Theta Delta Chi and Greek Life at Stanford

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The university today issued a decision on the appeal filed by the Theta Delta Chi fraternity in a case that has been heard by the organization’s Board of Conduct. The case concerned the presence of illicit substances in the TDX house and the failure to report them.

Today’s ruling dismisses the appeal and imposes a loss of recognition for TDX as a Greek organization at Stanford. Since the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has informed us that they plan to provide additional information regarding the case, the duration of the loss of recognition will be determined once the university receives this additional information. A summary of the result is available here.

Under the University’s Policy for Organizational Conduct Board Affairs, an appeal is heard and decided by the Vice-President, Student Affairs. This is what happened in this case. I am writing to you today to clarify that the rejection of the appeal is final; there are no further appeals in our process; and as a provost, I fully support the decision that has been made.

Many students and alumni have written to the university to support TDX and the value it has brought to their lives. I have read these compelling and sincere messages, and I want to assure our community that Theta Delta Chi’s appeal has been given careful, thoughtful and impartial consideration. The balance between responsibility and opportunities for learning and growth is an important part of our processes and will continue to be considered as the duration of the loss of recognition is determined. The decision reflects the importance of collective responsibility as a guiding principle for student organizations at Stanford, and the conclusion that a redefinition of chapter membership and cultural norms is needed for TDX today.

TDX’s appeal letter, which was circulated widely in our community, does not provide a full or accurate account of what happened in the case. It includes inaccuracies in what has been said and known by professional staff, what has been known and shared with emergency responders, and the knowledge and role of students in the events in question. Unfortunately, some members of our community may draw conclusions about the case based on the account of this letter of appeal. I have confidence in the investigation of the facts of the case and I am satisfied that the sanction imposed reflects the seriousness of the conduct in question.

I also think it is important to make it clear that the decision in this case should not be seen as a judgment on the future of the Greek system itself.

We believe Greek life is valuable at Stanford. Contrary to the assumptions that I have seen in some comments, the administrators make no effort to eliminate Greek life at Stanford. Relationships are a vital part of the college experience, and many students find rich and fulfilling relationships in the Greek system. As we said before, we are committed to maintaining 10 Greek houses on campus.

Our effort is to improve Greek life – dealing with things that need to be improved (and which have been raised as concerns by many of our current students) and working in partnership with students and alumni to address them effectively.

We did this through a series of workgroups on the future of Greek life. These working groups brought together Greek student leaders, campus professionals and advisers from alumni sections to develop recommendations in key areas that are critical to the success of the Greek system.

At Stanford, we seek a community where all students feel safe, welcomed and valued, and where all residences provide healthy and fun environments where our students can thrive. This is our aspiration for the Greek system, and we intend to continue to work in partnership with students and alumni in pursuit of it.

Persis drell

Provost

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