A message from VPSA and ASSU on enhancing campus social life
The office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs and the Associated Students executive team recently shared updates on student social life including changes to the party planning process and new no-cost gathering spaces at Tresidder.
Welcome back to campus! As we start the school year, we have news to share. Over the past four months, the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Executive Team has partnered with Student Affairs to improve student social life. Driven by student feedback, we’ve spent the summer figuring out how to best support the wacky, fun, and inclusive community that makes Stanford so special. Below is an initial roadmap of our progress.
Our focus has been to support social life and make campus more vibrant, especially in the evenings. We’ve improved processes for hosting events, funded new programming, expanded access to community spaces, and organized new events to energize school spirit. And that’s just the beginning!
Below is a quick summary of what we’ve accomplished and where we’re headed.
Simplifying social life processes: Students have told us that navigating the party registration process and guidelines was overly challenging. So, together, we rolled up our sleeves and overhauled them for the fall quarter. We have moved the party registration process off CardinalEngage to a new, simplified Google form, which now asks only the most important questions for supporting safety and community. We changed the Student Party Planning Guidelines to expedite the approval process, streamline requirements, and more. We also redesigned the Row House Reservation Process to make hosting events easier and more equitable.
Making campus fun at night: Students shared that social life at Stanford has not felt as vibrant and inclusive as it could be, so we focused on how we can better support the events students want to see. Re-energizing the Row was a priority. ASSU has established a Row Programming Board, a group of student leaders dedicated to supporting Row Houses by planning signature all-campus events – think Haunted Haus at the Warehaus, Crepe Night at Toussaint Louverture House, Battle of the Bands at EBF, and Lover’s Rock at Neptune. The board will help students with registration, logistics, publicity, and more, supported by significant funding for these events from Student Affairs.
We are bringing back iconic Stanford traditions while also working with students to create new ones! More information will be coming soon, but let us know if you have any ideas – we are here for support and funding.
We also looked at how to improve Cardinal Nights as a late-night option for students. Now, Cardinal Nights events will be held later (primarily after 9 p.m.) and will be more in line with student interests.
Community spaces: We saw that students need more places to gather outside their residences, especially in the evenings and at no cost – for socializing, club meetings, coworking, dance practices, informal community events, etc.
We are redesigning Old Union with new furniture, activities, snacks, and technology, and we will be offering new no-cost spaces in Tresidder to students. We are also compiling a greater list of new free spaces available to students across campus, which will be shared soon.
School spirit: Did you know that Stanford has won the Director’s Cup – awarded to the most successful intercollegiate athletic department in the nation – 26 times over the last 29 seasons? Athletics is part of what sets Stanford apart, and we want to help energize school spirit.
ASSU is organizing big, all-campus tailgates throughout fall quarter. There will be food, there will be merch, and there will be Cardinal pride. Want to beat Oregon? Us too. Join us on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Bell Tower at 12:30 p.m. as we walk together to an all-campus tailgate at the Grove – more details to come.
We are so grateful for all of the student feedback that has helped guide our work throughout this summer. We’re seeing so much excitement across campus to keep improving student life at Stanford, and in ways beyond social life, so rest assured the work isn’t stopping here.
Please reach out with any ideas, suggestions, or questions that come to mind. The ASSU Executive Team will also be hosting a training early in the quarter for anyone interested in event planning or accessing funding.
A lot has been achieved in a short time, and there will soon be a detailed update on the Student Affairs website if you’re interested in learning more. ASSU and Student Affairs are committed to getting things done and supporting a fantastic student experience. Whether you’re an RA, VSO leader, or interested student, you’re an essential part of what we’re trying to accomplish. If you check out the website and join us, we can make even faster progress!
Have a great fall quarter.
Sophia, Kyle, and Samuel
ASSU Executive President
ASSU Executive Vice-President
Samuel Santos Jr.,
Associate Vice Provost of Inclusion, Community and Integrative Learning