It was a very cold night of February 23, 1996. The piercing wind shook people's body but not their heart, like the missile launched by China shaking merely the air but nothing to Taiwanese people's confidence for their first public presidential election in Taiwan. There were about twenty enthusiastic Taiwanese students and professors met together in the basement of Krannert at Purdue University for the discussion of " What can we do for Taiwan? "
From July 1995, China announced their plans of military exercise and missile test trying to threaten Taiwanese and to impact Taiwan's presidential election of March 23, 1996. The war across the strait seemed to be in hair-trigger. We can smell that the campus was filled with that intense atmosphere. Disputation regarding the missile test took over the headline news on Exponent, the campus news of Purdue. False information was spreading. China's aggression was dissembled by Chinese nationalism that tried to pick up an excuse for them to invade Taiwan. This is why we called for the meeting. We should defense the fallacy as well as the threat. We should speak out loudly that Taiwan is an independent country and is not a part of China. After long discussion, the decision had been made that we should establish a student organization for those debating; moreover, if the war were unfortunately happened, we should organize ourselves to support our motherland as well as to help Taiwanese students in Great Lafayette area.
Several titles had been proposed for the name of this organization. People eventually sympathized with the opinion of Professor Wen-Yih Sun: "Owing to the historical fallacy and political oppression, Taiwanese people were hardly to speak out their love to Taiwan in the past decades." Therefore, the organization was named "I Love Taiwan Club".
"What can we do for Taiwan?" Even after the missile fell down to the sea, what can we do ? I love Taiwan is not mere a rally cry that you can merely hear in missile threatening. We have to turn our love into the concrete action. We have to think about what are the real needs of Taiwanese people to protect their lives and happiness. What kinds of knowledge and capability that Taiwanese people should be equipped to confront the rigorous challenge in the coming century?
In 1998 Spring, we initiated the new approach of our consideration to Taiwan. Speeches relative to the issue of Taiwan were tried in our activities. We encouraged Taiwanese students to play the speech by themselves based on relating their major to the issue of Taiwan. The issues of history and culture, politics and economics, society and education, industry and environment had been measured in our program over the past year. Shared different majors and professional knowledge with one another, we had created a domain for people who would like to exchange their concerns for Taiwan and to self-educate themselves about knowing Taiwan.
SERVICE TO GREATER LAFAYETTE
In addition to the focus on our motherland, as a group of Taiwanese students, we are dedicated to enrich the cultural diversity in the area of Greater Lafayette. For years, we have been participating in various annual events of international culture, such as "International Awareness Week" held by the International Students & Scholars (ISS) of Purdue University and "Global Fest" held by the City of West Lafayette. Moreover, we promote the understanding of Taiwanese culture through various educational opportunities. We are eligible to give talks on various aspects of Taiwan such as life, geography, tradition, and history. We believe that by participating in the cultural and educational activities, not only can people learn more about Taiwan, but we can also benefit from the communications with the community to understand other cultures. Registered as one of the international student organizations of Purdue University, we devote ourselves to reaching out beyond the Purdue campus to the whole Greater Lafayette area.