The alumni of Theta Delta Chi Fraternity (TDX) are filing a lawsuit against the University according to a release posted on Save Stanford TDX’s website Wednesday. The complaint alleges Stanford violated TDX’s due process rights by punishing the fraternity arbitrarily for the death of a student and fraternity member.
University spokesperson Karla Hudson wrote, “We have seen the petition, we disagree with it, and we intend to vigorously contest the claims in it,” in response to an inquiry from The Daily.
TDX was suspended after Eitan Weiner ’22 was found dead in the house in January 2020 after accidentally ingesting fentanyl in counterfeit Percocet pills. Weiner’s family filed a wrongful death suit in December 2021 against TDX, Stanford, three students and a fourth unaffiliated individual.
The family’s complaint alleges Stanford repeatedly failed to follow the University’s Residential Education policies in the days leading up to Eitan’s death on Jan. 17, 2020. The family is also arguing that Stanford and TDX neglected their duty to warn the student body of the risk of lethal counterfeit Percocets being circulated in Santa Clara County at the time.
TDX’s lawsuit alleges the University violated the fraternity’s rights by “arbitrarily punishing” them and invoking a six-year suspension of the fraternity and removal of the fraternity from their home on campus. According to the alumni group, the six-year suspension was an attempt to shift blame to the fraternity on Weiner’s passing.
“In its 130-year history, Stanford University has never enacted such a draconian measure against one of its student-led organizations,” attorney Mark M. Hathaway said in the release. “They have fundamentally violated the rights of Theta Delta Chi members and alumni, and in doing so, have not only suspended the fraternity from campus without cause, but they have also arbitrarily and unjustly tarnished the reputation of the organization and its individual members.”
The lawsuit alleges the University did not find evidence of wrongdoing by members of TDX, and that Weiner’s death was unrelated to the actions of TDX members.
Stanford also committed multiple due process violations because TDX was not granted access to evidence the University used or the witnesses interviewed, the lawsuit alleges. Finally, according to alumni, the original university committee at the hearing recommended probation for the fraternity but the Office of Student Affairs’ six year suspension was “completely unprecedented” and “historically heavy-handed.”