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Students in the dorm by Micaela Go

The Committee on Residential Learning

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The Committee on Residential Learning (CoRL) ensures the highest standards of liberal education in the undergraduate residential experience, as defined by ResEd and mandated by Stanford’s Senate. It is a large and diverse committee providing broad support for residence-based programs that serve undergraduates.

It does this by clearly defining University Themed Houses; creating robust processes for the application, development, and review of Themed Houses; and encouraging intellectual vitality and institutional accountability in themed living programs. CoRL develops, promotes, and oversees consistent standards across residential neighborhoods, and makes recommendations about the most compelling themes to the Governing Council. It also contributes significantly to the ResEd goal of increasing faculty interest and investment in Stanford’s undergraduate residential experience.

CoRL Members

2023-24 Committee on Residential Learning (CoRL) Members

  • Mark Algee-Hewitt, English
  • Cheryl Brown, VPUE
  • Raymond Chen, Academic Advising
  • Amina Darwish, Religious Life
  • Zephyr Frank, History
  • Joseph Garner, Comparative Medicine
  • Imogen Hinds, R&DE
  • James Jones, Environmental Behavioral Sciences
  • Arik Lifschitz, Academic Advising
  • Dayo Mitchell, VPUE
  • Stephen Monismith, Chair, Civil & Environmental Engineering 
  • Grant Parker, Classics
  • Katie Phillips, Academic Advising
  • Samuel Santos, VPSA
  • Laura Schlosberg, H&S
  • Krish Seetah, Anthropology, Woods Institute 
  • Melissa Stevenson, Academic Advising
  • Lisa Surwillo, Iberian and Latin American Cultures
  • Elaine Treharne, English
  • Ravi Vakil, Mathematics
  • Christine Wotipka, Sociology

What are University Theme Houses (UTH)?  

CoRL wants to ensure students have a choice, a key feature of Theme Houses. Students have varied interests in common with academic areas of campus life, and University Theme Houses offer the opportunity for students to live in residences with others who share their interests. Over the years, house themes have ranged from fairly informal events and activities to specific emphases in programming. We have redeveloped this crucial part of residential life to be more intentional and to better align with the neighborhood system and campus-wide sense of community.

University theme Houses are available to students from every neighborhood and can be up to 25% of the bed space in a neighborhood. In five-year cycles, student groups can apply to establish a new University Theme House. Annually, students can apply to live in these houses. University theme houses are divided into four categories: 1) Academic Theme houses; 2) Ethnic Theme Houses, 3) Special Interest Houses (i.e., co-op), and 4) housed Fraternities and Sororities. CoRL governs Academic Theme houses, Special Interest houses, and housed Fraternities and Sororities. 

Ethnic Theme Houses

Ethnic Theme Houses are governed by the Undergraduate Residence Governance Council (URGC). Stanford’s ethnic theme programs encourage students to critically explore their identities and responsibilities to the community, and engage in broader outreach programs, advocacy, and ongoing education.

Academic Theme Houses

UTH-As provide a meaningful and coherent intellectual collaboration within a residential setting between multiple participants: staff, faculty, institutional affiliates, and undergraduates. Learn about Academic Theme Houses

Special Interest Houses - Co-op

Cooperative living has thrived at Stanford for more than forty years, offering a diverse range of living environments as each co-op community holds distinct values. Learn about Co-op

Fraternity & Sorority Houses

Stanford is home to several nationally known social Greek letter organizations, and most of these vibrant and diverse communities are as old as the university itself. Learn about Fraternity & Sorority Houses

How to Apply for a University Theme Houses 

New University Theme House applications will open in the 25-26 Academic Year. 

Renewed and newly approved groups and themes will be assigned housing spots in the 26-27 Academic Year. 

The Committee on Residential Learning (CoRL) asks all current University Theme Houses (UTH) – Academic, Co-op, fraternities, and sororities – to complete an annual review. The purpose of this review is to provide an opportunity to reflect on the past year and identify strengths and challenges. CoRL wishes to highlight effective practices and understand when communities might encounter difficulties. 

For 23-24, the Annual Review process will open on April 26th and are due by Friday, May 24th at 11:59 pm PT.

To submit your UTHs Annual Review, complete the form linked below.

CoRL 23-24 UTH Annual Review