Alone at Stanford | May 1, 2020 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 1, 2020

Alone at Stanford

Here's what life's been like for students who stayed after everyone else left

by Elena Kadvany

Stanford University senior Jesus Enrique Cervantes drove eight times to San Francisco International Airport in the span of a few days in March, dropping off one by one friends who were heeding the university's request to leave campus as soon as possible, with no certainty when they would return.

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Staff Writer Elena Kadvany can be emailed at [email protected]


Posted by Local
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 1, 2020 at 7:09 am

Sending good wishes to all of you!

Does Stanford have plans to use testing to allow students to be able to gather more closely with the people in their homes, like families? If that goes well, then groups could interact and eventually expand to other groups?

I hate to say it, but universities are now paying for putting Students together cheek by jowl,and pushing them in nearly every way to pit their physical well-being against their educational excellence. Stanford is probably something of an exception because of the weather sports facilities and sprawling campus, but dorm life is dorm life, and as students are finding out now, some of the stress of school comes not from the education but just from traditions.

All the best to these talented young people in finishing their educations and making a difference in the world.

Posted by Michelle
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 1, 2020 at 5:37 pm

You sound like wonderful young adults. I just wanted to wish you the best during this hard time.

Take care.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 29, 2020 at 4:35 am

Other point of view: These defiant students were supposed to go home in March. All have their own sob story. They have been a big headache for the university. The real reason that they do not want to go home is because they worry about losing their visa status. Most plan on staying permanently in the US via the expedited path through our universities. There are hundreds of graduate students who are doing the same thing, and have been putting up a fight for months. These students made up every excuse not to return to their homelands. The technicalities of trying to house them, and work out the dining plans was difficult. Soon they began demanding free housing. Many became creative to try and justify their existence on campus by figuring out a way to look like they were needed (beneficial) in the fight against Covid. All students were initially told to leave and not to return unless their work was related to this. This creativity was short lasted. Foreign graduate students relentlessly demanded on campus housing for their families (with children), salary, and medical benefits because they did not want to return to their homelands and risk losing their chance of staying in the US forever. Many were able to get special extensions to their visa by having their non-science degrees (like the one year MSx degree in the business school, 2yr MBA, and non-science PhD’s) changed to STEM status on their visas – just so they could get a generous visa extension to stay in the Bay Area while they seek employment to enhance their chances of later getting that green card.
We are now in a situation where millions of Americans are unemployed, lost their businesses, been laid off, and lost their homes. Many are just struggling to find a way to pay rent and buy food. This is not a time for thousands of foreign students to look for employment, when others who live here permanently need these positions. They have a home in another country, but for us - this is our only home. We have thousands of our own college graduates who are just entering the job market. People all over the world are restructuring their lives and dreams to survive. These defiant visa seekers must change their plans like others have, and are entitled to nothing.

Posted by Alvin
a resident of Professorville
on May 29, 2020 at 8:15 pm

Why does this paper keep writing the most misleading headlines: Coronavirus forces people...

The Coronavirus didn't force anything on anyone. It was Stanford's shutdown orders that caused the mass exodus. Can you writers not get it right for once...or is there some political agenda I'm not catching onto?

Posted by Amy Baxter
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:54 am

Hard times for all of us. It's hard to study at home for sure. I had to search for help at Web Link since I had no one to help me. I hope that universities will open their doors soon.

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