Lambda Phi Epsilon

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Lambda Phi Epsilon
ΛΦΕ
LFE Crest.jpg
FoundedFebruary 25, 1981; 38 years ago (1981-02-25)
UCLA
TypeSocial
ScopeInternational
MottoLeaders Among Men ΗΓΕΜΟΝΕΣ ΕΝ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΙΣ ΕΙΝΑΙ
Colors     Royal Blue and      White
MascotDragon
PhilanthropyNational Marrow Donor Program
Chapters67
Members10,000[1] lifetime
NicknamesLambdas, LPhiE, LFE, 人中王
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California
USA
Websitelambdaphiepsilon.com

Lambda Phi Epsilon (ΛΦΕ, also known as LPhiE, LFE, or 人中王) is the largest Asian American-Interest fraternity in North America. Lambda Phi Epsilon is affiliated with both the North-American Interfraternity Conference and the National APIA Panhellenic Association.[2][3]

Organizational goals[edit]

Lambda Phi Epsilon’s vision is to be the preeminent international Asian interest fraternal organization, and to provide leadership, philanthropy, and advocacy in the community.[4]

The mission of the organization is to promote Lambda Phi Epsilon and its members by:

  • Providing active members with leadership training and hands-on experience, for both personal growth and academic achievement.
  • Promoting leadership of alumni in the community, creating opportunities, and encouraging the spirit of fellowship.
  • Promoting positive Asian American awareness and providing philanthropy to the community.[4]

History[edit]

Lambda Phi Epsilon was formed on February 25, 1981 at the University of California, Los Angeles. Noting that Asian fraternities and sororities at the University of California campuses were recognized only as service organizations due to their membership's focus on specific Asian groups and exclusion of other ethnic groups, the founders aimed to create a fraternity that transcends the traditional boundaries of national origins, bridges the gaps between those communities, and is recognized by the Greek community at large. While the original charter focused on Asian Pacific Americans, people from all ethnic backgrounds were welcome to join. Craig Ishigo and Darryl Mu signed the charter as president and vice president.[5]

Within a few years, the fraternity had chartered to the University of Texas, Austin (Zeta Chapter), the State University of New York, Buffalo (Nu Chapter), and the University of Michigan (Xi Chapter). In 1990, the organization was recognized by the North-American Interfraternity Conference, being the first Asian Interest fraternity to do so. State University of New York, Buffalo (Nu Chapter) was Lambda Phi Epsilon's first chapter to be chartered on the American East Coast. Starting as Delta Gamma Tau, on September 15, 1992, this fraternity merged with Lambda Phi Epsilon (effectively taking on Lambda Phi Epsilon's letters) to unify organizations with identical purposes and to strengthen the Asian American voice in the campus community. On December 5, 2004, Lambda Phi Epsilon established a colony at the University of Toronto (Alpha Xi Chapter), which was the first chapter of the fraternity established outside the United States. Today, Lambda Phi Epsilon has initiated over 60,000 members—the largest number of any Asian American interest fraternity in existence.[6]

Philanthropy[edit]

The fraternity's national philanthropy works to raise awareness for bone marrow drives. For patients with leukemia or any other blood disorder, the best chance of finding a matching donor lies within their own ethnic community. Asian donors comprise a small fraction (7% as of January 2013)[7] of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). Because of this, every chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon hosts several bone marrow drives in conjunction with organizations like the Asian American Donor Program, Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, and the former Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation to inform, educate, and recruit potential marrow donors for the NMDP. Lambda Phi Epsilon recognized bone marrow drives as the national philanthropy when Evan Chen, a member from Stanford University, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1995. The fraternity organized a campus-wide movement to find a bone marrow match for Chen. What resulted was the largest bone marrow typing drive in the history of the NMDP and AADP. In a matter of days, over 2000 people were typed. A match was eventually found for Chen, but by that time, the cancer had taken its toll and he died 1996.[8] Since then, the fraternity organizes annual bone marrow drives to help others find matching donors.[9] Collectively, chapters of Lambda Phi Epsilon amass hundreds of new registrants every year in national campaigns like Save Janet Liang[10] and Save Nina Louie.[11]

Scholarship[edit]

Lambda Phi Epsilon currently awards three merit-based scholarships to active brothers in good standing who have been chosen from a pool of applicants. The Rising Leaders Among Men Scholarship recognizes first-year members, The Academic Excellence Scholarship recognizes academic achievement, and The Lambda of the Year Scholarship recognizes students who epitomize the organization's mission statement.[12]

Convention[edit]

Lambda Phi Epsilon holds an annual convention during Memorial Day weekend at various locations across North America, co-hosted with the sisters of alpha Kappa Delta Phi. Throughout the weekend, members have the opportunity to learn about the state of the fraternity as addressed by the National Board, network with alumni in career-oriented workshops, and socialize with fellow actives from around the world. Convention ends with an annual banquet that recognizes incoming and outgoing fraternal leadership, announces chapter promotions and awards, and showcases brotherhood step performances and other perpetuating traditions of the fraternity.[13]

Hazing incidents[edit]

Lambda Phi Epsilon has experienced the most hazing incidents among Asian-American fraternities, including three deaths. All deaths occurred in the last 13 years.[14] As of 2019, 18 chapters have been closed.[15] Hazing activities include (but are not limited to) knuckle push ups, consumption of large amounts of alcohol and miscellaneous condiments, tackle football, and calisthenics.

In 2005, two pledges at separate universities died in hazing incidents. In August of that year, Cal Poly Pomona student Kenny Luong died after being tackled in a football game that pitted a 10-member pledge group against approximately 40 active members and alumni. The game lasted for more than 3 hours and was played without the use of pads. Prior to the football game, the pledges were forced to complete vigorous calisthenics such as close-fisted pushups on gravel; jumping in the air while standing, landing on their chests without using their hands to break their fall; and drinking two gallons of water in one sitting.[16] The chapter was officially shut down by UC Irvine in 2007.

In December 2005, Jack Phoummarath, an 18-year-old at the University of Texas, died from alcohol poisoning in what was described by his family as a hazing incident. Three former leaders of the chapter pleaded no contest.[17] A settlement was reached with the fraternity for $4.2 million. The fraternity organization did not have insurance, and was unable to pay the entire settlement.[17][18] The fraternity later established the Jack Phoummarath Memorial Scholarship in his honor.[19]

In 2008, The Daily Northwestern, the newspaper of Northwestern University, published an article revealing hazing violations as part of the chapter's pledging process. Pledges were forced to drink jugs of liquid believed to be a mixture of ketchup and Tabasco sauce and perform calisthenics all-night. After an official university hearing, Lambda Phi Epsilon received a four-year suspension from Northwestern.[20]

In 2013, another fraternity member died at San Francisco State University. 18-year-old Peter Tran died due to alcohol poisoning during a "crossing" event at the house. The university later expelled Lambda Phi Epsilon from the campus following a full review.[21][22]

In 2018, Bwog, a Columbia University news blog, received a detailed report about the initiation process of the Alpha Rho Chapter at Columbia University. Bwog reported that, "In the last week of the pledging process, the Columbia pledges were taken to the University of Pennsylvania’s chapter. There, they were made to compete with the Penn Lambda pledges in physical activities, including push-ups and high knees. The exertion was so extreme that our source recounts passing out and being doused with ice water to forcibly awaken him."[23] On Friday December 21, 2018, the Sigma Chapter at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia was voted to be shut down by the Board of Directors due to "significance evidence of hazing being practiced as part of the new member education process." The chapter has been suspended indefinitely.[24]

In 2018, Cal Poly's investigation took place in regards to systemic hazing of new pledges in recent years."The university received anonymous reports that members of the chapter had taken part in the hazing and began the investigation September 28." Ultimately, it was determined the fraternity was involved with multiple accounts of painful and unsafe hazing such as forcing pledges to perform knuckle push-ups and late-night submersion in the ocean. In addition, the chapter forced pledges to consume large amounts of alcohol and provided minors with access to alcohol. The accounts were supported by corroborating testimonies from both current and former members of the fraternity. "All anonymous sources said they were left with broken skin and bloodied knuckles. Some said they were left with scars." On Thursday, October 18, 2018, the chapter was officially suspended for a minimum of two academic years or until all the past members have graduated.[25]

In June 2019, Pennsylvania State’s Office of Student Conduct and Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc., launched a joint investigation after receiving allegations of hazing during the new member education process. The recommendation for suspension came from the university. On June 17, the international organization revoked the fraternity's charter. Suspension of the Tau Chapter at Pennsylvania State University results in losses of all privileges as a recognized student organization." The chapter has been suspended through 2023.[26]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Yul Kwon - Winner of Survivor: Cook Islands and named one of People magazine's Sexiest Men for 2006.[27] Served as deputy chief of the Federal Communications Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.[28] Host of PBS show called, "America Revealed."[29]

Chapters[edit]

Lambda Phi Epsilon has a total of 67 chapters in 6 geographic regions.[when?]

West Coast

  • California (13)
  • Washington (2)

Southwest

  • Texas (5)
  • Oklahoma (1)
  • Arizona (1)

Midwest

  • Illinois (4)
  • Indiana (1)
  • Kansas (1)
  • Michigan (2)
  • Nebraska (1)
  • Wisconsin (1)

North East

  • Connecticut (1)
  • Massachusetts (3)
  • New York (3)
  • Ontario, Canada (2)

Mid-Atlantic

  • Maryland (2)
  • New Jersey (1)
  • New York (5)
  • Pennsylvania (3)

South East

  • Florida (2)
  • Georgia (1)
  • North Carolina (3)
  • Virginia (4)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alumni". Lambda Phi Epsilon. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  2. ^ "NAPA Chapters". National APIA Panhellenic Association. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  3. ^ "North-American Interfraternity Conference Chapters". North-American Interfraternity Conference. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity, About/History". Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity. 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  5. ^ "History of Lambda Phi Epsilon". Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Inc. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  6. ^ "APIA Greek History". National APIA Panhellenic Association. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  7. ^ http://bethematch.org/News/Media/Facts_and_Figures_(PDF).aspx
  8. ^ "Community Service". Stanford Lambda Phi Epsilon. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
  9. ^ In particular, the fraternity seeks out minority donors for the National Marrow Donor Program.
  10. ^ Chapters also raise awareness for the National Marrow Donor Program by organizing local concerts that feature Asian American artists.
  11. ^ Lambda Phi Epsilon cohosts drives for the Save Nina campaign with sister sorority alpha Kappa Delta Phi.
  12. ^ "Lambda Phi Epsilon Scholarship Programs". Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  13. ^ "Lambda Phi Epsilon Convention". Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  14. ^ Hu, Winnie (October 12, 2015). "Hazing and Drinking Deaths at Asian-American Fraternities Raise Concerns". New York Times. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  15. ^ "Membership". Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  16. ^ Miller, Brandon (March 5, 2007). "Pledge Death Witnesses Break Silence". New University.
  17. ^ a b Barajas, Erik (15 July 2008). "UT student death lawsuit over". ABC News (KTRK). Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  18. ^ "Family reaches settlement in UT hazing death case". News 8 Austin. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ Jackson, Peter (1 May 2008). "Hazed: A Greek Tragedy". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  21. ^ Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez (14 July 2013). "Fraternity booted from S.F. State after party death as school looks into hazing allegations". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  22. ^ Farrell, Nena (23 August 2013). "Frat Death Spurs Alcohol Responsibility Program". Golden Gate Express. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  23. ^ Staff, Bwog (2 December 2018). "Former Lambda Phi Epsilon Pledge Details Culture Of Hazing". Bwog Columbia Student News.
  24. ^ "Closure of Sigma Chapter". Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc. 2018-12-21. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  25. ^ Linthicum, Austin; Paoletto, Isabella; Fish, Quinn (2018-10-20). "Lambda Phi Epsilon disaffiliated for hazing: bloodied knuckles, water submersion & alcohol". Mustang News. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  26. ^ "Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity suspended through 2023 | Penn State University". news.psu.edu. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  27. ^ "Master Strategist Yul Kwon Wins Survivor". People Magazine. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  28. ^ "Survivor Winner Yul Kwon Joins FCC". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  29. ^ "'America Revealed': The Ups And Downs Of The Quest For More Of Everything". NPR. Retrieved April 22, 2012.

External links[edit]