Sigma Chi Fraternity Sues Stanford for Terminating House Lease
Last month, the Alpha Omega House Corporation (AOHC), a group of alumni that own Stanford’s Sigma Chi house, filed the suit in Santa Clara County Superior Court against university administrators for ending the lease on the house, which is owned by Stanford, before the expiry date.
The suit alleges the university of breaching contract, showing insufficient care for student safety, and other violations.
The decision to end the lease was taken after seven students claimed that they were drugged at a party held in the fraternity house in January 2018. The school responded by placing the fraternity on suspension for underage drinking and throwing an unregistered party, and barred them from participating in fraternity related activities until 2021.
The Stanford Daily reported that the student who drugged the party attendants was not affiliated with the university.
However, the findings of an investigation launched by the school’s Department of Public Safety and Title IX office couldn’t find enough evidence to substantiate the claims of drugging.
A notice of breach was sent to the fraternity on May 24, urging it to either fall in line with the university regulations or to vacate the house. The fraternity, while shrugging off the allegations, said that it wouldn’t vacate the property, prompting the university to terminate the lease.
“All of the unique life safety measure designed to preclude underage drinking have been rolled back by the university and now it subleases the property to students groups with no effort to avoid the underage drinking, the very issue that ostensibly is the foundation of this effort to take the multi-million dollar house away from the Alpha Omega House Corporation without paying for it,” the suit states.
The university decided earlier to award the lease of the house to another recognized Greek organization for the 2020-21academic year, which will now be decided in court.