Skip to main content

Name your neighborhood: Identity design process begins

Facilitated by the neighborhood councils, the student-led process will begin in the second week of winter quarter and include naming the neighborhoods for different trees, the introduction of Farm Games, and more.  

The S-T-A-N-F-O-R-D neighborhood names will soon be replaced by tree-related names chosen by the students who live in each neighborhood – and students will also have other opportunities to build their neighborhood’s spirit and identity.

The Neighborhood Identity Design Process, which gets underway this quarter, will be facilitated by the neighborhood councils but largely led and decided by the students in each neighborhood. The process has informally been called the “neighborhood naming process,” since each neighborhood will be renamed for a tree. But neighborhood residents will also be able to select and design symbols of their choosing, such as a flag or a mascot.

“We’re calling it the Neighborhood Identity Design Process to capture all the ways students can determine these aspects of their neighborhood’s identity,” said Cole Shiflett, associate dean for neighborhood engagement in Residential Education.

Naming the neighborhoods

The process will begin in the second week of winter quarter, when students will receive details about how to submit ideas for a tree-related name or other symbol. Each neighborhood council will facilitate four or five sessions where students can offer ideas for a neighborhood name as well as other ways for creating a neighborhood identity: a logo or flag design, for example, or a chant.

In week 6 of winter quarter, the neighborhood councils, which consist of students and professional staff, will consider all the ideas that have been generated and create a list of finalists for the neighborhood name and other elements of the neighborhood’s identity. Students will vote in week 7.

Winners are expected to be announced at the beginning of spring quarter. Near the end of spring quarter, each neighborhood will host an event that may include planting a tree, distributing flags or other symbols that have been designed for the neighborhood, and unveiling other aspects of the identity.

Row house names, Farm Games

Neighborhood identities are being developed in other ways as well:

  • Naming Row houses: Neighborhood councils are working with the residential student leaders to name six Row houses that have been known only by their street addresses. Once the names are approved, they will be updated in all campus systems so that by autumn quarter 2023, they will appear on maps and signs as well as on the houses themselves. “We’re looking forward to the residents of these houses being able to further define their house identity,” Shiflett said.
  • Farm Games: Students will be able to represent their neighborhoods in friendly competitions beginning in winter quarter. Among the first events planned in partnership with Stanford Recreation and Wellness:

Two-Ball Basketball, which is just what it sounds like – a basketball game played with two basketballs instead of one – will feature teams from different neighborhoods competing against each other.

The Dish Run, an annual event for the Stanford community and neighbors that will take place on February 26, will give neighborhood teams an opportunity to win points in the 9 a.m. race. (Neighborhood teams will not sign up via the general registration form but will use a separate registration form. See the details in an upcoming neighborhood newsletter.)

Prizes for these events will be given out not only to the winners based on points or time, but for sportsmanship and spirit – perhaps best costume or best walk-out song, for example.

“These are just some of the ways to get involved in your neighborhood this winter and spring,” Shiflett said. “Students came up with the concept for the Farm Games. Keep the good ideas coming! You can always reach out to your Resident Fellows, RAs and ETAs, or student council reps with suggestions for events and programs.”