Kappa Phi Lambda

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Kappa Phi Lambda
Abbreviation: KPL
Org Founded: March 1995 at SUNY Binghamton
CU Chapter: Tau
Chapter Established: December 2003
Motto: "Sisterhood, Service & Cultural Diversity"
Symbol(s): Phoenix
House: N/A
Recognition: MGC
Contact: kpl-eboard@columbia.edu

Kappa Phi Lambda (KPL) is the only Asian-interest multicultural sorority established at Columbia University on December 6th, 2003 and was founded at SUNY Binghamton in 1995. The only Asian-interest sorority currently on Columbia's campus, Kappa Phi Lambda is recognized by the Multicultural Greek Council, and its sisters are referred to as "Kappas". Kappa Phi Lambda is currently a 5-star ALPHA Standards of Excellence chapter and was awarded the Achievement in Community Service, Achievement in Campus Involvement, and Achievement in Programming.

The sisters of the Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., strive to strengthen sisterhood amongst women by providing service and promoting cultural diversity to its members and its community, thus securing the bond of kinship for posterity. Kappa Phi Lambda exists to further educate individuals about Pan-Asian culture, while keeping its own identity. They aim for academic excellence, keeping in mind the importance of education and learning as the key to strength, awareness, and fulfillment.

A sisterhood comprised of unique and dedicated women, Kappa Phi Lambda continues to display a strong presence on campus, with representation in many Columbia organizations such as Chinese Students Club, Taiwanese American Students Association, Asian American Alliance, Liga Filipina, Columbia Daily Spectator, The Julliard School, Stressbusters, EcoReps, and more.


History at Columbia University

In the fall of 2003, a group of young women came together and decided that it was necessary that those in search of sisterhood have an organization to turn to on Columbia University’s campus; an organization that is not purely social, but focuses more intently on aiding the community and expanding awareness about Asian American issues. This steadfast group of ten women, including Amy Bai, Angie Cheng, Yan Ho, Michelle Huang, De Anna Lau, Lily Lew, Cindy Pang, Nhu Tran, Lilia Tse, and Alice Wong, has worked to start something that brings the Asian American community at Columbia University together, and allows them to present themselves as a solid and unified whole to the campus at large.

General History

Kappa Phi Lambda was founded on March 9, 1995 at Binghamton University by seven founding mothers. These inspirational women – Elizabeth Choi, Karen Eng, Rei Hirasawa, Hee Cho Moon, Chae Yoo, Samantha Somchanhmavong, and Connie Yang – united with a single vision of providing women with the chance to use their pride in heritage to become leaders of society. There was a need for an organization of this kind that would give inspiration and education to its community, and thus, Kappa Phi Lambda was born.

The founding mothers envisioned themselves laying the cornerstones of what was to become a unique and revolutionary organization. They taught each other about strength and ambition while discovering their own true identities in the process. This sorority would unite young women of diverse heritages and encourage them to make use of their strong voices and thoughts. This sorority is open to women of all nationalities and backgrounds who want to learn about and actively represent Pan-Asian culture.

The founding mothers not only channeled Asian American awareness through voice, but also through action. These first sisters of Kappa Phi Lambda extended their hands to the community through charitable actions. By contributing their time and funds, they were able to make a powerful impact on the world around them.

Since its founding, Kappa Phi Lambda has since become one of the fastest growing and strongest Asian American interest sororities in the nation. Today, well over a decade after the founding mothers established Kappa Phi Lambda, the sorority has grown to a total of 28 locations. All sisters nationwide abide by the mission set forth by our founding mothers, but each school is also unique in its own right. This is symbolic of the women we seek: unique, intelligent leaders who want to make a difference. Several years ago, seven beautiful women lit the fire that is Kappa Phi Lambda and watched it grow. As our sisterhood expands, that fire now burns brightly within every individual sister, carrying with it the vision that our founding mothers conceived.

National Mission Statement

“We, the sisters of the Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Incorporated, strive to strengthen Sisterhood amongst women by providing Service and promoting Cultural Diversity to our members and our community, thus securing the bond of kinship for posterity. Kappa Phi Lambda exists to further educate individuals about Pan-Asian culture, while keeping our own identities. We aim for academic excellence, keeping in mind the importance of education and learning as the key to strength, awareness, and fulfillment.”

Three Pillars

Kappa Phi Lambda has 3 main pillars: Sisterhood, Service, and Cultural Diversity. At the Columbia chapter, they consider 'Academic Integrity' as an unofficial pillar.


Although it is difficult to describe, the bond of sisterhood is a common light that burns passionately in each sister. We embrace a unique relationship based on friendship, respect, and a shared vision. Wherever we go, and no matter how long ago we were initiated, each sister is connected and important to the sorority. With a network of sisters spanning across the globe, we can find comfort in knowing that Kappa extends so much further beyond our own universities.


This pillars includes not only community service, but also anything involving fundraising and philanthropy. Kappa Phi Lambda’s national philanthropic cause is the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), the only multi-issue APA women’s organization in the country with the mission to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for APA women and girls. The sorority also focuses on contributing to domestic violence organizations, all the while maintaining its sense of diversity by fundraising for other types of causes of concern.

Cultural Diversity

Kappa Phi Lambda chapters and colonies organize programming that enriches cultural awareness. Events include speaker series, workshops, film screenings, and collaborations with other cultural groups. The sisters of Kappa Phi Lambda strongly believe in the importance of cultural diversity—not only amongst its members but also within the greater context of its general community. Although it is an Asian American interest sorority, the organization stresses multicultural awareness through a variety of Pan-Asian cultural events.


Rush is a period of two weeks at the beginning of each semester when “Greeks” (sororities and fraternities) hold events for “non-Greeks” in an effort to recruit new members. During this rush period, Kappa Phi Lambda holds a series of events from general information meetings to cultural and community service events. These events are held in order to get to know the Kappa sisters and what they stand for. There are no obligations or commitments during rush. This is a period where sisters encouraged interested individually to relax, have fun, and chill with the sisters of Kappa Phi Lambda.

You do NOT have to be Asian to join Kappa Phi Lambda. There are many different nationalities represented within Kappa Phi Lambda. Diversity is one of the many important ideals they promote. Kappa Phi Lambda welcomes women of all races who believe in what our sorority stands for: Sisterhood, Service, and Cultural Diversity.

New Member Process

After rush, and if a bid is extended to a girl after an interview, they will undergo the "New Member Process," NOT called 'pledging,' which is the period after rush that is another step deeper into the journey to becoming a sister. The New Member Process challenges you and allows you to learn more about yourself, your line sisters, and the sisters and sorority of Kappa Phi Lambda. The same experience that each and every Kappa sister has been through holds some of the most cherished secrets within our sorority. KPL strictly abides by the rules and beliefs behind a positive process. There is never a moment that Kappa Phi Lambda would put you in a harmful situation. The New Member Process is definitely a challenge in its own way. Through it all, many Greeks find an improvement in self-confidence and approachability after the New Member process.

See also

External Links

Greek life at Columbia
IFC Fraternities: Alpha Delta PhiAlpha Epsilon PiBeta Theta PiDelta Sigma PhiKappa Delta RhoPhi Gamma DeltaPi Kappa AlphaPsi UpsilonSigma ChiSigma NuSigma Phi EpsilonZeta Beta Tau
Panhel Sororities: Alpha Chi OmegaAlpha Omicron PiDelta GammaGamma Phi BetaKappa Alpha ThetaSigma Delta Tau
Multicultural Greek Fraternities: Phi Iota AlphaAlpha Phi AlphaKappa Alpha PsiOmega Psi PhiPi Delta PsiLambda Phi EpsilonSigma Lambda Beta
Multicultural Greek Sororities: Lambda Pi ChiSigma Iota AlphaDelta Sigma ThetaKappa Phi LambdaSigma Lambda Gamma
Inactive (de-recognized): Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon