A Year of Change in Photos

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Photos: Ujwal Srivastava / The Stanford Daily; Illustration: Daniel Wu / The Stanford Daily

This article is part of a series reflecting on the anniversary of Stanford’s shutdown due to COVID-19. Click here to read the rest of the stories.


This week marks one year since Stanford students left campus due to the pandemic. We didn’t know it at the time, but the final paper of winter quarter — headlined “CORONAVIRUS STRIKES STANFORD” in capital letters — would be our last for a while. 

To continue reporting on Stanford, we relied on the few writers and editors who stayed behind on campus or in the Bay Area to facilitate most of our in-person coverage, ranging from protests in the spring to snapping photos of an empty campus this winter. All three of us have lived either on or near campus in the last year, and we’ve seen first-hand how it’s changed since the day students were sent home. Though campus has become more vibrant than it was in the days immediately after the shutdown, it’s still a far cry from the way it looked last March.

The Oval is now dotted with warning signs instead of students playing frisbee and studying with friends. Instead of students biking to class on the roads surrounding Main Quad, large construction vehicles plod through as Stanford presses on with capital projects. At Tresidder, where students gathered en masse last March to watch the presidential debates, empty chairs are rounded up with caution tape. 

It is strange not to be surrounded by the daily chatter and  energy of students across campus. We’ve set out to capture that eerie feeling by collecting photos taken by Daily staff from around March 2020 and revisiting those locations one year later. Below is a photo collage encompassing Stanford campus in March 2021.

Tresidder Memorial Union

Circle of Death

Meyer Green

Main Quad

“Before” photos courtesy of Jonathan Lipman, Michael Byun, Bryan Metzger and Georgia Rosenberg. All other photos taken by Ujwal Srivastava.

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Ujwal Srivastava '23 is from Palo Alto, Calif. He is a Science & Technology Desk Editor interested in the intersection of healthcare and technology. He is majoring in Computer Science on the Biocomputation track. Contact him at usrivastava 'at' stanforddaily.com.
Anastasiia Malenko is a Campus Life desk editor. She focuses on politics and international student life in her coverage. Contact her at amalenko 'at' stanforddaily.com.
Kate Selig is a news managing editor and co-chairs the diversity, equity and inclusion team.