Date: Saturday, May 5th, 2012
Time: 6PM - 10PM
Location: UCSD Price Center Ballroom East
Email contact: email@example.com
TASA at UCSD wishes to spread awareness of beautiful Formosa by presenting our second annual Mr. and Ms. Formosa Culture Pageant.
The pageant will select talented young men and women to compete for the crown of Mr. & Ms. Formosa. The winners will be determined based on talent, intelligence, and their representation of Taiwanese culture. In addition to contestant performances, we will also feature guest performances such as Taiwanese-American singer/songwriter Cynthia Lin and local San Diego based band, The Randoms. Our mission for this event is to recognize college students who embody Taiwanese American culture while also promoting Taiwanese Americans as a whole. We hope that each participant of this event, whether contestant or audience, walks away with a greater knowledge of Taiwan through a captivating and unforgettable night.
Furthermore, Mr. and Ms. Formosa will be a philanthropic event with all proceeds going to Tzu Chi, a non-profit organization originating in Taiwan with roots in community service and disaster relief. We strongly support Tzu Chi in their goals and hope to assist them in their efforts to help those in need.
Pre-sale tickets will be available for $5, and $10 at the door; please contact us to purchase them at the TASA @ UCSD Facebook group!
Southern California— TACL-LID Camp 2012 planning is currently in progress and we are recruiting potential counselors. Please click here for more info, and apply!. Please read all the information carefully on the “counselors” page before applying. You must be 18 or older to apply. Applications are due May 18, 2012 and Interviews will be held shortly after! Thanks and stay tuned for more summer camp updates!
Date of Camp: August 8-12, 2012
Location: Camp Whittier, Santa Barbara.
Time commitment: Saturday afternoon trainings in Southern California from mid-June to camp
Being a counselor at camp is a great opportunity to connect with the Taiwanese American community and give back. Counselors will through 8 weeks of training and have an active part of organizing camp. In addition to leading a group of campers, counselors help create workshops that span a variety of topics, including Taiwanese culture, personal identity, and a lot of team-building activities.
Camp is truly is exactly what you make of it. As the backbone of camp, counselors are responsible for multiple facets of camp. Not only is it a very rewarding experience, it’s excellent leadership building skills. Past counselors have gone on to take leadership roles in the Taiwanese American community, such as being founding members of all the TASAs in California. The counselor/staff team is a unique group of individuals, that I personally love working with. Therefore, I truly believe that camp is something that needs to be shared with everyone.
We encourage you to forward this information to not just the ITASA network, but also any friends you think might be interested in being a counselor.
Questions? Comments? Contact me!
“I can’t believe people are still saying things like that today.”
“Are the editors really that oblivious?”
These were some of the comments voiced by my classmates after my presentation in discussion section for an ethnic studies class at Yale. Our lectures and readings that week focused on the history of the racialization of Asian Americans and touched specifically upon the legal, social, and economic exclusion of Chinese migrants and laborers at the turn of the twentieth century. In class, we examined not only the development of Chinatown as a racial, urban space, but also the fictive construction of Chinatown as a place of vice, disease, immorality, crime, and mystery in the popular imagination. These tropes are continuously rehashed even one hundred years later in our media today, from movies like Gangs of New York to movies as innocent as Freaky Friday.
So where do Taiwanese Americans fit into the picture? As someone who is passionate about Asian American history and the Taiwanese American identity, I thought it would be an opportune moment to discuss Jeremy Lin’s rapid ascendance into the media limelight critically in relationship to the history we were learning in class. I pulled up and projected recent incendiary media headlines about Lin and asked my fellow section attendees how the racialization of Asian Americans as a perpetually foreign “Other” one hundred years ago continues to affect Asian Americans today. I also challenged them to think about how his Taiwanese American background plays (or doesn’t play) into the media’s portrayal and scrutiny of his career. Two of the headlines I chose included ESPN’s headline “Chink in the Armor” and FoxSports.com columnist Jason Whitlock’s tweet after the Knicks secured a victory over the Lakers that “Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple of inches of pain tonight.”
Perhaps students who voluntarily elect to take an ethnic studies course are predisposed to feel outraged at such headlines and not brush it off as a joke, but my gut feeling is that these prominent media headlines also made many of you feel uncomfortable. One hundred years later, the same, insidious stereotypes about Asian American masculinity (or lack thereof) and foreignness still rear their ugly heads, even when the person in question seems to perfectly embody the American dream – a hard-working, faithful, Harvard-educated son of Taiwanese immigrants who has achieved stunning success in basketball and captured the attention of millions of Americans on television. Why do the media still insist on recycling these stereotypes? Why is it that his success is perceived as so unusual?
These questions, whether we like it or not, have to do with race. The Linsanity phenomenon has exposed faultlines of identity, ethnicity, “Americanness.” We are reminded through these ugly incidents that while we rally around a fellow Taiwanese American, we are not only involved in a collective Asian American struggle, but we also occupy a special niche as Taiwanese Americans. As Taiwanese Americans, our stake in the Asian American identity is different. Due to Taiwan’s unique history and special relationship with the U.S. in the last half century, many of us are sons and daughters of Taiwanese immigrants who came here after U.S. immigration laws were revised to recruit professionals to pursue higher education or specialized careers, giving us access to opportunities for college education and more prospects ourselves. Our contemporary legacy in the popular imagination as the “model minority” with “tiger mothers” and “high-expectations Asian fathers” is not immune from flawed and insidious stereotypes, as the media hubbub around Jeremy Lin has aptly demonstrated.
What does this mean for us and for ITASA? As an intercollegiate network, our voices are strong and deserve to be heard. Popular outcry from Asian American activist groups have demanded apologies from the media and demonstrated that we are a force to be reckoned with. So stay vigilant, stay awesome, and take pride in our collective voice.
Written by: Christina Lee - East Coast District Chair (Yale University)
This winter break, I was more excited than ever for my visit to Taiwan. In addition to mouthwatering food and heartwarming company, I was also looking forward to voting in the presidential election for the first time. Despite my excitement, I felt unprepared to make an educated vote. Having spent the greater part of my life overseas, I found myself unfamiliar with the candidates and the current needs of the Taiwanese. Not wanting to become merely an extended vote of my parents, I attended a presidential rally to be able to make a more informed decision. However, when surround by the impassioned energy and shouts of the crowd, I began to question whether or not I should vote. Having only lived in Taiwan for six short years of my childhood, I was hesitant that my vote should hold as much sway as that of citizens whose lives would be deeply impacted by the results of this election.
Editor’s note: In 2008, US President Bush called Taiwan “a beacon of democracy to Asia and the world.” How many of you knew that Taiwan is one of the world’s true democracies? The system on the small island has every person’s vote count equally toward the election of a president. If you think about it, this isn’t even the case in the United States. With the electoral college system, millions of votes don’t really end up “counted” because in each state, it’s winner takes all. All voters aren’t equal. A person’s clout depends on the state they live in and the voting tendencies of that state. It’s no wonder that voter turnout has consistently been higher in Taiwan than in the United States. National Development Director Daniel Hung has put together a brief overview of the upcoming election in Taiwan. We’ve added a new comment box to our tumblr, so we’d love to hear your thoughts! [End Note]
On January 14th, 2012, Taiwan will have its 5th direct election for president. This of course, is very significant for many of us in ITASA, since most of us have relatives in Taiwan. I hope to lay out the background of this election as fair as I can, because ITASA does not officially support any candidate or party in any elections.