Posts Tagged ‘Press Release’

Chi Theta Chi Starts Online Petition, Rapidly Gains Signatures

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Chi Theta Chi residents demonstrate their responsibility on work days that occur periodically throughout the year. These days, such as the one shown above, focus on maintenance and long-term projects.

Residents, alumni, and members of the Chi Theta Chi community just created an online petition to Stanford administrators, and it already has over 300 signatures. You can sign the petition here. As the authors write, “In response to the termination of the house’s lease with the university, we express the benefits derived from Chi Theta Chi’s independence and ask that the university be open to identifying a solution that preserves that independence.”

Below is the full text of the letter:

February 14, 2012

Dear President Hennessy, Vice Provost Boardman, Ms. Everett, and members of the Board of Trustees:

In light of the recent decision to by Stanford Residential and Dining Enterprise (R&DE) to terminate the lease signed with Chi Theta Chi, we the alumni, current students, and supporters of the house have come together to express why Chi Theta Chi’s independence is integral to its identity and what the Stanford community stands to lose if that independence is revoked.

Chi Theta Chi fills an important and necessary role at Stanford. As the only independently operated cooperative house on campus, Chi Theta Chi has been operating and providing a home for students through the efforts of its residents and alumni board. Students choose to draw into Chi Theta Chi because they want to take ownership over their space and shape their community. In its current state as an independent house, Chi Theta Chi:

*Teaches practical life skills. From caulking bathroom tiles to planning and executing a complex renovation, Chi Theta Chi’s residents have the opportunity to learn practical skills that they would fail to experience if they only lived in university-operated housing – even other co-ops.

*Instills accountability and respect for space. The condition of the house is entirely dependent on the actions of its residents and alumni; plans for large-scale improvements as well as daily tasks such as cleaning and cooking are internally managed, and thus residents learn to regard the house with the same level of respect that a homeowner feels towards his or her property.

*Fosters sense of community and pride. The residents of Chi Theta Chi join a community of hundreds of alumni that have maintained the house over decades. As stewards of the house, residents gain a sense of pride in their contribution to Chi Theta Chi’s continued existence. (more…)

Chi Theta Chi Releases Official Statement

Friday, February 10th, 2012

The residents of Chi Theta Chi, 2010-2011.

The following message is attributed to the Chi Theta Chi residents, student staff, and alumni board:

Early Wednesday evening, Stanford Residential Dining and Enterprises (RD&E) and Stanford Student Affairs informed Chi Theta Chi staff of their plans to revoke the house’s lease, beginning today, February 9, 2012.   By doing so, the University would evict from campus one of the last remaining independent student houses and transfer ownership of Chi Theta Chi to RD&E.

We are confused and saddened by the University’s attempt to remove ownership of the property from the house’s alumni board, which has controlled the property for decades.  This transfer of ownership would directly undermine the diversity of the living options available to to undergraduates – counter to the university’s stated goal.  In his message on diversity, President Hennessy wrote, “We realize that a variety of approaches are necessary to foster diversity throughout the university, and we will continue to give careful attention to these important efforts.”  Chi Theta Chi, in its current state of private ownership, is one of those necessary approaches.  The removal of Chi Theta Chi’s independence would be a detriment not only to its residents, but also to the entire student body, which benefits from the diversity the house had supported for over thirty years.

Chi Theta Chi’s unique independence has made it a home for all of us as students, and in the past the university has respected our rich diversity of interests and living preferences.  We are disheartened by the university’s announcement, which came with minimal forewarning and which we believe disregards the exceptional efforts and improvements the staff of Chi Theta Chi have made to keep the house a safe and supportive environment for all of its residents.  We call upon the university to uphold their agreement in the terms of the lease to meet with the house to discuss less drastic alternatives.  We trust that the University will not allow short-sighted technicalities destroy our house’s independence.