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 New students are welcomed to campus with one of the most recognized symbols of Stanford on the lawn outside Wilbur Hall. Credit: Andrew Brodhead

Criteria for a University Theme House - Academic (UTH-A)

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This criteria is the backbone for all Academic Theme Houses and also informs our application questions.

Criteria

  • ResX Core Principles - Every UTH should align with the four ResX Core Principles; namely, i) Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; ii) Health & Well-being; iii) Community & Belonging; and iv) Intellectual & Personal Growth. To this end, throughout the application, each prospective UTH must demonstrate evidence that the Themed House will be focusing on these four principles.
  • Leadership Team - Applicants for a UTH must represent a leadership team that embodies the sustained commitment of a department and/or academic unit and/or other long-term Stanford group representation. The team ensures the stability and potential longevity of the theme by providing institutional ownership. The team should be led by one or more permanent staff or faculty, working alongside other team members, including student participants.
  • Theme Interest and Demand - To have the greatest chance of success, the applicants must show evidence of student interest in the proposed theme (e.g., through a student survey results or a call for interest) and demonstrate how the theme meets real needs/desires/interests of undergraduates on campus. The theme must show sufficient interest to fill a residence in its entirety.
  • Integrated Learning & Intellectual Vitality - As ResX advocated, UTHs must be ‘relevant and in line with the University’s goals for undergraduate education and the theme implementation should be robust’. The themes should be focused on fostering the intellectual life of the house to actively engage with the university’s learning priorities. The theme should convincingly reflect established academic groupings on campus, ideally divisions, centers or departments. This will be shown through plans that show all of the following:
    • an academically credible and stimulating theme that encourages reflection and flexible thinking on the part of residents
    • mandated requirements for residents that encourage and model a shared commitment to the community. 
    • courses offered by the UTH each quarter and/or a cogent sequence of workshops, or weekend events, or field-trips, all of which have clear aims, objectives, and learning outcomes relating to the theme. 
    • a summative residential program that enhances learning incrementally through the year and asks its participants to work in imaginative and enjoyable ways beyond traditional major/minor designations or conventional academic programs. 
    • UTH-As will need to articulate how they plan to contribute to the well-being of their neighborhood by making meaningful connections and demonstrating good citizenship, as well as putting the principles of their community into practice throughout their neighborhood.
  • Institutional Commitment and Clear Resource Stream - To be successful, leadership teams must have an operations and logistics plan that shows an understanding of the resources required to run the theme and the annual deployment of those resources. Departments, divisions, and other organizations that are involved must articulate their level of commitment and resource.
  • Measures of Success - To ensure that themes are designed and implemented to be a positive experience for all participants (as anticipated by the ResX principles), leadership teams must indicate how they will demonstrate success annually for review and audit. CoRL’s review will lead by determining how well the declared objectives correlate with evidence-based outcomes.