ResEd announces new, tree-inspired neighborhood names

April 27, 2023, 8:01 p.m.

Stanford Report announced the new neighborhood names in an email to students this morning, replacing the temporary single-letter names students have used for almost two years. The introduction of the official names — all tree themed — concludes the months-long naming process. Starting now, the names will enter permanent use. 

According to council budgets, each neighborhood can receive up to $15,000 for their “neighborhood naming process.” According to the neighborhood newsletters, students may see neighborhood merchandise and naming celebrations later this quarter.

Students voted for their neighborhood names in March from a shortlist of potential tree names submitted by each neighborhood council, but according to the Residential Education (ResEd) website, only 30% of undergraduates voted. Councils had identified finalists based on the sparsely attended student ideation sessions, where students were encouraged to submit any ideas, “no matter how seemingly outlandish or wacky,” according to the neighborhood newsletters. 

“Wacky” tree suggestions, such as Truffula, the fictional tree from the Lorax, and Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life from Norse mythology, were included on the lists of finalists for Neighborhoods T, A and O (now Hyperion, Aspen and Olive), but ultimately were not selected. The Daily reached out to ResEd for more information about vote tallies and runners-up, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

According to Stanford Report, choosing new names is meant to help generate a cohesive identity for each neighborhood. A lack of community in each neighborhood is a common gripe among Stanford students. 

The current monosyllabic names of each neighborhood — letters that spell out “S.T.A.N.F.O.R.D” — were always supposed to be temporary. As several users on the social media platform Fizz have pointed out, the first letters from the new neighborhood names now spell out “S.H.A.G.W.O.R.M.”

Some students believe these new names may ameliorate campus vitriol towards the neighborhood systems. 

“At least it means something now,” said Emily Liu ’26, a student in Neighborhood A — now called Aspen. “I feel like people didn’t really like the letters before.” 

But only time will tell if the new tree-related names can grow on Stanford students. 

“I mean, personally I think it’s a little cooler,” Liu said. “But people probably don’t even know what an Aspen tree is like.” 

The full list of names is as follows:

Letter nameNew, tree-inspired name
Neighborhood SSequoia
Neighborhood THyperion
Neighborhood AAspen
Neighborhood NGinkgo
Neighborhood FWisteria
Neighborhood OOlive
Neighborhood RRedwood
Neighborhood DMagnolia

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