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September 18, 2022

Dear Parents & Guardians,

In just a few days, the Stanford Class of 2026 and Transfers will be joining us on campus and we cannot wait to meet them! In this final newsletter, we introduce some critical topics about student life, about which we ask you to engage in discussions with your student throughout the year. While this will be the final communication from Approaching Stanford, you will receive the Stanford Families Newsletter on a quarterly basis - the first email for the year was sent Sept 8: Welcome to the new academic year from vice provosts Susie Brubaker-Cole and Sarah Church.
Read on in this final Approaching Stanford Newsletter for:
Congrats! You and your student have approached Stanford! 
Approaching Stanford Team
(650) 723-7674
You have received this email because your student provided your contact information on their Approaching Stanford Forms, which were due in June. If a parent or guardian in your family did not receive this newsletter, please ask your student to send an email to approaching@stanford.edu with the name and email address and we will add them to our distribution list for upcoming newsletters. Thank you!
Photo of Vice Provost Susie Brubaker-Cole (Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero, Stanford News Service)

Welcome from the Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Dear Parents and Families, 
We are looking forward to being a part of your students' lives as they begin their college journey soon. This is certainly a time of excitement for your family and perhaps also a time of uncertainty as you imagine what these next steps might be for your student. We’ve spent months preparing for your student's arrival. Across campus, faculty, professional staff and student leaders are working to welcome your student to the classroom and their residences and neighborhoods as well as into the activities that will help them form lifelong friendships and discover how they want to contribute to the world.
As you prepare your student to come to campus, I imagine there are a host of conversations you are hoping to have with them. Each student is unique, and one of our greatest joys is discovering what each individual brings to us in terms of interests, experiences and aspirations. With this in mind, I’d like to humbly suggest a few conversation topics that you might engage to help your student prepare for entry into the amazing Stanford community.

Making Choices:

Your student will face a wide array of options to engage with the life of our campus. In our experience, open-minded exploration is essential. But so is balance and patience. 600 clubs and organizations, the students in their dorm, the countless campus events: these all contribute to the vibrant intellectual life of campus, and choices abound. Your students’ choices about what they do are as important as their choices about what they don’t do. Too frequently students tend toward over-involvement at the expense of well-being and time to simply reflect upon the changes and adjustments they are facing. Please take some time to talk with your student about what they hope to say “yes” to and how they want to think about saying “no” or “maybe later.” Encourage your student to prioritize health and well-being.

Contributing to Others' Experiences:

We are here to support students and create positive environments at every step of the way. However, we know that our students are the primary shapers of their undergraduate experience. As you prepare your student to come to campus, it is important to not only look at what they want from their campus experience, but also what they hope to contribute to the experiences of others. Incoming students across the world are eagerly hoping that they get a “good roommate” when they arrive on campus. Our students will benefit greatly from thinking about how they want to BE a good roommate. Students are hoping they will find a place to belong on campus, but we hope they will also think about how they can play a role in creating a place for others to belong. At Stanford, our students, faculty and staff co-create the experience for and with one another.

Engaging Diversity:

Stanford has the potential to be one of the most diverse communities that your student will experience in their lifetime. It is an extraordinary chance to examine their thoughts, beliefs and understanding of the world, to develop empathy for the perspectives of others and to get to know students who are quite different from themselves. These experiences are transformative and can also be challenging. A rich education should cause us to re-examine our place in the world, the people in it and our own perspectives. Our campus provides tremendous opportunity for this kind of examination, and we ask that everyone – faculty, students and staff -- be willing to push themselves and their learning. We hope that you will help to frame the importance of engaging with the rich diversity of our campus in order to experience new depths of self-understanding, community membership and readiness for our increasingly interconnected world.

Flexibility, Change, & Public Health Concerns:

I have heard from many of our students that the past two years have been an important time of reflection on what really matters to them. I think we can all agree that it has also required an extraordinary amount of flexibility and tolerance of change for everyone. I expect this will continue into next year. I would encourage you to take some time to talk with your student about the current COVID guidance and also to help them anticipate that the conditions of COVID, and our campus expectations are likely to continue to evolve. Each individual in our community needs to commit to help keep our collective community safe. I am grateful for your help in preparing your student for this unprecedented time.
Throughout their years at Stanford, your partnership and your relationship with your student will be critical to their success. The suggestions above are just the start of what I imagine will be a lifetime of conversations between you and your student. We are eager to welcome you both into this exciting and formative journey. 
Susie Brubaker-Cole
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Substance Use Programs, Education, & Resources (SUPER)

We write to share Stanford’s efforts to educate students about alcohol and drug issues, and we look forward to building a partnership in ensuring the health and safety of your student. We strongly encourage you to talk early and often about alcohol and drug use with your first-year student as they matriculate here at Stanford and throughout their time in college.
Although the legal drinking age in California is 21, access to alcohol can be a reality of life at Stanford, just as it is at colleges and universities nationwide. The good news is that surveys show many Stanford students drink moderately to not at all. Nevertheless, every year a number of students are involved in serious high-risk drinking incidents – that sometimes require medical attention. First-year students are particularly at risk. Many have had little experience with alcohol and are unprepared for the freedoms of college, especially coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drug use among students is rare, but the consequences can be devastating. Stanford actively educates students on the dangers of illicit drug use and we have designated educational interventions for cannabis and fentanyl. Also, Counseling and Psychological Services is bolstering substance use counseling to better serve the community and provide support for students grappling with these issues or looking to sustain their sobriety.
Research shows that by having a frank, face-to-face conversation, you can have a positive impact on your student’s approach to alcohol and drugs once they arrive. To this point, we have created a Parent/Guardian Guide with information, tips, conversation starters, and resources to help you get the most out of those conversations.
Please know that:
  • Students are expected to abide by university policies and California laws. Stanford launched an updated Student Alcohol and Drug Policy last year.
  • Before arriving on campus, students were required to take online alcohol and drug education courses that stress individual and collective responsibility. Students received the information about the courses on August 22 and should have completed them by September 15.
  • Stanford offers substance-free events on weekend nights, across campus and neighborhoods, so that no student feels isolated by a decision to abstain from drinking alcohol.
  • Stanford has a multitude of educational programs, services and resources for students regarding alcohol and other drugs offered through the Office of Substance Use Programs, Education & Resources.
Office of Substance Use Programs Education & Resources (SUPER)

Understanding, Preventing, and Responding to Campus Sexual & Relationship Violence

Stanford is committed to providing all of our students a safe, welcoming campus environment. Our intent is to be up front in discussing these issues so that you will be equipped with knowledge to help empower your student for safe, healthy relationships here at Stanford.
The prevalence of sexual and relationship violence on college campuses is a national concern and a call to action. These experiences affect students of all genders, races, and backgrounds. The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (the agency charged with enforcing the federal civil rights law, Title IX, that prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual violence), issued new regulations in 2020 to assist colleges in addressing sexual violence as a form of sexual harassment. California has also issued legislation regarding sexual violence on college campuses.
Stanford will continue to align our policies and practices with all California and federal legislation. As a learning environment, we strive to reflect upon and renew our efforts in this critical area to ensure that we are doing all that we can to appropriately prevent sexual and relationship violence, to promptly and equitably respond when it occurs, and to support our students who are impacted.
As a family member, you are an important partner in this work. We encourage you to engage with your student as preparation for living on the Stanford campus and for participating in this important conversation.
Our sincere hope is to prevent Stanford students from experiencing or being impacted by sexual or relationship violence. However, should a student need support, we want you and your student to know that you are not alone and that there are many resources and services here for you on campus.
SHARE (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Education) Title IX Office
Stanford Family button graphic

New Student Move-In Day Reminders

We are excited to welcome students and families to campus! Detailed move-in instructions, including campus maps and the NSO Arrival Day Parking Pass to print are now available online.
Move-In Day, Tuesday September 20*: Students can arrive at any time between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to their Housing Service Center Check-In Locations. At check-in, students will pick up their Stanford ID cards and room keys. (Students will need to show a government-issued ID.) All students should pick up their keys by 5:00 p.m.
Guests: Family members are welcome and do not need to register. Per university policy, students and their guests are required to wear face masks inside the residences during move-in. We encourage guests to take a COVID test before coming to campus, if they are able to. If guests are feeling ill on this day or if they test positive for COVID, they should not come to campus.
There is no formal campus programming on move-in day. After moving in (or if you are waiting for your SPOT student to arrive), you may enjoy your day on campus - stop by the Family Welcome Booth to pick up a Student's Guide to Stanford map and a Stanford Family pin, walk around our beautiful campus, and check out one of our many eateries and cafes for a bite to eat (locations listed in the NSO Parent & Family Program). You may also wish to take your student off campus for lunch/dinner, shopping, and errands. Please note students should begin sleeping in their dorm rooms on this night.
We hope you will stop by: 
  • 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Family Welcome Booth & Parents' Club Booth, White Plaza 
  • 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Residence Welcomes, hosted by Resident Fellow(s) and student staff
*Pre-Orientation Programs: For on-campus programs (FLI-SO, Ignite, ISO): students moved into their dorm when their program began. For off-campus programs (SNIP, SPOT), students will move into their dorm when they return to campus on Sept 20. Students will have the remainder of the day/night to move in and unpack.
Photo of NSO Convocation Ceremony in Frost Amphitheater (Photo credit: Andrew Brodhead, Stanford News Service)

Opening Convocation Ceremony

September 21, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. PT
Frost Amphitheater & Livestream

Parents and families are invited to join us for the first day of NSO, Wednesday, September 21. Free parking is available in the residence parking lots and in the Galvez Parking Lot - please print and display the NSO Parking Pass.
The day will begin with the Opening Convocation Ceremony at 10:00 a.m. in the morning. Students will walk over to Frost Amphitheater with their dorms. Seating is open. If you would like to sit with your student, please meet them inside Frost, or at the Galvez Gate entrance to Frost. Please note: Frost has a clear bag policy. Small handbags are allowed, but backpacks and suitcases are not.
Community welcomes and open houses will be offered throughout the afternoon. Plan to say your goodbyes by 5:00 p.m. so that students can join their dormmates for their first dinner and House Meeting together (required). Students will be attending required NSO programs for the remainder of the week, so please do not make plans to take them off campus in the following days.
For more, see NSO Events for Families. A printed NSO Parent & Family Program for families will be included in your students' NSO packet, which you can also pick up at the Family Welcome Booth in White Plaza.
We know many families will not be able to visit Stanford this fall. We invite you to join us for Convocation via the Livestream and we look forward to welcoming you to campus in the future!

Stay Connected

Visit our Stanford Families website regularly to stay informed about programs, resources, and events. Once the academic year begins, you will receive the Stanford Parents & Guardians Newsletter as well as other important updates from the University.
If you have any questions or concerns about your student during the academic year, please contact our Parent & Family Help Line at (650) 725-0649 or mykidis@stanford.edu. We will be happy to help you!

Stanford Parents' Club

The Stanford Parents’ Club is a worldwide network of Stanford parents and guardians. Run entirely by member volunteers, the club works in partnership with Stanford University to support Stanford families. The club offers members opportunities to learn, connect and have fun as they build community together. Some of the club’s signature programs include a Distinguished Speaker Series, Interactive Online Communities, Social Activities, and Stanford Related Volunteer Service Opportunities. Membership is free. All parents, guardians and support persons of current and former Stanford students are welcome and encouraged to join. Learn more and join today.

Contact Us

Office of Academic Advising
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Follow @approachingstanford on Instagram
590 Escondido Mall | Stanford, CA 94305-3085 US
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