Last semester, Lambda Phi Epsilon and RIT’s College Activities Board worked together to co-sponsor a campus screening of the Crazy Rich Asians movie. Topping as the #1 best selling film in the box office for its opening weekend and winning the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Comedy of 2018, this movie’s success built an elevating platform for the Asian American community to see increased representation in mainstream media.

Free to all RIT students, the screening event hosted over 500 attendees! According to the committee, the RIT College Activities Board’s average movie attendance ranges 100-200 students per screening. Regardless of the snowstorm that occurred during the evening of the fraternity’s screening, movie-goers made their way driving through several feet of snow to fill the auditorium and celebrate such a monumental moment for the Asian American community. By building new relationships with the local Chinese Rochester business owners, the chapter provided various Chinese food catered dishes during a pre-screening event from Dragon Palace Restaurant. The screening aimed to create a campus climate where racial inclusivity is the norm.

As the world’s largest Asian-interest fraternity, the organization proudly promotes cultural heritage and took the lead to engage the RIT community with a comedic and diverse experience. The wrapping of dumplings, shuffling of Mahjong tiles, revamped 80s soundtrack and seamless switching of Chinese dialects between Mandarin and Cantonese, were all scenes that resonate with many of the fraternity brothers’ cultural backgrounds. Through the hysterical laughter and the simultaneous sighs of nostalgia coming from the crowd, it’s obvious this film was received positively for many reasons including its strong female leads and the grandeur of Singapore’s richest families. There is a strong sense of pride that comes with witnessing Asian culture shine on the big screen for the first time.

The brothers of Lambda Phi Epsilon are crazy proud to garner support for increased representation in mainstream media. Hollywood will soon experience a rapidly expanding influence of multicultural experiences, ranging from nuanced depictions of immigrant family stories to the fascinating lifestyles outside of America. The outpour of support from the RIT community, even in the harshest of Rochester weather, proves that diversity and inclusion move the future.

Zadrian Huang, Lambda Phi Epsilon Cultural Chair