Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association

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Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association
ITASA Logo
ITASA Logo
Formation February 17, 1998
Type NGO
Legal status 501(c)(3) religious/cultural
Purpose Community activism
Headquarters Evanston, Illinois
Location
Region served
East, West, Midwest
Membership
1000+
Official language
English
Main organ
Board of Directors, National Board
Affiliations Boston Intercollegiate Taiwanese Students Association, Taiwanese American Student Associations
Staff
40+
Website ITASA.org

The Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA) (Chinese (Traditional): 美國台裔學生協會) was established by a group of students in the East Coast and Midwest in the United States to grow the Taiwanese American college community. ITASA is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization staffed by students and recent graduates to serve their peers and their respective campuses. ITASA provides the spaces for networking, community building, leadership training, and identity-building which are critical to the future of Taiwanese American generation.

History[edit]

ITASA was founded by a small but very active community, including individuals such as Tim Ch'ng, Morris Tsai, Rolla Ch'ng, Ula Hwang, Peilan Chiu, Cindy Yeh, Felicia Lin, Winston Yang, and others. In 1992, the first "ITSA Conference" was held at the University of Pennsylvania. Several years later, the founders of ITSA, recognizing the unique Taiwanese American identity, renamed the conference to ITASA. Over the next year, similar conferences were held with various names, including the ITASA/TASC Cultural Conference at the University of Illinois, the ITASA Taiwanese Cultural Celebration at Brown University, and TASCon at the University of Illinois again. Though varying in name and location, these conferences involved the same group of college students – a group of Taiwanese American students who wanted to grow and reach a community of like-minded individuals.

Having hit upon a very real community, annual ITASA conferences took root and built upon the successes of the previous years. The first ITASA East Coast Conference took place at Yale University in 1993, the first Midwest ITASA conference took place the same year at Purdue University. From then on, ITASA held two conferences annually on the East Coast and the Midwest, until 1999, when the first annual West Coast Conference was held at the University of California, Berkeley, thus completing the three-region conference series which continues today.

In the beginning, ITASA conferences were self-financed and catered by students' own families. Attendance ranged from 35 to 300 people.

On February 17, 1998, ITASA was formally incorporated as a 501(c)(3) religious/cultural tax-exempt nonprofit corporation in Delaware by Incorporator Kok-ui Lim with the help of many other people, including Jimmy Ho, Audrey Jean, Cathy Hsu, Tim Chng, Rolla Chng, et al.

The founders of ITASA presided for several years and had tried several ways to generate successors. They created a steering committee of positions including the quaintly termed "Computer Operator" and recruited interested students from schools all over the nation to help run the organization. Many members of the steering committee have noted that they lacked the experience and motivation to run a geographically dispersed student organization. Staff experience increased with the command of Jimmy, Audrey, Cathy, and others. This new generation of ITASA leaders, all recent conference directors on the East Coast, helped to secure ITASA's financial and organizational future by facilitating the incorporation of ITASA into a 501(c)(3) corporation and investing ITASA's involvement on the regional level. They also developed ITASA's nascent web presence, centralized fundraising strategies and brought greater structure to the national calendar of events and board responsibilities. From then on, the Board of Directors emerged from a group of veteran officers and new officers emerged from the conference leaders. Today, the ITASA National Board is selected every June from a pool of applicants from across the United States.

In 1998, Taiwanese American students at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Tufts University established the Boston Intercollegiate Taiwanese Students Association (BITSA) to serve the many campuses in the Boston area. BITSA works closely with ITASA at targeting its thriving community of local students.

In 1999, the first Annual Leadership Retreat was held at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1999, ITASA "Regional Representatives" were added to the leadership structure. In 2003, Regional Representatives would become Regional Governors with more defined responsibilities.

In the spring of 1999, students at the University of California at Berkeley undertook the first West Coast Conference, bringing ITASA to three major regions across the United States.

In 2000, the Leadership Retreat Program was expanded to include the Midwest and West Coast Leadership Retreats. The first Midwest Leadership Retreat was held at Northwestern University with the West Coast Leadership Retreat hosted by Pomona College.

In 2001, ITASA's leadership structure was changed to its current form of a National Board overseen by a Board of Directors.

In 2003, Governor-led Regional Boards were established, replacing the single Regional Representative in each region and District Chairs took charge over the Districts, which were subdivided from the Regions.

In 2006, the first annual ITASA Winter Mixer in New York, NY was held.

In 2010, the Philanthropy Department was created. The Philanthropy Department plans and implements projects designed to further ITASA's mission statement.

Mission[edit]

ITASA is a non-profit organization providing events and resources that explore and celebrate Taiwanese American identity in order to inspire, empower and activate its community.

Objectives[edit]

As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, ITASA aims to:

  1. Explore the perspectives that exist within the Taiwanese American Identity;
  2. Empower our participants with the resources to further develop their personal identities wherever they may go;
  3. Activate our community, create a voice that represents us in larger arenas, making Taiwanese Americans an influential force in society;
  4. Build unity and relationships amongst the Taiwanese American Student Associations;
  5. Guide participants towards becoming better leaders by redefining their TASA's and themselves.

Approach[edit]

While setting goals, the National Board has identified 5 levels of student activism. The community at large needed more resources to educate, unite, and equip the general body of Taiwanese Americans across the United States. The campuses at each school needed support in getting linked to the nationwide network and founding new chapters of Taiwanese American student groups. The individual students needed more information, ideas, contacts, outlets and guidelines for personal and collective activism.

ITASA directly addresses 5 levels of the Taiwanese American body.

  1. Regional Conferences held in the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast provide students with annual conventions promoting education, activism, leadership, culture, performance and friendship. For the past decade, the ITASA East Coast Conference has attracted an average of 345 students from schools all over the United States.
  2. Leadership Retreats provide old, new and aspiring campus leaders with training, peer support and shared ideas to start each year with a clear game plan and stronger leadership tools.
  3. Mixers provide students with the opportunity to mingle and share ideas with others students in a more social setting.
  4. ITASA Awards provide recognition to Taiwanese American students and student organizations across the United States in categories such as Outstanding New TASA, Outstanding Website, and Outstanding Leader. Awards are distributed on an annual basis at the ITASA East Coast Conference.
  5. Premier Website provides students everywhere with an interactive community, leaders' guidelines, campus profiles, contacts, vital links and scholarship information.

In addition to these larger initiatives, ITASA also distributes an electronic copy of the ITASA Newsletter to the Taiwanese American student community. The newsletter is distributed on a quarterly basis. It typically contains updates on National Board activities, descriptions of events held by Taiwanese American student organizations across the country, and information regarding ongoing events within the Taiwanese American community.

ITASA also issues regional grants to Taiwanese American student groups. Regional grants are given to fund events that are both intercollegiate in nature and conform to ITASA's mission statement. In the past, regional grants have funded the ITASA Winter Mixer in New York, NY, the University of California at Irvine Lantern Festival, and other similar events. Regional grants are reviewed, approved, and distributed by the Finance Director and Regional Governors.

[edit]

A 3D Variant
Original 2001 logo

ITASA's current logo was adopted in 2001, designed by Robbie Tseng to reflect the academic nature of the Taiwanese American student community. The design is to appear like pages in a book. 3 stacks of books on the left form a stairway, in front of a page itself. Taiwan is white to reflect political ambiguity while the green background is used to represent the lush green tropical island of Taiwan, a common depiction throughout the island. The stairway of books and upward-curving top right corner symbolize the ambitious aspirations of Taiwanese American students.[1]

New variants of the logo are being experimented with which are not a change of the old logo, but rather different representations. For example, 3D logos, chrome versions and so forth. They are designed for use on various ITASA materials such as booklets, press packets and websites.

William Tang updated the logo in 2006 by slightly rounding edges and increasing the glossy effect and is the current one being used. Taiwan island's profile was made extremely accurate to convey geographically accurate features in any logo use.

The green used in the logo is rgb(51,160,43) with hue 77, saturation 136, luminosity 98. The black used in the logo is rgb(0,0,0) with hue 0, saturation 0, luminosity 0. The white used in the logo is rgb(255,255,255) with hue 0, Saturation 0, luminosity 240.

Conference timeline[edit]

Conferences
Date Venue Conference Theme
Spring, 1992 University of Pennsylvania ITSA
Spring, 1992 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ITASA Midwest Conference Tascon
Fall, 1992 Brown University ITASA Cultural Conference
Fall, 1992 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ITASA/TASC Cultural Conference
Spring, 1993 Yale University ITASA East Coast Conference
Spring, 1993 Purdue University ITASA Midwest Conference
Spring, 1993 University of Western Ontario ITASA/CAN
Fall, 1993 University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ITASA Midwest Conference
Spring, 1994 Princeton University ITASA East Coast Conference
Spring, 1994 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ITASA Midwest Conference
Spring, 1995 Harvard University ITASA East Coast Conference
Fall, 1995 University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ITASA Midwest Conference
February 2-February 4, 1996 Brown University ITASA East Coast Conference
October 18-October 19, 1996 Northwestern University ITASA Midwest Conference Voice and Vision – Talking About Today, Looking Towards Tomorrow
Spring, 1997 Cornell University ITASA East Coast Conference
Spring, 1998 Princeton University ITASA East Coast Conference Taiwanese Eyes, American Visions
April 10-April 12, 1998 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ITASA Midwest Conference Express Yourself
November 13-November 14, 1998 Harvard University BITSA Conference Fortune's Way: Exploring the Taiwanese-American's Path to Success
February 4-February 7, 1999 Yale University ITASA East Coast Conference Made In Taiwan
April 9-April 11, 1999 University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ITASA Midwest Conference Links to the Past, Keys to the Future
April 10-April 11, 1999 University of California at Berkeley ITASA West Coast Conference A Journey Through Our Taiwanese-American Experience
November 16, 1999 Harvard University BITSA Conference Old-School-New School: Bridging the Taiwanese-American Past and Future
February 18-February 20, 2000 Brown University ITASA East Coast Conference Breaking Boundaries, Building Bridges
March 31-April 2, 2000 Northwestern University ITASA Midwest Conference The Next Generation
April 7-April 9, 2000 Stanford University ITASA West Coast Conference
November 11, 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology BITSA Conference Inspiration and Expression: The Taiwanese-American in the New Millennium
March 1-March 3, 2001 University of Pennsylvania ITASA East Coast Conference ITASA: One Revolution
March 15-March 18, 2001 University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ITASA Midwest Conference Obey Your Core: Yam I Am
Spring, 2001 University of California at Los Angeles ITASA West Coast Conference Cause An Effect: Empowering a New Generation
October 27, 2001 Wellesley College BITSA Conference Movement: Raising a New Voice
February 14-February 17, 2002 Harvard University ITASA East Coast Conference Transition and Translation: Looking Within to Reach Beyond
April 5-April 7, 2002 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ITASA Midwest Conference Flash Forward: Taiwan Beyond the Boundaries
April 5-April 7, 2002 University of Southern California ITASA West Coast Conference Entering New Dimensions
November 16, 2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology BITSA Conference Impressions
February 27-March 2, 2003 Columbia University ITASA East Coast Conference Biting Into the Yam
April 4-April 6, 2003 University of Washington at Seattle ITASA West Coast Conference Building Parallel Generations
November 15, 2003 Tufts University BITSA Conference Made In Taiwan: Defining a Culture
February 5-February 8, 2004 Yale University ITASA East Coast Conference Choose Your Flavor
March 5-March 7, 2004 University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ITASA Midwest Conference Reunion
April 2-April 4, 2004 Stanford University ITASA West Coast Conference Seeking the New Taiwan Spirit
February 24-February 26, 2005 Rutgers University at New Brunswick ITASA East Coast Conference Perpetual Motion
April 7-April 9, 2005 University of Southern California ITASA West Coast Conference One Step Ahead
2005 Northwestern University ITASA Midwest Conference Beyond the Spectrum
February 9-February 11, 2006 New York University ITASA East Coast Conference Unity
March 31-April 2, 2006 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ITASA Midwest Conference Remix
April 6-April 8, 2006 University of California at Los Angeles ITASA West Coast Conference Discovering the Taiwanese American Consciousness
February 2-February 4, 2007 Harvard University ITASA East Coast Conference The World Is Not Enough
March 30-April 2, 2007 University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ITASA Midwest Conference Team Taiwan
April 12-April 15, 2007 Stanford University ITASA West Coast Conference Rekindling the Flame
February 21-February 23, 2008 University of Pennsylvania ITASA East Coast Conference Kaleidoscope
April 4-April 6, 2008 Northwestern University ITASA Midwest Conference Hand in Hand
February 19-February 22, 2009 Duke University ITASA East Coast Conference Bringing it Back Home
April 2-April 4, 2009 University of Southern California ITASA West Coast Conference Creative Identity of Ambiguity
April 17-April 19, 2009 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ITASA Midwest Conference Illuminate
February 18-February 20, 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology ITASA East Coast Conference Live in HD
March 26-March 28, 2010 University of Texas at Austin ITASA Midwest Conference Round Up
April 1-April 4, 2010 University of California at San Diego ITASA West Coast Conference Sailing Beyond The Horizon
January 27-January 30, 2011 Princeton University ITASA East Coast Conference Taking it to the Top
April 7-April 9, 2011 University of California at Berkeley ITASA West Coast Conference Next Stop: Taiwan
April 15-April 17, 2011 Northwestern University ITASA Midwest Conference Taiwan Unwrapped
February 16-February 19, 2012 Georgia Institute of Technology ITASA East Coast Conference The Tipping Point
April 6-April 8, 2012 University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ITASA Midwest Conference Renewal
February 14-February 17, 2013 New York University & Columbia University ITASA East Coast Conference Igniting Infinite Possibilities
April 4-April 7, 2013 University of California, Los Angeles ITASA West Coast Conference Crescendo: Voices of Taiwanese America
April 12-April 13, 2013 The Ohio State University ITASA Midwest Conference Taiwan Taking Root
February 13-February 16, 2014 Yale University ITASA East Coast Conference Work In Progress
April 3-April 6, 2014 University of California at Berkeley ITASA West Coast Conference Pause. Rewind. Play.
April 10-April 13, 2014 University of Texas at Austin ITASA Midwest Conference Leveling Up

References[edit]