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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Banner image featuring residents of Donner on a house trip together and wearing house swag.

Information for New Donner Residents

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Photograph of Donner residents with their Resident Fellow, Linda Paulson, on a trip to Ashland in 2019.

What is Donner? Donner is undoubtedly the best all-frosh dorm at Stanford! The dorm houses:

  • 86 frosh

  • 7 student leaders

  • 1 Resident Fellow

  • 3 Resident Cats

  • 1 Resident Dog

Welcome to Donner!

Complete the new Donner resident questionnaire 

Where is Donner?

The dorm is located in Stern Hall. Your home for the next year is a short walk away from the Main Quad, Meyer Green, Tresidder Student Union, Green Library, and most of Stanford's athletic facilities.

What are some of the dorm's amenities? 

Donner's 94 human residents live on 3 co-ed floors. Donner has a spacious lounge, with a piano, a ping pong table, a projector, and a flat screen TV, as well as numerous comfortable couches, which are particularly useful for hanging out with friends, movie nights, studying, guest speakers, and house meetings. 

Donner also has its own computer cluster stocked with Macs with Bootcamp, which allows them to run both Windows and Mac OS X. Each computer comes pre-installed with a variety of programs such as MATLAB and Photoshop, which can be useful for problem sets and projects. The cluster also has a dorm printer that prints black-and-white pages for 16 cents per page, so you don't have to purchase your own, though it can be convenient to do so. (If you do buy a printer and it's wireless, we recommend bringing a USB cable, as wireless printers can be difficult to set up on the Stanford network.) 

Donner even has a cozy kitchenette with a refrigerator, microwave, stove top, oven, and sink. This area is perfect for blossoming chefs looking for a break from Stanford Dining.

What about Laundry? 

Donner residents can use the laundry room in the dorm's basement free of charge. There are enough washers and dryers to service the nearly 200 students living in Donner and Sally Ride, the adjacent dorm. But please remember to bring your own laundry detergent!

What are the bathrooms like? 

Donner has some of the best bathrooms on campus after recent full renovations. Donner men and women have toilettes, showers, and sinks. There are both gender-specific and gender-neutral bathrooms available.

How about the Dorm Rooms? 

Donner rooms, one-room doubles (a single room for a pair of freshmen), come with the following amenities:

  • 1 mini-fridge
  • 2 extra-long twin beds
  • 2 desks and chairs
  • 2 bookshelves
  • 2 dressers
  • 2 waste baskets and recycling bins
  • 2 wardrobes
  • 2 mirrors
  • Wireless internet

Most rooms are carpeted and feature a number of outlets, Ethernet jacks, a telephone, and window shades. Each room also has heating (but no air conditioning).

What about dining? 

Stern Dining, one of the largest dining halls on campus, is only a few steps away from the Donner Lounge. Stern offers a variety of options, including a fresh salad bar, a burrito bar, a pasta station, a vegetarian bar with vegan options, as well as more traditional "meat-and-potatoes" fare, and a fantastic brunch during the weekends. All of its food is clearly labeled (lactose-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan), and both vegetarians and carnivores are accommodated at every meal. The hours are as follows: 

Weekday (Mon-Fri) Hours 

Breakfast: 7:30am - 9:30am 
Lunch: 11:30am - 1:15pm 
Dinner: 5:00pm - 8:30pm 

Weekend (Sat-Sun) and Holiday Hours 

Brunch: 10:30am - 1:00pm 
Dinner: 5:00pm - 7:00pm 

In addition to Stern, you can use your meal card at other independent restaurants on campus and other Dining Halls. 

And if you're hungry at night, there's Arrillaga Nights, a late night snack option in nearby Arrillaga Dining Hall. A campus tradition, Arrillaga Nights serves food and snacks such as Chicken Tenders, Breakfast Burritos, and fries from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night of the week. 

Alongside Arillaga and Stern, Donner is surrounded by a number of other dining halls, all of which are included in the student meal plan. Please refer to for details about dining.

Where can I get advice on buying a computer?

ResComp (Residential Computing) has another specific set of FAQs to help guide you through your computer-purchasing process! All other inquiries can be directed to for an individual response. 

What do you suggest that we bring?

First, we suggest looking at the Suggested Packing List provided by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE). 

From our own experience, the staff has compiled the following list of things to bring. Some of these items repeat what you'll find in the Suggested Packing List; consider this list to be our way of emphasizing what we think is most important for you to remember. 

Necessary Things

  • Laptop (refer to computer-buying guide above)
  • Surge protector/power strip
  • Clothes hangers
  • Coats, jackets, sweaters, long pants (Though California is indeed beautiful, it DOES get chilly here! Don't just bring t-shirts and shorts.)
  • Sheets and bedcovers (reminder: the beds are twin XL!)
  • Towels
  • Fan (it gets rather warm in the spring! Box fans work great)
  • Detergent and any laundry supplies you need
  • Toiletries
  • Bike (most students find a bike necessary for transportation)
  • A bike helmet
  • A U-Lock for your bike. Cable locks will get cut!
  • Shower shoes
  • First-Aid kit
  • General meds
  • Desk lamp
  • Reusable water bottle

Nice-To-Have Things

  • Desk supplies (e.g. stationery, writing utensils, stapler, desk organizer, etc.) - Most of this is available at the Stanford Bookstore
  • Your own printer (if you wish)
  • Extra shelves and storage containers
  • Board games and cards
  • Headphones
  • Ear plugs
  • Picnic blanket
  • Mattress topper
  • Room decorations
  • Tape/Command Strips/Command Hooks

Consider waiting until you meet your roommate before investing in...

  • Electric kettle
  • Microwave
  • Speakers
  • Television
  • Video game system

Moving Tips

  • Please check out the guide on shipping to campus.
  • Also check out Bed Bath and Beyond's Pack & Hold. Shop in your hometown store and pick it up in nearby Mountain View.
  • Walmart and  Target are also both great options for shopping once you arrive on campus, as they are within a 15-minute drive from campus.
  • You can have your bike shipped directly to Stanford's Campus Bike shop, and it can be assembled there as well.
    • Reminder: You cannot ship things to FedEx before move-in, as they won't accept packages and will send it back to you.

Helpful/Interesting Links

Social Media

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Connect with your Donner staff below!

Banner image featuring Donner residents spelling the house name using their bodies while on house trip.
Donner House Staff

Alawab Aldulimy

Donner House Staff

Tomas Di Felice

Donner House Staff

Deba Elaiho

Banner image featuring Donner residents spelling the house name using their bodies while on house trip.
Donner House Staff

Faiza Manzoor

Banner image featuring Donner residents spelling the house name using their bodies while on house trip.
Donner House Staff

Finn Paisley

Linda Paulson leads Stanford’s master of liberal arts program, which has awarded 259 degrees in 25 years. (Image credit: Kate Chesley)
Donner Resident Fellow

Linda Paulson

Banner image featuring Donner residents spelling the house name using their bodies while on house trip.
Donner House Staff

Phoenix Reivers

Donner House Staff

Layton Rosenfield