Stanford’s Unofficial Guide


the 2013

Stanford Unofficial Guide


The Unofficial Guide is written by Stanford Students for Stanford Students.

Stanford Directory Staff

Sales Production/Editorial Board

Neveen Mahmoud, Chief Executive Officer, SSE

Frederik Groce, Chief Operating Officer, SSE

Erin Gray, Vice President of Advertising

Molly Fehr, Account Executive

Jeremy Gilfor, Account Executive

Haley Schmoyer, Account Executive

Scott Sakaida, Unofficial Guide Manager

Alex Angarita, Business Manager

Kevin Zhai, Graphic Designer

Bill Freeman, Layout Manager


Special Thanks to

The Unofficial Stanford Blog (Kristi Bohl, Andrea Acosta, Megan McGraw, George Malkin, Carlo Pasco and
Sebastin Gould), who updated the content for the Cardinal Culture, Breaking the Bubble and My Community sections. Kevin Zhai created the theme for the guide.


Erin Gray

Production Notes

The Unofficial Guide was written and revised throughout the spring and summer of 2013. The content comes from original sources and any reproduced material is used with the source’s permission. The opinions expressed in the Unofficial Guide are not representative of the opinions held by the Stanford Directory, Stanford University, Stanford Student Enterprises or the Associated Students of Stanford University.

Table of Contents


1. History

2. Cardinal Culture

  • Directory/Lingo
  • Gear
  • Traditions
  • School Spirit
  • Parties
  • Romance
  • Cheap Dates
  • Communication

3. Health & Safety

  • Safety
  • Athletic Facilities
  • Health Services
  1. - Personal
  2. - Mental
  3. - Sexual

4. Housing & Dorm Life

  • Residence Halls
  • Apartment Living
  • Self-Ops
  • Co-ops
  • Greek Houses

5. Academics

  • Advice
  • Classes
  • Libraries
  • Research & Opportunities

6. Dining

  • On Campus
  • Dining Halls
  • Meal Plan
  • Off the Meal Plan

7. Transportation

  • Useful Resources
  • Bikes
  • Cars
  • Rentals
  • Off Campus transportation

8. Personal Finances

  • Banking
  • Classes/Resources
  • Loans
  • Financial Aid

9. Cardinal Community

  • Frosh Dorm
  • Events
  • Clubs & Organizations
  • Arts
  • Athletics
  • Community Centers
  • Greek Life
  • Student Government
  • Media & Publications
  • Religious Life

10. Beyond the Farm

  • Great Outdoors
  • “Getaways”
  • Concert Venues
  • Museums
  • SF Dates to Know

11. The Countdown

12. Business Listings

13. Dining Listings

14. CouponsUOG_1stPg


Hey Stanford students!


Welcome back to The Farm! We hope you have the best year of your life this year at our fantastic school!

Our names are Dan and Billy, and we’re your ruggedly handsome ASSU Executives. ASSU stands for the Associated Students of Stanford University—your student government—so we’re here to make your year even better if we can. Our job (along with all the other incredible people in the ASSU) is to support the 650+ student groups that do incredible things every day. From Mariachi to community service, from Solar Car to club rugby, from the Stanford Improvisers to anything else you can imagine, there are a group of people that share your interest. Find them! Join a club or start your own. Stanford can be anything you make it. Let us know if you have an idea and we’ll help make it happen.

We’re also here to be your voice at the school. If you find anything you don’t like or anything you want to change, let us know and we’ll help you in whatever way we can. Open invitation.

It goes without saying that supporting our student body is a huge undertaking, and there are a lot of people behind the scenes who work hard to make sure everything runs smoothly. Many thanks to SSE and everyone else who contributed to the Unofficial Guide—the work you do is truly awesome and appreciated!

We hope you have a great year! Make it the best year of your life.01BillyGallagher01DanAshtonClaw

Stanford love,

Dan and Billy





Chapter 1:



It was 1884 when 15 year-old Leland Jr., son of Leland and Jane Stanford, fell ill with typhoid. The night of the boy’s death Leland Senior dreamed that his ghostly son came to him. When he awoke, Stanford said to his wife, “The children of California shall be our children.” The couple spent several weeks deliberating upon how to make this dream a reality, and ultimately decided to memorialize their son by founding Leland Stanford Junior University.

Leland Stanford Sr. was a wealthy man who had made his fortune in the railroad business, and then had gone on to be governor of California as well as a U.S. senator. He and his wife had previously purchased 650 acres of land in Palo Alto to begin their stock farm. After Leland Junior’s death they sought to build their university on the land instead, and after receiving advice from the president of Harvard University they donated five million dollars and 8,000-acres of additional land to the university’s endowment. That’s how Stanford got it’s nickname, “The Farm,” and although the cows are gone (for the most part), the nickname has stuck around.01-laketree21

So after six years of construction, Stanford University opened in 1891 with 559 students and 15 faculty members. From its outset, the school defied convention. It was co-educational at a time when most universities were all male, and it was non-denominational when most were associated with a religious organization. It was also tuition-free for the first thirty years! Jane and Leland Stanford wanted all students to have the opportunity to attend Stanford, regardless of their background. Avowedly practical, the school demonstrated its commitment to producing “cultured and useful citizens” when most universities concerned themselves only with the former trait. The same amount of opportunity is available to students today, as they continually forge Stanford tradition in the spirit of innovation, creativity, and character. After 119 years, Stanford University’s graduates have founded Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo!, Cisco Systems, Google, Nike, Instagram, and Snapchat, just to name a few.

LSJUMB and the Tree

After the first-ever Big Game win over Cal in 1892, the color Cardinal was picked as the primary color of Stanford’s athletic teams and Stanford athletics became known as “The Cardinal.” The Stanford Tree is the unofficial mascot and a member of the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB). The official mascot was the Indian until 1972 when student protests led to its removal; at that time new mascots were considered, including the Robber Barons, the Railroaders, and the Huns. The Robber Barons won the popular vote but the university’s administration refused to implement the vote. During a halftime show in 1975, the LSJUMB introduced three new mascots including the Steaming Manhole, the French Fry, and the Tree. The Tree had the largest following and grew to be the unofficial mascot of Stanford University resembling the El Palo Alto Redwood Tree on the Stanford seal. The selection of the student Tree in the early days was merely given to the band manager’s girlfriend but has since become a much more competitive selection process. “Tree Week” narrows down the Tree candidate pool as they perform extreme, reckless, and often dangerous stunts in attempt to win the approval of the Tree selection committee. Once the new Tree is chosen, he or she must create a unique costume and defend Stanford against our unfortunate rivals at Cal.01-stadium43

Stanford Axe—The Axe originally derives from a morbid “Axe Yell” invented at the 1896 Big Game. Three years later, the actual physical Axe emerged at a Stanford baseball game. Yell leader Billy Erb used a broad-axe emblazoned with a Cardinal “S” to chop off the head of a Cal-color-clad teddy bear. At the end of the game, enraged Cal fans stole the Axe, sawed off the handle to make it more portable and concealable, and hid it in a bank vault for 31 years.

A group of Stanford students known as the “Immortal 21” stole back the Axe in a daring bank heist, and the Axe remained in a Palo Alto bank vault until 1993, when a truce between the two schools initiated the use of the Axe as the official trophy of Big Game. These days the Axe Committee is responsible for the protection of the Axe, as well as for leading cheers and yells during football games.



Ch 2—Cardinal Culture

Chapter 2—Cardinal Culture Stanford is its own 8,180-acre town, surrounded by the towns of Palo Alto, Los Altos, Menlo Park, and Mountain View. There’s a lot going on in the greater Stanford area, but don’t worry: the Stanford campus offers so many services that you’ll hardly have to leave campus, especially freshman year. Many students …

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Ch 3—Health, Safety & Wellness

Chapter 3—Health, Safety & Wellness On Campus Pharmacy Vaden Stanford students and their spouses or domestic partners can use this pharmacy. The pharmacy offers: full prescriptions, Internet refill requests, counseling on different medications, over-the-counter items (like those for the common cold), and emergency contraception (Plan B). If you have Cardinal Care, the prices are low …

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Ch 4—Housing & Dorm Life

Chapter 4—Housing & Dorm Life With all the hassles and complexities of day-to-day life here at Stanford, many of us look forward to heading home for good meals and friendly faces. It is in our residences that most friendships are born and good times shared. Aspects of dorm life, such as learning to live with …

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Ch 5–Academics

Chapter 5: Academics   If you opened the Stanford Explore Courses site, closed your eyes, and randomly put your finger on any class, chances are you’d find a good one. You’ve got a wide array of academic options at Stanford. It often feels like too many options, especially right after you find out about an …

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Ch 6—Dining

Chapter 6—Dining On-campus Eats: A Brief Listing of Places You Might Frequent The Treehouse (Tex-Mex and pizza); Tresidder Union, First Floor CoHo (coffee, sandwiches, salads); Tresidder Union, First Floor Stanford Bookstore Cafe (coffee, sandwiches); Stanford Bookstore, Second Floor Food trucks (varieties of Asian foods and other ethnic cuisines); Santa Teresa Ave, behind Tresidder Union Thai …

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Ch 7—Transportation

Chapter 7—Transportation Useful Resources Parking and Transportation Services (P&TS) (650) 723-9362 340 Bonair Siding Hours: Mon–Fri 7:30am–5pm The website above is the site to visit for all things transportation— local to distant, bikes to buses. It provides all kinds of helpful services, including: bike maps and registration information, info on carpools and vanpools, rules …

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Ch 8—Personal Finances

Banking Money needs to be kept somewhere. If you have any and prefer not to hide it under your mattress, the banks listed below have either a branch or an ATM on the Stanford campus. All of these have ATMs on the upper floor of Tresidder Union in addition to the office location listed below. …

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Ch 9—Cardinal Community

Chapter 9—Cardinal Community (Content provided by TUSB—Carlo Pasco, Sebastain Gould) The great commonality for any Stanford student is community. And it’s no wonder; there are A LOT of communities. There are student groups, theater troupes, sports teams, ethnic groups, dormitories, email lists, organizations, and just about anything else you can think of on campus. So how …

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Ch 10—Beyond the Farm

Chapter 10: Beyond the Farm The Stanford Bubble is a real thing folks. And why wouldn’t it be – Stanford is a tasty treat. But the Bay Area is just as delectable. Get off campus. Even if you’re just going out for dinner, it feels great. And besides the infinite smorgasbord of food, there are …

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Ch 11—The Countdown

30 Things to do before you Graduate Hike the Dish. Fountain hop. Throw a friend in the shower for his or her birthday. Go on ski trip and make questionable decisions. Visit the Cantor Arts Center. Get photographed by tourists (bonus points for posing with them). Join in the Dead Week Primal Scream. Kiss someone(s) …

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The Business Listings

Business Listings Accountants Doling Chang Ashmore CPA Inc. (650) 321-8744 2447 Ash Street Palo Alto CA 94306 fax (650) 321-8653 Airport Parking Anza Airport Parking (800) 348-8800 615 Airport Blvd. Burlingame CA 94010 fax (650) 348-9198 Apartments Country Sharon Apartments (650) 854-8661 2225 Sharon Rd Menlo Park CA 94025 fax (650) …

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The Dining Listings

Dining Listings Artisanal Snack Shop Fraiche Yogurt (650) 566-0055 200 Hamilton Ave Palo Alto CA 94301 Bagels Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels (650) 329-0700 477 S. California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306 fax (650) 329-0799 Burgers The Counter Gourmet Burgers (650) 321-3900 369 California Avenue Palo Alto CA 94306 Californian Hobee’s (650) 856-6124 …

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1 comment

  1. Jack Kollmann

    there’s the statement that Adelfa is a writing focus house.

    Lagunita Court (Lag)
    Located between Roble and Governor’s Corner, Lag is made up of 5 houses, given the Spanish names for various plants: Adelfa (oleander), Eucalipto (eucalyptus), Granada (pomegranate), Naranja (orange), and Ujamaa (extended family in Swahili). Ujamaa is an African-American theme house, and Adelfa has a writing focus. Lag’s central courtyard is one of more picturesque spots on campus, and the rooms have sinks. It is the closest dorm to Lake Lag, and in the dining hall you can see old black and white pictures from back when the lake was full of water!

    Adelfa has not been a writing focus house for two years now. Could you please eliminate this statement? It confuses a lot of students.
    Jack Kollmann, West Lag RF

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