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2022 Taiwanese Students Associations’ Joint Conference & Campus Safety Lecture Held in Houston

TSA presidents and board members, guest speakers, and TECO Houston personnel

After being held virtually for two years because of the pandemic, the Taiwanese Students Association (TSA) Presidents’ Joint Conference was held in hybrid mode to the delight of attendees. Thirty-four presidents and office-bearers of the TSAs at 15 universities and colleges in Texas, Louisiana, and Kansas attended the conference in person, and four others—one each from TSAs in West Texas, and Colorado, and two from Mississippi—participated virtually.

The purpose of these annual conferences is to provide the participants with important information about living and studying in the US, that they can then pass on to the other TSA members. Several professionals were invited to share their expertise. Dr. Yeh Yao-Yuan, Chair of the Department of International Studies & Modern Languages at the University of St. Thomas, spoke about his personal experience of studying abroad and working in the States, and licensed attorney Daniel Chen led a workshop which focused on the immigration and visa related issues commonly faced by international students.

Andrea Yang, Director of the Education Division provided a brief introduction about the main tasks of the office as well as the services available for students. She also urged students to be aware of the danger of phone call scams and reminded them to never reveal personal information or transfer money to people they don’t know.

The conference ended with a Campus Safety lecture given by Mr. Stephen Daniel, Senior Community Liaison of Houston Police Department. The lecture focused on Active Shooter Defense training to safeguard lives. Mr. Daniel covered a brief history of Active Shooters, defensive tactics to survive an Active Shooter, and tactics to survive a terrorist attack. As mass shootings continue to plague American schools, it is extremely important for teachers and students to arm themselves with knowledge, and Taiwanese educators in the Greater Houston area were also invited to attend the presentation.

Robert Lo, Director General of TECO in Houston, then made the Taiwanese educators and students feel very welcome with Taiwanese desserts, boba milk tea, and Taiwanese-style dinner boxes.

In their feedback, attendees declared the conference inspiring, informative, and beneficial. One student commented, “It’s great to get back to normal and to actually meet up with everyone, after everything being online for so long. You get a better feel of the connection the TSAs have.” The educators and students promised to share the information learned with their colleagues and students, and they’re all looking forward to future networking events.