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Video: On-campus undergraduates skeptical of summer housing options

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Students who want to stay on campus over the summer face a difficult decision on whether or not they will ultimately choose to remain.

Around 600 undergraduate students were approved to stay on campus during spring quarter. These students are a mix of international students, homeless students and students who have extenuating circumstances that require them to remain on campus. 

On May 12, these students received an email from Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students Mona Hicks regarding housing over the summer. Students still residing on campus have the option to apply to continue living on campus over the summer. Students may be housed in “Lagunita Court, Roble Hall, Branner Hall, Toyon Hall, and Mirrielees,” depending on the number of requests to stay, according to the email.

Students staying over the summer will be required to adhere to student conduct guidelines outlined by the University. There will be no campus programming available and social events of any kind are prohibited in order to ensure proper social distancing. Each student will have their own room.

Students are expected to pay the full room and board costs — around $6,200 for 10 weeks. Stanford is not providing financial aid to students unless they are in classes for the summer quarter at least half-time (half-time being defined as being enrolled in less than 12 units). If students elect to apply for and accept financial aid for the summer, the summer quarter will count toward the 12 quarters of financial aid offered to students on aid. 

Many students living on campus have expressed concern about this, as class options are severely limited during the summer, and in many cases, students are also skeptical to enroll during summer as class requirements for some majors are not offered.

Moreover, many students who will not enroll in classes — and will therefore be ineligible for financial aid — do not have an alternative housing situation. Some students express concern that the only way they will be able to pay the $6,200 bill will be through a loan.

On Tuesday, Hicks sent a follow-up email asking students who requested to stay on campus for the summer to fill out a survey. The survey asked students if they had a paid or unpaid internship for the summer, if they had a summer opportunity that was rescinded due to COVID-19 and if they were interested in applying to an on-campus summer job opportunity at Stanford. 

University spokesperson E.J. Miranda told The Daily Stanford is “coordinating resources to support access to aid for students in need of financial assistance, and the University encourages “students facing financial hardship to keep in contact with the Financial Aid Office for help in managing their particular situation.”

A petition has since circulated among students urging the school administration to extend aid and subsidize housing for students still on campus. The petition reached 770 signatures as of Wednesday.

Stanford’s decision to not extend aid contrasts with many peer institutions, such as Harvard, MIT, Duke and Williams, who are providing housing for free or for a significantly reduced charge.

Students who applied for summer housing will receive a notification on Friday about whether they have been approved to stay, and will have Memorial Day weekend to make a decision to accept or decline the offer.

Contact Noah Cortez at noahc ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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