22 May Retiring Colonies
San Diego, CA—Chapter Presidents convened in Orientation 2017 to discuss and vote on proposed amendments to the International Fraternity Constitution. By a unanimous vote of the House of Delegates, the International Fraternity has approved a resolution to retire the use of the term “colony” when referring to its newly chartered groups.
The resolution, authored by Director of Communications Bryan Dosono, signals the International Fraternity’s shift towards more inclusive language. In sociohistorical contexts, colonization involved the enslavement, rape, genocide, and erasure of indigenous peoples within Asian nations. “As an overwhelming majority of our membership hails from first and second-generation Asian American immigrant families, it makes no sense to perpetuate language that does not align with our organization’s values. Retiring outdated terminology is a necessary step forward in creating a more inclusive fraternal experience,” says Dosono.
“I’m glad that all levels of leadership within the fraternity, from the Board of Directors to our undergraduate Chapter Presidents, have voted in consensus,” says Victor Em, co-sponsor of the resolution.
Lambda Phi Epsilon will be the first NAPA organization to no longer perpetuate the use of the term “colony,” and the International Fraternity’s leadership will advocate other fraternities and sororities to reconsider their use of the term.
A RESOLUTION TO ABOLISH THE USE OF THE TERM “COLONY” IN REFERENCE TO EXPANSION
WHEREAS, a core value of Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity is cultural heritage; and
WHEREAS, the International Fraternity is a historically Asian-interest organization with multicultural membership and a member of the National Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Association (NAPA); and
WHEREAS, all current 18 NAPA organizations currently use the word “colony” when referencing newer establishments on their inter/national websites; and
WHEREAS, chapters of the International Fraternity are now categorized in a two-tier promotion system (Active and Associate) under the new Expansion Policy instead of the former three-tier promotion system (Active, Associate, and Colony); and
WHEREAS, colony chapters of the International Fraternity currently refer to an affiliated Interest Group on their respective university campus; and
WHEREAS, fraternity membership comprises of international and first-generation students  from varied countries across the Asian continent, inclusive of nations that have been “colonized” by imperialistic powers; and
WHEREAS, in sociohistorical contexts, “colonization” involved the enslavement, rape, genocide, and erasure of indigenous peoples within Asian nations (Cambodia, Philippines, and India, just to name a few) by Western imperialist powers (such as France, Spain, and Great Britain); and
WHEREAS, professionals in student affairs and higher education have articulated the power of language and the problematic nature of the term “colony” in online think pieces like  “[colonizing] is a word that is generally used in the industry of fraternity and sorority expansion, and is one that definitely needs to change,” said Su McGlone, Director of the Tufts Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, and  “We have an obligation to cultivate a place for all students, promote community, and challenge words that often have a negative connotation, history of oppression, or meanings that do not reflect today’s context,” said Brent Turner, Executive Director of Student Involvement at Northwestern University; now, therefore;
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LAMBDA PHI EPSILON INTERNATIONAL FRATERNITY HOUSE OF DELEGATES:
THAT, Lambda Phi Epsilon retires and abolishes the use of the term “colony” in reference to expansion; and
THAT, recognized Interest Groups will be referenced as Charter Groups in the International Fraternity Constitution (Article 2, Section 6) and not colonies; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, Lambda Phi Epsilon will be the first NAPA organization to no longer perpetuate the use of the term “colony”  in future communications, and the International Fraternity’s leadership will advocate other multicultural fraternities and sororities to reconsider their use of the term; and
THAT, a copy of this resolution be forwarded to each member of the House of Delegates, the International Board, and the Board of Directors for the International Fraternity.
About Lambda Phi Epsilon
Founded in 1981 at the University of California at Los Angeles, Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc. has grown to become the world’s largest Asian-interest fraternity. Lambda Phi Epsilon (ΛΦΕ, also known as LFE) aims to guide men on a lifelong discovery of authenticity and personal growth. To learn more, visit https://lambdaphiepsilon.com.
Lambda Phi Epsilon Contact
Director of Communications
Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc.