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Banner image featuring Akasha Gillian Hayden, she/they, a student in Electrical Engineering and Princess Vongchanh, they/them, a student in Symbolic Systems. Studying while social distancing in the park. Photo Credit: Andrew Brodhead via

Community Living

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This winter, Stanford will be welcoming undergraduate students with special circumstances and our 7,000 graduate students on campus. In order to limit the transmission of COVID-19, necessary precautions and guidance for community living are in place.


After months of physical distancing, we know that many of you are eager to gather with friends upon returning to campus. However, the State of California still prohibits many forms of in-person gathering. To provide more clarity on this topic, it is important that you check out this website, which provides details on how to see your friends safely. Check it out!

Contact Budgeting

You may be wondering how you can maintain your social well-being while you are here on campus while still upholding the Campus Compact. When considering your social contacts and weighing risks of COVID-19 it may be helpful to think through a “contact budget,” similar to creating a financial budget for yourself. 

  • Why create a contact budget?
    • By now, we have all heard public health advice related to maintaining a closed social circle or only being in close contact with those in your “household,” in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Living on campus means you’ll have to think about how this translates to dorm life. The best way to reduce spread of COVID-19 is strict personal hygiene adherence AND maintaining a closed circle of contacts. A contact budget will help you maximize your socializing opportunities within the public health guidance we must uphold.

      Creating a contact budget will also help with contact tracing should you, or a contact get sick. This is not about shame or blame. In fact, creating a contact budget shows careful thought and consideration for others. Ultimately, if you can’t count your contacts on your fingers and remember their names, that’s a good indication that your contact budget is too high. 

  • How do I make a contact budget?
    • Check this template to help you create a contact budget for 14 day increments. This additional template walks you through a series of questions to help you weigh risks/benefits while sustaining your ability to be social. We know that suggestions to mitigate risk or alternatives to seeing loved ones in-person will not feel the same or even adequate at times. The contact budget is about making informed decisions and making the best with what we have. 

      Your contact budget may increase or need to decrease over time as public health guidance changes. Your contact budget does NOT supersede university policy or public health guidance. Remember there are non-negotiables with laws and community compact. This is merely a tool to help you be intentional about your decision making. 

    • Before filling in the template, you might want to explore this spectrum of risk to get a sense for how risky different types of interactions are. Then, with that in mind, as you are filling out your contact budget, categorize your contacts along that spectrum.