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Week 10: Video campus tour, town hall and more good news

A colleague took a speedy golf cart tour of our beautiful campus last week, and we’re sharing the footage with you.

Hello students and families, 

We have important news and reminders below, and we would like all of you to read them carefully, but first, we have a surprise. A colleague took a speedy golf cart tour of our beautiful campus last week, and we’re sharing the footage with you, along with a (physically distanced) greeting from Susie. Here you go!

Click image to play video, image shows Susie in her backyard with trees and a vegetable garden.

Now, on to our updates. 

We have great news to share about the Black Community Services Center and Ujamaa House.

Ending the video at Black House is a great segue into a terrific announcement: a generous gift from alumnus Evan Spiegel, ’12, and his family will create a permanent source of funding for the Black Community Services Center and Ujamaa House. This investment enables significant expansion of the educational, leadership and cultural programs provided by the BCSC and Ujamaa, and will empower students to play a central role in utilizing these resources. 

In addition, the gift will endow the resident fellow position and name the Jan Barker-Alexander Resident Fellow in Ujamaa, in honor of her remarkable impact as the longtime Ujamaa resident fellow. 

Please join us in congratulating Jan on this honor. Stanford News has published a story with all details.

You are invited to our next town hall. 

Save the date: we’re planning to hold a town hall for all undergraduate students and families from 9 to 10 a.m. PST Dec. 11. Watch your email for information on how to access the call and submit questions. The two of us will be on the call, along with a few of our colleagues who work closely with leading our campus life. 

We want to make sure everyone can get this information even if they can’t make the call, so after the call, we will update our winter quarter undergraduate FAQs and Re-Approaching Stanford, and we will continue to send all of you email updates as needed. 

Another excellent source of information is Health Alerts (you can subscribe at the bottom of the page). Thank you for your patience and diligence as we round the corner toward our second quarter of hybrid learning.

Winter billing information is coming soon.

On Nov. 23 (that’s Monday!), Student Financial Services and the Student Services Center will be emailing all students with important updates on the winter billing schedule, and with helpful information regarding payments for the 2020 1098-T tax form. We hope this will be helpful to students and families with financial decision-making as we near the end of the calendar year. You’ll find updated winter billing dates and deadlines on our Student Financial Services website.

Please read this if you’re considering experiential opportunities like research or service during your Flex Term.

On Dec. 6, Axess opens for course enrollment. We’re receiving lots of questions about experiential opportunities and the Flex Term. Here’s what you need to know: Students can use their Flex Term for full-time experiential Stanford opportunities—such as Stanford-funded research, Cardinal Quarter, or other experiential opportunities—only after completing two enrolled quarters in the current academic year (2020-2021); therefore, these full-time programs will only be available in spring and summer quarters. 

Students can live on campus during their Flex Term only if (1) their cohort has been invited back to campus for that quarter or if they have been approved through the special circumstances process and (2) they are participating in a full-time approved spring or summer experiential opportunity like those described above. Here’s a quick video from Academic Advising explaining all this and more. As always, please reach out to your Academic Advisor with any questions or concerns about winter quarter planning or experiential opportunities you may be considering.

Santa Clara County is now in the purple tier, which means it moved backward in the State of California’s COVID-19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework. 

As you saw in the provost’s message on Nov. 9, we are planning for additional safeguards in our campus protocols at the beginning of the winter quarter. As the provost indicated, if any changes in Stanford’s approach to the winter quarter are needed, they will be communicated before the university’s Winter Close begins on Dec. 14. 

We’ll end with a round of gratitude for everyone who voted and volunteered during the 2020 U.S. Elections.

Let’s take a moment to express gratitude to all who voted and to all who volunteered. In particular, let’s hear it for StanfordVotes! This student-run organization facilitated 6,063 unique sign-ups to register to vote since January, and 8,307 unique sign-ups to register to vote since the 2018 midterms. 

We would also like to thank everyone—staff and volunteers—who made it possible for us to offer Tresidder Memorial Union right here on campus as a polling site, and we would like to thank everyone who worked or volunteered at other election sites nationwide. 

According to Tufts University research, 52%-55% of voting-eligible young people, ages 18-29, cast a ballot in the 2020 presidential election, up from 42-44% in 2016. We encourage students to remain engaged in community service. Get started by checking out these Haas Center for Public Service resources and the Stanford in Government website.

We want to hear from you, even during the break! 

This is our last weekly newsletter of the quarter but from now under Dec. 11, you can still reach us here with your general suggestions, comments and concerns about this unique year. If you have a personal question from now until Dec. 11, please submit a ServiceNow ticket

During the university’s Winter Closure from Dec. 14 to Jan. 3, our Residence Deans will be available for emergencies that may arise. Here’s how to contact our RD on call.


Susie & Sarah

Susie Brubaker-Cole
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Sarah Church
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education