The Office of Student Affairs reversed its decision to revoke Theta Delta Chi’s (TDX) on-campus housing starting in the 2019-20 school year due to a “procedural flaw” in the fall 2018 Standards of Excellence (SOE) report. A memo communicating the decision was sent to the presidents of Greek organizations by Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole early Saturday evening.
“We deeply regret the anxiety and stress created by this situation,” Brubaker-Cole wrote to former TDX president Erik Ubel ’19 and current president Nico Garcia ’20.
According to Brubaker-Cole’s email, TDX received a score of “meets expectations” on its SOE report, making the fraternity eligible to keep its house.
Originally, the fraternity had been told it received a score of “needs improvement” for what would have been the fourth year in a row. According to Garcia, the fraternity’s score put the fraternity on “grounds for removal.”
The Stanford Office for Student Affairs reviewed its decision and discovered a procedural flaw in the guidelines provided to the Greek organizations preparing their reports. Specifically, the office decided that it had not clarified to the chapters that their score would be dependent on the scores of other chapters.
“We believe it is unfair for chapters to be judged by a criterion that is not clearly articulated in the university’s procedures,” Brubaker-Cole wrote in her memo.
Although TDX’s raw SOE score fell within the “meets expectations” range, in comparison with other chapters, its score was dropped to “needs improvement,” which resulted in the decision to unhouse the fraternity.
The Office for Student Affairs confirmed that this procedural flaw has “not affected any matters involving other Greek organizations this year or in the past.”
Since Residential and Dining Enterprises’ (R&DE) Jan. 18 decision that TDX would lose its housing, a petition written by TDX inviting Stanford community members to provide testimony supporting the fraternity garnered 1,400 signatures. The fraternity began gathering these signatures in preparation for an appeal of the decision to Residential Education (ResEd), which now will not be necessary.
Garcia said he believes the petition “absolutely” influenced the Office of Student Affairs’ reversal of its decision.
“The petition spread across campus very quickly,” Garcia said. “We received overwhelming support … We were the only ones who actually saw the responses, but the noise it created on campus was loud enough for the University to hear.”
In her email to Greek leadership, Brubaker-Cole wrote that Student Affairs is “supportive of Greek life at Stanford.”
“Many Stanford community members have shared their concern that campus social life appears to be in a state of decline,” Brubaker-Cole continued. “Vibrant social life on campus is critical to a thriving and healthy campus community and to the personal health, well-being and success of students. We have begun to engage students in designing solutions, and more opportunities for engagement and planning are in the works.”
Contact Katie Keller at ktkeller ‘at’ stanford.edu and Erin Woo at erinkwoo ‘at’ stanford.edu.