Moving In FAQ

Where do I check in?

Check in at the Rains Office, which is in Building 203 of Rains Houses. From Campus Drive East, turn down Escondido Road towards Escondido Village and Mirrielees House; follow this road until you see a roadblock, then turn right into the Rains Parking lot. Drive two buildings and park. Walk around the second building; the Rains Office is in the one-story building around the corner from the fountain, right next to the mailboxes and laundry room.

How do I check in?

If you are properly registered and there are no holds on your account, just show us a photo ID and sign the check-in roster so that we can give you your keys. We'll give you a whole packet of useful information to help you get started.

I've been to my new apartment or have called in to get my assignment and want a different one. Can I be reassigned?

Well, it depends. Generally speaking, there are only two reasons the Rains Office Staff will consider reassigning you:

  • You have a health condition which necessitates you living on a particular floor and which can be documented by a letter from your physician.

  • You have safety concerns and feel unsafe living on the ground floor.

In both cases, whether or not you can be reassigned depends on the availability of an apartment which would meet your needs; for example, if there are simply no more apartments in the same residence code you received in the lottery that are off the ground floor, we will not be able to move you. If you are in a group, changing assignments is much more complicated, and it's not something we do lightly.

If you are not in a group and have discovered a long-lost friend who has the same kind of housing you do (e.g., 2-bedroom, male), have not yet moved in, and want to room together, we will consider rearranging the assignments. Please contact the Rains Office.

We will not even consider moving you for the following reasons, just out of basic fairness and maintenance issues, so don't even ask:

  • location of the apartment in the complex

  • floor (for reasons other than health or safety)

  • floorplan (for "size" of the apartment--there is a pernicious myth that certain Rains apartments have big common areas and lots of storage. Believe us, that option doesn't exist in Rains...the only place it exists is off-campus and for three times the rent.)

Apartment FAQ

How big is my apartment?

The two-bedrooms vary a bit in shape and size, but the average is about 650 square feet, while the four-bedrooms are about 1300 square feet. The bedrooms are about 9 X 11.

What does "furnished" mean?

"Furnished" means just the furniture and major appliances; it does not mean things like pots, pans, dishes, microwaves, phones, sheets, or pillows. In other words, you should bring all of the really homey stuff which will make an apartment your home. They do, however, come with blinds and curtains, so don't worry about window decorations.

Your bedroom has a twin extra long bed, a desk and chair, a nightstand, a bureau, and some bookshelves built into the wall.

The living room/dining room in a two-bedroom has a table with four chairs, a couch, a cushioned chair, a storage cabinet, and an end table large enough to accommodate a tv; some but not all, two-bedrooms have coffee tables. The kitchen has an apartment-sized refrigerator, stovetop and oven, and garbage disposal.

The living room/dining room in a four-bedroom has a table with six chairs, two couches, a storage cabinet, an end table large enough to accommodate a tv, and a coffee table. The kitchen has a full-sized refrigerator, stovetop and oven, and garbage disposal.

Can I bring more furniture?

Yes, but very little. Many students have no trouble adding extra bookshelves, but bringing anything bigger for the common areas, like extra chairs or sofas, should be done after you have had a chance to speak to your roommate. Some students prefer to bring their own beds because, let's face it, sleeping in a twin-extra-long bed covered with rubbery stuff is a little infantilizing.

However, because there is NO storage space, Maintenance will not remove and store beds or other Rains furniture. You have to store your unwanted Rains furniture off-campus at your own expense. If you choose to store your bed, keep in mind that YOU are responsible for returning it in good condition when you check out; if you store furniture from any common area, your roommates must agree that it's ok, since it is their furniture as well.

What is my mailing address?

You receive US MAIL in a postal box located near your apartment, the address for which is EXACTLY as follows:

(Your Name)
Building Street Apartment
Stanford, CA 94305

Your building number and apartment number is on your door.
The street name used can be determined from the following table. This is based on information given out on August 24, 2004. If you see an error here, please email Justin Foster (justinf at stanford.edu) so he can update this table.

Building Number Street name
201, 206, 208, 216 Rosse Lane
202, 207, 209 Running Farm Lane
212, 213, 214 Pine Hill Court
215, 217-238 Ayrshire Farm Lane

Where is my apartment's mailbox?

  • Buildings 201-207--by the office

  • Buildings 208-218--Willis Lounge

  • Buildings 220-227--archway near building 230

  • Buildings 228-238--archway near building 231

How are boxes and other packages delivered to Rains Houses?

Packages sent through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) are delivered to your apartment's mailbox. If it is too big to fit in your box, you will receive a yellow slip from the Kindly Postal Elves telling you to pick it up at the post office in White Plaza.

Because your address is not permanent until you pick up the keys--there are always last minute assignment changes as we try to accommodate everyone--you should do one of two things:

  • have your friends and relatives ship your belongings after you have arrived, or

  • ship your belongings with a carrier which will not deliver your boxes, until you have signed for your keys and phoned them with delivery information.

Your packages will be delivered directly to your apartment.

I'm not going to be home when my packages arrive. Can the Rains Office sign for them?

Sorry, the Rains Office cannot accept your packages. It's not that we don't like you or want to help you, it's that there is not nearly enough room, and we can't afford to be liable for anything lost or broken.

Where do I put mail for the previous occupant?

There are forwarding slots in every bank of mailboxes, so put anything that's not for you or your roommates into the forwarding slot. If it's too big, bundle it all together, put a big "Please Forward" sign on it, and stick it in one of the blue US Postal Service mailboxes...there's one here at the office.

Can I know my roommate(s) name in advance?

Nope. We know it would be nice to chat about who is bringing the microwave, we can't let you know who you're rooming with until you get here because the apartment assignments are likely to change as people walk into and drop out of campus housing--so you may not be living with the person whose name you got when you called--and students have not yet chosen what information the university can release as public. We don't have home phone numbers or other contact vitals to give you even if we wanted to.

Can I have my own phone?

How do I turn on the service? Each bedroom has a jack capable of having a separate line with its own number, though you can arrange to share your phone with one or more of your roommates. The living room outlet can't be a separate line; it can only be an extension of a bedroom line. If you only have one line, a bedroom outlet must be the main outlet and the other outlets will be extensions.

Can I set up the phone before I arrive?

Because your phone line depends on the room you choose in your apartment and whether you want to share a phone with your roommate, you cannot arrange for service ahead of time. You will need to give them your apartment number, student ID number and the number(s) of the jack(s) you want activated. After you have checked to see what your jack number is and have decided how you want your phone lines, you need to go to Meyer Library's Forum Room, where Stanford Information Technology Systems and Services sets up a temporary (and more easily located) office during the first week. Their hours during check-in are:

Can I get cable TV?

Yes. Stanford Information Technology Systems and Services offers several different cable packages, which include national, international, and satellite channels, courses televised by the Stanford Instructional Television Network, and other special Stanford-originated programming. To turn on the service, which costs approximately $40 per month for the basic package, sign up for it when you turn on your phone line and save yourself a trip. You will need to buy a 75-ohm coaxial cable with an "F" connector at each end to connect your TV to the wall plate in your bedroom or living room; if your tv is not cable ready, additional purchases, like a new tv, may be necessary.

Is my apartment wired for internet access? How do I hook my computer up to the SUNet?

Yes, your room is wired with an ethernet jack, so you can surf the web from your bed.To submit a new/ renewal/update request form for an ethernet connection, go to the Residential Computing Home Page or for a direct link, click here. For more information, e-mail the RCCs (Residential Computer Coordinators). The e-mail for your RCC can be found here.

I don't own a computer. Are there public computer rooms in Rains?

Rains has two computer rooms (5-1, across from the office, and 31-1 near Fairclough Lounge) with Macs, laser printers, and various software. Printing will be charged to the University Debit Card System. If you have any problems or questions, you can contact the Cluster techs.

Where do I park my car or motorcycle?

Rains is surrounded by parking lots. You're allowed to park in any of the lots closest to Rains and in the parallel parking along Bowdoin marked Residence, if you have a permit. If you park anywhere else, you will be ticketed mercilessly. Do not park anything motorized on the lawn, under an archway, next to your door, on a sidewalk, or in a disabled access spot. Aside from creating a fire hazard, ruining the sprinkler system, or generally causing you danger to yourself or others, you will get a ticket so big your children will be paying it off.

Drive slowly and cautiously in all Rains parking lots, since some of our Escondido Village neighbors have children and there are speed bumps which will destroy the bottom of your car if you're not careful.

Do I need a parking permit?

Yes, you do need to purchase a resident parking sticker. Vehicles parked in the Rains parking lots without a parking sticker are subject to frequent and expensive ticketing by Stanford Police ($35 tickets per day). Parking permits cost approximately $180 for 10 months, 216 for 12 months. See the Parking and Transportation page for more details.

Where do I park my bike?

There are bike racks near every building in Rains, so pick the one most convenient to you. Do not lock your bike to the stairwell or leave it locked to itself outside your door! Besides creating a fire hazard for which the Fire Marshall will be leaving you nasty letters, you increase the chances your bike will be stolen. Stanford is regularly worked over by bike thieves who know students are more careless with their bikes at the beginnings and ends of quarters. Use a U-lock, badbones, and/or a cable lock, and if you have a particularly nice bike, consider storing it inside your apartment.

Where do I do laundry?

Laundry rooms are located in buildings 203, 210, 211, 230, and 231. You can use the "just like home " laundry rooms and their machines at your leisure. Be considerate and remove your laundry when it's done; abandoned laundry is likely to be moved from the machines by your impatient neighbors.

Maintenance and Cleaning FAQ

The apartment is kind of grungy and dusty. How can I get it cleaned?

You're responsible for doing your own cleaning during the year because hey, this isn't a dorm, but if something looks dirty when you move in, contact Raul Ponce, the Rains Facilities Supervisor, at 5-0850, or refer to the opening packet provided by Facilities in your check-in packet.

There is a cleaning service that will clean your apartment regularly for a price. Look for flyers at the beginning of the quarter and on the laundry room doors for more information.

Something is broken in my apartment. How do I get it fixed?

Is it an emergency, like the toilet is not working or your key broke in the lock? Phone 5-1602, the emergency maintenance line.

To report non-urgent repairs, fill out a Fix-it-Form on-line. Slips with the web page are located in front of the Rains Office and in the mailbox area near building 30 . Fix-it forms can also be filed.

The ceiling lightbulb just went dead. What now?

How many Rains residents does it take to change a light bulb? One, who puts in a work order to replace any burnt-out fluorescent light bulbs. Maintenance will take care of it.

The garbage disposal is not working, but it was fine a minute ago. What now?

Before you panic over a sink that looks hopelessly jammed, look at the bottom or back side of the disposal motor under the sink. Press the reset button, then try the switch again. If that doesn't work, contact Maintenance.

My apartment is a disaster area. Where can I borrow a vacuum?

The office has vacuums you can use during office hours. The vacuums can be borrowed for 1 or 2 hours during quiet times and for 30 minutes during checkout periods. Sorry, we can't let you kidnap them overnight. To check out a vacuum, you must leave a Stanford ID or driver's license.

Keep in mind it's often hard to get a vacuum, so if you like to vacuum regularly (i.e., more than once a quarter) you may consider purchasing one.

Rains Policies FAQ

I'm not going to be home when my packages arrive. Can the Rains Office sign for them?

Sorry, the Rains Office cannot accept your packages. It's not that we don't like you or want to help you, it's that there is not nearly enough room, and we can't afford to be liable for anything lost or broken.

I'm locked out of my apartment. How can I get back in?

Don't lose your keys -- ok, too late. It will cost you. If you lose your apartment key, the apartment must be re-keyed (no exceptions), and you will be charged approximately $200. In other words, key amnesia becomes expensive--hang onto those keys!

I'm having a guest from out of town stay with me. Can I get a spare key?

Yes. You can have a guest key for up to a week. Get a guest key form from the office and have all of your roommates sign it. They have to give their formal permission for you to let a Non-Rains-Friend-or-Relative have a key because of safety and privacy concerns--hey, how do they know your friend is not an ax-murderer? Even if you don't get a spare key, it's a very, very good idea to ask your roommate(s) if you can have a guest because they may be having The Week From Hell; you don't want to make each other miserable and angry, and you don't want them to call campus security because some strange guy in a towel walked out of the bathroom. Besides, if you and your guest make them even more miserable when they're stressed, they will probably return the favor.

What are the quiet hours?

If you make so much noise that you shake the building(s) or make someone's apartment unlivable, very likely someone will ask you to quiet down no matter what time it is, but the official quiet hours begin at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. There is no official ending to quiet hours in the morning, but use some sense--if you are vacuuming at 7 a.m. or playing midnight volleyball, some of your neighbors will be ticked off!

For those of you whose peace and quiet has been shattered by a neighbor playing Green Day at volume 10 . . . Rains is full of thoughtful, considerate people, so when you encounter someone who is having a lapse in good judgment, politely ask them to turn it down . . . and if that doesn't work or you think you are too angry to be polite, contact the police. Things don't usually get this bad, so reserve the legal solution until after you've spoken to the offender.

I want to play volleyball. How do I reserve the courts?

You don't reserve them--like almost everything else, they are on a first-come, first served basis, and you will have more fun if you join up with whoever else is there.

I want to practice a musical instrument. How do I sign up for the music rooms?

Your apartment key will open Rains' two music rooms, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Your apartment key will open the two music rooms, both with pianos, in Rains Building 5 (across from office). Sorry, non-Rains people cannot get keys.

Where are the game rooms? How do I reserve them?

The game room, which houses a pool table and foosball table, is located in building 30 next to Timoshenko Lounge; the balls and triangle and cues are in the room. The ping-pong table lives in Fairclough Lounge in Building 31. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

How do I get into the lounges?

Your apartment key will open the Willis and Fairclough Lounges. There are televisions and VCRs in both lounges.

Can I reserve any of the lounges? What about the barbecue grills?

Timoshenko Lounge can be booked for private functions. To reserve it, contact the Rains Office to see if the date you want is available, then come to the office to fill out the reservation form. On the working day before your event, come to the office to pick up a key. When you're done, return the key through the office mail slot in one of those handy key envelopes located below the mail slot. Sorry, they can only be reserved two weeks in advance and cannot be booked by people who don't live in Rains.

The Willis lounge policy can be found here.

More common area policies can be found here.

Hacienda Commons and the Buttery cannot be reserved, either for private functions or events put on by outside groups; they are residence space for CA-sponsored events.

University Policies FAQ

What if my roommate smokes and wants to do it in the apartment?

Well . . . Stanford has a no smoking policy . . . and that means no smoking in the apartments, anywhere the smoke will drift into people's apartments, on the landings, on the stairs, under the balconies . . . ummm, basically, you can't smoke anywhere in or near the buildings. You also can't smoke at Rains events, whether they are inside or outside. If you're a habitual offender, you could lose your University Housing Privileges, and if you smoke in your apartment, even if your roommate doesn't mind, be prepared to get a big bill for the cost of removing the smell of tobacco smoke from carpeting, draperies, paint, and furnishings in your apartment.

I have a pet tarantula at home and I really want to bring her. Can I have a pet?

Sorry, the Residence Agreement you signed prohibits furry, fishy, feathery or scaly housemates; the little brown ants who will invade your apartment periodically do not count. If Facilities, Maintenance, or a nosy neighbor discovers your pet and reports it to the Rains Office, you will get the Nasty Pet Letter, which will tell you that you have to find it another home by a certain date or face a very high fine for every day it stays with you past the deadline. We hate doing this, so please don't make us.

I can't see a thing in my apartment because it's dark. Are halogen lamps really banned???

Afraid so. Halogen lamps have been implicated in a couple of campus fires in Undergrad Land, so they have been banned campus-wide in a compassionate effort to keep grad students safe, though in the dark.

Miscellaneous FAQ or "Where is..."

Where are the closest shuttle bus (aka, the Marguerite) stops?

The closest A-Line (Cal Avenue, Shopping Center, Escondido Village, Medical Center) stops are in Escondido Village, on the road across from the fire station, and at the Serra Street Complex. The nearest B-Line Stops are at the corner of Escondido Road and Campus Drive and the corner of Bowdoin Street and Campus Drive. You can get schedules on any of the shuttles, at Tressider, or at the Transportation Programs Office.

Where can I get a bike? Do I need to register it?

Check out the Shopping Pages for a list of the closest bike shops.

Yes, please register it...it's your only chance of getting it back if it is stolen, and we have bike theft epidemics at the beginnings and endings of quarters, when people get careless. Go to the Transportation Programs Office at 655 Serra or visit them on the web here.

Where can I get my car registered?

The closest branch of the California Department of Motor Vehicles is at 595 Showers Drive in Mountain View, which is about 1 block south of the intersection of El Camino and San Antonio Shopping Center. Make your life easier and call for an appointment or sign up for one on-line.

Where can I buy things for my apartment?

There is a list of local shopping areas and the sorts of stores in them on our Shopping at Stanford Page.

Where can I buy food?

We know that grad students get grouchy when they're not well fed. See the Shopping at Stanford Page.

Where can I get a course guide and time schedule?

Bring your student ID to Old Union; there will be a table set up outside where you can get a Time Schedule in which the times and locations of your classes will be listed, and a Course Guide, a huge tome of departmental requirements and courses offered. You can also see a list of Autumn Quarter courses on the web if you go to axess.

Where do I get my ID card?

Go to the ID Office, Room 140A in Old Union, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to pick up your ID. Often the ID Office will have a table set up on the ground floor of Old Union to distribute IDs to those people who sent in their photos in advance, so follow the signs. You can also pick up your ID at the office on the weekend of September 19 and 20, though you will be keeping company with hordes of frosh -- the weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Questions? Call the ID office at 728-CARD.

Where can I play sports?

For general information on the sports facilities go to:


Sports include:

  • Swimming: Avery Aquatic Center, Roble Pool

  • Weights: Arrillaga Weight Room, Tressider Fitness

  • Racquetball/squash: Deguerre Courts

  • Stairmasters and Lifecycles: Ford Center, Tressider Fitness

  • Track: Over by the stadium between Galvez and Nelson Road.

  • Tennis: Campus Drive West, across from Lyman

  • Basketball: in the Cowell Cluster--across Bowdoin, Maples Pavilion, Ford Center