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Sigma Chi house to open to non-members after fraternity unable to recruit

(CATALINA RAMIREZ-SAENZ/The Stanford Daily)

In the 2018-2019 school year, the Sigma Chi house will become a tier-three residence and allow non-members to live in its Mayfield Avenue house. The change follows the conclusion of an investigation by Sigma Chi International during which the fraternity was barred from  participating in spring recruitment, leaving them without a 2018 pledge class.

This decision was confirmed to The Daily by Bob Ottilie, chairman and spokesman of the Alpha Omega Housing Corporation (AOHC), the alumni organization that owns the Stanford Sigma Chi house.

A private event posted on Facebook labeled “Pre-Assign Sigma Chi Open House” states that “Sigma Chi is now a ‘co-op’” and next year will be a co-ed house where both fraternity brothers and other Stanford students will reside.

The post notes that it will be a tier-three residence, but does not clarify if this arrangement is for the draw, pre-assignment or both. Ottilie said the house will be fully occupied by Sigma Chi members in fall 2019, after the fraternity recruits its new pledge class next spring.

Sigma Chi President Trey Turner ’19 declined to comment. A member of the fraternity listed as a host of the Facebook event did not respond to The Daily’s request for comment.

Representatives from Residential Education also did not respond to The Daily’s request for comment by press time.

According to Ottilie, the Sigma Chi International Fraternity announced on May 1 that the organization’s Stanford chapter — Sigma Chi Alpha Omega — will retain its charter after the Sigma Chi International investigation.

However, the fraternity will not be able to fill the house without new members.

“We actually have 44 Sigma Chis in the house in the spring,” he said. “But 20 of those [are going to] graduate, so we’re down to 24, [and then] we need 20 new sophomores to take their place. [But] we don’t have 20 new sophomores, because we couldn’t rush.”

The result? Fifteen to 20 students from outside the fraternity will live in the house next year — thus the advertised switch to a “co-op.”

Though the Sigma Chi house is owned by the AOHC, it also requires a charter from the international Sigma Chi organization to remain part of the fraternity.

Ottilie said that the “trigger” for the investigation was the party held at the Sigma Chi house on January 12 at which at least 10 members of Sigma Chi, Pi Beta Phi and the men’s rowing team suspected that they had been drugged by a non-Stanford affiliate.

Following the party and alleged drugging, the AOHC instituted a series of new policies for the house, including an alcohol ban throughout the house.

Next year, when the house consists of both fraternity and non-fraternity members, that ban will remain in place.

“We’re going to be dry, we’re going to stay dry and we encourage others to go dry,” Ottilie said.

Alongside the AOHC and the International Fraternity, the University also has a degree of authority over the residence. However, Ottilie said he doubts that the University would take action against Sigma Chi.

As in previous years, Sigma Chi will sponsor “Summer Chi” this summer, an annual opportunity for fraternity brothers and non-affiliates to live in the house during the summer quarter.

 

Contact Alexa Philippou at aphil723 ‘at’ stanford.edu and Brian Contreras at brianc42 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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