General Household Guidance
A student household has the following characteristics:
- A household is composed of no more than eight members, but 8 is not required and households can be smaller.
- View our gatherings webpage for more information on outdoor gathering as a household and with other households.
- A household is established by students living in the same residential facility or area as determined by the university.
- All families with children in family courtyards are considered a household. Due to the unique configurations of families and the needs of children - families will be able to join households with either 1 or 2 two other families.
- A household must be registered via the R&DE Household App in order to facilitate exposure notification should it become necessary.
- All apartment mates, spouses/partners and children who live with their student are by default included in a household.
- Students may only belong to one household.
- RAs in undergraduate houses can form households with one another as long as they live in the same residential facility or area as determined by the university. It is a best practice that RA’s form smaller households so as to maintain a level of RA capacity and support should any one RA household be impacted by a COVID-19 positive case among them.
A household allows:
- Social interaction within a small group of trusted individuals.
- Household members to gather together within a campus apartment or room without face coverings.
- Household members to gather outdoors. While it is not required for households, as a public health recommendation, face coverings are still strongly encouraged outdoors whenever feasible. Face coverings must be worn when in proximity to others not in the household.
- Gatherings of more than one household as specified here.
A household does not allow:
- Household members to gather in common areas (including hallways and elevators) or university buildings, including dining facilities.
- Household members to gather outdoors without face coverings or without practicing physical distancing when within fewer than 12 feet of a non-household member or another household.
- All members of the household need to comply with expectations outlined in the
- Note: Forming households is an imperfect solution to an extremely challenging set of circumstances for our community brought on by the pandemic, but we hope it represents a step in the right direction. University guidance related to households may evolve over time as we learn from our practice or as the public health situation changes.
If I’m interested in creating a household, how do I get started?
First, talk to your apartment-mate(s) or members of your undergraduate house. Discuss with one another the impact and benefits of a potential household and address your shared concerns. The decision to join a household is a commitment to one another that must be approached with an understanding that all related decisions impact the safety of apartment-mates, household members and the greater campus community. Having conversations about forming households may be difficult. Resident Assistants (RAs), Community Directors (CDs) and Residence Deans (RDs) are available for undergraduate students who need help or consultation and Community Associates (CAs) and deans from the Graduate Life Office (GLO) are available for graduate students.
Next choose the members of your household. Talk to one another and make sure every potential member consents to be part of the household. Remember: All household members must live in the same residential facility/area as outlined above. We encourage you to discuss your various day-to-day interactions and activities along with how your household will function to mitigate risk.
- A household is composed of no more than eight members, but 8 is not required and households can be smaller.
- All roommates, spouse/partners and children who live with you must be included in your household and count toward the maximum member number.
- Students (and their partners/children in residence) can only belong to one household.
- Vacant rooms in apartments/dorms are automatically designated as members of the household in the event the vacancy is filled during the quarter.
Log into the Household App. Once you log in you can:
- Create a new household,
- Join an existing household,
- See the names of your household members, or
- Leave a household to which you already belong.
How do I create and register a new household?
- To register your household, one of your members must log in to the Household App and create it. Note: Identify one member to register and manage the members of your household.
- The student who creates a household will assign a group name and PIN. The student who creates a household can then provide household members with the group name and PIN and invite them to join. Note: the group name and PIN are required to join a household.
How do I join an existing household once it has been created?
- You must know the group name of the household you want to join and the associated PIN provided by the member who creates the group. Note: for students living in couples or family housing, the name of your spouse/partner will automatically default from your housing record to be part of your household and will count towards the household size limit. Note: When you join a household, existing apartment-mates in your current room/apartment will be automatically joined as well.
- In order to join successfully, there must be enough room in the household to accommodate the new member as well as their roommates or family members. Note: The app displays the names of the current group members.
How do I leave a household to which I currently belong?
- After you join a group you can login to the Household App and select to ‘leave the household’.
- If you want to join a different household, you must first ‘leave’ your current household.
Note: If you leave a household, your apartment-mate also leaves that household. Important: You will not be able to join another household for 10 days and in the meantime should also have received three negative COVID-19 tests. The goal is to create ‘stable households’ rather than to promote frequent switching of household members.
What about my current apartment-mates?
- Apartment-mates are included as members of the same household by default. Note: Apartment-mates cannot belong to different households so it’s important to have a shared understanding with your apartment-mate about household membership. It is expected that apartment-mates will discuss and mutually agree upon the structure of their household.
- The first apartment-mate to create or join a household automatically joins the other apartment-mates in their apartment in the same household.
Note: If you leave a household, your apartment-mate also leaves that household.
Additional Household FAQs
- Can I meet with anyone from my household in my apartment? Yes.
- If I leave my household, does my roommate(s) have to leave as well? Yes.
- Do I have to participate in a household? No. If you live alone and/or you prefer not to form a household, there is no obligation to do so. If you have apartment-mates, we suggest you start a conversation about whether or not you want to form a household together as soon as possible. If you can’t come to an agreement and are not comfortable remaining in your current living situation, please consider applying for undergraduate or graduate housing reassignment, or contact your Residence Dean or the Graduate Life Deans for consultation.
- Do I have to have 8 people in my household? A household is composed of no more than eight members, but 8 members are not required and households can be smaller. Note: families and families with children living on campus will be permitted some flexibility to create a slightly larger household.
- What happens if someone in my household comes in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19? If a member within the household comes in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, all household members must follow university quarantine/isolation procedures and Vaden Medical Services guidance, which may include additional testing.
- What happens if someone in my household tests positive for COVID-19? If a student tests positive within the household, all household members must follow university quarantine/isolation procedures and Vaden Medical Services guidance, which may include additional testing.
- Can I leave my household during the quarter? Yes. You can form a household and you can leave a household. You will not be able to join another household for 10 days and in the meantime should also have received three negative COVID-19 tests. Again, the goal is to create ‘stable households’.
- If I gather with my household members outside of our apartments (but still in a building), do we need to wear face coverings? Yes. Face coverings and physical distancing are still required when in common spaces (including hallways and elevators), in R&DE dining facilities and inside any other university buildings.
- Do all members of the household need to comply with expectations outlined in the Campus Compact? Yes.
- Can members of a household gather outdoors? Yes. Face coverings do not need to be worn outdoors when among household members unless you are in the presence of non-household members who are fewer than 12 feet away. Face coverings and physical distancing are still required when in indoor common spaces (including hallways and elevators), in R&DE dining facilities and inside any other university buildings. As a public health recommendation, face coverings are still strongly encouraged when outdoors.
- Can members of a household gather with members of another household? No.
- What if my apartment mates and I would like to be part of a household with others but we don’t know anyone? Reach out to your RAs (undergraduates) and CAs (graduates); they are here to help you form connections with your residential community during this strange and difficult time. And it is important to remember that you don’t have to form a household until you have made those connections and are comfortable with a trusted group of individuals.
- Can members of a household gather with essential visitors of members in their household? It depends, please see guidelines for essential visitors.
- Can my essential visitor be a member of my household? If your essential visitor does not live on campus in the same residential facility or area (for example, a partner or childcare worker who lives off campus) they cannot be a member of your household. However, if your essential visitor happens to live on campus in the same residential facility or area, then they can be registered as a member of your household.
- How will households be managed to ensure that students from one household are not increasing risk of exposure by going outside of their designated household? Remember, face coverings and physical distancing are still required when in common spaces (including hallways and elevators), in R&DE dining facilities and inside any other university buildings.
- As members of the Stanford community, our most lasting impact comes from first discussing our concerns with one another. If you see behavior that causes you concern, say something about it with grace and respect.
- Similarly, if you are confronted with concerns about your own behavior, please listen respectfully and make the effort to appropriately address any issues that are raised.
- Should you observe repeated violations of public health directives summarized in the Campus Compact, you can share your concern and the Dean of Students Office will work with university partners to follow-up and address the behavior.
- What if I join a household but will need personal accommodations to be met in order for me to participate in the household? All students can contact the Office of Accessible Education for support in navigating your accommodations. Specifically, undergraduates can also consult with a Residence Dean and graduate students can consult with a Graduate Life Office Dean for support in addressing needs and accessing appropriate campus resources.
- Who do I go to if I have questions about household policy or practice? First we recommend you approach your RAs or your CAs. Residence Deans (undergraduates) and Graduate Life Deans (graduate students) are also happy to work with you to clarify questions.