‘The Daily regrets this error’: Five decades of Stanford Daily corrections

Feb. 23, 2023, 5:46 p.m.

In the past 50 years, The Daily has inevitably made some mistakes.

Even with a typical four rounds of edits on every article, publishing around 2,000 pieces per year means, on occasion, errors make it through to print or The Daily’s website.

The Daily makes corrections when we find an error in something we’ve published or a reader brings an error to our attention. When requests for a correction are received, they are forwarded to the piece’s editors and, assuming the request is correct, whoever can respond the most quickly will make the correction, changing the article online, transparently stating the error and adding what News Managing Editor Cassidy Dalva ’25 calls The Daily’s “infamous correction line”:

“The Daily regrets this error.”

In her role, Dalva is the point person for many of these requests. The first action she takes when a correction is suggested is re-reading the relevant part of the story to fact-check the proposed correction. If the correction is necessary and accurate, it will be made and the line will be added.

Although she admits that it is “natural to strive for perfection,” Dalva wrote that she feels “grateful that the person proposing a correction cares enough about disseminating accurate journalism enough to loop us in about possible mistakes.”

She acknowledged that corrections also have an impact on the publication’s legitimacy as a whole.

Daily Editor in Chief Sam Catania ’24 elaborated. 

“If we do get something wrong, it’s critical that we set the record straight,” he wrote in a statement. “The Daily’s relationship with the community is built on trust and the truth. That starts with getting things right the first time, but it also means transparently alerting the community if we get something wrong.”

Catania added that “admitting mistakes is never easy or fun, but it is as important how we respond to our errors as the errors themselves.”

Without further ado, here is one correction The Daily has made for every year it has been independent.


2023: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Elon Musk dropped out of Stanford. That portion of the article has since been removed, and The Daily regrets this error. 

2022: A previous version of this article inaccurately described the direction of traffic in a roundabout as clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. The Daily regrets this error.

2021: The article has been updated to reflect that TAP closes at 1 a.m. on weekdays. The Daily regrets this error.

2020: This article has been corrected to reflect that the study measured GPA declines by standard deviations, not by points. The Daily regrets this error.

2019: This article has been corrected to reflect the fact that the ResX recommendations aim to re-envision residential life over the next quarter-century, not century. The Daily regrets this error. 

2018: Correction: a previous version of this article incorrectly stated that The Wall Street Journal offered the University “complementary”, not complimentary, subscriptions. The Daily regrets the error.

2017: A previous version of this article reflected Jungreis’s statements that Robison’s parents also provided starting capital, which Robison refuted. Jungreis also said that he imagined SolTat becoming as popular as “Silly Bandz,” not “silly string.” The Daily has corrected these errors as well as clarified a sentence about legal “help” SolTat received to specify that SolTat paid Robison’s father and others for legal services.

2016: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé were present at the Jan. 31 rehearsal. The Daily regrets this error. 

2015: An earlier version of this article underestimated the number of students who enroll in Math 51 each year. The Daily regrets this error.

2014: In a previous version of the article, the enrollment of the introductory CS classes was underestimated. The Daily regrets this error.

2013: Correction: A previous version of this article misstated Stanford, MIT and Caltech’s Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ rankings by the U.S. News and World Report. In fact, Stanford is ranked first while MIT and Caltech are tied for second. The Daily regrets the error. 

2012: A previous version of this article stated that the CoHo replaced the bowling alley. In fact, the bowling alley and the CoHo existed simultaneously. The bowling alley was replaced by the fitness center area, student store and part of union square. The Daily regrets the error.

2011: Correction: An earlier version of this article reported that the study claimed that individuals “who act in their own self-interest are more likely to gain prestige and leadership recognition”; in fact, the study concluded that individuals who act in their own self-interest are more likely to gain “dominance” and leadership recognition, not “prestige.” Also, the study concluded that individuals who show self-interest are more likely to be perceived as showing “dominance,” not exemplifying “prestige.”

2010: In “Student proposes streetcar plan” (July 15), The Daily incorrectly reported that Daniel Jacobson believed the city of Oakland could have a streetcar system implemented in 15 years. In fact, he believes it could happen in five years.

2009: On page 821 of the June 12, 2009 issue of The Daily, an advertisement that read, “When boundaries are seen as opportunities, the world becomes a limited place” should have read, “When boundaries are seen as opportunities, the world becomes a limitless place.” The Daily’s advertising staff, which was under different management at the time, processed the advertisement and regrets the error.

2008: In Monday’s article “Dorsey-Harris beats GO GO,” The Daily inaccurately stated that Dorsey-Harris defeated GO GO by a margin of 370 votes. In actuality, Dorsey-Harris won by a margin of 270 votes.

2007: The Daily regrets the factual inaccuracies but stands by its reporting of Perata’s campaign contributions from gambling interests, which can be found in readily available public records.

2006: The Daily would like to retract the article “Leftist speaker sparks debate” (April 7). The allegations that speaker Biju Mathew or the Friends of South Asia are linked in any way to communism, terrorism or the Unabomber should not have been based on information provided by an anonymous source. The Daily regrets this error and the uncorroborated statements contained in the article.

2005: Due to editing errors, The Daily’s front-page article yesterday about the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center had two mistakes. The headline, “SLAC shut down by feds,” was misleading: the original decision to shut down the accelerators was made by SLAC director Jonathan Dorfan.

2004: An infographic on the front page of The Daily yesterday incorrectly stated that Proposition 66 passed. With 46.6 percent “yes” votes and 53.4 “no” votes, the proposition failed. The same infographic also incorrectly stated that Proposition 71, which would provide funding for stem-cell research, did not pass. With 59 percent “yes” votes and 41 percent “no” votes, the proposition passed. The Daily regrets the error and any confusion it caused.

2003: I’ve been informed that it’s actually: “Pro-fro weekend: where three days of shame leads to four years of fun!” The horoscopes regret the error.

2002: An article in The Daily on March 8, “Athletes start petition,” said that Stanford was a member of the Fair Labor Association. Two editorials in The Daily on March 13, “Should Stanford join the Workers’ Rights Consortium,” (Pro and Con) also stated that Stanford is a member of the association. Stanford is not a member of the association. The Daily regrets the error.

2001: A Nov. 16 story, “Med School grad joins sex discrimination suit,” contained a number of significant factual errors. Contrary to the implication in the headline and the statement in the lead paragraph, the American Association of University Women’s Legal Advocacy Fund has not filed a sexual discrimination lawsuit against Stanford. Instead, 1996 Medical School graduate Barbara Zylbert is the individual plaintiff of a lawsuit filed against the University.

2000: The feature picture in yesterday’s Daily erroneously stated that the Arabian Nights Party was hosted by Theta Chi. The party was co-hosted by Theta Xi.

1999: Due to a copy editing error, an article in yesterday’s Daily reported that Everyday People won best album, best song and best soloist at the 1999 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards. In fact, the group won runner-up positions in all three categories. The Daily regrets the error.

1998: A column in last Wednesday’s science section inaccurately stated that the weight loss drug “Phen-Fen” had been withdrawn from the market. The “Phen-Fen” treatment is actually made up of two drugs, one of which, fenfluramine, has been withdrawn at the request of the Food and Drug Administration. The other component drug, phentermine, is still on the market and is still used to treat obesity. The article also stated that people with “prolonged exposure” to the drug should consult a physician. In fact, the government recommends that anyone who has been exposed to fenfluramine or the related drug dexfenfluramine have an echocardiogram before having surgery or dental work.

1997: An article in last week’s Intermission misspelled the name of a chef, calling him Steven Reuben. His real name is Steven Rubin.

1996: An article in Wednesday’s Daily incorrectly announced the date of the Big Game Bonfire to be Nov. 22. The bonfire is on Nov. 21.

1995: The caption identified the person as Humphries, while the photo in fact showed Cardinal tennis player Paul Goldstein. The Weekly regrets the error.

1994: Because of an editing error, yesterday’s editorial “Read the handbook” incorrectly implied that — under a proposed amendment to the ASSU Constitution — student groups would not receive any of their special fee if they were not approved by a majority of both undergraduate and graduate student bodies. The amendment actually would allow student groups to receive part of their fee if just one of the bodies passed the measure.

1993: An article printed in the Nov. 12 issue of Diversions contained an inaccurate quote by field-hockey player, Sarah Hallock, stating that she “liked Popeye’s forceps, though.” Hallock actually said, “forearms.”

1992: On Feb. 24 and 25, The Daily mistakenly reported that Neurosurgery Prof. Gerald Silverberg had been accused by Neurosurgery Prof. Frances Conley of making sexist and demeaning comments, and fondling. Silverberg has not been accused of fondling. The Daily regrets the error.

1991: Due to a computer error while putting together the Directory (humans don’t make mistakes anymore), the names on this insert page were not included in the Directory’s Faculty/Staff Listings. They should have been. So here they are. Put them in. Now.

1990: In a letter to the editor in the May 31 issue, The Daily inadvertently left out brackets in a quote by coterminal student Perry Friedman. Sairus Patel’s letter should have quoted Friedman: “Stanford has a stick so far up its ass it can’t even see straight, pun (hopefully) not intended.” The Daily regrets the error.

1989: A story in yesterday’s Daily reported that SPY magazine publisher Tom Phillips said his magazine consistently refers to Donald Trump as the “short-fingered Bulgarian.” The term Phillips actually used was “short-fingered vulgarian.” The misquotation was not intended as a slur against Bulgarians. The Daily regrets the error.

1988: Because of an editor’s error, a story in yesterday’s Daily misquoted Otero Resident Assistant Jeff Sloan as saying that freshman Kenny Ehrman helped make a T-shirt that said “WASP by popular demand.” Ehrman did not make the shirt, and Sloan did not say that he did. The Daily apologizes for the error. Also, Ehrman vandalized the Otero lounge on May 15, not March 15.

1987: An article in Friday’s Daily said the University was ordered to clean up two parcels of Stanford-owned land contaminated by toxic chemicals. In fact, Stanford is only responsible for tracing the source of the contamination and overseeing its eventual clean-up. The University has been involved because it is the owner of the land. The Daily regrets the error.

1986: In a Dec. 4 restaurant review, The Daily listed an incorrect address for Jan’s Manhattan West Deli. The correct address is 420 Emerson St., Palo Alto, located next to the Aquarius Theatre. The Daily regrets the error.

1985: In Tuesday’s article on a foul odor at Tresidder Union, a comment attributed to Kim Kelly, one of the Corner Pocket managers, should have been attributed to Tandy Voget, another manager at the Corner Pocket. The Daily regrets the error.

1984: Due to editing errors in yesterday’s Daily, Marvin Jackson, one of the students who assisted in Saturday’s containment of a suspected thief at Roble Hall, was reported as having been taken to jail on burglary charges. The Daily meant to report that the suspect, Matthew Gereer, was taken to the jail. The Daily regrets the error.

1983: In The Daily’s Orientation issue, it was stated that some students use the University’s steam tunnels as an underground playground. However, University officials warn that the practice is both extremely dangerous and illegal. The Daily regrets any inconvenience caused by the error.

1982: In the page one story on toxic wastes published yesterday, it was reported that in a proposed waste disposal system, wastes would be transported to an interim disposal site on campus. In fact, the proposal does not call for the disposal of wastes on campus, but rather for the storage of wastes on campus and their subsequent disposal off campus. That article also stated that new incineration facilities are needed to dispose of the chemicals properly. The University has stated a need for new incineration facilities for the biological wastes produced by the Stanford Hospital. The University does not burn toxic chemicals. The Daily regrets the errors.

1981: The birthday extravaganza honoring Donald Tresidder tonight will feature the Claude Monet Band only, not the Griffin Family Band as The Daily reported yesterday. The Daily regrets the error.

1980: In David Miller’s column on Feb. 25, “Abandon two-party system,” the word “never” was omitted from the first paragraph. The correct version should have read, “Historian T.S. Kuhn once pointed out that bad ideas are never rejected simply because they are known to be false or inadequate. . ..” The Daily regrets the error.

1979: A typographical error in yesterday’s Daily quoted Cecile Quaintance, clinical nursing coordinator of the Medical Center neonatal nursery, as saying the nursery once saved a 15-pound, 24-week-old infant. The article should have read that the nursery saved a 1.5-pound, 24-week-old infant. The Daily regrets the error.

1978:  In an article in yesterday’s Daily, the time of this week’s senior happy hour was reported incorrectly. The senior happy hour will be held today from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Zot’s. The Daily regrets the error.

1977: The movie “If. . .” will be shown Saturday night at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. at Kresge Auditorium, not last night as incorrectly reported in yesterday’s Spectrograph.

1976: A caption in yesterday’s Daily incorrectly stated that the Quad was “in the red a year ago.” The Quad that year did not run at a deficit, as stated in the story. Also, editor Jeff Cerecke’s statements regarding “poor financial management” were directed only at the years 1960-71.

1975: A typesetting error in Monday’s Daily story on the campus speech by William Buckley last week resulted in an incorrect assertion that Buckley approved of the government plan to bail out the Penn Central railroad. Buckley stated that he opposed this and other government subsidies to private businesses. The Daily regrets the errors.

1974:  Thursday’s Daily incorrectly reported the comparative advertising rates of the Daily and Live Oak, a weekly student newspaper which appeared for the first time Friday. The statement by Daily advertising manager Lee Hanley that Live Oak rates were “noticeably lower than ours” was based on the quoted rates for the two publications. The Daily charges $3.15 per column inch, while Live Oak lists a rate of $2.85. However, the latter publication prints on a smaller column width than the Daily—l.67 inches as opposed to 2.00 inches. In terms of actual advertising space, it costs $1.71 per square inch to advertise in Live Oak. The Daily charges $1.58 for the same amount of space.

1973: Yesterday’s Daily article about fraternity Rush included two major factual errors which require correction. First, Kappa Alpha will not be coed next year. Second, it will not require male residents to pay a $100 national membership fee. The Daily regrets these errors and any inconvenience they might have caused.

Oriana Riley ’25 is a News Managing Editor at The Daily. Every once in a while, she drops an iconic Campus Life article. Outside of The Daily, Oriana enjoys running a lot of miles and eating a lot of food. Contact Oriana at news ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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