CONTACT: Elaine C. Ray, News Service (650) 723-7162;
COMMENT: Marc Wais, Dean of Students, (650) 723-2733
Fraternity loses house following alcohol-related accident
In the wake of the second recent serious accident involving the Stanford chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Dean of Students Marc Wais has notified the organization that it will lose its on-campus housing privileges at the end of Autumn Quarter.
This action is being taken as a result of violations of sanctions that were provided to the Phi Delts last spring, after another incident involving the misuse of alcohol, said Wais. This action has received the unanimous endorsement of the Student Greek Judicial Board. Our thoughts and prayers are with the student and his family, Wais added.
On Saturday Oct. 10, at 8:30 a.m. a 21-year-old Stanford junior was found lying unconscious outside the fraternity house, where he lives. It appears that the student, who was last seen around 2:30 that morning, had fallen from the second-floor balcony there. He sustained serious head injuries and remains in serious but stable condition at Stanford Hospital.
On Sunday, Oct. 11, a preliminary investigation conducted by the Office of Student Affairs and the Stanford Police Department alleged that alcohol had been served at an event in the house in violation of the chapter's probationary status.
I strongly endorse Dean Wais' actions, said President Gerhard Casper. The university will not tolerate such disregard of disciplinary actions with respect to alcohol abuse. Lives are at stake. The Fundamental Standard of student conduct calls for respect for what is demanded of good citizens. As citizens of the university, we must assure that tragedies of this kind are not repeated. And while most students are responsible, a few are not. The issue is not a fraternity issue only. I therefore call on Dean Wais and Vice-Provost Jim Montoya to work with the leadership of the ASSU to address problems that do exist.
Last spring Wais placed the chapter on probation on the recommendation of the Greek Judicial Board, stemming from an off-campus pledge incident in which alcohol was abundant and which resulted in one pledge being hospitalized with severe facial injuries that required reconstructive surgery. A total of eight sanctions were handed down at that time, including one that placed the 51 member chapter on probation through Commencement 1999. All sanctions had a zero-tolerance level meaning that if any of them were violated, the fraternity would lose its campus housing privileges. Moreover, such violations would automatically trigger a review of the chapter charter by the student Greek Judicial Board.
The chapter should adhere to both the spirit as well as the letter of this alcohol probation because of its long history of alcohol misuse, the Greek Judicial Board report stated.
This is indeed a tragic situation for the student, his family, the fraternity and the entire Stanford community, said Vice Provost for Student Affairs James Montoya. This is the second serious incident involving alcohol associated with the Phi Delts. Unfortunately, the university is no longer able to justify allocating its valuable resources, such as campus housing, to a group of individuals who collectively detract from our educational goals and foster an unhealthy environment.
Wais will ask the Greek Judicial Board to review whether the university should consider revoking the chapter's charter, causing it to lose all university status.
We realize alcohol is an issue for college students. We take this problem seriously and have had a comprehensive alcohol education program in place for more than 20 years, Wais said. Following up on an Alcohol Task Force that was convened two years ago, the university recently announced new alcohol education initiatives.
-By Elaine Ray