University begins to pack up student rooms

April 4, 2020, 9:29 p.m.

Stanford is beginning to pack up some students’ rooms in order to make space for healthcare workers and people awaiting COVID-19 test results, Dean of Students Mona Hicks wrote in an email to affected students on Saturday afternoon. 

Professional movers will pack up belongings “over the next few days,” and students will be able to decide whether to have their items stored on campus or shipped to them, according to Hicks. 

“We are working on a phased approach for helping students manage their belongings,” Hicks wrote. “We are in the first phase where we are identifying rooms that we need to pack as we need them for the safety of our community and a second phase that is the more general preparation of campus.”

It is unclear how many students are included in the “first phase.” The Daily has reached out to the University for comment. 

For days, with the status of spring quarter still up in the air, Stanford told students that they need only “take any valuables and items you will need for the coming weeks”: “If you plan to return for spring 2020, there is no reason to completely vacate your residence at this time,” reads an archived version of the University’s FAQ page from March 16.

One week — and one announcement that spring quarter would take place entirely online — later, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole emailed students to solicit suggestions on the moving process and to let them know “it is likely that we will need to start packing a small collection of rooms early.”  

“At the request of multiple local agencies,” Hicks wrote, “Stanford is seeking to free space for individuals awaiting the results of COVID-19 testing as well as health care workers and first responders who may need a place to spend the night.”

Hicks instructed students to report any hazardous items in their room “that could hurt others, such as weapons and drugs.” Students who do so will be granted “amnesty” for having these items, whereas those who do not could be subject to a Fundamental Standard violation, as their “action could harm others,” Hicks wrote.

Cole Shiflett, associate dean of Residential Education, also notified student staff of the affected residences that movers would be clearing out common areas and that individual students will receive emails if their rooms will be packed.

“These needs are very real, and we must help to ensure our entire community has the resources it needs as demand for medical services increases,” Shiflett wrote.

Contact Danielle Echeverria at dech23 ‘at’

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