02 pm
14 people like this

Just curious about the economic impact on Palo Alto and the surrounding communities with students not coming back to campus. Does anyone have an idea about what this means for the local economy?


NeilsonBuchanan
Registered user
Downtown North
on Aug 13, 2020 at 5:35 pm
NeilsonBuchanan, Downtown North
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2020 at 5:35 pm
4 people like this

Oh, No! fewer pizzas and burgers to be sold!


Curious
Registered user
another community
on Aug 13, 2020 at 6:46 pm
Curious , another community
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2020 at 6:46 pm
22 people like this

Hi all,

I guess I will bite at the comment.

I am curious about not having 5,000 undergrads , buying, renting and putting cash into the local economy. Stanford will not employ as many folks based on this decision. Add that to the loss of local revenue.

Fewer pizzas and hamburgers sold means higher unemployment.

I was looking for a rational conversation.


chris
Registered user
University South
on Aug 13, 2020 at 7:01 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2020 at 7:01 pm
40 people like this

The people here are running around without masks, not social distancing, and people wonder why the economy is bad. The city council is not requiring a crackdown on unsafe behavior.

Stanford is doing what it had to do given the selfishness of the local population.

It is time to follow the lead of other countries and get serious. Stop fooling around.


Don
Registered user
College Terrace
on Aug 14, 2020 at 11:01 am
Don, College Terrace
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2020 at 11:01 am
11 people like this

"Does anyone have an idea about what this means for the local economy?"

It'll be a loss of customers to all local businesses, but especially bad for those in Town and Country shopping center. And then there are Stanford game weekends. Big revenue generators.


chris
Registered user
University South
on Aug 14, 2020 at 1:37 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2020 at 1:37 pm
6 people like this

There were never going to be fans at Stanford games even if they were played.

The head of the Minneapolis Fed says that we need to go into a short-term hard lockdown to drive the case rate down to level that all of the cases can be tracked and traced with the infected people put into an enforced quarantine.

We are in the situation now where the owners of a very few restaurants are driving public health policy. How backwards can this be?


Don
Registered user
College Terrace
on Aug 14, 2020 at 7:14 pm
Don, College Terrace
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2020 at 7:14 pm
9 people like this

I'm not saying it isn't the right thing for Stanford to do (I think it is), just that it'll have a substantial financial impact on local businesses.


Duveneck
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 15, 2020 at 2:51 pm
Duveneck, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2020 at 2:51 pm
6 people like this

Thanks, Chris. Sooo many seniors without masks, which is insane given their age-affected lower immune systems. Others, too, of course without masks.


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