Stanford University in…
“A Campus of Heroes”
the 2012 Stanford Unofficial Guide
Table of Contents
- 1. History—5
- 2. Cardinal Culture—7, Directory/Lingo, 8; Gear, 10; Traditions, 10; School Spirit, 13; Parties, 14; Romance, 16; Cheap Dates, 17; Communication, 18
Surviving at Stanford—20
- 3. Health, Safety & Wellness—21; Safety, 22; Athletic Facilities, 23; Health Services, 26; – Mental, 28; – Sexual, 29
- 4. Housing & Dorm Life—31; Residence Halls, 32; Apartment Living, 34; Self-Ops, 36; Co-ops, 39; Greek Houses, 40
- 5. Academics—43; Classes 44; Advice 49; Libraries 51; Research & Opportunities 52
- 6. Food—55; On Campus 56; Dining Halls 57; Meal Plan 57; Off Meal Plan 58
- 7. Transportation—61; Useful Resources 62; Bikes 63; Cars 64; Rentals 65; Off Campus tranportation 66
- 8. Personal Finances—71; Banking 71; Classes/Resources 72; Loans 73; Financial Aid 75
Making the Most of Your Stanford Experience—76
- 9. Cardinal Community—77; Frosh Dorm 78; Events 78; Clubs & Organizations 79; Arts 81; Athletics 85; Community Centers 86; Greek Life 88; Student Government 88; Media & Publications 90; Religious Life 92
- 10. Beyond the Farm—93; Great Outdoors 94; Day Trips 97; Concert Venues 100; Museums 104; SF Dates to Know 107
- 11. The Countdown—111
- 12. Business Listings—113
- 13. Dining Listings—121
- 14. Coupons—125
Letter from the Associated Students of Stanford University President and Vice President
Hi Stanford Students,
Welcome to (or back to) The Farm! We have great news for you—no matter what you get involved with this year, the odds are in your favor that you’re going to have a great time. First and foremost, our advice to you is to explore. Take advantage of all the opportunities Stanford has to offer. Yes, this is already the zillionth time someone has told you “to take advantage of all the opportunities Stanford has to offer,” but if all of us are saying it, there has to be something to it, right?
Our names are Will and Robbie, and we’re your ridiculously good-looking ASSU Executives. ASSU stands for the Associated Students of Stanford University—your student government—but really we’re just two guys who want to make your year a little bit better. Our job (along with all the other hardworking folks in the ASSU) is to support the 650+ active student groups that are doing truly incredible things every day both on and off the Farm. We’re telling you, no matter what your interest—community service or square dancing, sustainability or LARPing, modern art or just good ol’ fashioned regular art—there are other students that share your passion. Find them, join the club, or start your own! Stanford is as cool, diverse, and unique as you make it.
It goes without saying that supporting all these activities 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—we know we’ll all be grateful for the coupons on those nights we sleep through dinner, when Late Nite isn’t open, or as we embark on an especially dark and lonely all-nighter.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, we hope you have a great year. The former-RA in both of us wants to tell you to “be safe and have fun… in that order.” And as always, stay classy, Stanford.
Best, Robbie and Will,
ASSU President & Vice President
Chapter 1 — History
Leland Stanford Junior
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 to begin the Palo Alto Stock Farm. After Leland Junior’s death they sought to build their university on the land, 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. “The Farm” nickname came to be as it was an expansion of Stanford’s farm. Although Stanford has left its agricultural influences behind, “The Farm” nickname still exists today.
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. 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, and Nike, 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 the Stanford’s athletic teams and the official mascot. The Stanford Tree is the unofficial mascot and a member of the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB). After a politically incorrect Indian mascot was removed in 1972, new mascots, including the Robber Barons, the Railroaders, and the Huns, were considered. 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. The university has felt the need to limit some activities due to performances that have included firearms, explosions, and near-death situations. Once the new Tree is chosen, he or she must create a unique costume and defend Stanford against our unfortunate rivals at Cal. The journey and duel is not an easy one, but Stanford’s beloved mascot will always trump Cal’s Oski the Bear.
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.
Stanford Directory Staff
The Unofficial Guide is written by Stanford Students for Stanford Students.
Sales Production/Editorial Board
- Neveen Mahmoud, Chief Executive Officer, SSE
- Frederik Groce, Vice President of Advertising
- Sarah Roach, Unofficial Guide Manager
- Matan Orgel, Director of Sales
- Scott Knutzen, Directory Manager
- Caleb Marshack, Account Executive
- Brandon Ewonus, Business Manager
- Alvin Addo, 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. Alvin Addo updated the other sections and created the theme for the guide.
- Alvin Addo
The Unofficial Guide was written and revised throughout the spring and summer of 2012. 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.