Stanford Freshman Orientation Activity

Stanford Orientation, Stanford Freshman Orientation, Stanford Crossing the Line
Stanford University has discontinued a longstanding freshman orientation tradition (photo credit: King of Hearts).

Since the 1980s, freshmen at Stanford University have participated in an activity during orientation known as “Crossing the Line.” Basically, someone reads a statement and if the statement applies to students, they walk over a line. It was an activity designed to forge camaraderie, to make students who are far from home feel like they’re part of a community, to help students get to know one another. But the once mandatory freshman orientation activity, which has received criticism over the years for making students feel uncomfortable, will no longer be a part of Stanford’s freshman orientation.

Stanford Discontinues “Crossing the Line” Tradition

As Holden Foreman writes for The Stanford Daily in a piece entitled “Long-standing frosh event Crossing the Line discontinued after years of criticism,” “The Diversity and First-Gen (DGen) Office previously oversaw CTL, and it removed the activity from its website over the summer. In June, when CTL was still listed on the website, it was described as ‘a tool for promoting reflection, dialogue, empathy and authentic engagement.’ But students have repeatedly accused CTL of forcing them into emotionally painful situations. Though students are told they do not have to cross the line when a statement applies to them, Alp Akis ’21 wrote in a 2017 Stanford Review article that this caveat does not protect students from discomfort.”

What do our readers think? Is this kind of activity no longer acceptable in 2019? Or should it have been continued? Let us know your thoughts on the subject by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!


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