Stanford Announces Changes in Housing: Renovation, Un-Stuffing, and All-frosh

Pent up concerns over the growing housing crunch on campus have been released recently as Stanford announced numerous changes that will take effect for the coming 2009-2010 school year. The soon-to-be-completed Munger Graduate Residences allows Stanford to make these large changes to undergraduate housing.

Renovations are currently underway on Crothers and Crothers Memorial, which housed graduate students until Munger was completed, to update the dormitory into the newest undergraduate dorm on campus, to be called Crothers Hall. This will add an extra 376 beds for undergraduates, allowing for “un-stuffing” of dorms across campus.

A planned dining hall to accompany Crothers Hall is set to be built where the Toyon parking lot is now located, but this project is a long way off and will not be started for a while. Until that facility is built, Stern Dining will serve as the closest dining hall to both Stern Hall and Crothers Hall. This means the dining hall could end up serving around 50% more students next year.


Mirrielees, which was originally built to house two students per apartment but for years now has held three students in each two-room apartment, will revert back to its original capacity. In the Lagunita housing complex, the notorious “mini-doubles” which used to house two freshmen will be renovated to give students more space. Some will be singles for upperclassmen, while in other cases two adjoining doubles will be converted into two-room doubles.

The last major dormitory that will soon have fewer students is Branner, which has for many years, been an all-frosh dorm and the main propagator of the “wild-freshman-dorm” stereotype. Branner, will become an all-upperclassman dormitory starting next year, and will simultaneously reduce the number of residents by reverting some triple-resident rooms into double-resident rooms.

This is part of a larger trend of increasing the number of dormitories which house only freshmen residents. All dorms in Stern Hall and Wilbur Hall will become all-frosh houses, except for the two ethnic-themed dorms, Okada and Casa Zapata. This will mean almost two-thirds of the entire freshmen class will be living in these two adjacent dorm complexes.

Year after year more freshmen request to be in all freshmen houses than Stanford has can accommodate. With these changes, Stanford will be able to satisfy all freshmen’s housing choices. The four ethnic themed dorms and Roble will remain as four-class dorms. Western Florence Moore Hall will be a mixture of dorm types depending on the year-to-year fluctuations in freshmen class size.

Lastly, the university will continue to lease Oak Creek apartments on Sand Hill Road for students during the winter quarter, when the most amount of students are on campus. Stanford heavily subsidizes these apartments so that students living there pay the regular student housing rates.

Summer of Renovations

These changes call for a summer full of renovations that will dwarf the changes that we saw last year, when the biggest housing projects involved new bathrooms for half of Stern Hall and renovation of Xanadu. ID card access systems have also been installed in an increasing number of dorms as Stanford begins to update its dorm security.

This summer, the remaining half of Stern Hall will have their bathrooms renovated, while across the street the Crothers Complex will undergo heavy renovations. Bathrooms, lounges, kitchens and computer areas are all scheduled for renovation. The largest piece of construction on that site will be the construction of a Resident Fellow apartment, to house a member of Stanford’s faculty or staff to live in the dorm.

After renovation is complete, Crothers will include large common space rooms, including a TV room, game room, among other separate rooms for music, multimedia, and computing.

Meanwhile, down the street at the Wilbur dorm complex, two dorms will undergo summer renovations. This is part of a four year renovation project in which each year two Wilbur dorms will receive renovations of their bathroom facilities, internet and electrical upgrades, and new fire protection systems.

Across campus, Lagunita’s renovation includes combining adjoining rooms together in accordance with the un-stuffing program. Lagunita houses one of the summer high school programs that Stanford hosts, and so the Lagunita renovations are scheduled to take place after this program but before students move in this September.

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