In 1998, nearly one thousand Stanford graduate students staged a rally and camp-in protesting unaffordable campus housing options and financial insecurity. In the cold and rain of night, they pitched tents in the middle of Main Quad and covered them in signs that read, “Look Mom, no housing” and “Rent plus Ramen equals stipend.” Over 20 years later, the issues they raised continue to create significant hardship for many.
Monied clusters of Greek organizations, geographically segregated ethnic houses, and nepotistic, thematically-lifeless Row houses plague Stanford’s housing system, bemoan University administrators. Stanford has consequently adopted the belief that a vast overhaul of campus housing is the cure-all for these ills: the University’s ResX Task Force — a branch of Residential Education (ResEd), has recently been discussing what they call “the ideal neighborhood concept.” Substantive details on this proposed housing restructure are scarce. Nonetheless, we believe it would be useful to infer what the consequences of such systematic changes might be.