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Graduate student compact

Information about the graduate student campus compact

Letter sent to all graduate students with complete text of campus compact amended below:

Dear graduate students:

We are writing with information regarding one important way we are asking you to participate in making campus as safe as possible during the upcoming academic year.  We have an individual and collective responsibility to protect ourselves and all members of the Stanford community -- including custodial, dining, instructional, and residential employees whose work requires them to be on campus. It is critical that we all commit to preventative measures such as face coverings, COVID testing, and physical distancing. We are calling this commitment a “Campus Compact”, which we will ask all graduate students who are living in on or off-campus Stanford housing or coming to campus this autumn to sign via Axess. We are also asking postdoctoral scholars who are living in Stanford housing to sign the Campus Compact. The expectations articulated in the compact align with the current county and state health orders, including the recently issued guidance for institutions of higher education, and represent critical, evidence-based practices for preventing spread of the virus.  

The compact is the product of the work of dozens of Stanford students, faculty, and administrators. The university’s COVID Policy Group tasked a committee of representatives from the Graduate Life Office, Dean of Students, Residential Education, Black Community Services Center, Office of Alcohol Policy & Education, Office of the General Counsel, Bechtel International Center, and the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation to create the compact. The committee gathered insights through a series of dialogues with critical stakeholders and received input and guidance from Vaden Health Services and deans and associate deans from all of the graduate schools.  

The compact, available shortly when you log into Axess, includes expectations relating to testing, isolation and quarantine; hygiene and distancing; and guests, access and travel.  It is our sincere hope that all will follow the compact consistently out of care and compassion for fellow community members. However, in case an individual chooses to violate the compact’s expectations and put others at risk, we have also included an accountability process.    

We realize that the timing of the release of this document is less than ideal, with many graduate students already on campus and many more enrolling in courses very shortly.  This was not the university’s goal, but we placed a high priority on ensuring broad input from the community so that the compact was reflective of our collective values and public health mandates. In addition, we felt it was critical to wait for the governor’s higher education guidance to ensure we were providing the fullest picture possible of the expectations.    

We thank you in advance for all your contributions to preventing the spread of COVID so that we may continue to pursue the learning and discovery at the heart of our university.  

Best regards,

Susie Brubaker-Cole
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Stacey Bent
Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs


This Compact was updated on 08.22.20 to remove language that says “decisions of the Panel are final.” 

We are a community bound by our shared pursuit of innovation in education and research. As we come together this year to learn, discover, teach, and advance the University's mission, we recognize that our individual actions can affect others and we each must do our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We have an individual and collective responsibility to act in ways that protect the members of our Stanford community - including our custodial, dining, instructional, and residential staff whose work requires them to be on campus - and members of the surrounding community. Protecting the health and well-being of our campus community and the surrounding community requires each of us to commit to behave responsibly and in ways that demonstrate care and compassion for our fellow students, postdocs, staff, faculty, and community neighbors.

Recognizing the importance and urgency of our collective efforts, I agree to:


  • Complete all required Stanford COVID-19 training prior to returning to campus and any ongoing training provided while on campus.  

  • Follow all federal, state, county, city and Stanford mandates and protocols to support public health and minimize the spread of COVID-19, and any additional guidelines and protocols implemented by my school or program.  If my partner and/or children reside in Stanford housing, I will ensure that they comply with the Compact. I understand I am responsible and may be held accountable for their conduct.

  • Keep myself informed and adhere to the most current protocols, found online at Stanford COVID-19 Health Alerts, recognizing that these mandates and protocols are likely to change. 

  • Follow directives from the University if asked to change my actions or practices so that I am in compliance with the expectations outlined in this Compact.   

  • Work with the Office of Accessible Education if accommodations are needed related to these expectations.  

Screening, Testing, Isolation, Quarantine

  • Screen myself daily for COVID-19 symptoms and self-report my health status by using Stanford Health Check on a daily basis. I also agree to follow any guidance communicated via Health Check and consult with Vaden Health Services as advised. 

  • Participate in all COVID-19 testing, quarantine, isolation and exposure notification protocols applicable to me, recognizing specific protocols may be different for students in different schools and programs. If I test positive for COVID-19 or learn that I have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, I will review County COVID-19 Recommendations and comply with Stanford and County public health quarantine and isolation requirements. This may require remaining in my residence or relocating to another residential space for a designated number of days as determined by the University.

  • Notify the Dean of Students Office at (or the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at if I am a postdoc), when I seek a self-initiated COVID-19 test and report the results when I receive them.

  • Receive the seasonal flu vaccine unless I am unable to do so for health reasons.

Hygiene, Distancing, Face Coverings

  • Practice personal hygiene consistent with public health guidance, including frequent and thorough hand washing, use of hand sanitizers before entering and after leaving campus buildings, and wiping down surfaces when arriving and upon leaving communal spaces.

  • Wear face coverings whenever I leave my apartment in accordance with federal, state, county and Stanford directives.

  • Adhere to the student safety measures found in the R&DE CleanDining plan to protect the health of workers and their families, and follow additional safety directives from University employees. 

  • Follow Stanford’s directives for physical distancing in residential spaces, dining facilities, and all other campus buildings, areas and outdoor spaces, maintaining to the maximum extent possible a distance of six feet between myself and any other person (who is not a family member living with me in my individual room or apartment).

Guests, Access, Travel 

  • Refrain from having any guests (including fellow students) in my apartment or in common areas of my apartment building, per California state orders, other than a necessary childcare worker instructed to practice prevention guidelines. “Guest” means anyone who does not live full-time in my apartment. 

  • Refrain from inviting or hosting non-Stanford individuals or Stanford affiliates not approved for in-person attendance on to campus. 

  • Access only my own residential building, and refrain from accessing other residential buildings, unless required to access a dining facility to which I am assigned or other University resource I need to access within another residential building. 

  • Refrain from participating in any way in indoor events, gatherings or parties either on or off campus, in accordance with public health guidance.

  • Adhere to Stanford, county and state guidance when participating in outdoor events, parties and gatherings.  

  • Stay up-to-date with and adhere to Stanford's Travel Policy and all university guidance on travel stated on the health alerts website. If I am returning from travel and have questions or need assistance complying with these protocols, I will reach out to the Graduate Life Office. I will comply with any return policies or directives, which may include testing and quarantine.

Compact Review Panel
I understand that alleged violations of this Compact will generally be reviewed by a Compact Review Panel but acknowledge that the University retains the right to remove any person from housing or the campus to protect the health and safety of the community. The consequences imposed by the Panel will reflect the seriousness and/or pervasiveness of the behavior, including factors such as whether a violation occurred, whether the behavior puts the health and safety of others at risk, whether prior concerning behavior has occurred, and other relevant information to determine an appropriate public health response. The Panel may impose a range of consequences, including issuing a warning, requiring additional training, restricting access to Stanford facilities or removal from campus, including housing. All Stanford community members are required to participate and cooperate fully with the Panel and any necessary investigations related to violations of this Compact. Violations of the Compact may also be grounds for referral to other applicable University processes (for example, the Office of Community Standards for possible disciplinary action pursuant to the Student Judicial Charter of 1997). 

*Further information about the Compact Review Panel will be forthcoming and available on Grad Updates.