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Oval Policy

The Oval is considered to be the initial and official visual entrance to the Stanford University campus. Given this historic and aesthetic status, it is in the best interests of the University community and visiting members of the public to maintain its open and pristine space, to help preserve its natural beauty and environmental integrity. The Oval also presents the formal academic image of the University, leading directly to departments, classrooms and other academic space, and faculty and graduate student offices, and thus is subject to the University's Noise Policy.

The University prohibits formal or informal events of any kind to take place in the Oval. Gatherings of Stanford students, faculty, and staff such as demonstrations, rallies, or dances may take place in White Plaza, which can be reserved through the Office of Student Activities. Weddings also are not allowed in the Oval but are in certain circumstances allowed in Memorial Church (refer to Memorial Church wedding ceremony guidelines).

The Oval is considered a pedestrian zone and appropriate use of its space includes walking, running, reading, relaxing, and other limited recreational use of the lawn area (such as quiet, very small picnics and Frisbee), unless or until such use damages or otherwise harms the property.

Cooking food or use of any grill/barbecue or open flame is strictly prohibited. Fireworks or the use of other incendiary devices represent a safety hazard to the area and are therefore prohibited. Amplified sound from items such as boom boxes, musical instruments, or the use of bullhorns or amplified speakers is also prohibited. Only authorized Stanford service vehicles are permitted inside the Oval areas.

As the official entrance to the University, the Oval offers public access to general parking spaces in the marked areas surrounding the outer perimeter of the Oval; drivers are expected to obey all traffic signs and limitations. Buses are subject to additional restrictions.

For further information regarding this policy, contact the Executive Director of Special Events and Protocol, 724-1387 or see

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