Lambda Phi Epsilon

Lambda Phi Epsilon

Infobox Fraternity
name=Lambda Phi Epsilon
colors=Royal Blue and White
motto="To be Leaders Among Men" ΗΓΕΜΟΝΕΣ ΕΝ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΙΣ ΕΙΝΑΙ
founded=birth date and age|1981|2|25
type= Social
address=105 Kerckhoff Hall
city=Los Angeles
homepage= [ Lambda Phi Epsilon, Inc]
free=Lambdas, LPhiE, LFE

ΛΦΕ (Lambda Phi Epsilon, also known as Lambdas, LPhiE, LFE) is a nationally-recognized Asian-interest fraternity based in the United States. Lambda Phi Epsilon's goals include servicing the community through various philanthropies, increasing Asian awareness, promoting academic scholarship, and strengthening the Asian American voice on campus. Lambda Phi Epsilon is currently the largest Asian-interest fraternity with a total of 48 chapters in the United States and Canada, and continues to expand to other campuses every year.cite news | last = Kwek | first = Jessica | title = Fraternity Holds Campus Marrow Drive | url = | publisher = Daily Bruin | date = 2000-05-17 | accessdate = 2007-12-04]


Founding Fathers

Not satisfied with the single Asian fraternity on the campus of University of California, Los Angeles, principal founder Craig Ishigo and a group of eighteen other dedicated men decided to form Lambda Phi Epsilon on February 25, 1981. Noting that Asian fraternities and sororities at the UC campuses were recognized only as service organizations due to their memberships focus on specific Asian groups and to the exclusion of other ethnic groups, the goal of the founders was to transcend this limitation. The founders hoped to set new and higher standards of excellence for all Asian-interest organizations to follow, while feeling a need to offer a fraternity that would be recognized by the IFC and the Greek system. While the original charter focused on Asian Pacifics Americans, people from all ethnic backgrounds were welcome to join and support the brotherhood of Lambda Phi Epsilon. Their vision was that the members would eventually become the leaders of their respective communities and bridge the gaps that divided the Asian American community through an affiliation with a common organization. Craig Ishigo and Darryl L. Mu signed the charter as president and vice president, respectively.cite web | url = | title = Lambda Phi Epsilon National Fraternity - About | accessdate = 2008-04-22 | publisher = Lambda Phi Epsilon National Fraternity | date = 2007]

National Expansion

Ever since its founding at the University of California, Los Angeles, Lambda Phi Epsilon has continued to grow and establish presence at campuses all over the nation. 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. The fraternity has since expanded to all corners of the United States and beyond.

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 chapter at the University of Toronto, thereby granting Lambda Phi Epsilon unofficial status as an international fraternity.


The fraternity's national philanthropy are the bone marrow drives. For a patient living with leukemia or any other blood disorder, the odds of finding an appropriate match are already slim; their best chance of finding a matching donor lies within their own ethnic community. Unfortunately, Asian donors make up just a "small fraction" of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). Because of this, every chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon hosts several bone marrow drives in conjunction with the Asian American Donor Program, the Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation, and Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, to inform, educate, and recruit potential marrow donors for the NMDP. By increasing the number of Asian donors in the national registry, Lambda Phi Epsilon hopes to better the chances of Asian patients finding donors that they are compatible with.

Lambda Phi Epsilon recognized bone marrow drives as the national philanthropy when Evan Chen, a brother from Stanford University, was diagnosed with leukemia. The fraternity along with Evan’s friends organized a joint effort to find a bone marrow match for Evan. What resulted was the largest bone marrow typing drive in the history of the National Marrow Donor Program and AADP (Asian American Donor Program). In a matter of days, over 2000 people were typed. A match was eventually found for Evan, unfortunately by that time the disease had taken its toll on him and he passed away in 1996.cite web | url = | title = Contributions to the Fraternity | accessdate = 2008-01-31 | publisher = Stanford Lambda Phi Epsilon | date = 2008] Since then, chapters across the nation hold annual bone marrow drives to help others find matching bone marrow. In particular, the fraternity seeks out "minority donors because they are the hardest to find." cite news | last = Crist | first = Carolyn | url = | title = Fraternity Pirates Host Marrow Drive | accessdate = 2008-01-31 | date = 2008-01-15 | publisher = The Red and Black Publishing Company Inc]

In addition to hosting bone marrow drives on a national level, individual chapters of Lambda Phi Epsilon participate in their own local philanthropies including Habitat for Humanity, AIDS walks, beach clean-ups, and assisting the elderly community. On many occasions the fraternity teams up with other student organizations to help fundraise for various charities. cite news | last = Gunaratna | first = Shanika | publisher = The Daily Northwestern | url = | title = Groups Dress in Top, Local Fashion to Help | date = 2008-01-21 | accessdate = 2008-08-20]

In Canada where bone marrow drives are not as visible, brothers participate annually in Relay 4 Life, a 12-hour walk or run marathon hosted by the Canadian Cancer Society. In 2007, Lambda Phi Epsilon at the University of Toronto raised over $1500 in support of funding cancer research. In addition to Relay 4 Life, brothers have participated in the blood drive along with weekly sandwich runs throughout the summer.


Lambda Phi Epsilon has a total of 48 chapters in North America, with more than half of its chapters concentrated in California, New York, and Texas. A complete list of Lambda Phi Epsilon's chapters and links to their websites can be found at the link given above.

National Convention

Every year, Lambda Phi Epsilon holds an annual convention during Memorial Day weekend at various locations around the nation. Convention is a national event for members to get together for business and pleasure, and is one of the largest Asian American gatherings in the United States. Parties and after-parties are held all weekend as well as Brotherhood showcases where members from their respective chapters can perform a dance or step. The winning chapter is awarded a sword called "Keight," a figurative trophy passed down from the previous year's winner. Meetings are held to elect national board members and review current policies, and career development workshops are set up to help current members develop skills used in the professional world. The weekend is closed off with a final banquet.

In 2006, Lambda Phi Epsilon's UCLA chapter hosted Convention XVII which marked the twenty-fifth (silver) anniversary of the fraternity and was held in the fraternity's founding city, Los Angeles. Over 90% of the original founders were confirmed to attend.

Notable Alumni

*Yul Kwon - winner of "" and one of "People" magazine's Sexiest Men for 2006
*Matthew Muckey - Associate Principal Trumpet of New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Alumni of Northwestern University, Eta Class at Alpha Eta Chapter.


San José State University

In January 2003, Lambda Phi Epsilon member and junior at SJSU, Alam Kim, was killed in a fight between members of Lambda Phi Epsilon and Pi Alpha Phi. Alam Kim was an alumnus of Lowell High School in San Francisco, California, where he commanded the Lowell Boys Drill Team. Friends say Alam was trying to stop the fight between the two fraternities before he was killed by getting stabbed through his heart. Although a homicide suspect has not been singled out, a $1 million warrant was issued for Long Duy Tran, a then-20-year-old San Jose man who is considered a major suspect in the incident.cite news | last = Burchyns | first = Tony | publisher = Spartan Daily | url = | title = Warrant Issued for Suspect in Fraternity Fight | date = 2003-01-31 | accessdate = 2008-08-20] cite news | last = Herel | first = Suzanne, et. al | publisher= = San Francisco Chronicle | url = | title = Fraternity Feud's Unlikely Victim | date = 2003-01-23 | accessdate = 2008-08-20]

University of California, Irvine

In 2005, the UC Irvine chapter was officially suspended due to an open investigation surrounding the death of a Cal Poly Pomona pledge. On August 8 2005, pledges attempting to establish a chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon at Cal Poly Pomona were participating in a football game with actives from UC Irvine. One pledge, Kenny Luong, was injured and died in the hospital on August 30 2005. Police reported they had no evidence of any criminal activity that led to Luong's death, but still decided to conduct an investigation.cite news | publisher = Associated Press and San Diego Union-Tribune | url = | title = Irvine Police Probing Whether Student's Death Linked to Hazing | date 2005-01-31 | accessdate 2008-08-20] In April 2007, Luong's family sued Lambda Phi Epsilon and the University of California, although no criminal charges have been filed in the case.

A participant described the incident as "a hazing disguised as a football game."fact|date=August 2008 According to two witnesses who participated in the football game, the football game consisted of forty Lambda Phi Epsilon alumni and active members against ten pledges. The pledge team was also significantly smaller and less physically fit than the bigger, more numerous UCI Lambdas. Players wore no helmets or pads, and were allowed access to water only at halftime." After the incident, the remaining pledges decided to forego the plans for a new chapter and instead started a campus community service group in honor of Luong.

University of Texas at Austin

In December 2005, Phanta Phoummarath, a new member of Lambda Phi Epsilon, died at the University of Texas at Austin due to alcohol poisoning. Reportedly, it was the night of "installation," a post-crossing celebration. After ingesting large amounts of alcohol (the medical examiner reported his blood-alcohol content was more than five times higher than the level needed to prove intoxication in Texas), other party-goers defaced his body with anti-gay epithets and obscene drawings. According to a probable cause affidavit, Phoummarath died after a heavy night of drinking in which fraternity members chanted for him and six other new members to finish as many as eight bottles of vodka, whiskey, rum, and other drinks being passed around. The university suspended Lambda Phi Epsilon's status as a registered student organization until December 19, 2011. Phoumarrath's family is also suing the fraternity.cite news | publisher = Associated Press and Fox News | url =,2933,242704,00.html | title = Body of Teen Who Died During Frat Hazing Defaced With Anti-Gay Epithets | date = 2007-01-10 | accessdate = 2008-08-20]

In December 2006, one year after Phoummarath's death, after an investigation, a Travis County Grand Jury charged former President Benny Chan and former Pledge Captain Andrew Nguyen each with 7 counts of furnishing alcohol to minors, as well as 22 and 14 counts of hazing respectfully. Kamal Pulukari was charged with 14 counts of hazing, while the fraternity itself was charged with 5 counts of hazing. While it was concluded that hazing did not directly result in the death of Phoummarath, the subsequent investigation found that new members were forced to exercise and food-hazed, all in violation of Texas hazing laws.

Northwestern University

On September 23,2008, Northwestern University announced that a student-faculty judicial board had put the school's Lambda Phi Epsilon Alpha Eta Chapter on a four-year suspension lasting until the 2012-2013 school year. The board found the fraternity of breaking 4 rules: "hazing, a rule prohibiting violence or threatening the safety of any person, restrictions on recruitment until Winter Quarter of a student's freshman year and failure to cooperate with the investigation and student conduct hearings".cite news | publisher = Northwestern University | url = | title = Lambda Phi Epsilon suspended following rules violation | date = 2008-09-24 | accessdate = 2008-09-29]

The administrative inquiry presumably started when The Daily Northwestern published an article on May 1st, 2008cite news | publisher = The Daily Northwestern | url = | author = Peter Jackson | title= Hazed: A Greek Tragedy | date =2008-05-01 | accessdate = 2008-10-05] in which four of the 13 new members explained the circumstances that led all 13 pledges eventually to leave the pledging process. The new members, who were pledged, in violation of university rules,cite news | publisher = Northwestern University | url = | title= Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life: Policies and Forms" | date =2007-10-25 | accessdate = 2008-10-05] during the fall quarter of their freshman year, claimed they were forced to drink gallon jugs of unknown mixtures, one of which possibly consisted of ketchup and hot sauce, in a activity known as Drink Till You Drop (DTYD). The new members also said they had to participate in weekly Saturday-night rituals called "Takeouts" which consisted of "punishment" the pledges had to do.

"Punishment, they would learn, consisted of four exercises. The first was pushups. The second was crunches. The third was "horse stance," where they had to arch their back, bend their knees and hold their arms out. The fourth was "stock markets," which involved lying flat on their backs and lifting their legs at various angles on command. They repeated the exercises for about an hour".cite news | publisher = Northwestern University | url = | title = Hazed: A Greek Tragedy | date = 2008-05-01 | accessdate = 2008-09-28]

Punishment later involved holding two-liter bottles of water above their heads for an hour after doing hundreds of push-ups and crunches.

See also


External links

* [ Lambda Phi Epsilon National Fraternity, Inc]
* [ Asian Amercian Donor Program]
* [ Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches]
* [ Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation]

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