Sigma Chi fraternity loses charter, subject to University ‘conduct process’

May 11, 2018, 3:03 a.m.

Stanford’s Sigma Chi fraternity lost its charter Thursday, University officials confirmed to The Daily Friday evening.

Representatives from Sigma Chi International informed fraternity members of the decision on Thursday. According to University spokesperson E.J. Miranda, Stanford is currently overseeing an ongoing “conduct process” for its Alpha Omega chapter.

He added that Residential Education, as well as Fraternity and Sorority Life staff, “will continue to work with [house residents] to ensure that they have access to University resources.”

A statement released Friday by Sigma Chi International Fraternity said that after the international organization conducted a “membership assessment,” they “determined there were few members who would carry the chapter forward in a positive manner.”

Current members of the fraternity posted Snapchat and Instagram story photos and videos on Thursday night of the chapter’s 550 Mayfield Avenue building with letters removed from the front of the house — changes that Daily reporters also observed.

One such photo, which was posted to a Sigma Chi member’s Snapchat story, was accompanied by the caption, “When you lose your charter and they immediately tear down your letters.”

The fraternity members will be on “suspended active status” and barred from participating “in anything that could be conceived as a Sigma Chi activity,” until 2021 according to the press release. Sigma Chi Internationals said that eventually, they hope to re-instate the Stanford chapter in partnership with Stanford administrators.

Multiple members of Sigma Chi declined to comment on the issue when Daily reporters were let into the house on Thursday. The Daily was then asked to leave the residence.

The Daily previously reported that Sigma Chi International began investigating the Stanford chapter after an alleged January drugging by a non-Stanford affiliate at the Sigma Chi house and that the investigation precluded the chapter from recruiting a spring 2018 pledge class.

Bob Ottilie ’77 — chairman and spokesman of the Alpha Omega Housing Corporation (AOHC), the alumni group that acts as landlord for the residence — declined to comment on the matter Thursday night.

Ottilie told The Daily last week that as of May 1 the chapter would retain its charter, following closure of the investigation.

“The international fraternity had to make a decision whether they were going to pull their charter or not, and that decision was finalized today and was announced to the chapter this evening,” Ottilie said at the time. “And the international fraternity, or whatever committee they have that deals with those issues, has unanimously decided — in a report that was issued today and provided to the chapter tonight — has unanimously agreed that the Sigma Chi Alpha Omega chapter should keep their charter.”

On May 3, The Daily reported that the Sigma Chi house would become a tier-three residence open to non-fraternity members for the 2018-2019 school year as a result of its inability to take a pledge class this year. However, details regarding Sigma Chi’s status as a residence for next year remain unclear.

Then, on May 4, the house hosted a private “open house” event for non-affiliated students interested in living in the residence next year. Over 400 students were invited via Facebook; the event page stated that students accepted as boarders would be able to enter the regular University draw and later drop their housing without a fee.

In previous summer quarters, Sigma Chi sponsored a residential opportunity known as “Summer Chi” for fraternity brothers and non-affiliates to live in the house. The status of the program remains unclear following Thursday’s developments.

The Daily has reached out to Residential Education and Sigma Chi International for comment, as well as Trey Turner ’19, the Stanford chapter’s president.


This story has been updated to include information on the University’s official confirmation of the charter’s closing. 

Contact Brian Contreras at brianc42 ‘at’, Julia Ingram at jmingram ‘at’ and Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’

Brian Contreras was the Daily's Investigations Editor during the '19-'20 school year. Before that, he was a Managing Editor of the news section. A graduate of Stanford's class of 2020, he studied Science, Technology, and Society with a minor in Anthropology. Brian hails from Washington, DC and is pursuing a career in tech journalism. Contact him at briancontreras42 'at' Ingram ’21 was The Daily's Volume 256 editor-in-chief. She is a New York City native majoring in English literature and working toward a career in news reporting. Contact her at jingram ‘at’ Foreman '21 was the Vol. 258-59 chief technology officer. Holden was president and editor-in-chief in Vol. 257, executive editor (vice president) in Vol. 256, managing editor of news in Vol. 254 and student business director in Vol. 255.

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