Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Banner image featuring the word 'Stanford' with each letter in a different color. Additionally, there is a secondary phrase that is laid out underneath the word 'Stanford' that reads as "Welcome to the Neighborhood."

Okada Theme

Main content start

Neighborhood S

Neighborhood image icon featuring a cardinal red circle with a white 'S' in the middle.

Wilbur East, ZAP, Terra, 585 Cowell, Robert Moore South (BOB), and apartments in Mirrielees and EVGR-A Duan Family Hall


The Asian American theme house was established at Stanford in 1971 to create community and provide a center for the experiences of what was then a very small and primarily first-generation Asian American student population. Renamed in 1979 after John Okada, recognized as the first Asian American novelist, Okada House continues to explore and celebrate the diversity of Asian American peoples, cultures, and languages in both historical and contemporary contexts.

In addition to fostering a warm and vibrant community, Okada serves as a focal point for students in the residence and across campus to explore the Asian American experience and what it means to be Asian in America. Okada serves those who are connected to an Asian American identity, those who are not, and those who might feel “in-between.”

Okada creates an inclusive space where people of all identities and backgrounds can be vulnerable, explore identity, and lift up their voices as a community. Programs include weekly presentations by upperclass residents on topics such as immigration narratives, intersectional identities, and art & activism; presentations by dynamic faculty; trips to local community organizations such as the South Asian Radical History Walking Tour; teach-ins at the People’s Teahouse; student performances and events; and deep conversations and the lived experience.

All residents contribute to the vibrancy of our community to achieve our main main goals. First, we are a community where Okada residents feel at home and cared for: “Okada Means Family.” Second, we serve the larger campus community to explore, engage in, and think critically about the Asian American experience.

Okada House

Learn more about Okada

Neighborhood Decorative Accent Line

Theme Requirements

Okada Pre-Assign Description

Okada preassigns are committed to learning about the Asian American experience and cultural and political identity. It is not expected that preassigns come in with knowledge, but rather that they have a shared desire to learn, share, discuss, and grow together. Preassigns are also invested in relationship and community building and tend to become mentors to and friends with the frosh in the house. Many of the items on the list of expectations are things our residents naturally end up involved in regardless of preassign status - by including them as expectations, we want to identify some of the things that make living in Okada as a preassign so meaningful!

Okada Pre-Assign Expectations

Pre-assignment to Okada will be made for students who agree to the following conditions:

  1. Participate in the dorm community, attend house meetings regularly, and support other dorm activities.
  2. Make a commitment to learning about the Asian American experience - examples include: attending presentations and programs in Okada, enrolling in relevant courses, attending campus events, participating in student groups, etc.
  3. Develop a theme project through the course of the year with your preassign small group.
  4. Participate in the Listen to the Silence Conference in January and/or Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration in May. This includes leading programs, and/or organizational and leadership duties such as committees, publicity, and volunteer shifts for events.
  5. Engage with the other ethnic theme dorms and communities on campus - examples include: attending theme-related presentations, programs, and events, and supporting joint-dorm activities.

In addition to the above, if you desire a single room, we ask that you make a greater commitment to the theme by also agreeing to the following conditions. Please do not apply for a single preassign room if you cannot make these commitments:

  1. Attend all theme presentations, scheduled for Wednesday nights from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  2. Prepare and present a theme presentation.
  3. Attend the theme field trip off-campus each quarter.
  4. Live in Okada for Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters.

For more information about Wilbur East residences visit the Residential & Dining Enterprises website


TIle image featuring a photo of past Okada residents outside of the house.